The 9 Best Women’s Winter Coats of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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TripSaavy's Pick

Columbia’s Carson Pass Interchange 3-in-1 Jacket is our top overall pick. It is extremely versatile, warm, and is an excellent value. We also love the Patagonia Down With It Parka for its sustainability and performance. 

If you live in a climate that frequently sees subzero temperatures (or if you plan on visiting one), you’ll need a good winter jacket. While some feature single-layer materials such as wool or sherpa fleece, most have down or synthetic insulation for ultimate warmth. Other features to look out for include cozy fleece-lined or faux fur-trimmed hoods, cuffs that can seal out drafts, and an excellent weatherproof coating. Some coats are designed for winter sports, from ice climbing to backcountry skiing, while others might make a fashion statement in the city. 

To help you choose the best option, we sent 23 of the most popular ladies’ winter coats to testers around the country (but mainly in cold environments). We scored each for comfort, warmth, design, and overall value then used the results to determine a winner for categories ranging from “best for hiking” to “best for commuting.” Our overall winner was the Columbia Carson Pass Interchange 3-in-1 Jacket, which we loved for its ability to separate into an insulated inner layer and a fully waterproof outer shell.

Best Overall

Columbia Carson Pass Interchange 3-in-1 Jacket

Columbia Carson Pass Interchange 3-in-1 Jacket


What We Like
  • Versatility with three different layers

  • Cozy hood that consistently stays in place 

  • Adjustable cuffs with thumbholes

What We Don't Like
  • You need to zip both layers for optimum warmth

The Columbia Carson Pass Interchange Jacket offers a solution for all seasons, with a light insulated layer and a waterproof shell. Because it effectively amounts to two separate coats, we feel it represents excellent value for the money—especially considering that the quality is so high it will likely last for many years. We found it exceptionally comfortable and fit well regardless of the number of layers we wore underneath. The inner layer features Omni-Heat synthetic insulation, while the breathable outer layer boasts fully sealed seams for ultimate waterproofing. 

The two layers attach and detach easily via a three-point zippered system. We liked that the coat’s drop-tail hem reaches mid-thigh for added warmth and the coziness of the adjustable cuffs with their integrated thumb holes. Perhaps our favorite feature, however, was the jacket’s hood, which is heavy enough to stay firmly in place and lined with sherpa fleece for ultimate warmth. It also features a removable synthetic fur trim. Finally, the coat has zippered chest and hand pockets, the latter of which are also fleece lined for when you get caught out without your gloves. It comes in five sizes and three colors: Black, Elk (brown), and Marionberry (maroon).

Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: Nylon, polyester | Insulation: Synthetic | Sustainability: N/A

Columbia Carson Pass 3-in-1 Jacket

TripSavvy / Maria Bouselli

Best Value

Orolay Women's Thickened Down Jacket

Orolay Women's Thickened Down Jacket


What We Like
  • Large, fleece-lined hood 

  • Six generously sized pockets

  • Multiple colors and sizes  

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof 

If you're looking for a wind-resistant option (rather than waterproof), the Orolay Women's Thickened Down Jacket is a great value coat that retails for roughly $100 less than our overall winner. It features a polyester lining and extra-dense interior padding of duck down and feathers. We loved its combination of functionality and style, offering exceptional comfort without being too bulky. We found it to be thick, soft, and very warm—so much so that we were sweating wearing it in 30-degree weather. 

The coat reaches mid-thighs for added warmth and features side zippers for adjustability. However, we'd recommend sizing up if you prefer a more relaxed fit. We loved the jacket's fleece-lined hood and six pockets, all so generously sized that we didn't have to carry a purse while wearing it (great if you want total freedom of movement while navigating icy sidewalks or completing winter chores). There are ten sizes and multiple colors, including Green, Beige, Black, and Red. 

Sizes: 2XS to 5XL | Materials: Polyester, duck down | Insulation: Down | Sustainability: Down meets Responsible Down Standard (RDS)

Orolay Thickened Down Jacket

TripSavvy / Miriam Sapozhnikov

Best Sustainability

Patagonia Women's Down With It Parka

Patagonia Women's Down With It Parka


What We Like
  • 100 percent recycled materials 

  • Fully insulated hood 

  • Flattering, contoured fit 

What We Don't Like
  • Tight fit for those with a fuller bust

Lightweight yet infinitely warm, the Patagonia Down With It Parka is our top pick for those that prioritize sustainability. Its water-repellent shell features 100 percent recycled, bluesign-approved polyester and ethically sourced 600-fill-power insulation from reclaimed down products. We found it very comfortable, with a level of puffiness that was cozy without being excessive. In particular, we liked that the removable hood is also insulated and that side snappers give good freedom of movement despite the coat’s knee-length design. 

