Best Winter Coats 2024 - Outdoors Magic

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Best Winter Coats 2024

We’ve selected the season’s best winter coats to keep you warm, dry and comfortable while offering full protection from the elements

When temperatures drop, a dependable winter coat is the ultimate bit of outdoor kit. There’s nothing like hunkering down in the enveloping warmth of a down parka in the freezing cold. Or battening down the hatches in a fully-stormproof technical hardshell jacket when foul weather blows in. Those kind of conditions are when you really need one of the best winter coats around.

Luckily, whether you’re after a cosy belay jacket for winter climbing adventures or a warm yet stylish overcoat for the morning commute, we’ve got you covered. These outer layers will protect you from biting wind and lashing rain or snow, as well as any other kind of brutal winter weather. In fact, if you’re wearing one of these jackets, there’s really no excuse not to get out there.

The Best Winter Coats in Our Team’s Tests

Outdoor brands generally know one or two things about protecting you from the elements. After all, would you rather trust a company who have spent years fitting out mountaineers and outdoors types, or leave it to some high-end Italian fashion house? Yeah, thought so. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best winter coats from the leading outdoor brands for your consideration. This is kit that has been used and abused in some of the wildest, coldest and wettest places on earth.

  • Best Overall Winter Coat: Rab Neutrino Pro
  • Best Value Winter Coat: Craghoppers Pember Insulated
  • Best for Performance Use: Salomon Elixir Ultra Down
  • Best Expedition Jacket: Haglöfs Nordic Expedition Down
  • Best Parka for Everyday Wear: Fjällräven Vidda Pro Wool Padded


The Expert

I’ve been reviewing outdoor gear for various outdoor magazines for over 10 years now and in that time I’ve served on juries for the ISPO Awards, the OIA Awards and the Scandinavian Outdoor Awards. When I’m not writing reviews, I’m out testing the gear. Long distance hiking is my passion and I’m always looking for new multi-day or even multi-weeks trails to take on. 

How They Were Tested

I personally tested the majority of the gear that’s featured here and I curated the list out of the many jackets I’ve tried over the last couple of seasons. It’s only the women’s jackets that I didn’t try out and I left those to the members of our test team who you can see in the pictures on this page. 

For me, a winter coat isn’t really something that I’d carry on one of my long distance walks as they tend to be heavy. Instead they tend to be worn from A to B, or for wearing all day in cold conditions. As such, that’s the context in which I’ve tested and assessed these jackets. Most of them were tested out during cold photoshoots in Bannau Brycheiniog, the Scottish Highlands and in North Wales, but they also saw plenty of use during autumn and winter dog walks and were worn on the walk to the pub and back.

Things I considered when I was making my choices for this list included the level of warmth, the material and build quality, the features and details and also things like value and sustainability. 


Best Overall Winter Coat

1. Rab Neutrino Pro

OM tester Jon Doran using the Neutrino in the Peak District.

Price: £290
Weight: 570g
Best for: Climbing, mountaineering, alpinism
Key attributes: Warm, water-resistant

Warm, refined and versatile, the Rab Neutrino Pro is a well-built and reliable down jacket that’ll do pretty much everything in sub-zero conditions. Or as OM gear tester Jon put it in his review, it’s a “whopping great dose of portable warmth that you can take out wherever you are in anything short of seriously cold conditions, and rely on to keep you comfortably toasty”.

It packs a punch in the heat stakes thanks to plenty of 800-fill power goose down stuffed inside its roomy baffles. That gives reassuring, near-instant warmth when you put it on, making it ideal for everything from cold, exposed belay stances to winter nights in a remote Scottish bothy. It would even be suitable for grander adventures in the world’s great ranges.

Though it’s obviously not as toasty as an expedition box-wall down jacket, the Neutrino Pro does exactly what it was designed to do, and does it extremely well. All in all, this is a cracking all-rounder for all sorts of winter pursuits at home and abroad.

Full Specifications

Men’s XS-XXL, women’s UK 8-16 / 800 FP RDS-certified hydrophobic goose down / Pertex Quantum Pro Shell

Read our full Rab Neutrino Pro Jacket review.



Best Value Winter Coat

2. Craghoppers Pember Insulated

OM editor Will in the Pember. Will is 5 foot 10 and wearing a size medium, his usual size.

Price: £200
Weight: 1.51kg
Best for: Winter walking, general everyday use
Key attributes: Warm, eco-friendly

Craghoppers have pulled out all of the stops with their new Pember jacket. First up it’s super, super warm and comfortable and it’s waterproof as well, then there are a whole bunch of eco-driven efforts on show as well. Not only is the DWR on the outer fabric free from any nasty chemicals but they’ve also made sure that most of the materials they’ve used here are from recycled sources, that includes the textured face fabric, the polyester lining, the fill and even the zip tapes. On top of all that, the full bluesign approval gives that extra reassurance that Craghoppers have considered the ethical and environmental impact of their product.

