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Best Fleece Jackets for Women: 10 Fashionably Warm Options

Best Fleece Jackets for Women
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Updated January 3, 2024

Now that the cooler weather is in full effect, it’s difficult to go wrong adding a fleece jacket to a woman’s wardrobe, as a lighter-weight alternative to warm winter jackets (or to layer underneath one). Although there are multiple varieties of fleece to choose from, nearly all high-quality fleece jackets for women have one thing in common: they are so comfortably soft.

The best fleece jackets for women “are very versatile, can be dressed up or down, and are relatively inexpensive and easy to care for,” says personal stylist and fashion consultant Leena Alsulaiman. They are different from other pieces of clothing because they tend to fit more to one’s form and are typically not as bulky.

To find the best fleece jackets for women, I asked Alsulaiman for her recommendations in addition to conducting online research. Whether you’re looking for the best fleece jackets for women who like to run or spend most of their day in the office, read on for the top picks for your lifestyle.

What to consider when choosing a fleece jacket for women

Fit

Not all fleece jackets are created equal when it comes to their fit. “Consider whether you prefer a form-fitting jacket for layering or one with a more relaxed fit for comfortable wear,” says Alsulaiman. “Additionally, check for adjustable cuffs, hem, or hood features that offer customization for enhanced comfort and versatility.” When choosing a fleece jacket, think about what activities you plan on participating in when wearing it to ensure that it has the necessary features. Regardless of whether or not you prefer a slim, athletic, or relaxed fit, comfort should be key.

Insulation

When shopping for a jacket, you should consider how warm you’d ideally like to be once you have it on, as different fleece jackets offer different levels of insulation and are equipped with features that aid in the insulating process. “Evaluating the insulation properties of a fleece jacket is pivotal,” says Alsulaiman. “Some fleeces incorporate advanced features like thermal linings or multiple layers that offer superior warmth.”

Style

Although many fleece jackets have an athletic look to them, that is not the case for all of them. Some include a full zipper while others contain a half zipper or no zipper at all and are designed to be pulled over one's head. The style of a fleece jacket should depend on your preferences, as well as where and how you plan on wearing it, styling it, or layering it under or over hoodies and winter jackets.

Our top picks for the best fleece jackets for women

Best performance fleece jacket: Arc’teryx Kyanite Hoodie

If you’re shopping for a fleece jacket that was designed with performance in mind, consider the Arc’teryx Kyanite Hoodie. Since it’s a fitted jacket, you won’t have to worry about catching any unwanted wind while you’re running, snowboarding, or simply walking around your neighborhood. This fleece jacket offers four-way stretch, so it moves with you instead of against you. It even contains two zippered hand pockets which can be especially beneficial on those particularly cold days.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 12.2 ounces
  • Type: Midweight fleece
  • Fabric: 53% polyester, 38% nylon, and, 9% elastane
  • Fit: Fitted
  • Price: $180

What we like:

  • Chin guard for weather protection
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Good for layering
  • No slip zipper design

What we don’t like:

  • Only available in sizes XXS-XXL
  • Price

The bottom line:

If you’re shopping for the best fleece jacket for women that keeps efficiency and comfort at the forefront, this is a solid pick as a result of its trim fit with four-way stretch.

Best performance fleece jacket
Kyanite Hoody Women's

Kyanite Hoody Women's

Best budget fleece jacket: Reebok Women's Lightweight Fleece Jacket

For a fleece jacket that will keep her warm without a bulky look or breaking the bank, consider Reebok Women’s Lightweight Fleece Jacket. With a price tag just under $35, this lightweight polar fleece jacket is significantly more affordable than many other picks on our list. However, despite its lower cost, it still is a higher quality form-fitting piece made with weather-resistant polyester fabric, a spacious collar, and a wide hood.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.55 pounds
  • Type: Lightweight fleece
  • Fabric: 100% polyester polar fleece
  • Fit: Comfort fit
  • Price: $34.99

What we like:

  • Affordable
  • Made with weather-resistant fabric
  • Spacious collar

What we don’t like:

  • Can only be hand-washed

The bottom line:

Although this fleece jacket is accompanied by a lower price tag, it is weather-resistant, contains a spacious collar, and can be paired with your favorite jeans.

