The Best Winter Jackets for Keeping Warm When It's Freezing Out

Stylish and functional, these technical jackets ensure you stay toasty and comfortable in the dead of winter.

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Photo: Cavan Images/Getty Images

Wearing insufficient outwear in the cold can really make or break you both mentally and physicallyduring these long winter months. Anyone who has ever stepped out on a bleak February morning in a peacoat or light jacket can attest to that. It is essential to your winter survival—not to mention your health—to invest in the best winter jacket possible that also accommodates your lifestyle.

When choosing the right coat, take into consideration how much time you plan to spend outside and what activities you intend to do. A ski bunny has different needs (think: a waterproof shell with a sweat-wicking interior and helmet-compatible hood) than someone who just needs an insulated jacket to keep them warm while walking their dog, running errands, or commuting to work. And depending on your environment, a waterproof or water-resistant jacket could be beneficial or a coat that is filled with down—padding made from goose or duck feathers or recycled materials—could ensure extra coziness in frostbite-level temps. (

While fashion-forward peacoats and trendy leather and bomber jackets certainly have their place in your closet, they don't always offer the protection and warmth you need for when the weather dips. But that doesn't mean you have to settle for an outdoor layer you don't feel good wearing. These outdoor winter jackets for women—from puffers to parkas to ski jackets—are cute enough for the city and yet toasty enough to wear on the mountain or trail.

Columbia Alpine Action Omni Heat Jacket

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If you have ever tried Columbia's Omni heat thermal reflective liner, you understand how game-changing the technology is to performance outerwear. The silver lining simultaneously reflects your body heat and absorbs it to keep you extra warm. Plus, the waterproof shell offers protection from the elements, while still remaining breathable. And if you're using it for skiing, the jacket boasts plenty of pockets for stashing your phone, goggles, ski pass, and more on the mountain. (

Buy It: Columbia Alpine Action Omni Heat Jacket, from $107,

L.L. Bean Ultrawarm Long Coat

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Tested during Maine winters—so you know it will keep you comfortable and dry—this jacket makes you feel as though you're tucked into a big blanket. However, in comparison to other maxi puffers, the silhouette is sleek and tailored, meaning you won't look like a giant marshmallow. The water- and stain-repellent exterior protects, while the 650-fill-power down insulation keeps you toasty. Also great? The detachable faux fur lining on the hood acts as a buffer against the wind.

Buy It: L.L. Bean Ultrawarm Long Coat, $279,

Fjallraven Singi Down Jacket

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Combining durability, warmth, and style, this jacket from Fjallraven is made of a lightweight yet densely woven, waterproof fabric, which wicks moisture and features UV protection to shield from the sun's ultraviolet rays. It's padded with ethically-produced down with extra cushion in places where you might need more protection like shoulders and elbows, making it a great choice for low-intensity activities like hiking or bopping around the city at night.

Buy It: Fjallraven Singi Down Jacket W, $540, $600,

Lululemon Cloudscape Waterproof Jacket Short

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A sporty cropped jacket is the ideal outwear for getting you to and from workouts, errands, the office—really anywhere your busy life takes you. Not only is it insulated with lightweight 700-fill power goose down for that snug-as-a-bug feeling, but the chic hood and waterproof finish make it a smart option for rainy days or when the snow starts to fall. And a discreet interior pocket designed for your cell phone will keep it protected yet easily accessible.

Buy It: Lululemon Cloudscape Waterproof Jacket Short, $199, $298,

Patagonia Frozen Range 3-in-1 Parka

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Built to tackle winter's toughest conditions, this Patagonia jacket can be disassembled and customized to suit your needs. The inner layer is lined with cozy 700-fill power recycled down and features fleece pockets to warm hands, while the outer shell is made of waterproof Gore-Tex and has a soft flannel back to trap heat. A snorkel hood protects your head and neck while hidden pockets will keep all your goods secure. Wear them together or separately depending on the weather intensity.

Buy It: Patagonia Frozen Range 3-in-1 Parka, $799,

Orolay Women’s Thickened Down Jacket

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Believe it or not, but the viral Amazon coat is going nowhere in 2020 (it even has its own Instagram account), giving those who could not get their hands on it last year another chance to rock it. On top of how effective it is at keeping you warm, Amazon reviewers love to comment on the pocket sizes, making it a hit with city dwellers and mothers who need to store their children's goods. If you have not tried it yet, you should—there's a reason why it is an Amazon bestseller.