All in all, the Pember is a cosy, eco-friendly jacket that will keep you warm on country walks or national park excursions and without too eye-watering a price tag either.

Full Specifications

Men’s S-XXL, women’s n/a / Aquadry Membrane (waterproof 12,000mm HH, Breathable 15,000g/m2/24hrs) / Thermo Pro polyester fill / 10 pockets: 2 bellowed button fastening lower with zipped handwarmers,2 bellowed button fastening chest ,1 zipped inner chest, 1 zipped map and 2 elasticated accessory pockets

Selected for our 2021 Green Gear Guide. Read the full Craghoppers Pember Insulated Jacket review.



Best Winter Coat for Performance Use

3. Salomon Elixir Ultra Down

Cat Nicol, our tester, wearing a women’s size M.

Price: £360
Weight: 402g
Best for: hiking, winter sports
Key attributes: good warmth-to-weight, sustainable efforts in design

Our team tested this down-filled jacket out during a wintry trip to the Cairngorms National Park. During our tests, it proved to be very warm and cosy but also lightweight too. One thing that stood out on the women’s model was its length; it has a slightly longer cut than you tend to see on most down jackets and this, we found, brought that extra bit of warmth and protection. 

Another thing that brought a bit of extra warmth is the internal lining. This is designed to reflect heat back to your body and is concealed within the baffles so you can’t see it, but you can certainly feel its effects. 

Credit should also go to Salomon for using recycled materials throughout this and down that’s been ethically sourced too. We also liked some of the smaller details, including the gaskets on the cuffs that keep draughts out and warm air in, and the adjustment on the hood. 

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / 800 fill power RDS down / adjustable hood / 2 handwarmer pockets / 2 zipped chest pockets / PFC-free DWR  / water repellent zips.

Selected for our Outdoor 100 23/24. Read our full Salomon Elixir Ultra Down Jacket review.



Best Expedition Jacket

4. Haglöfs Nordic Expedition Down Jacket

OM editor Will wearing the Haglofs Nordic Expedition in a size M, his usual size. Will is 5 foot 10.

Price: £660
Weight: 850g
Best for: Winter climbing
Key attributes: Premium 800 fill goose down, bluesign approved fabrics, award-winning climbing-friendly design

Haglöfs’ new Nordic Expedition Down Jacket doesn’t disappoint, thanks to its mix of the brand’s own Mimic synthetic insulation and premium 800 fill power goose down. This fill is also hydrophobic and the face fabric utilises a three-layer waterproof construction across the shoulders, torso and arms, with a moisture vapour transmission rate of 10,000g/m2/24hrs. Put simply, this means that although the jacket is well insulated, it shouldn’t get too stuffy in those winter months when trapped moisture vapour can be dangerous.

We’re particularly impressed by the eco credentials of the Nordic Expedition as it’s made from bluesign approved fabrics, the down fill is certified by the Responsible Down Standard and the DWR treatment is PFC-free. What’s more, Haglöfs as a brand is a leading member of the Fair Wear Foundation and is a certified climate-neutral company.

The most striking element of the jacket’s design, however, are the straps placed across the front panel. Designed to help improve ventilation, these straps let you open up the main zipper without sacrificing too much in terms of rain and wind protection. You’ll also find a unique (and very handy) waterproof drop seat in the rear, a helmet-compatible hood and a two-way main zip. 

Full Specifications

Bluesign approved fabrics / Responsible Down Standard approved / PFC-free DWR treatment / premium 800 Fill Power goose down / Mimic Platinum insulation / 3-layer zoned waterproof-breathable face fabrics / hydrostatic head: 15,000mm / moisture vapour transmission rate: 10,000g/m2/24hrs / front panel straps / helmet-compatible hood / two-way main zip / ISPO gold winner / Scandinavian Outdoor Award winner / climate neutral-company.

Read our full Haglöfs Nordic Expedition Down Jacket review. 



Best Parka For Everyday Wear

5. Fjällräven Vidda Pro Wool Padded Jacket

Will wearing a size M

Price: £415
Weight: 1.4kg
Best for: Winter walking, general everyday use
Key attributes: Warm, eco-friendly

The Vidda Pro Wool Padded Jacket is one serious bit of kit that you could imagine would be right at home in the wild depths of a Swedish winter. It’s a jacket that’s really impressed us here at Outdoors Magic, not just because of its performance but because of the range of eco-friendly materials that have Fjällräven have used for it.

Out of the 30 items selected for our 2021 Green Gear Guide, this is perhaps one of the most qualified products. You’ve got the shell that’s made from G-1000 Lite Eco, a mix of recycled polyester and organic cotton that’s treated with Greenland Wax for eco-friendly water resistance. Then there’s the insulating fill which is made from a blend of Fjällräven’s Recovered Wool (wool from the meat industry that had been headed for landfill) and a bioplastic made from corn starch. Perhaps best of all though, you’ve got that incredibly snug hood that’s lined with a flannel made from recycled wool.