Best budget fleece jacket
Reebok Women's Lightweight Fleece Jacket Full Zip Up Active Fleece Jacket Performance Jacket for Women (M-XL), Size Large, Heather Black

Reebok Women's Lightweight Fleece Jacket Full Zip Up Active Fleece Jacket Performance Jacket for Women (M-XL), Size Large, Heather Black

Best weather-resistant fleece jacket: Patagonia Women's R2 TechFace Hoody

Also available at Backcountry

Patagonia’s Women’s R2® TechFace Hoody is equipped with a plethora of features to protect wearers from inclement weather. This polyester blend fleece is finished with a durable, water-repellent coating. It contains a light under-helmet hood that keeps the head warm and free from wind impact. This jacket also has five pockets (three exterior and two interior) that can be used to keep your hands warm, and your belongings safe and secure. I can’t think of anything better (or more useful).

Specifications:

  • Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Type: Midweight fleece
  • Fabric: 94% polyester (77% recycled), 6% spandex
  • Fit: Slim
  • Price: $199

What we like:

  • Made with a durable water-repellent finish
  • Made with bluesign® approved fabric
  • Low-profile, snag-resistant cuffs
  • High-loft double-weave fabric
  • Made in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory

What we don’t like:

  • Only available in three colors
  • Price

The bottom line:

This fleece jacket is made with a finish designed to repel water and an under-helmet hood with elastic binding to protect you from wind.

Best weather-resistant fleece jacket
Patagonia Women's R2 TechFace Hoody

Patagonia Women's R2 TechFace Hoody

Best heavyweight fleece jacket: The North Face Women’s Extreme Pile Full-Zip Jacket

Also available at Dick’s Sporting Goods

If you or the woman you’re shopping for spends a lot of time outdoors, especially during the winter months, Alsulaiman recommends adding The North Face Women’s Extreme Pile Full-Zip Jacket to your cart while shopping at Dick’s Sporting Goods. This jacket is made with heavyweight fleece and its body is constructed with 346 g/m² recycled polyester and a full-length zipper for secure closure. You can rest assured that you (or whomever you’re shopping for) will be kept warm. If you pair this fleece jacket with a pair of sweatpants, you’ll be ready to tackle any cold weather that comes your way. 

Specifications:

  • Weight: Not listed
  • Type: Heavyweight
  • Fabric: 70% recycled polyester, 30% polyester knit high-pile fleece
  • Fit: Relaxed
  • Price: $170

What we like:

  • Extreme pile for warmth
  • Has a standup collar
  • Zippered hand pockets
  • Available in sizes XS - 3XL

What we don’t like:

  • Not many solid colors are available

The bottom line:

With a body made with 346 g/m² recycled polyester and a full-length zipper, this fleece is an excellent heavyweight option for those who spend a great deal of time outside in cold weather.

Best heavyweight fleece jacket
The North Face Women's Extreme Pile Full-Zip Fleece Jacket, XL, Firey Red Abst. Yosemite

The North Face Women's Extreme Pile Full-Zip Fleece Jacket, XL, Firey Red Abst. Yosemite

Best breathable fleece jacket: Patagonia R1® Air Full-Zip Hoody

Also available at Dick’s Sporting Goods

The Patagonia R1® Air Full-Zip Hoody, which Alsulaiman recommends, is a solid choice if you’re looking for a jacket that will provide you with some protection along with adequate support and mobility. Since it’s a lightweight jacket with a slim fit, it can easily be layered over or underneath other clothing pieces as needed. Although its zig zag textured fabric feels hollow to the touch, this jacket is very stretchy and breathable.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 10.9 ounces
  • Type: Lightweight fleece
  • Fabric: 100% recycled polyester
  • Fit: Slim
  • Price: $179

What we like:

  • Breathable
  • Quick-drying
  • Shoulder seams are comfortable even while wearing backpacks
  • Made in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory
  • Eight color options

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive

The bottom line:

This is one of the most breathable fleece jackets for women thanks to its zig zag fabric design.