Other highlights include the concealed, two-way front zipper and the zippered hand-warmer pockets. The coat also has interior pockets for stashing your valuables. Finally, the jacket is designed to look good, too, with contemporary patterning and princess seams in the front and back for a contouring, flattering fit. We feel that this, combined with the coat’s cold weather performance and quality construction, more than justifies its relatively high price tag. It comes in six sizes and five colors ranging from Forge Grey to Sequoia Red. 

Sizes: XS to XXL | Materials: Polyester, duck and goose down | Insulation: Down | Sustainability: 100 percent recycled, bluesign-approved polyester shell, 100 percent recycled down

Best Style

Triple F.A.T. Goose Women's Fara Puffer Down Jacket

Triple F.A.T. Goose Fara Women's Puffer Down Jacket

Triple F.A.T. Goose

What We Like
  • Pillow-like comfort 

  • Zippered interior and exterior pockets 

  • Ethical down and water-repellent coating

What We Don’t Like
  • Relatively expensive 

The mid-weight Fara Women’s Puffer Down Jacket offers classic style, excellent insulation, reliable water and wind resistance, a soft nylon shell, and a 750-fill-power-down interior. We found it lightweight, cozy, and very warm—so much so that it protected us from basically any windchill while wearing it on freezing New York days. The adjustable, zip-off hood was a particular highlight, providing the same high level of insulation. Our tester described it as being like wearing a sleeping bag, only much more flattering. 

The wide, quilted baffles score major style points, as does the forgiving mid-thigh length and cinched waist. The coat comes in four timeless colors: Black, Charcoal, Navy, or Olive. Whichever you choose, convenient features range from a two-way zipper with a snap-button closure to a fleece-lined chest and vertical-entry hand pockets. Both the exterior and interior pockets keep contents safe with zippered closures. High-quality materials justify this jacket’s several-hundred-dollar price tag. 

Sizes: XS to 3XL | Materials: Nylon, duck down | Insulation: Down | Sustainability: Certified ethical down, eco-friendly DWR coating

Triple F.A.T. Goose Fara Jacket

TripSavvy / Anna Popp

Best Parka

Fjallraven Women's Nuuk Pro Insulated Parka

Fjallraven Nuuk Parka


What We Like
  • Warm and roomy without being bulky

  • Ten pockets in a range of sizes 

  • Fleece-lined, faux fur-trimmed storm hood

What We Don't Like
  • We would prefer elasticated cuffs

Although undoubtedly a higher-end purchase, the Fjallraven Nuuk Pro Insulated Parka is a good investment for anyone living somewhere with severe winters. The jacket is stylish and practical with a timeless look while also being fully waterproof and windproof. The coat combines a polyester lining with recycled polyamide padding and reaches to mid-thigh for added warmth and uncompromised freedom of movement. We found it super comfortable, with optimum insulation and plenty of room for layering without feeling bulky. 

The coat zips to the neck, with a fleece-lined collar for next-to-the-skin comfort. And the adjustable, fleece-lined storm hood features a protective brim and a synthetic fur trim, which we found particularly effective for keeping out heavy snow and sleet. We also really liked the fleece-lined hand-warmer pockets, located at just the right height for natural arm placement. In total, the parka has ten pockets, including four interior ones. It also has a drawcord waist adjustment and a two-way front zipper and comes in four colors, from Black to Port. 

Sizes: XS to XXL | Materials: Polyester, polyamide | Insulation: Synthetic | Sustainability: Recycled fabric 

Fjallraven Nuuk Pro Parka

TripSavvy / Lydia Price

Best for Hiking

Arc'teryx Women's Atom Insulated Hooded Jacket

 Arc’teryx Atom Insulated Hoodie


What We Like
  • Very lightweight and breathable 

  • Ideally fitted for use as a base or mid-layer

  • Insulated, helmet-compatible hood 

What We Don’t Like
  • Not particularly warm on its own

The Arc’teryx Atom Insulated Hoodie features synthetic insulation that retains warmth even when wet; and a soft, durable shell that’s both wind- and water-resistant. We found it super lightweight and breathable—so much so that it was almost like wearing a windbreaker. In the same breath, that meant it wasn’t as warm as many of the other jackets on this list. That said, remember that this jacket’s purpose is to serve as a performance layer for active sports like hiking or backcountry skiing. It’s not the coat for casual sightseeing

For that reason, the jacket fits closely and sits on the hips for easy layering. Stretch fleece side panels provide added ventilation and freedom of movement, while the insulated and adjustable hood is compatible with a helmet and features a cinch cord. You can also stash your trail mix and other hiking essentials in the zippered hand pockets or internal chest pocket. Finally, the coat is highly packable, taking up barely any space in your backpack. It should withstand many years of being repeatedly compressed and comes in five colors.

