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Best Fleece Jackets for Men for a Cozy but Stylish Winter 2024

Best Fleece Jackets for Men
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Updated May 26, 2024

Winter is here, that frigid time of year when we gaze upon the humble sheep and mutter: That critter’s onto something. If you want your very own fleece wrapping, pull on your warmest sweatpants and hoodies, then take a look through our picks for the best fleece jackets for men.

What to consider when choosing fleece jackets for men

Price

“While it can be tempting to overstretch your budget when purchasing items of higher-end quality, finding an ideal fleece jacket that offers excellent value should always be your goal,” says Dimitry Loiseau, founder and chief editor of REGARD magazine. He adds that you just need to make sure the jacket will stand the test of time. “Carefully inspect all aspects of construction for quality assurance, such as reinforced seams and zippers that won't fray over time,” he suggests. “High-grade fleece should be soft to the touch with lasting insulation properties that retain their insulation.”

Materials

When it comes to winter jackets, it’s tough to find anything cozier than fleece. “Looking for fleece jackets constructed of recycled polyester or organic cotton fabric is going to be the best for quality, and best for the environment, in my opinion,” says Loiseau. He advises considering various fleece types (like microfleece, polar fleece, and grid fleece) when selecting a fleece material, and matching it to your intended use and climate needs. “Each of the varieties provides different levels of warmth, breathability, and weight, so select according to what will work for your purpose.”

Lining

To get the most warmth and comfort from your jacket while retaining breathability, Loiseau recommends looking for moisture-wicking linings that insulate without bulking it up too much.

Fit

“When selecting the ideal fleece jacket fit, personal preference and intended use play a vital role,” says Loiseau. “A slimmer style may offer more fashionable appeal, while looser fits may prove better suited to layering purposes, which will keep you warm outdoors.”

Use

“A fleece jacket is commonly used as a layering piece, so it will not have a completely water-resistant outer shell,” warns Roger LaGrone, founder of Alexander Noel. “A hood, pockets, and zipper closure on a fleece will make it a more versatile jacket, but you can also find quarter zip and crew neck style fleece, depending on your style preference.”

Sustainability

If sustainability is a factor in your decision, LaGrone advises searching for fleece made from recycled materials. “Fleece material is most commonly made from a majority polyester material and sometimes blended with nylon or wool for moisture-wicking properties,” he says. “For a more sustainable option, you can look for recycled polyester material, which is just as durable.”

Our top picks for the best fleece jackets for men

Best performance fleece jacket: Patagonia Men’s R1 Techface Hoody

If you need something warm and comfortable, but which still allows movement while keeping the weather out, this is the one for you. “This jacket takes the great qualities of a basic fleece and adds durability and weather resistant properties, with the help of some tech textile innovations,” says Charles Fratto, style director for ILOE Studios. Loiseau, too, is a fan, adding that, “Offering unrivaled breathability, wind resistance, and mobility capabilities, this jacket makes an excellent addition for outdoor activities.” Patagonia also made our list of the best men’s clothing brands for their quality and durability.

Specifications:

  • Fleece weight: 5.2 oz polyester (total jacket weight of 13.8 oz)
  • Type: Full zip hoodie
  • Fabric: 92% polyester (69% recycled), 8% spandex
  • Fit: Slim
  • Price on publish: $189

What we like:

  • Water-repellent finish
  • Made in a Fair Trade Certified factory
  • Adjustable hem

What we don’t like:

  • All four color options are very neutral (although this is likely a bonus if you’re planning to use it as a layering piece)

The bottom line:

A versatile, warm, and easily-layered fleece that’s suitable for almost any activity.

Best performance fleece jacket
Patagonia Men’s R1 Techface Hoody

Patagonia Men’s R1 Techface Hoody

Best budget fleece jacket: Crysully Tactical Fleece Hooded Jacket

We all know that winter coats can get expensive, and that goes for a lot of the fleece options out there, too. There are good options at lower prices if you know where to look, however. “A great tactical fleece option if you’re on a budget is this Crysully jacket,” says LaGrone. “It’s thick, soft, and has a hood and a variety of zipper pockets, making it ideal for an outdoorsman.”

Specifications:

  • Fleece weight: Not listed
  • Type: Full zip hoodie
  • Fabric: Polyester
  • Fit: Regular
  • Price on publish: $39.58

What we like:

  • 11 different color options
  • Seven pockets
  • Windproof
  • Inexpensive

What we don’t like:

  • Most customer reviews are highly positive, but a handful claim these run a little small, so you may want to size up
  • Hand wash only

The bottom line:

A soft, warm, but rugged fleece hoodie, ideal for all kinds of outdoor adventures.