Best breathable fleece jacket
Patagonia Women's R1 Air Full-Zip Jacket, XS, Obsidian Plum

Patagonia Women's R1 Air Full-Zip Jacket, XS, Obsidian Plum

Best pullover fleece jacket: Women's L.L.Bean Sweater Fleece Pullover

If a pullover fleece is what you’re looking for, I recommend the slightly fitted Women’s L.L.Bean Sweater Fleece Pullover. It’s available in regular, petite, and plus sizes and in nine colors making it a viable option for many. It’s made with princess seams and features kangaroo-style pockets that’ll keep hands warm when worn in cooler climates.

Specifications:

  • Weight: Not listed
  • Type: Midweight fleece
  • Fabric: 100% premium polyester
  • Fit: Slightly fitted
  • Price: $89

What we like:

  • Regular, petite, and plus sizes available
  • Nine colors available
  • Can be machine-washed and dried

What we don’t like:

  • May fit tightly around larger busts

The bottom line:

Although it may have a tighter fit around those with larger busts, this pullover fleece jacket is easy to wash and available in a wide range of sizes.

Best pullover fleece jacket
Women's L.L.Bean Sweater Fleece Pullover

Women's L.L.Bean Sweater Fleece Pullover

Best lightweight fleece jacket for women: Helly Hansen Women's Daybreaker Fleece Jacket

Helly Hansen’s Women’s Daybreaker Fleece is the best fleece jacket for women who are looking for a lightweight piece with a full zipper. Since it’s lightweight and made entirely from recycled polyester, it does not look or feel bulky when worn. Just be sure to close the zippers before doing so. It’s available in sizes XS-5XL to fit many different body types.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 9.52 ounces
  • Type: Lightweight fleece
  • Fabric: 100% recycled polyester
  • Fit: Regular
  • Price: $53

What we like:

  • Breathable
  • Machine washable
  • Zippered side pockets
  • 51 color options on Amazon
  • A certified bluesign® product

What we don’t like:

  • Needs to be washed separately from darker colors

The bottom line:

Many people can wear this breathable, lightweight fleece jacket thanks to its extensive size range.

Best lightweight fleece jacket for women
Helly Hansen Women's Daybreaker Fleece Jacket

Helly Hansen Women's Daybreaker Fleece Jacket

Best value fleece jacket for women: Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Full-Zip Polar Soft Fleece Jacket

As far as the best-value fleece jackets for women go, Alsulaiman recommends the Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Full-Zip Polar Soft Fleece Jacket. “This affordable, midweight polar fleece jacket is an excellent option for women looking for a basic, no-frills fleece jacket as it's made from 100% polyester fleece, and it's available in a variety of colors.”

Specifications:

  • Weight: 13.76 ounces
  • Type: Midweight fleece
  • Fabric: 100% polyester
  • Fit: Classic
  • Price: $17.90 - $38.20

What we like:

  • 26 color options
  • Double-sided knit fabric
  • Allows easy movement
  • Elasticized cuffs
  • Available in plus sizes

What we don’t like:

  • May get too warm if worn inside

The bottom line:

This fleece jacket made with double-sided polyester knit fabric offers quality features at an affordable price.