Sizes: XXS to XXL | Materials: Nylon, fleece, polyester, elastane | Insulation: Synthetic | Sustainability: 100 percent recycled, bluesign-approved polyester 

Best for Commuting

The North Face Women's Arctic Down Parka

The North Face Arctic Parka


What We Like
  • Stylish aesthetic suitable for urban wear

  • Very warm, even over minimal layers

  • High-quality faux fur trim 

What We Don't Like
  • The outer fabric feels a little stiff 

If you’re looking for a winter coat that looks at home on the streets of the big city, we recommend the Arctic Parka from The North Face. With an encased-elastic waistband for a cinched silhouette, visible logos on the chest and shoulder, and an oversized faux fur hood trim, it was our tester’s top pick for commuters who want to strike a balance between looking put-together and dressing appropriately for the elements. We particularly liked that the faux fur still looked good after repeated rain exposure and that the coat seemed not to shed feathers. 

The shell features a nylon/cotton blend with a coating that makes it waterproof and windproof. Meanwhile, the padding combines synthetic fibers and responsibly-sourced down to provide warmth even when damp. We found the coat comfortable during work and leisure, with enough insulation to ward off freezing temperatures, even with minimal layers underneath. It also features a removable hood, a two-way zipper with a Velcro storm flap, zippered hand and internal chest pockets, and rib-knit cuffs. Colors range from Summit Navy to Wild Ginger. 

Sizes: XS to 3XL | Materials: Polyester, nylon, cotton, waterfowl down | Insulation: Down and synthetic blend | Sustainability: Recycled polyester and down, non-PFC DWR coating 

The North Face Women's Arctic Down Jacket

TripSavvy / Sarah Bruning

Best Down

Arc'teryx Women's Conduit Down Jacket

Arc'teryx Conduit Down Jacket


What We Like
  • Chic oversized cropped aesthetic

  • Amazingly lightweight warmth

  • Luxurious high collar 

What We Don't Like
  • Likely to be out of budget for many

If you have the cash to spare, our tester called the Arc’teryx Conduit Down Jacket the most luxurious, comfortable jacket they’d ever worn. Thick yet unbelievably lightweight, roomy without being shapeless, and fitted without being constricting, it also achieves the almost impossible by making a down jacket downright chic. It features 850-fill-power goose down for an exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio and packability, with synthetic insulation in moisture-heavy areas. Down Contour Construction forms the down to your body shape for ultimate efficiency. 

We especially loved the added warmth provided by the high collar and the zippered side pockets, which are large enough to fit a cell phone and keys without appearing too bulky. The jacket sits at the waist, looks good with everything from leggings to pants, and features a toggled hem adjuster for a bespoke fit. Other highlights include storm cuffs for sealing out drafts, oversized baffling for a technical yet stylish look, two interior pockets, and a low-profile silhouette. Choose from two colors: Black or bright pink Techno. 

Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: Nylon, polyester, goose down | Insulation: Down and synthetic blend | Sustainability: Recycled nylon and polyester, bluesign-approved materials, down meets Responsible Down Standard (RDS)

Best Splurge

Canada Goose Marlow Coat

 Canada Goose Marlow Coat

 Canada Goose

What We Like
  • Buttery soft inner and outer fabrics

  • Adjustable, removable belt and hood

  • Truly warm yet amazingly lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof

The Canada Goose Marlow Coat takes the cake in terms of cost, with a price tag of well over $1,000. However, when asked whether the expense was worth it, our tester reported, “I get excited whenever I get to put this coat on, and that’s worth a lot.” We particularly loved the sumptuous softness of the coat’s exterior and interior fabrics, which made it feel like being wrapped in a cloud—super lightweight and not at all bulky, yet still water- and wind-resistant. It’s also exceptionally warm, thanks to its 750-fill-power, responsibly sourced duck-down padding. 

