A solid jacket is an absolute requirement for any adventure. Winter or spring, mountain or rainforest, jackets are your home away from home.
Starting with keeping you warm but extending to keeping you dry, here are seven of the best adventure jackets (from the best outdoor clothing brands) you can get this year to survive the worst weather … or your walk to the mailbox. Don’t worry — we’re not going to subject you to photos of those wearable sleeping bags.
Houdini Mono Air Houdi
When it comes to carbon emissions and microplastics, the fashion and clothing industry makes up about 10% of human carbon emissions. Not good.
A small company out of Stockholm, Sweden is on a mission to change that. And winning. 100% of the fabrics they brand used this season were recycled, recyclable, renewable, biodegradable, or Bluesign certified.
One of Houdini’s main goals is for everything they make to be circular; to be 100% recycled materials and be 100% recyclable when you’re done with them.
The Mono Air Houdi is circular. Made out of recycled polyester, it’s built to last years. But when you are done with it you can completely recycle it. The grid pattern channels air around it for warmth and breathability and helps shed 80% less microfibers than traditional fleeces.
The Power Air Light fabric was made in a partnership with Polartec, makers of many other amazing outdoor fabrics. It’s breathable and durable and stretches 4 ways.
The fit is longer in the hem which keeps it from riding up when you’re reaching for a hold or just trying to keep the drafts out. The longer sleeves have thumb loops which also keeps those drafts out.
There are no patents or trade secrets here either. Houdini has made all plans and design details about the fabric and the Mono Air Houdi open-sourced, meaning anyone can take the plans and use and improve them.
Ororo Hooded Heated Jacket
Most jackets just trap your heat in puffy insulation. But wouldn’t it be nice just to turn on your jacket and be toasty warm. With an Ororo heated jacket you can.
Three heating coils powered by a small lithium-ion battery keep the Ororo Heated Hooded Jacket warm for up to ten hours. A small button on the front of the jacket turns it on and switches modes. The Ororo gets three hours on high heat, six on medium, and ten on low.
It’s no slouch when the heat is off, either. Thick polyester insulation, rib-knit storm cuffs and large insulated hood are soft and cozy in the wind or snow.
Getting low on juice on your phone? Plug it into your jacket for a quick charge.
Graphene-X Alpha Series Jacket
Graphene is 200 times stronger than steel, more conductive than copper, and lighter than carbon fiber. Great specs, but like carbon fiber it has to be used in just the right way to actually perform to those specs.
In 2017, a small company based out of Hong Kong called Graphene-X was looking for a better way to make clothes, ones that actually last. Why can’t they perform, last a long time and look good at the same time? The firm stumbled on graphene and caught a glimpse of a better future.
The founders of Graphene-X spent thousands of hours experimenting with different combinations of graphene and other materials to land on a mix of graphene, polyester, and cotton and built an impressive first product: the Alpha Series Jacket.
The Alpha Series jacket is a completely waterproof with three layers of a soft inner, waterproof membrane, and graphene-infused outer. With a waterproof rating of 10k and breathability rating of 10k, feel free to stand out in torrential downpour and hurricane winds. The graphene-infused outer layer withstands impacts and abrasion better than other materials.
Disclaimer: We take no responsibility if you get hit by a flying cow.
Columbia Three Forks Black Dot Jacket
In 2010, Columbia first introduced Omni-Heat, a metal coating on the inside of outdoor clothing and footwear that reflects heat back to you. Ten years later the brand is completely changing what we think of as insulation again with the Three Forks jacket covered in the Omni-Heat Black Dot thermal shield.
The Three Forks jacket is a slightly shiny, baffled puffy jacket with a generous fit. What makes it different from any other jacket is the Black Dot thermal shield on the outside. Tiny black metal discs cover the outside, absorbing any heat from the sun that’s available as well as trapping your heat inside. You become a magnet for heat.
On the inside, the Omni-Heat 3D metallic layer reflects heat back to you just like the original Omni-Heat layer did in 2010. Fuzzy fibers around each of the metal discs on the inside hold the jacket off your body creating yet another layer of air to keep you warmer.
All these discs and fibers are incredibly small so what might sound like a tin can with fuzzy fibers on the inside just looks and feels like most other synthetic insulation puffer jackets.
Arc’teryx Beta FL Jacket
Arc’teryx is constantly innovating and sets the bar high when it comes to technical, waterproof outdoor clothing. The brand has a close relationship with W.L. Gore, the makers of Gore-Tex, and already released waterproof jackets and pants under the brand new line of Gore-Tex Pro fabrics released in 2020.
Lightweight and slim fit, the Beta FL is one of those hiking jackets that are built for going fast in the mountains. The Beta series of gear is for all-mountain use. FL means fast and light. For this year Arc’teryx has integrated not one but two new kinds of Gore-Tex into the jacket.
In areas that are going to be subject to a lot of abrasion like the shoulders, upper arms, and hood, Gore-Tex Most Rugged is used. Most Rugged is more durable and more impact resistant than traditional Gore-Tex. Getting whipped by tree branches skiing won’t crack the waterproof membrane.
On the front and back and under the arms, Gore-Tex Most Breathable is used, a lighter membrane meant for extremely good breathability. The whole thing is covered with a lightweight 40 denier outer fabric making this jacket a fast and light machine in bad weather.
Ortovox Merino Windbreaker
We love our polyesters and nylons in the outdoor industry, but there’s nothing quite like merino wool from those mountain sheep from New Zealand and Australia. It’s soft to wear, resists bacteria so it doesn’t smell, and is warm when it’s wet. Natures ideal base and mid layer.
When merino is mixed with other materials it can do incredible things. The Ortovox Merino Windbreaker feels like any other nylon windbreaker; smooth against your skin, highly windproof and very packable. The difference with this one is it’s 55% merino wool that’s being woven into the nylon.
Instead of turning into a hot plastic bag when you run, it can breathe and regulate the moisture and temperature inside. The merino and nylon combo dries quickly if you are caught in the rain. Bacteria can’t latch onto the merino, preventing the stick that comes with any outdoor gear over time. The fitted style stays close when you’re running or moving fast down the trail.
When the sun does come out, the whole thing packs into its front pocket.
Mountain Hardwear Super/DS Stretch Down Hooded Jacket
Responsibly sourced down is another one of nature’s wonder materials. The loft, insulation, and warmth that’s created when a high-quality pile of feathers puffs up has yet to be re-created by a synthetic fiber. Packing feathers into a thin jacket material keeping them in place with small walls or baffles, creating an extremely warm and lightweight jacket. But they’ve never been able to stretch.
Mountain Hardwear has changed that with the Super/DS Stretch Down jackets. The inner layer, outer layer and baffles to hold the feathers in place are all woven from a single piece of fabric without stitching or glue to hold the layers together. This allows the jacket to stretch without tearing while keeping all those loft-creating feathers where they need to be.
The 700-fill RDS-Certified down creates a ton of loft and warmth inside the cozy Super/DS jacket. And the quilted pattern on the outside looks pretty sharp, too.
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