There are literally thousands of winter jackets in the market and it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. In this article we cover what you need to know about the various types of fabric from wool to down, synthetic fabrics, fleece, and so much more. We help you identify the best material for winter coats depending on your need.
- Wool Materials for Winter Coats
- Wool-Blend Material for Winter Coats
- Down Material for Winter Coats
- Polyester Material for Winter Coats
- Nylon Materials for Winter Coats
- Fleece for Winter Coats
- Cotton Materials for Winter Coats
- Conclusion: Which Winter Coat Material Is Best For Me?
Wool Materials for Winter Coats
- Excellent warmth
- Soft & luxurious
- Sleek & stylish
- Durable and long lasting
- Semi water-repellent (can handle light rain)
- High maintenance and requires special care
- Not recommended for long exposure to heavy rain and snow
Wool is a traditional and natural fiber that’s made from the fleece of animals. It is long-lasting, elastic, soft, durable, flame-retardant, and extremely versatile. But its biggest appeal is that it can hold heat very well. Thus, making it a great choice for the cold weather.
Wool winter coats are very warm with an incredibly luxurious feeling. They are lightweight, making them perfect for those who don’t like bulky jackets. They are also somewhat water-resistant, so you can wear them during light snow showers. On top of that, wool coats are extremely sleek and stylish. From pea coats to trench coats and traditional double-breasted, wool coats are classic and timeless. They can be dressed up or down to match any outfit and setting.
However, wool coats tend to be expensive. They can be four or even five times the price of coats made from synthetic materials. Some are cheap too, but they are usually made from lower-quality wool, which can be itchy and uncomfortable to wear. Additionally, you can’t use wool coats if you’re staying outside in the snow or rain for too long. Many wool coats are also dry clean only, which can be more expensive and a little bit of a hassle in the long run.
Overall, wool is always a perfect winter coat option. It provides natural insulation and can keep you warm even when it gets damp. Plus, it works great both for casual and formal wear. If you’re interested in investing in a high-quality pure wool coat for the winter, check out the following coats:
Full-Length Cashmere Belted Coat for Women
- High Quality Material: Made with 100% Cashmere for warmth and light weight. Cashmere is a natural fibre so it breathes.
- Long Length. Falls much Below the knees.
- Luxurious, Soft & Warm Cashmere Women’s Full Length Belted Overcoat. Has a belt for closure so you can adjust it to your needs.
- The coat has two pockets on the outside. One on either side.
Cashmere Boutique offers a beautiful 100% pure cashmere full-length belted overcoat for a very reasonable price. Now, you can own a cashmere coat without spending thousands of dollars. This Full-Length Cashmere Belted Coat is luxurious, smooth, soft, and warm, making it a good choice for the cold weather.
Knee Length Pure Cashmere Coat for Men
Get that luxury and rich feeling from the super soft 100% cashmere wool coat from Cashmere Boutique. It is a knee-length overcoat that’s perfect for work, dinners, formal events, and even everyday use. Knee Length Pure Cashmere Coat is also fully lined with a 100% polyester satin lining, so you won’t feel any itchiness or discomfort.
Wool-Blend Material for Winter Coats
- Cheaper than pure wool
- More weatherproof
- Very warm
- Improved performance
- Can look and feel cheap sometimes
Most of the wool coats you will see today are wool blends. Meaning, they are already integrated with other types of fabrics like nylon, cotton, acrylic, or polyester. This is to address the weaknesses of a 100% wool coat. For instance, adding nylon or polyester can increase weatherproofing and mobility. Polyester can also make the coat more crease-resistant and washable. However, too many blends can also drown the luxuriousness of wool, making the coat look and feel cheap.
If you are not willing to spend so much on a coat but still want to experience that soft and warm wool coat for the winter, then choose wool blends. However, make sure to check labels and descriptions before purchasing as some have a very little wool percentage in them. Some even contain only 5% of wool yet are labeled as “Wool Coat”.
To make your search for a quality yet affordable coat easier, you may want to check out the following wool-blend coats from Amazon:
De la Creme Hooded Cashmere Wool Coat for Women
- Made In England
- Single Breasted Wool Long Hooded Coat
- Hidden Button Fastening
- Fabric 75% Wool 20% Polyester 5% Cashmere
Made with 75% wool, 5% cashmere, and 20% polyester, the De la Creme Hooded Cashmere Wool Coat is perfect for winter. It is full length, providing you the extra warmth you need for cold conditions. Since there are more natural fabrics used, it still looks chic, stylish, and very luxurious.