It’s seriously cosy and excellent at keeping the wind off you, thanks to an adjustable hem and a generously padded hood that is particularly snug.

Full Specifications

Men’s XS-XXL, women’s XS-XL / Wind- and water-resistant G-1000 Lite Eco / Sustainable padding in Swedish wool and PLA from corn starch / Two-way front zipper with protective flap and buttons / Adjustable hood with lining in recycled wool / Drawcord adjustments at hem and buttons at sleeve cuffs.

Selected for our 2021 Green Gear Guide. Read our full Fjällräven Vidda Pro Wool Padded Jacket review.



Best of the Rest

6. Jack Wolfskin Cyrox 2L

OM editor Will testing a men’s size M. Will is 5 foot 10.

Price: £390
Weight: 885g
Best for: Hiking, day-to-day winter use
Key attributes: Well made, high spec materials

We tested this out in the Scottish Highlands recently and became very endeared by it. Not only is it warm and cosy, but it’s waterproof too, and, as we found out during our tests, this makes it the kind of jacket that can get you through some really nasty conditions.

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Waterproof and warm jackets can often tend to feel a little bit clammy as soon as you start to exert yourself by, say, climbing up a hill. Fortunately with this, Jack Wolfskin have addressed this issue by adding big venting pit zips under the arms, so you can open up the jacket to dump out any moist air.

The handwarmer pockets are nice and big and very comfortable. There’s also a zipped pocket on the inside of the jacket that we found to be ideal for stashing a phone inside. We also liked the gaskets at the cuffs which help to trap in that extra bit of warmth. 

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / Texapore Pro Stretch shell / 700 fill power RDS down / PrimaLoft Black Rise insulation / 2 raised handwarmer pockets / inner zipped pocket / cuff gaskets / pit zips for ventilation.

Selected for our Outdoor 100 23/24 – Here’s our full Jack Wolfskin Cyrox 2L review.

Check out our full Filson Featherweight Down Jacket review


7. Mountain Equipment Triton

OM tester Jordan wearing the Triton while bouldering in Snowdonia

Price: £300
Weight: 774g
Best for: Hiking
Key attributes: Warm and waterproof

This jacket will keep you warm and dry, no matter what conditions you’re out in – and it has excellent eco credentials too. Virtually every part of the jacket is made from recycled materials. The 50-denier Drilite outer is recycled and PFC-free, as well as durable and completely waterproof, while warmth is provided by 700+ fill power down which is 100% recycled. The baffle construction helps optimise warmth distribution and everything else you need is present: close-fitting hood with stiffened brim, central zip stormflap, four pockets and adjustable cuffs and hem.

Full Specifications

Sizes: S-XXL (men’s),  8-16 (women’s) / Recycled 50 denier Drilite two-layer construction fabric / PFC-free DWR coating on the face fabric / 700 fill power down, 100% of which has been recycled / Stitch through baffle construction / Large helmet-compatible hood with adjustable toggles / Full-length two-way AquaGuard YKK zip with an internal storm flap / Two YKK zipped hand pockets


8. Columbia OutDry Ex Eco Down Jacket

OM tester Stella wearing the Exo Eco Down in the Brecon Beacons

Price: £260
Weight: 460g
Best for: Hiking, general everyday wear
Key attributes: Waterproof, eco-friendly

The waterproof down jacket was a pretty niche product until Columbia came along. Now, many brands seem to be following suit. It’s a good idea – down, after all, is nature’s best insulator, but it only works well when it stays dry.

As one of the first brands to latch on to the concept though, Columbia remains a leader in the field. That’s largely thanks to their use of a unique waterproof-breathable technology, OutDry. This is an inside-out waterproof construction that places a toughened waterproof membrane on the face of the fabric rather than sandwiching it between two layers. This eliminates the need for a durable water repellent coating, and therefore means no harmful PFCs.

As well as this, the materials are all 100 per cent recycled and are completely dye-free (that’s why the jacket is white). Similarly, the 700 fill-power goose down fill is ethically sourced. It’s a very green product, inside and out. It’s also warm, completely waterproof and one of the best winter coats around.

Full Specifications

Men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL / 700 FP RDS-certified goose down / 100% recycled polyester OutDry shell

Read our full Columbia Outdry Ex Eco Down Jacket review.



9. Páramo Bentu Windproof Jacket

Will wearing the Bentu in a size L. Will is 5 foot 10 and thinks a Medium (his usual size) would’ve been a better fit.