Buy It: Orolay Women's Thickened Down Jacket, from $108,

The North Face Aconcagua II Down Jacket

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When you need an easy option on brisk days or if you plan to be active (say, on a winter hike) a heavy coat isn't completely necessary. This lightweight 550-fill goose down jacket has a snug fit and diagonal seaming, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but also helps reduce bulk and puffiness.

Buy It: The North Face Aconcagua II Down Jacket, $160,

J.Crew Chateau Puffer Jacket with PrimaLoft

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Basing your decision on sustainability? This new puffer version of J.Crew's bestselling parka has a recycled poly shell and is filled with eco-friendly PrimaLoft, so that each jacket keeps 15 plastic bottles out of the oceans and landfills. Plus, the removable hood is lined with sherpa for extra warmth, and the drawstring waist makes it a super flattering pick.

Buy It: J.Crew Chateau Puffer Jacket with PrimaLoft, $198,

Eddie Bauer Sun Valley Down Parka

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You can't go wrong with this super warm, durable option from Eddie Bauer, thanks to the water-repellent finish, 650-fill premium down insulation, and cozy shearling-lined pockets. Also great? It has a two-way zipper that allows you to open the coat from the bottom in order to sit more comfortably. (

Buy It: Eddie Bauer Sun Valley Down Parka, $180, $299,

Arc’teryx Sentinel LT Jacket

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Designed for the slopes and everywhere in between, skiers, snowboarders, and après-ski enthusiasts will love this performance jacket with a relaxed fit, which offers space to layer underneath while still ensuring a good range of movement. The longer length and durable Gore-Tex body will keep you protected, and the waterproof exterior and breathable interior will keep you dry. Bonus: The hood is compatible with helmets and won't hinder your line of vision.

Buy It: Arc'teryx Sentinel LT Jacket $649,

Marmot Slingshot jacket

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If superior water protection is a priority, then opt for this pick from Marmot, which has a coated finish that makes it breathable, waterproof, and water-resistant. It's filled with 700- fill power to keep you warm and has vents at the armpits to extract excess heat. And on top of the bells and whistles, the bright color block design will make you easy to spot amongst all the basic black coats on the mountain. (

Buy It: Marmot Slingshot Jacket, $325,

Helly Hansen Tundra Coat

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Anyone who intends to spend longer periods outside in chilly temps will appreciate this puffer coat. The diamond-quilted design and padded collar might appear to add weight, but it is shockingly light. The high adjustable collar blocks out the cold and the longer length helps keep you dry and protected no matter what nasty weather comes your way.

Buy It: Helly Hansen Tundra Coat, from $158,

Uniqlo Seamless Down Long Coat

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The oversized cocoon silhouette of this winter jacket offers a more fashion-forward look, while the design is quite technical. The interior combines two types of lining: down around your torso to trap heat where your body typically gets cold and moisture-wicking, heat-generated cotton around your arms and lower half for a more streamlined cut that is easy to move in.

Buy It: Uniqlo Seamless Down Long Coat, $150, $180,

Aritzia The Super Puff Long

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Do not let the gorgeous shades and sophisticated silhouette fool you into thinking this coat is just a statement piece. Stuffed with responsibly-sourced goose down, this is designed to keep you toasty even when the temperatures dip into the negatives. The length—which hits around mid-calf—is excellent for city dwellers and commuters, providing extra protection and warmth around your bottom and thighs. Pick a matte finish for a classic look, or opt for a high gloss or iridescent finish for head-turning style.

Buy It: Aritzia The Super Puff Long, $275, $298,

Stio Women's Shot 7 Down Parka

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Proving gear for cold weather does not have to look super outdoorsy or be cumbersome, Stio's lightweight parka features a more slender cut and will still totally keep you warm. The breathable, waterproof shell can handle rainy, snowy weather, while the 800-fill feather down will keep you warm in bone-chilling temperatures.

Buy It: Stio Women's Shot 7 Down Parka, $599,

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