10 Best Winter Coats of 2024

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A man with a backpack wearing a red REI Stormhenge winter jacket in a snowy scene
REI Stormhenge – Photo credit: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

When the temperature drops, icy rain, and snow start to fall and the wind is howling, you’ll need a winter coat you can trust to keep you warm and dry. Over the past 10 years, our team of experts has braved the elements, testing 30 jackets over 500 miles of cold-weather trekking for their warmth, comfort, versatility, and durability.

We also have reviewed the best winter coats for women as well as other crucial cold weather accessories like glovesboots for women and men, and snowshoes, for when the powder gets really deep.

Quick Picks for Men’s Winter Coats

Check out this list of our favorite winter coats, or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.

Best winter coat overall: REI Stormhenge ($279)

Warm & stylish winter coat: The North Face McMurdo ($400)

Warm down jacket for technical winter use: RAB Neutrino Pro ($400)

Versatile two-piece winter coat: Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka ($699)

Comfortable & durable winter coat: Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Parka ($340)

Best budget winter coat: Columbia Penns Creek II ($240)

Very warm & durable winter coat with a vintage look: Marmot Fordham ($325)

Lightweight, warm & packable down coat for fall, winter & spring: LL Bean Ultralight 850 ($269)

What’s new

The CleverHiker team has spent the winter testing coats to come up with our new list of favorites:

  • The REI Stormhenge is our overall top pick for its versatility and performance at a lower price point.

  • The RAB Neutrino Pro rounds out the top of our list for its lightweight, ultra-warm down and peak technical performance.

REI Stormhenge

Best winter coat overall

Price: $279

Weight: 1 lb. 11 oz.(Large)

Insulation: 850-fill-power down / synthetic blend

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Very warm
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight & compressible
  • Breathable (pit zips)
  • Shorter length is easy to move in

Cons

  • Less coverage than a parka

The REI Stormhenge Down Hybrid Jacket is an all-around excellent choice for active people who want a warm and waterproof coat for an affordable price. It’s packed with top-quality 850-fill-power down, which makes it exceptionally efficient at trapping body heat without feeling bulky or weighing you down. The shorter length of the Stormhenge doesn’t provide quite as much coverage as a parka-length coat, but it stays out of the way and it’s easier to move in for sporty activities. And, if you start to overheat, this is one of the few winter coats that has pit zips for ventilation. The Stormhenge is hands-down one of the best values around, and it’s one of our favorite winter coats for walks, chilly camping trips, and snow days in the mountains.

The North Face McMurdo

Warm & stylish winter coat

Price: $400

Weight: 3 lb. 4.6 oz.(Large)

Insulation: 550-fill-power down & synthetic fibers

Pros

  • Very warm
  • Waterproof
  • Built-in face/neck gaiter
  • Dual-entry hand pockets
  • Hand-warmer chest pockets
  • Removable faux-fur ruff

Cons

  • A bit heavier and bulkier than some

The North Face McMurdo Down Parka is a truly excellent value, considering that similar coats often cost twice as much. The McMurdo is fully waterproof and its oversized baffles are packed with a ton of 550-fill-power down to keep you warm and comfortable in harsh conditions. We love how protective this coat feels when the wind is howling, and the deep hood and long length add even more of a sense of shelter. We recommend the McMurdo to budget-conscious men who want a stylish and substantial-feeling winter coat that works just as well in the mountains as it does around town.

Rab Neutrino Pro

Warm down jacket for technical winter use

Price: $400

Weight: 1 lb. 5.3 oz.

Fill Power / Fill Weight: 800 / 7.5 oz.

Pros

  • Very Warm
  • Excellent warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Highly compressible
  • Hem & hood adjustments
  • Fleece-lined pockets
  • 2-way zipper (climbing harness compatible
  • Wind/Weather-resistant
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Too warm for most 3-season ultralight backpacking trips

If you’re looking for a technical jacket that’ll keep you toasty on winter camping trips or alpine ascents, theRab Neutrino Pro (men’s / women’s) is an excellent choice. It’s stuffed to the gills with 800-fill-power down for maximum heat retention and features solid hardware, durable high-tech fabric, and excellent craftsmanship that justifies the steep price. The Neutrino is a bit heavier than some other jackets, but it’s actually very practical in its weight and packability for the level of warmth it provides. The Neutrino Pro is super high quality and it’s our go-to when we expect really cold conditions.

