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There is no piece of winter clothing more versatile than the fleece jacket. A high-quality fleece can go from base-layer to mid-layer to outer layer — all within one day out on the trail or when camping in colder weather. A good men's fleece jacket is just as at home under your shell blasting through fresh powder as it is over a light T-shirt, keeping you warm around the campfire. Essentially, if you live, hike, camp, or hunt in an area where there are major temperature fluctuations, a fleece jacket should be an essential part of your winter wardrobe — it's as important as a good winter jacket, perhaps even more important if your area isn't prone to tons of snow.
Let's get into it. Are you looking for the best mid-layer for activities like skiing and hiking? Do you just want something light and comfortable to throw on in the mornings to warm you up? Or do you need something you can wear pretty much all the time, whether you're running errands or running on the trail? Lucky for you, there's a fleece for every one of these scenarios, and we've handpicked eight of the best men's fleece jackets in 2022 to help you find the best pick. Some are made for movement, some for leisure, but all of them are guaranteed to keep you cozy and comfortable all winter long.
1. A Lightweight Snap-Front Option
You can't have a round-up of men's fleece jackets without mentioning Patagonia. One of the company's most popular iterations, the Synchilla fleece, has been a staple of mountain wear for decades. This lightweight version bakes in all the moisture-wicking, heat-retaining tech you'd expect to find from the brand and delivers it to you as a super cozy fall staple that's only 13-ounces. The Snap-T style ensures your neck stays warm (or cool) whether you're on the trail or enjoying apres-ski, and the cuffs and hem feature a durable spandex trim to keep your body heat in and cold air out.
2. A Full-Zip Fleece At A Good Price
For a lightweight, inexpensive, and durable fleece you can throw into your hiking pack or camping wardrobe, check out this full-zip option from Mountain Hardwear. The fleece is made from 100% recycled and repurposed polyester, which provides guilt-free warmth and insulation on the trail, at camp, or around the house. This is also an excellent option to throw on under a lightweight rain shell — the fleece won't overheat you as the shell keeps you dry.
3. A Brushed Sherpa Fleece Option
Here's a lightweight fleece that's perfect for those who love brisk hikes in the woods or quick morning runs. Stylish and functional, the Dawa L3 is constructed with high-loft Sherpa fleece that's given a brushed treatment on both sides (meaning you'll get an ultra-soft, wool-like feeling on the inside and out). The L3 also boasts an attached hood for added warmth and style. Should you need some storage, you'll find two large, zippered hand pockets as well as a small shoulder pocket for extra storage.
4. The Stretchiest Men's Fleece Jacket
The Kyanite AR from Arc'teryx is all about performance. It was designed with three key components in mind: movement, mobility, and warmth. As a standalone jacket, this is a fleece you'd wear on fall or winter hikes with a snug base layer underneath (think: a performance tee or long-sleeve shirt). As a mid-layer, this will fit perfectly under your performance shell and give you a ton of warmth and freedom of movement. The Kyanite is also made with Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro, which essentially means it'll help regulate your body temperature so you're never too cold or too hot.
5. The Best Option for Fall & Early Winter
If you want your fleece to also function as a statement piece, Cotopaxi has you covered. The Abrazo jacket is available in a myriad of colorways, while still placing an emphasis on functionality. The jacket is made from fully recycled fleece and gives you a large zippered chest pocket, two hand pockets, and elastic lining in the cuffs and collar for comprehensive warmth. One last thing worth mentioning: All of Cotopaxi's gear is Guaranteed for Good, which means you'll get free returns/exchanges, a lifetime warranty and free repairs — and if all else fails, a trade-in for a gift card.
6. The Best Men's Fleece Jacket for Mild Winters
A heavyweight fleece that's not lacking in style, the Retro-X brings 90's vibes to the modern climate. This jacket is engineered with wind-proof fleece, which makes it a great outer layer on cold-weather camping trips and post-mountain hangouts with the crew. Aside from the warmth, the Retro-X features an interior wind flap that'll keep those unwelcome mountain breezes out. Other notable features include a mesh lining that prevents odors (so multiple day wear is no problem), a water-resistant chest pocket for your tech, and two zippered hand pockets. Patagonia also offers a lifetime warranty on all of their products.
7. The Warmest Fleece Option
The North Face doesn't mess around when it comes to warm weather gear, so it's not surprising that the Campshire Pullover is our warmest pick. This is a heavyweight hoodie crafted from 300-weight sherpa fleece (read: super warm) and offers extra protection from the elements in the form of two woven elbow patches as well as adjustable elastic in the cuff, hood, and center-front. And in the front, you'll have a kangaroo pocket secured by two zippers on either side. Note that this hoodie comes in a relaxed fit, so you'll be able to use it as an outer layer when lounging around camp or your home on chilly mornings.
8. The Best Budget Option
For a classic and comfortable fleece that'll keep you warm and your wallet happy, take a gander at this quarter-zip sweater from Wrangler. Now, it's fairly basic, but if you're in the market for a super comfortable fleece that can be worn as a solid base layer or mid-layer, this won't steer you wrong — and the fit is generous, so you'll be able to easily throw this over a shirt or under a jacket. It's made from 100% polyester and has an extra layer of fleece lining in the back, ensuring your neck stays toasty no matter how cold it is. Plus, at just around $25, this is a great option to bring hiking or camping for those "just in case" moments.
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