Best budget fleece jacket
CRYSULLY Man Zipper Warm Coat Jacket Sportswear Fleece Lining Hiking Skiing Travelling Jacket Coats Black

CRYSULLY Man Zipper Warm Coat Jacket Sportswear Fleece Lining Hiking Skiing Travelling Jacket Coats Black

Best weather-resistant fleece jacket: North Face Denali Fleece Jacket

While fleece is warm, it’s not always ideal as a final, outer layer, especially if it’s wet outside. For something that’ll stand up to those cold, winter sprinkles, you may want to head to North Face. “Equipped with an innovative, water-repellent outer coating, this jacket provides extra protection from light precipitation while still offering superior warmth and insulation,” says Loiseau.

Specifications:

  • Fleece weight: 300 gsm
  • Type: Full zip
  • Fabric: 100% recycled polyester (body), 100% recycled nylon (outer)
  • Fit: Relaxed
  • Price on publish: $180

What we like:

What we don’t like:

  • Not suitable for full-on downpours

The bottom line:

A fleece that won’t get soaked if the weather turns unexpectedly drizzly.

Best weather-resistant fleece jacket
North Face Denali Fleece Jacket

North Face Denali Fleece Jacket

Best heavyweight fleece jacket: Columbia Mountainside Heavyweight Fleece Full-Zip Jacket for Men

Sometimes, a thin fleece just isn’t going to cut it. When it’s time to break out the big guns, LaGrone recommends Columbia’s thick, 100% polyester sherpa fleece. “This heavyweight fleece is ideal for staying warm in the winter,” he says. “The sherpa material is extra fluffy and warm, but can still be used as a layering piece under a hardshell jacket in sub-zero temperatures.”

Specifications:

  • Fleece weight: 420 gsm
  • Type: Full zip hoodie
  • Fabric: 100% polyester
  • Fit: Regular
  • Price on publish: $79.99

What we like:

  • Super warm
  • Five color options

What we don’t like:

  • A handful of customer reviews say it runs a little large

The bottom line:

A thick, heavyweight fleece for really keeping out the winter chill.

Best heavyweight fleece jacket
Columbia Mountainside Heavyweight Fleece Full-Zip Jacket for Men

Columbia Mountainside Heavyweight Fleece Full-Zip Jacket for Men

Best breathable fleece jacket: Patagonia Men’s R1 Air Full-Zip Hoody

Fleece is a miracle fabric when it comes to warmth, but for some, it can feel a little suffocating. For a more breathable option, Fratto suggests taking a look at this lightweight technical fleece from Patagonia. “If you’re on the move, you need a jacket that will breathe with you, not stifle you,” he says. “The R1 Air jacket was designed to do just that.”

Specifications:

  • Fleece weight: 5.7 oz polyester (full jacket weight of 12.9 oz)
  • Type: Full zip hoodie
  • Fabric: 100% recycled polyester
  • Fit: Slim
  • Price on publish: $179

What we like:

  • Quick-drying
  • Made in a Fair Trade Certified factory
  • Eight color options

What we don’t like:

  • Despite largely glowing customer reviews, a small minority complain that it isn’t durable enough for them

The bottom line:

A technical jacket designed to feel more lightweight and airy than traditional fleece.

Best breathable fleece jacket
Patagonia Men's R1 Air Full-Zip Hooded Jacket, Large, Burl Red

Patagonia Men's R1 Air Full-Zip Hooded Jacket, Large, Burl Red

Best lightweight fleece jacket: Arc'teryx Delta Jacket

For warmth without the bulk when hiking or climbing, Arc’teryx’s Delta jacket is the ideal candidate–stretchy and warm, but air permeable, so you don’t overheat while roaming around that mountain. “I love this one for its minimalist design and excellent warmth-to-weight ratio,” enthuses Loiseau. “This lightweight fleece jacket makes an excellent layer in various climates, in my opinion.”

Specifications:

  • Fleece weight: Not listed (total jacket weight 8.8 oz)
  • Type: Full zip
  • Fabric: 84% polyester, 16% elastane
  • Fit: Slim
  • Price on publish: $160

What we like:

  • Breathable
  • Great range of movement

What we don’t like:

  • Only has one pocket

The bottom line:

A stretchy, breathable, lightweight fleece, ideal for vigorous outdoor activity.

