The Best Insulated Women’s Jackets for Winter

By Jess
17 Nov 2021

It’s that time of year when you’re out walking the dog in your neighborhood and the first thing you say to each other is, “it’s chilly today!” Wish I was joking, that happened yesterday. Winters in New England are cold. In Vermont, they’re snowy too. Having lived in New England for most of my life I take winter gear seriously. The best way to save our sanity during these long, cold, snowy winters is to get outside, and staying warm makes that experience a whole lot more enjoyable. Investing in the right outerwear is a total game changer. One of the questions I get asked most around this time is “what do I wear to stay warm?” Today I’ve got you covered. I’m sharing the best insulated women’s jackets so you can be fully prepared for the chilly (or let’s be real, bitter cold) days and nights this season.

The Best Insulated Women’s Jackets

Insulated jackets come in a variety of styles and weights. They are filled with an insulating material including down insulation, synthetic insulation or a combination of the two. If purchasing down There have been incredible advancements in technology over the years which have made synthetic insulated jackets a phenomenal choice too. When purchasing down I make sure to buy responsibly sourced. Synthetic insulation is made from polyester (many companies now use recycled materials). They come in varying thickness, and they are very warm but still lightweight. They are the ideal jacket for cold temperatures and outdoor winter activities, however it’s important to note they are not a replacement for a waterproof jacket (unless specified). If it’s pouring rain you’ll probably need a waterproof shell. If it’s a cold day and it’s a little damp or it’s snowing, an insulated jacket is a great choice.

Whether you’re looking for a lightweight puffy, a snowboarding/skiing jacket or an insulated parka I’ve pulled together some of the best insulated women’s jackets for winter. I’ve organized the jackets by level of warmth, starting with the lighter styles. A tip for shopping Patagonia, check out their Worn Wear site for great deals on secondhand styles.

Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Jacket

The Patagonia Nano Puff is a great lightweight layer. The shell and synthetic fill are made from recycled materials and it has a lifetime warranty. I actually have two of these that get a ton of wear. While it’s not warm enough on it’s own for super cold days, it’s awesome for mild winter days especially when you’re doing activities like skiing/snowboarding. It’s also very easy to fold down into a small size which makes it a great travel jacket. It’s light enough to layer under an extra layer like a shell or wool coat (one of my styling tricks for staying warm when I’m wearing a dressier coat). It comes in a variety of great colors. I think it fits fairly true to size and wear a small in the nano puff.

Patagonia Down Sweater Full-Zip Hooded Jacket

The Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket is a new addition to my coat collection. It has 800-fill responsibly-sourced down so it’s ultra warm. The shell is made from recycled polyester and is treated with a DWR finish to repel light rain and moisture. The insulated hood makes this jacket ideal for windy dog walks. Worn under a waterproof shell it’s all you need for a super cold day on the slopes. It fits true to size.

L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Jacket

The L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Jacket is exceptionally warm thanks to 850-fill-power down and it’s more water resistant and more sustainable with DownTek PFC-Free down and recycled nylon shell and lining. The nylon shell is windproof and water resistant making it a great choice for snowy outdoor adventures in the winter. It comes in 7 colors and is available in petite, regular and plus sizing. I typically size down in L.L. Bean.

Insulated Women’s Jackets

Patagonia Down With It Parka

I’ve had the Patagonia Down With It Parka for a few years now and it does not disappoint for bitter cold winter days. The design has had some nice updates since I purchased it with side snaps at the hem for ease of movement and a detachable hood. It’s made with a 100% recycled polyester shell and 600-fill recycled down insulation. The parka hits at about knee length for added warmth and protection when it’s really chilly. Those early morning dog walks are a lot warmer. I think the sizing has changed since I purchased this style as reviews indicate it fits true to size (it used to run small).

L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Jacket Long

The L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Jacket Long is one of the most lightweight, warm jackets I’ve owned. It hits slightly below the knee making it great for windy cold days. A great coat for walks, the zipper opens from the bottom making it easy to maneuver. It comes in four colors and is available in regular, petite and plus sizing. This style runs big, I sized down.

L.L. Bean Women’s Mountain Classic Down Parka, Sherpa-Lined

The L.L. Bean Women’s Mountain Classic Down Coat has a sherpa fleece lined hood and upper making it super soft, cozy and warm. For exceptionally cold temps this coat will keep you toasty. A two way zipper makes it easy to vent from the top or bottom. The wind and rain resistant shell and lining are made with recycled polyester. It’s insulated with responsibly sourced 650 fill-power water-repellent DownTek down for exceptional warmth. The fitted hood will protect you even on the windiest days. This style runs big I recommend going down at least one size.

L.L. Bean Women’s Mountain Classic Down Parka

I decided to go ahead and get this style jacket after so many of you recommended it (pictured below). I love it, and I really like the adjustable waist for a more fitted look. It is very warm but as a shorter style, if I’m not active, I need something longer to cover more of my legs. For hiking or sledding it’s great. For dog walks I’d wear the sherpa lined longer version.

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  1. NR wrote:

    hi! which style are you wearing in the last photo? (the longer black one!)

    11.24.21 | Reply
    • Amy wrote:

      I would like to know, too!

      12.2.21 | Reply
      • Anne wrote:

        I think it’s the Patagonia Down With It Parka. Pro tip: if you save the image, it’s labeled in the file name. 😉

        1.9.22 | Reply
  2. Tanya wrote:

    This rescued me from an overwhelming winter coat replacement search (I may or may not have been putting it off for far too many seasons). Thank you! The L.L. Bean Mountain Classic Down Parka arrived today and the suggestion to size down was spot on.

    11.30.21 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Yay! So happy to hear it.

      1.11.22 | Reply
  3. Anne wrote:

    I got the L.L. Bean Women’s Mountain Classic Down Parka because of you! I love it! I live in California so I didn’t need a super long jacket – it’s the perfect length.

    1.9.22 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Love to hear it! So glad you like it.

      1.11.22 | Reply
  4. Sarah wrote:

    Thank you so much for your winter gear reviews- I have purchases several things that you suggested. I’m planning on getting the LL Bean Mountain Classic Down Parka. I love the greenish color you’re wearing- is that the Sea Kelp color? It looks different than what is on the website. Thanks so much for your excellent suggestions + reviews!

    1.10.22 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Hi Sarah, Yes it’s the sea kelp! Just the lighting makes it look a little different.

      1.11.22 | Reply
      • Sarah wrote:

        Thanks so much! Question, did you size down in that version too or just the sherpa lined version? I appreciate it!

        1.19.22 | Reply
  5. Lauren wrote:

    I love all your suggestions! What is the long black coat you’re wearing in the last photo?

    1.21.22 | Reply