Best value fleece jacket for women
Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Full-Zip Polar Soft Fleece Jacket (Available in Plus Size), Dark Green Heather, Medium

Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Full-Zip Polar Soft Fleece Jacket (Available in Plus Size), Dark Green Heather, Medium

Best fleece jacket for running: Columbia Women’s Benton Springs™ Full Zip Fleece Jacket

If you’re shopping for an athlete, it’s hard to go wrong with the Columbia Women’s Benton Springs™ Full Zip Fleece Jacket. The jacket contains zippered hand pockets which can be used to store keys and important cards, so they don’t fall out with the bounce of each stride. I particularly like Columbia’s fleeces because of their high-end technology, and this fleece is made with a cold-blocking collar to keep you warm while you run.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 250 grams
  • Type: Lightweight fleece
  • Fabric: 100% polyester
  • Fit: Classic
  • Price: $34.99

What we like:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Petite, standard, and plus sizes available
  • Interior drawcord
  • Active cut
  • Can be worn under a jacket
  • Comes in 14 colors

What we don’t like:

  • Color may look different than pictured

The bottom line:

Runners will appreciate this lightweight fleece with zippered hand pockets to secure their belongings.

Best fleece jacket for running
Columbia Women's Benton Springs Full Zip Fleece Jacket-

Columbia Women's Benton Springs Full Zip Fleece Jacket-

Best fleece jacket for the office: Dudley Stephens Quincy Jacket 

If you’re looking for a new fleece jacket to take with you to the office, Alsulaiman recommends the Dudley Stephens Quincy Jacket since it has a luxurious look with lots of dimensions. From first glance, this jacket has a more elevated look than some of our other picks. Its brass zippers help create its elevated aesthetic in addition to its fitted cut as opposed to an athletic or relaxed one.

Specifications:

  • Weight: Not listed
  • Type: Recycled Sherpa fleece
  • Fabric: Sherpa fiber blend
  • Fit: Fitted
  • Price: $178

What we like:

  • Eco-friendly fabric
  • Soft like lambswool but not itchy
  • Machine washable
  • Sophisticated

What we don’t like:

  • Hang to dry
  • Price
  • Only comes in three colors

The bottom line:

This Quincy Jacket is one of the best fleece jackets for women who work in an office environment as it offers an elevated aesthetic, yet it can be worn with casual pants or jeans.

Best fleece jacket for the office
Dudley Stephens Quincy Jacket

Dudley Stephens Quincy Jacket

How we selected the best fleece jackets for women

To assemble my list of the best fleece jackets for women, I spoke with fashion stylists about different kinds of fleece and factors to consider when shopping. I also conducted online research where I examined the customer reviews and product information on a plethora of fleece jackets for women to discover the best ones.

Fleece types

Microfleece

Microfleece is the lightest type of fleece. “It’s very soft and comfortable to wear and is ideal for warmer weather or layering under other jackets,” explains Alsulaiman. Since it is a lighter type of fleece, it’s a good choice for wearing during increasingly intense physical activity since it’s more breathable.

Midweight fleece

Midweight fleece is the average fleece. “It is thicker and warmer than microfleece and can be worn in various weather conditions,” says Alsulaiman.

Heavyweight fleece

Alsulaiman shares that heavyweight fleece is the most suitable for activities that take place outside in colder weather. Heavyweight fleece tends to be warmer, weather-resistant, and increasingly durable (although less breathable) as a result.

Sherpa fleece

According to Alsulaiman, Sherpa fleece resembles sheepskin and is typically very soft, warm, and plush with regard to its texture.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which is the warmest fleece?

The warmest fleece jackets for women are those made from heavyweight fleece. “Heavyweight fleece is the warmest type, followed by midweight fleece and microfleece,” says Alsulaiman. “Sherpa fleece is also very warm but less breathable than other types of fleece.”

Should fleece jackets be tight or loose?

Whether or not fleece jackets should be tight or loose depends on the wearer. However, “fleece jackets should fit loose enough for layering but not so loose that they look baggy,” explains Alsulaiman. “A good rule of thumb is to leave enough room for an undershirt and a light sweater.”

How can you tell if fleece is good quality?

According to Alsulaiman, if it has a soft and smooth feel and an even texture, it’s good quality. Additionally, she notes that high-quality fleece doesn’t have rough fibers or clumpy fibers.

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

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