This coat looks as good as it feels, with a stylish mid-length cut and a streamlined silhouette. The chevron quilting contours, while the adjustable, removable belt allows you to choose a cinched or relaxed fit. We also loved the removable, down-filled wrap hood and the spacious, well-placed exterior pockets. Other features include articulated sleeves with sealed cuffs, integrated interior backpack straps for hands-free carrying, and a tonal Canada Goose label. Colors range from Moonstone Grey to Atlantic Navy, and all options include a lifetime warranty. 

Sizes: 2XS to 3XL | Materials: Ventera, duck down | Insulation: Down | Sustainability: Responsibly sourced down 

Other Women’s Winter Coats We Tested

Noize Meg Mid-Length Parka: We love this affordable mid-winter parka with its toasty synthetic down and trim silhouette. The only reason it didn't make our winners list is that it appears discontinued.

Columbia Women's Suttle Mountain Long-Insulated Jacket: This coat was comfortable and warm without being too bulky. However, it lost points for hood snaps that sometimes came undone and a two-way zipper that partially unzipped itself. 

Marmot Montreal Coat: This coat was exceptionally soft and warm—so much so it was almost too warm on anything but the coldest days. Plus, sizes ran small, and we'd like to see better down distribution.

Marmot Montreal Coat

TripSavvy / Taylor Fox

L.L.Bean Women's Mountain Classic Down Parka: We loved this coat's warmth, coverage, and packability. It just missed out on being included on our list, and we'd recommend it to anyone wanting a well-priced winter coat. 

Lands' End Women's Down Winter Coat: This coat won points for warmth, quality construction, and excellent functionality (think big pockets and sturdy zippers). However, although well-priced, it isn't particularly stylish. 

Eddie Bauer Women's Lodge Down Duffle Coat: Reaching mid-calf length, this extra-warm down coat feels like wearing a sleeping bag. Unfortunately, it looks like it, too. We also found its length and bulk pretty restrictive. 

Eddie Bauer Women's Lodge Coat

TripSavvy / Danielle St. Pierre

REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka: Our tester gave this coat top marks for the functionality of its design, finding it warm and light with sealed cuffs and a fleecy hood. Aesthetically though, it's a bit boxy and shapeless. 

Uniqlo Seamless Down Short Coat: We appreciated this coat's relative sleekness, thoughtful features, and reasonable price. However, it falls at hip height, making it unsuitable for those who prefer more coverage. 

The North Face Aconcagua Jacket II: This was by no means the warmest coat we tested—we'd only recommend it on its own for milder winter days. However, it's very light and packable and could be a great mid-layer. 

Apparis Celina Faux Fur Coat: We loved the softness of this coat's faux fur exterior but disliked the relatively cheap lining. It also wasn't especially warm, making it best suited to nights out with minimal time outside. 

Club Monaco Signature Double-Breasted Coat: This very attractive, soft wool coat is ideal for urban wear or formal occasions. It's not as warm as the more technical coats on this list, though, and is relatively expensive for what it is. 

Club Monaco Double-Breasted Coat

TripSavvy / Karen Chen

& Other Stories Long Fuzzy Wool Coat: Considering that it features lined wool (without any padding), this coat is surprisingly warm with a versatile fit. We did find the wool deteriorated quickly in high-wear areas, though. 

J.Crew Collection Topcoat in Recycled Sherpa: We loved the look of this coat, which we found both cute and flattering. It also had an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio but was let down by its difficult-to-manipulate eye-hook fasteners. 

Nathan Women's Puffer Jacket: Super packable and lightweight, warm even on freezing days, and cropped for full mobility, this is an excellent option for active women, although not as cozy as longer-length alternatives.

J.Crew Collection Top Coat

TripSavvy / Alessandra Amodio

How We Tested

First, we assessed the jacket’s weight and visually inspected the overall quality. Then, we tried it on over a series of typical winter outfits, recording how well it fit over various layer combinations and how comfortable it was to wear. We tested each feature, from the pockets to the zippers, hood, and snap buttons, for ease of use and placement. Where relevant, we also tested any adjustable features (for example, a toggled hem or a removable belt). 

Each jacket was worn for a minimum of six one-hour sessions over a three-week testing period during everyday activities ranging from running errands to hiking. Based on these sessions, we evaluated how warm the jacket was, how breathable it was, and whether it felt bulky or restricted our freedom of movement. Finally, testers ranked each coat on a five-point scale for comfort, warmth, design, and value. The average score determined our category winners. 