Men’s Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka

Versatile two-piece winter coat

Price: $699

Weight: 2 lb. 11 oz.(Large)

Insulation: 700-fill-power down

Pros

  • Versatile (layers can be worn together or separately)
  • Waterproof
  • Removeble hood

Cons

  • Expensive
  • A bit heavier & bulkier than some
  • Not as warm as some

A top-quality coat like the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parkais well worth the price if you’ll be wearing it every day for months at a time. The bombproof shell and midweight down inner are perfectly suited to climates that have wet, chilly winters. The Tres is beautifully designed with a tailored fit and high-end materials that make it feel both durable and luxurious. What we love most about this coat is that it’s essentially two high-end jackets in one. Wear the waterproof shell as a raincoat in mild temperatures, use the down inner jacket alone on dry days, or wear them together when you need ultimate warmth and weather protection. Because the Tres is so versatile, it works great for many seasons from fall to spring, which makes it well worth the price in our eyes.

Men’s Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Parka

Comfortable & durable winter coat

Price: $340

Weight: 1 lb. 9.6 oz.

Insulation: 700-fill-power down

Options: N/A

Pros

  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • Great mobility
  • Durable Outer Fabric
  • Lightweight & compressible
  • Durable
  • Stylish fit and unique stitching

Cons

  • A bit expersive
  • Not waterproof
  • Not as warm as some

We’re loving the Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Parka – a warmer version of the Stretchdown Hoodie, which holds down a place on our Best Down Jackets list for its exceptional comfort. The Parka is longer for more backside coverage, and it has a high collar and cozy, insulated fleece-lined hand pockets for cozy protection in winter conditions. Our favorite thing about the Stretchdown is the ultra-stretchy fabric that makes it easy to move in and highly durable. Because of these features (and being reasonably packable), the Stretchdown Parka is perfect as a spring and fall layer for everyday wear, international travel, and for anyone who tends to be tough on gear.

Columbia Penns Creek II

Best budget winter coat

Price: $240

Weight: 2 lb. 12 oz.(Large)

Insulation: Synthetic down (polyester) & reflective lining

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Dual-entry hand pockets
  • Removeable faux fur ruff

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Less breathable than some
  • Not as warm as some
  • Limited hood adjustments

If you’re looking for an affordable coat for mild winter weather, consider the flattering and comfortable Columbia Penns Creek II Parka. Its synthetic insulation and space-blanket-like lining trap your body heat to keep you warm without being cumbersome or bulky. It’s unclear how much thermal reflection the silver-dot lining actually does, but it works well as a vapor barrier. This means it’s very effective at retaining significant warmth, especially while you’re active. Because the Penns Creek is lightweight and a bit less breathable than some coats, we recommend wearing a base layer top and a fleece underneath it to help manage moisture and dial up the heat. The Penns Creek is an attractive and practical budget coat that you can wear from town to trail.

Marmot Fordham

Very warm & durable winter coat with a vintage look

Price: $325

Weight: 2 lb. 13 oz.(Large)

Insulation: 700-fill-power down

Pros

  • Very warm
  • Durabel
  • Removable hood
  • Comfortable fleece cuffs

Cons

  • A bit bulky
  • Not waterproof

You can’t go wrong with the classic Marmot Fordham Jacket if you want warmth, comfort, and a touch of old-school style when you walk out the door. Its oversized baffles are brimming with fluffy 700-fill-power down to protect you on even the most frigid winter days. The Fordham’s water-resistant outer fabric is much tougher than that of the average down jacket too, so you can wear it with confidence no matter what you decide to get into. To top it off, fleece wrist cuffs and plenty of draw-cord adjustments keep body heat in and condensation out. We recommend the Fordham Jacket for casual, non-technical use when you want maximum warmth in cold, snowy conditions.