Tommy Hilfiger Barnes Single-Breasted Walker Coat for Men
- Single-breasted coat with notched lapel and four-button cuffs
- Welt side-entry pockets
- Vent at back hem
Looking for a classic wool coat for men? Consider the Barnes Single-Breasted Walker Coat from Tommy Hilfiger. Made with 70% wool, 20% nylon, and 10% cashmere, it is excellent as a winter coat. It is warm, timeless, and a more affordable jacket option than buying a pure wool coat.
Down Material for Winter Coats
- Excellent warmth
- Lightweight and compressible
- Fashionable and always in style
- Loses insulating capabilities when wet (not recommended for wet conditions)
- High maintenance
Out of all the other materials for winter garments, a down jacket provides the most insulation. Made from the feathers of geese, duck, or both, it can create thousands of tiny air pockets, which are responsible for trapping warm air and retaining heat. This allows users to feel incredibly warm even in the coldest winter conditions.
However, if your activities require you to get wet, say there is frequent heavy snow or rain in your area, then a down jacket may not be a wise option. When it gets wet, it will be heavy and clumpy. You will also lose all its heating and insulating capabilities. If you prefer a slimmer look, you’re better off with another type of coat material as well. Down jackets are fluffy and bulky with all that stuffing. Lastly, if you’re considering the price, down is among the most expensive coat materials for winter.
When it comes to buying a down winter jacket, look for the numbers. For down outerwear, this can range from 600 fill to 850 fill. Generally, the higher the number, the higher the quality and the warmer and pricier it will be. For the fill, goose down is considered the warmest and lightest. However, it can also be the most expensive. If you want a cheaper option, you can look for duck down or a combination of both.
Interested? Check out these top-selling down jackets for winter:
Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket for Women
The Patagonia Down Sweater offers amazing warmth and comfort for just about anything. It is made with 800-fill-power goose down, is lightweight, and finished with a ripstop shell to provide extra protection from the elements. It also looks good and is offered in many different colors.
Canada Goose Expedition Parka for Men
- Coyote fur ruff surrounding an adjustable tunnel hood, with an adjustable bracing wire for superior protection in high wind conditions
- A multitude of pockets allow for convenient storage options
- Keep the cold wind out with an elasticized nylon snowskirt, drawcord waist, storm flap over center -front zipper, and heavy-duty, recessed, flexible, rib-knit cuffs
Canada Goose is one of the most popular and well-loved brands in the down jackets industry – and for good reason. Each of their winter coats, including the Expedition Parka, are designed for performance and warmth. They can also protect you even in the harshest winter weather conditions. Plus, they are incredibly good-looking and stylish. Just brace yourself for the hefty price tag it comes with.
Polyester Material for Winter Coats
- High level of water resistance
- Very warm
- Easy to care for
- Can keep you warm even when wet
- Not breathable
- Moderately flammable material
- Not as soft as other materials
In its most basic definition, polyester is a super soft form of plastic. This makes it water-resistant and quick-drying, so you are well-protected from heavy rain, snow, and wet weather. It is also able to block cold air from passing through and reaching your skin. Plus, its tight weave design ensures all your body heat is trapped inside. But most of all, polyester does not lose its insulating capabilities when wet, unlike down coats.
Polyester is often used for linings and shells or the outer layer of a coat. It is also used as a synthetic insulation filling, mimicking down’s properties but with the added protection against wet conditions. You can also find some coats or jackets using 100% polyester in all three parts – lining, shell, and filling.
While polyester checks all the boxes for a winter coat, it does have one huge disadvantage – it is not breathable. So if there’s a sudden temperature rise or if you’re doing strenuous outdoor activities such as shoveling snow, you might find yourself sweaty and uncomfortable. Also, keep in mind that polyester isn’t as warm as both down or wool. It may not last as long too.
That said, if you are in the market for a cheap yet warm and highly water-resistant winter coat, then a polyester coat is an excellent choice. To give you an idea, here are some coats you should check out:
Amazon Essentials Puffer Coat for Women
- REGULAR FIT: Close but comfortable fit through chest, waist, and hips.
- WATER-RESISTANT TAFFETA: Plain weave shell fabric in 100% Nylon for solid colors and 100% Polyester for prints and neon colors. Fully lined, quilted and insulated. Designed to keep you extra protected...
- HOODED PUFFER: This ultralight puffer is the perfect essential for bringing comfort and warmth to your everyday. Wear it with a t-shirt for brisk fall days or layer with a sweater for the colder...
