Just about all fleece jackets come with a zipper of one length or another. Even if you’re looking for the kind that zips all the way down, and doesn’t have to be pulled on, you have plenty of choices. And of course the length of the zipper is not the only choice you have when selecting a fleece zip jacket. Far from it. There are a few different variables for fleece jackets that make them useful pieces of clothing in a wide ranging set of environments and times of year.
Fleece Zip JacketWhat to look for from a fleece zip jacket.
- Hood – Even the full zip fleece jackets come with hoods. And a good hood really can make quite a bit of difference when it comes to how warm you stay inside your jacket. Your head is one big heat source, after all, and if you want to stay warm one of the easiest things to do is to cover your head with something, like a hood.
- Hardened – Fleece isn’t a particularly great material to have on when the wind starts picking up and the wind chill starts stealing all of your body warmth. But a fleece jacket with a hardened outer surface does a great job of cutting down on the wind chill, and if you expect to be out in the wind it’s a feature you should be looking for.
Best Fleece Zip JacketSome of the very best fleece zip jackets for men and women.
Men's Fleece Zip Jacket
- Arc'teryx Acto MX Fleece Hooded Jacket - This is the kind of full featured fleece zip jacket that is ideal for active pursuits in the outdoors. It's thinner fleece, but has a hardened soft shell exterior that makes it perfect for keeping out wind and rain. That, combined with the thinner fleece makes it ideal for bad weather but also breathable, for when you are staying active. It also comes with a hood, to keep your head warm, and a couple of long zippered chest pockets. The seams are even taped, to help keep water out. A seriously good fleece zip jacket for bad weather.
- Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Fleece Jacket - The Monkey Man is a fairly unique jacket. It uses heavy, 300 weight fleece to keep you well insulated and block out the wind. It also has a plush and piled exterior that does a good job of keeping the outside world out. It has a couple of zippered pockets for your hands, and one on the chest to store a few things, but no hood and no hardened outer surface means it's probably not ideal for getting active in the outdoors.
Women's Fleece Zip Jacket
- Arc'teryx Acto MX Fleece Hooded Jacket - The Acto MX is the kind of fleece jacket that you want to be wearing when you're out hiking hard and the weather turns ugly. It has a hardened outer surface that will keep a good amount of wind and water out, but is also relatively thin, so that the jacket does breathe well. There's also a hood, crucially, to keep your head warm and give you a few more options when it comes to staying warm. A couple of larger zippered chest pockets can also help with ventilation.
- Mountain Hardwear Monkey Woman Fleece Jacket - The Monkey Woman is a more basic fleece zip jacket. There's no hood and no hardened outer surface. What it does have is thick, 300 weight fleece, and a piled and plush outer surface that does a good job of helping to keep wind and water out, despite not being hardened. So a good zip jacket if you're looking to stay warm more than be active.