LL Bean Ultralight 850

Lightweight, warm & packable down coat for fall, winter, & spring

Price: $269

Weight: 14.7 oz.(Large)

Insulation: 850-fill-power down

Pros

  • Very warm
  • Lightweight & compressible
  • Packs into its pocket

Cons

  • Not waterproof

The LL Bean Ultralight 850 Down Hooded Jacket is a great option for those who want a coat they can use for multiple seasons as part of a layering system. It’s warmer than most 3-season down jackets since it’s filled with a higher-than-average amount of the loftiest down available, but we still find it comfortable in the more mild temperatures of fall and spring. Because of the 850 Down’s mid-level thickness, it’s still very lightweight and compressible, so you can easily pack it up when you’re on the go. The Ultralight 850 Coat is also an awesome value because it’s made with the best quality down on the market, yet it’s priced competitively.

The Patagonia Tres 3-In-1 Parka is a high-quality & versatile coat that can be worn in multiple seasons

What’s Most Important to You in a Winter Coat?

PRICE

We can attest that expensive winter coats are often well worth the cost for their high-quality materials, weather performance, and flattering fit. But there are also some great value options out there that perform nearly as well for a more affordable price.

Best value winter coats

Best budget winter coats

Best budget winter coats

WARMTH

In places with mild winters, a light or midweight coat might be all you need to stay comfortable outside. For those in climates with frequent sub-freezing temperatures, it’s worth considering warmer and heavier options. Warmth is also greatly affected by your activity level. Remember, you’ll heat up quickly once you get your heart rate up.

Best winter coats for high activity level / mild temperatures

Best winter coats for low activity level / low temperatures

WATERPROOFING

Modern down jackets are often made with tightly-woven fabrics and DWR coatings that repel water if you get caught in light precipitation. Most down jackets are not waterproof enough to stand alone in heavy rain and will eventually start to absorb moisture. We usually recommend buying a down jacket that’s compatible with your favorite rain shell.

Best waterproof winter coats

Best non-waterproof winter coats

LENGTH

While the choice between a long and a short coat generally comes down to style preferences, we can offer a few pieces of advice that might help you decide. Parka-length coats are usually warmer because they provide more coverage. More length can be a good thing if you’ll be sitting or inactive outdoors, but long coats can be a bit more awkward to move in. Shorter jackets that come just to the hip don’t offer quite as much warmth, but they’re generally easier to walk in and work better for high-output activities. If your coat isn’t waterproof, you’ll also need to consider whether you have a rain jacket in a length that will layer with it.

Best long winter coats

Best standard-length winter coats

Critical Winter Coat Considerations

WHAT IS FILL POWER?

Fill power is a measurement of the “fluffiness” of the down. The higher the number, the more efficient the down is at insulating. The warmth of the jacket also depends on how much down it’s stuffed with (typically in oz.), so it’s important to look at both fill power and fill weight. Just remember, the greater the fill power, the loftier the fibers are. This means that you need a smaller amount of high-quality down to trap the same amount of body heat that a larger amount of low-quality down would. So high-fill-power jackets are usually slimmer, lighter, and more packable. The warmest down jackets will also have hoods, cinches at the cuffs/hem, and wind-proof fabric to help retain maximum body heat.

WHEN HIGH FILL POWER MATTERS

800+-fill-power down products like clothing, quilts, and sleeping bags are generally much more expensive than lower-fill-power products. But for activities like backpacking where weight and bulk matter a lot, it makes sense to spend more money for high-efficiency down that compresses easily to fit into a backpack and fluffs back up when you need it. For times when packability and weight aren’t as important however, a super puffy jacket stuffed full of lower-fill-power down will keep you just as warm.

To learn more about where down comes from, hydrophobic coatings, and more, check out our Best Down Jackets Guide.

The Marmot Fordham (left) is super puffy, warm & stylish
If you’re looking for a lighter jacket that you can wear throughout the year, check out our list of the best down jackets

The RAB Neutrino Pro is the best winter-worth down jacket for technical use