Best lightweight fleece jacket
Arc'teryx Delta Jacket Men's | Versatile Polartec Power Dry Fleece Jacket | Black, Large

Arc'teryx Delta Jacket Men's | Versatile Polartec Power Dry Fleece Jacket | Black, Large

Best pullover fleece jacket: Patagonia Men’s Better Sweater 1/4-Zip Fleece

Not everyone loves a full zip hoodie, so for those looking for a pullover option, Loiseau recommends this quarter-zip sweater from Patagonia. “This versatile pullover boasts stylish elegance, superior warmth, and ethical production, making it suitable for outdoor adventures while also being a great city jacket,” he says.

Specifications:

  • Fleece weight: Not listed (total jacket weight 17.8 oz)
  • Type: Quarter-zip
  • Fabric: 100% recycled polyester
  • Fit: Regular
  • Price on publish: $139

What we like:

  • Ten color options
  • Flat seam construction to help avoid chafing
  • Made in a Fair Trade Certified factory

What we don’t like:

  • A few customer reviews complain about pilling after a couple of washes

The bottom line:

A thick, super-warm pullover fleece with a bunch of color options.

Best pullover fleece jacket
Patagonia Men's Better Sweater 1/4 Zip Pullover, XL, Black

Patagonia Men's Better Sweater 1/4 Zip Pullover, XL, Black

Best value fleece for men: Helly Hansen Daybreaker Jacket

For true value for money, check out the Helly Hansen Daybreaker jacket, which perfectly splits the difference between affordability and quality. “This jacket has an affordable price while maintaining a streamlined and versatile style—it can go with just about anything,” says Fratto. With 12 different color options available—from deep red to bright yellow—he’s not wrong.

Specifications:

  • Fleece weight: Not listed (total jacket weight of 12.3 oz)
  • Type: Full zip
  • Fabric: 100% recycled polyester
  • Fit: Regular
  • Price on publish: $70

What we like:

  • Loads of color options
  • Super soft

What we don’t like:

  • A minority of customer reviews complain that it runs a little large, or that the sleeves are too long

The bottom line:

A soft, versatile fleece with an attractive price and a ton of colors to choose from.

Best value fleece for men
Helly Hansen Daybreaker Jacket

Helly Hansen Daybreaker Jacket

How we selected the best fleece jackets for men

Our selections were made in consultation with our three experts, who considered fit, style, warmth, construction, and value for money when making their recommendations. We also ensured that all of the fleece jackets for men on this list had overwhelmingly positive customer reviews.

Fleece types

Whether you’re buying a fleece jacket for women or men, generally speaking, the two main categories under which everything else falls are natural and synthetic. “Natural fleece is made up of sheep’s wool, a sustainable and renewable fiber source that truly is a wonder,” says Fratto. “One of the main drawbacks is that wool in its natural state needs a bit of TLC when it comes to how you wash and launder it. Synthetic fleece, meanwhile, is a type of polyester that was developed to mimic all the great qualities of wool but allows you to wash and care for the garment a lot more easily.”

Once you delve deeper into these categories, you’ll find a whole bunch of different types of fleece, all with their own uses. “Types of fleece are generally organized by their material composition,” says LaGrone. “Fleece jackets will commonly be made from either 100% polyester, a polyester cotton blend, or a nylon-spandex and polyester blend.”

“Other garments will use microfleece, which is thin and soft, or sherpa fleece, which is heavily brushed, making it very plush and a good lining inside garments,” LaGrone continues. “Purely cotton blended fleece is usually used inside sweatshirts and sweatpants. Similarly, French terry fleece is an unbrushed material most commonly used for lightweight loungewear.”

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the best brand of fleece?

As with most such questions, this will be somewhat subjective, as you attempt to find the right balance between your budget and your needs. “Generally speaking, the bigger the name of the brand and the more you veer into the performance wear lane, the higher the price point becomes,” says Fratto. “You want to be on the lookout for better quality fleece as you’re shopping—the better the quality, the less pilling and the longer the wear.”

How can you tell if fleece is good quality?

“As with most garments made from a synthetic fiber, when you touch the fabric you can easily tell if it’s good quality or not,” says Fratto. “The more the fiber feels like plastic, the lower the quality. You want the fleece to feel soft, light, and warm.”

Should a fleece be tight or loose?

The answer to this really depends on what you intend to use it for. “If you plan on having the fleece as a standalone jacket for a cooler season, then having a looser fit might be your best bet,” says Fratto. “If you want the fleece to be a layering piece under heavier coats, then having a tighter (but not too tight) silhouette will reduce the bulk and be easier to wear.”

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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