Columbia Women's Suttle Mountain Down

TripSavvy / Elizabeth Preske

What to Look for in a Women's Winter Coat

Materials and Insulation

If opting for an insulated jacket, there are several different types to consider. Down insulation uses the tiniest feathers of ducks and geese and is the warmest and most packable option. However, down loses its warming properties when wet, so if you’re likely to be out in the rain or participating in activities where you’ll sweat a lot, synthetic insulation (typically made of polyester fibers) is better. Some ultra-technical jackets combine the two for peak performance. The higher the fill-power rating, the warmer your jacket will be. 

Polyester and nylon are the most common choices for an insulated jacket’s exterior shell. Some may use stretch fleece or elastane elements to increase mobility in high-wear areas. Not all winter coats are in, but rather rely on the warmth of their core material. Options in this category range from wool to sherpa fleece and are often the most stylish choices for urban wear. However, they’re unlikely to be waterproof or as warm as their more technical counterparts. 


Surprisingly few insulated winter jackets are truly waterproof, and getting wet may compromise the effectiveness of their warmth-giving properties (especially if they have natural down). It’s important to look for one that’s at least water-resistant or repellent so that it can afford some protection from unexpected showers. Generally, this resistance comes from a durable water-repellent, or DWR, coating. Brands focusing on sustainability now use PFC-free DWR since the traditional version contains harmful chemicals for people and the environment. For true weatherproofing, look for a jacket that’s rated waterproof, or purchase a thin waterproof layer to wear on top when rain is forecast. 


Winter jackets come in a variety of different fits depending on the style and intended use, from intentionally oversized to relaxed or fitted. Generally speaking, if warmth is your top priority, you’ll want some room for layering underneath your coat, although the more relaxed the fit, the more important features such as sealed cuffs and drawcord hems and hoods become for keeping out unwanted drafts. Length is another factor to consider. Mid-thigh is the most popular choice since it provides extra warmth by covering your entire core without restricting movement too much. However, full-length jackets are great for nights out in the city in outfits that involve skirts or dresses, while hip-length ones are great for active pursuits like hiking and climbing. 


A good winter jacket is an investment, with the cheapest on this list starting from around $150 and the most expensive exceeding $1,000. At the top end of the spectrum, you’re probably paying over the odds for brand name and reputation—but for a coat that will give reliable performance year after year, you can expect to spend at least a couple of hundred dollars. It’s worth spending the money on a good quality jacket because the longer it lasts, the better the return on your investment. In terms of price vs. insulation type, synthetic down is usually more affordable than natural, while technical jackets that combine both are the most expensive. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How should I care for and wash my jackets and coats?

    Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines before washing your coat, as most have very specific care instructions. However, as a general rule, synthetic down jackets can be machine washed and tumble-dried on a cool setting. Down jackets are the same but require cautious handling when wet to stop inner components from tearing. You’ll need to stop the dryer cycle every 20 minutes to shake the jacket and redistribute down evenly through the baffles. 

    Many technical brands offer a professional cleaning service for down jackets. All insulated jackets should be washed using a non-biological liquid detergent or a specially formulated technical cleaner to avoid breaking down their weatherproof coating. You should zip them up, close all Velcro components before washing, and ensure they’re completely dry before storing. Insulated coats should be stored uncompressed in a cool, dry place. 

  • What type of jackets are the warmest?

    Insulated jackets are the warmest. There are two main types of insulation: duck or goose down or synthetic down. Natural down is the warmest and most compressible; however, it loses its warmth when wet. For this reason (and others ranging from price to ethical concerns regarding natural down production), many people opt for synthetic alternatives, especially if they live in a particularly rainy climate.  

  • Can I use a ski or snowboard jacket as a winter jacket?

    If you have a ski or snowboard jacket at home, you may use it as your regular winter jacket. The two concepts are similar; however, there are some critical differences to be aware of. Ski and snowboard jackets are designed for active sports that require maximum breathability and freedom of movement. Therefore, they often have less insulation and are shorter in length, meaning they may not be as warm as a winter coat designed for walking or running errands in extreme cold. You’ll need enough space for proper layering underneath to compensate, but on the plus side, ski jackets are usually waterproof, whereas many winter jackets are only water-resistant. 

Why Trust TripSavvy

Jessica Macdonald is TripSavvy’s Africa Travel expert and a regular contributor of roundups related to adventure travel and outdoor sports roundups. She lives in the Scottish Highlands and puts her collection of winter jackets to the test by spending plenty of time outdoors in all seasons, whether mountain climbing, birding, or walking her dog. 

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