- DETAILS: Features a classic quilted pattern, flattering seam details for a more shaped tailored fit, front 2-way zipper closure, zip pockets, hood, and elasticized cuffs.
With over 7,104 customer reviews, this Amazon Essentials Puffer Coat is among the most popular puffer jackets on Amazon. Made with 100% polyester, from the shell to the lining and fill, this jacket is plenty warm. It’s also form-fitting, stylish, and easy to layer. Just throw it over your favorite shirt or top, and you’re ready to go. Moreover, it’s surprisingly cheap.
Amazon Essentials Heavyweight Hooded Puffer Coat for Men
- RELAXED FIT: Comfortable, relaxed fit.
- WATER-RESISTANT POLYESTER TAFFETA: Polyester plain weave shell fabric. Fully lined, quilted and insulated.
- COLD-WEATHER STYLING: Stay warm in this versatile water-resistant puffer jacket featuring a full-length center front zipper and hood.
- DETAILS: Fleece-lined and insulated hood, full-length front zipper and storm flap with snap closures, two front zippered hand pockets, and interior knit sleeve cuffs.
If you’re looking for a good and affordable coat to keep you warm in the winter, then the Amazon Essentials Heavyweight Hooded Puffer Coat is a perfect choice. Made with 100% polyester, this winter coat is water-resistant, packs a lot of heat, and is very good-looking. It’s even offered in many colors to fit your style and personality.
Nylon Materials for Winter Coats
- Tough and durable
- High level of water resistance
- Not very breathable
- Not very warm
Made from synthetic materials, nylon is a versatile and durable fabric. It’s not prone to mildew or molds, and it’s incredibly easy to clean and maintain. More importantly, it has a dense nature, which makes it capable of blocking cold gusts.
Nylon is similar to polyester as both of them are plastic materials. So it also has a high level of resistance to water and abrasion, making it capable of protecting you against heavy rain or snowy weather. Comparing the two, nylon is stronger and softer. But it can’t dry as fast or hold as better as polyester.
You would often see nylon on a coat’s shell or liner. This is because it is soft and very flexible. Moreover, it can retain trapped warm air even when wet. However, like polyester, nylon isn’t very breathable. It even has low absorbency. So if you know you’re going to work up a sweat, you may want to check out other coat materials.
While nylon is not considered the warmest fabric available, it is a very reliable waterproof material that can help keep you dry in the snow and rain. So look for coats with a nylon shell. To help you out, here are some popular choices for you to consider:
Columbia Puffect Mid-Hooded Winter Jacket for Women
- PERFECTLY PUFFY: Water-resistant fabric along with a big cozy hood and soft chin guard offer winter-ready performance, while wide baffles make this puffer look both classic and still on-trend.
- THERMARATOR INSULATION: For cold conditions requiring lightweight warmth. Performance synthetic that looks and feels like down with a high warmth-to-weight ratio that’s made from ultra-fine fibers...
- WATER RESISTANT: don't worry if it starts to drizzle. The durable, water-resistant nylon fabric has you covered against the elements.
- HANDY FEATURES: Thoughtful touches include a 2-way centerfront zipper, zippered hand pockets, and elastic cuffs.
With a Shadow Ripstop nylon shell, the Columbia Puffect Mid-Hooded Winter Jacket is water-repellent and able to keep you dry and protected throughout the cold season. It also features the company’s signature Thermarator, which is 100% polyester insulation, to provide you that extra warmth during chilly days.
Eddie Bauer Superior Down Parka for Men
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With 650 premium down insulation, the Eddie Bauer Superior Down Parka is one of the warmest coats you will ever wear. It can hold up even in sub-zero temperatures. Plus, with its nylon shell, you’ll be protected from rain, snow, sleet, hail, and any winter storm. With this parka jacket, you’ll be ready no matter what the winter weather throws at you.
Fleece for Winter Coats
- Warm and insulating
- Easy to care for and wash
- Piling can be an issue
- Not recommended as the main winter coat
Fleece is a cozy and soft synthetic material that has great warming capabilities. It is made from a type of polyester or other synthetic fibers, which are woven and brushed to make a lightweight fabric. In terms of texture and feel, it is very similar to wool. It is warm, incredibly soft, and breathable. But unlike wool, fleece is 100% machine washable.
However, fleece jackets are not ideal as your main coat for the winter. While it provides great warmth, it won’t hold up on a windy or rainy day. But for your insulating or mid-layer, fleece is certainly a great option.
Looking for a fleece coat for winter? We recommend the following:
Columbia Benton Springs Fleece Jacket for Women
- SOFT FABRIC: This Columbia Women's Benton Springs Full Zip fleece is crafted of soft 100% polyester MTR filament fleece for ultimate warmth.