Price: £100
Weight: 420g
Best for: Breezy British weather
Key attributes: Eco-friendly, good features, innovative design

The Páramo Bentu is a windproof, breathable yet protective outer layer intended for breezy but mostly dry conditions. However, this is no featherlight and minimalist windshell – instead, it’s a fully-featured jacket equipped with a zoned pump liner in the hood and shoulders that, when worn with the Bentu Plus fleece, brings a great deal of wind and rain protection to the table.

It’s made from Nikwax Windproof fabric, which is a tightly woven polyester treated with a Nikwax water repellent finish. It’s soft, supple and comfortable, though it has no stretch.

The hood and shoulders are also lined with Paramo’s unique mesh pump liner, as found in the Analogy waterproof garments. This provides an additional layer of weather protection and helps to move moisture away from the body, keeping you dry and comfortable through light to medium-heavy downpours. If a very heavy downpour does end up soaking the jacket, you can rest assured that the fabrics and Nikwax treatment will work away to ensure it dries up quickly.

Full Specifications

Nikwax windproof polyester fabric / Nikwax water repellent finish / zoned pump liner in hood and shoulders / durable and repairable / adjustable, peaked hood / two large chest pockets / two zipped hand-warmer pockets / adjustable, Velcro cuffs / articulated fit with scooped  tail and elasticated hem / combines with Bentu Plus fleece.

Read the full Páramo Bentu Windproof jacket review.


10. The North Face L6 Summit Cloud Down Parka

Giles Dean wearing the Summit L6 in a size L – his usual size.

Price: £650
Weight: 780g
Best for: Mountaineering, alpinism and very, very cold hikes
Key attributes: Very technical, eco-friendly aspects, incredible warmth-to-weight

OK this is one pretty extreme option, but, hey, some people feel the cold more than others. A quick look at some of the stats of this down jacket, you’ll soon realise that this thing’s not been designed for the mass market. With premium down fill, an intricate baffle design and strategically placed Futurelight waterproof protection, this jacket is designed to serve those heading into places with particularly challenging weather. At just 780g, it’s not exactly heavy either.

We found the impressive asymmetrical baffle design gave this a very close but comfortable fit, one that really helps to maximise heat retention. Another feature that really impressed us was the draft yoke which covers the neck and shoulders to prevent any potential heat escape. Sitting above this draft yoke is a huge, fully baffled hood that’ll retain bucket loads of warmth even with a helmet under it.

Full Specifications

Men’s S-XXXL, women’s XS-XL / 10D X 30D 26g/M²100% Recycled Nylon with non-PFC durable water-repellent finish / 800 Fill ProDown™ RDS certified / FutureLight waterproof panels.

Read our full The North Face Summit L6 Cloud Down Review


How to Choose a Winter Coat

When choosing a winter coat, it’s important to consider the kind of conditions or the scenarios you’ll be wearing it in. A winter coat made specifically for long spells out in cold and wet conditions is going to look and perform very differently to a winter coat that’s made for nipping between the train station and the office.

In this article, our focus is on winter coats for bad weather and therefore we’ve selected coats that really prioritise protection and that are going to be worn for long spells rather than moving in and out of your backpack depending on how the conditions change. Here’s what we tend to look for.

A Winter Coat for Cold Weather

For very cold conditions, down filled coats tend to be very reliable. This type of insulation offers excellent levels of warmth without a weight penalty – that’s why it’s the choice for most Everest mountaineers. The down side to down, however, is that it doesn’t always offer great resistance to rain.

You might also want to consider a wool lined jacket for cold weather. Wool is very warm and quite water resistant too, but it can make for a very heavy coat.

A Winter Coat for Cold and Wet Weather

If you’re not going to be out in the elements for too long, then you don’t necessarily need a fully waterproof winter coat. A synthetic insulated or wool insulated jacket with a water resistant fabric, like waxed cotton or a DWR-treated polyester/nylon shell, will serve just fine for short spells.

If you’re going to be exposed to heavy or prolonged rain then you’re going to want a winter coat that has a waterproof membrane. This will guarantee that the insulation is kept dry and you’re kept warm. Gore-tex is one of the most well-known types of membrane, but there’s also eVent, Futurelight, H2No and also lots of own-brand fabrics too.

Essential Things to Look For

Our advice is to always check the functionality of a hood when choosing a winter coat. If there’s not enough adjustment, you might find that the hood won’t hold to your head in strong winds or stay close enough to it to provide any insulation. If there’s three-point adjustment, you can count on the hood being up to scratch.

Check the zip’s protection too. This is a common flash point where water can creep in. If the zip is laminated or has a storm flap inside or outside (or on both sides!) then it should offer enough protection.

Maintaining a Winter Coat

It’s always worth making sure to maintain your winter coat to ensure it remains water resistant or waterproof. Brands like Nikwax make some excellent solutions for maintaining your coat at home, include technical detergents for waterproof jackets and spray on waxes for jackets made from waxed cotton.

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