- HANDY FEATURES: This Columbia women's fleece jacket features two side zippered security pockets to keep your small items secure.
- ULTIMATE COMFORT: With a collared neck and zippered closure, this Columbia women's fleece jacket is designed to give you ultimate comfort during cold winter days.
- CLASSIC FIT: With a modern classic fit, Columbia's Benton Springs Full Zip Fleece is lightweight with an active cut for comfortable outdoor activity.
Made with a 100% polyester MTR filament fleece, the Columbia Benton Springs Jacket provides the ultimate warmth and comfort. It is super soft, lightweight, and has a classic modern fit, ensuring that you’ll look and feel good on cold days.
Columbia Steens Mountain 2.0 Fleece Jacket for Men
- SOFT FABRIC: This Columbia Men's Steens Mountain Full Zip 2.0 Fleece Jacket is crafted of ultra-soft 100% polyester MTR filament fleece for the perfect amount of warmth
- HANDY FEATURES: This fleece jacket features two side zippered security pockets to keep your small items secure
- ULTIMATE COMFORT: With a collared neck and zippered closure, you're sure to be protected from the frigid cold
- CLASSIC FIT: A modern classic fit and with a soft, lightweight feel make this fleece jacket a staple for comfortable outdoor activity
The Columbia Steens Mountain 2.0 is a lightweight, soft, and warm fleece jacket that’s perfect for layering during winter. Featuring 100% polyester MTR filament fleece, this jacket delivers the perfect amount of warmth to make all your outdoor activities more comfortable. It even comes in different colors for a variety of options.
Cotton Materials for Winter Coats
- Soft and comfortable
- No wicking ability
- Does not provide protection against rain or wind
Cotton is a great material for clothing. It is breathable, lightweight, and very comfortable. it’s also very cheap. However, it’s the worst fabric you can choose for winter. This is because it has no wicking ability and has the tendency to absorb. So under snow, rain, hail, sleet, or storm, it will become wet and heavy. It won’t be able to protect you from the wind either. Thus, we suggest saving the cotton for summer, autumn, or only for chilly days.
Conclusion: Which Winter Coat Material Is Best For Me?
As you can see, each material has its pros and cons. So choosing which one to get will depend on your needs and what you want from your winter coat. To help you out, here’s a quick rundown of each material:
- Wool: This is one of the warmest fabrics you will find, but is also one of the most expensive. As a coat, wool can keep you warm and dry even when it gets wet. Even better, it can last for a very, very long time. So investing in a pure wool warm coat is always well worth your money. However, it’s not ideal if you’re going to stay in the snow or rain for too long.
- Wool-blends: If you’re not willing to spend so much on a pure wool coat, then consider wool blends. They are cheaper yet still very warm. Plus, they are more weatherproof than 100% pure wool. Just avoid coats with more than three fibers blended together as they are more prone to pilling.
- Down: Down is the warmest material for a winter coat. That said, it’s also very expensive. It is the perfect warm winter coat for walking in the park, going to the grocery, commuting to work, and other everyday activities. But if your area frequently experiences heavy rain or snow, consider choosing synthetic insulation or another material instead. Or you can choose a down jacket with a waterproof shell like nylon or polyester.
- Polyester: This fabric is cheap, warm, and offers a high level of protection against wet conditions. Thus, making it a great material for a coat’s shell and as a synthetic insulation filling. However, if you are doing any strenuous activities while outdoors, avoid coats made mostly of this material as it is not very breathable.
- Nylon: Since it doesn’t provide as much warmth, nylon is better suited for a coat’s shell layer. It adds durability and protection against rain, sleet, hail, and snow. So if you often have to encounter such elements during winter, look for a coat with a nylon shell.
- Fleece: With its insulating properties, breathability, and quick-drying features, fleece is perfect for activities where you expect to sweat. But since wind can blow right through it, this material is not ideal for your main winter coat. It does, however, make a perfect insulating layer.
- Cotton: If there’s a fabric that you should avoid, it’s cotton. While it is a great fabric overall, it is not ideal for the cold and wet winter season. It has poor water resistance and is lacking in insulating qualities.
There you have it. With this comprehensive list of the most common materials for winter coats, we are hoping that you find the warm coat that best matches your budget and lifestyle. When choosing, always remember to get the right fit and make sure there’s always enough room for your extra layers – middle layer and base layer.
As they say, proper layering is the key to keeping yourself warm and dry during the cold season.