Our editors carefully select every product we recommend. We may earn a commission from these links. Learn more

The Best Men’s Fleece Jackets to Take on Fall

Best Fleece Jackets 0 Hero

With fall officially here, we’re well within the timeframe of preliminary procurement — especially when it comes to cozy outdoor garments. Traditional jackets and vests might be making their rounds within the mainstream media, but if you’re anything like us, you’re in the market for those obscure functional pieces that’ll get you through this season in style. Of our personal favorites, the fleece stands out as a time-tested staple that few people incorporate within their fall ensemble. That’s why we’re here to give you our guide to the best fleece jackets you can get right now.

Best Fleece Jackets Breakdown

What is Fleece?

Fleece came about in 1979 when Malden Mills and the legendary label Patagonia created the Synchilla fabric, a mashup of synthetic and chinchilla. The idea was to recreate the warmth and feeling of wool, with a synthetic construction that’s easier to source and maintain. The term “fleece” refers to the fabric composition of the jacket, and it’s a synthetic material made from polyester. It’s soft, lightweight, and super breathable, making it a popular choice for cold-weather apparel. It also dries quickly, making it more convenient and easy to maintain than something like Merino wool, for example.

when should you wear a fleece jacket?

Fleece jackets are the perfect fall pick because they’re lightweight yet still warm. They’re also a solid winter choice, but as a layer rather than a solo piece. If winter isn’t too cold where you live, a fleece jacket might be able to get the job done on its own, but any serious winter weather calls for a serious winter jacket like a puffer.

what to Look For

Material: High-quality fleece materials like Polartec and Windstopper offer solid warmth and durability, and if you need a bit of stretch, look for a jacket that has some spandex in the material blend. 

Fit: If you plan on layering with your jacket, a snug fit will be more useful. And for a more casual look, you can go with a relaxed fit. Fleece jackets also come in a variety of styles (zip, half-zip, pullover), and it really comes down to personal preference, as they’re all equally capable. 

Moisture-Wicking: Luckily, fleece is naturally pretty good at wicking/not retaining moisture (especially compared to wool), but if you want some more help, go for a lighter jacket.

Warmth: Generally speaking, heavier jackets will be warmer, while lighter jackets will be more breathable. If you need some extra warmth, go for a jacket with thermal lining.

Lululemon Oversized-Fit Fleece Half Zip

  • Made with recycled material
  • Added stretch with a bit of elastane
  • Hidden phone sleeve
  • Oversized fit may call for a size down

Best Starter Fleece: While we can all appreciate a traditionally-styled option, you can always go right with a more performance-oriented piece, and who better to trust in that department than lululemon? The Canadian clothier describes its oversized option as “soft, warm, and stretchy,” which may sound pretty basic on the outside looking in, but what else are we truly looking for a fleece we can wear a few times a week? Plus, it features a handy locker loop that’s ideal if you’re heading straight to the gym, allowing you to take it off and hang it up quickly.

Material: 97% recycled polyester, 3% Elastane
Fit: Oversized

Arc’Teryx Covert Cardigan

ArcTeryx Covert Cardigan
  • Made with 100% recycled polyester
  • High neck for added warmth/comfort
  • Clean, minimal design
  • Prone to pilling

Best Cardigan Fleece: Arc’Teryx is all about versatility, so when it made the Covert Cardigan, it wanted to create something that could accompany you in a variety of situations. To achieve this, the brand crafted a midweight fleece that’s just as effective in the winter as it is during summer nights. If you’re looking for a breathable jacket that’s easy to layer or rock solo, then this is the pick for you. Its versatile nature is complemented by laminated pocketing and gusseted underarms to give you more range of motion. On top of all this, the jacket is sustainably made with 100% recycled polyester.

Material: 100% recycled polyester
Fit: Regular

The North Face Denali Jacket

  • Iconic design
  • Wind and rain-resistant
  • Drawstring hem
  • N/A

Best Fleece Overall: The North Face’s modern spin on its iconic Denali is a refined approach to one of the genre’s most lauded vintage pieces. It might be a throwback to one of TNF’s 90s pieces, but this unique fleece jacket is even more capable today than it was over twenty years ago, thanks to its recycled, wind-and-rain-resistant fabrics, ventilated underarm areas, and detachable velcro patches. If you’re looking to seal in some more warmth during the colder months, this jacket also boasts a set of elasticated cuffs and a drawstring hem, giving you the opportunity to lock down whenever you feel the need.

Material: Polartec fleece
Fit: Relaxed

Buck Mason Alpine Merino Fleece Pack Jacket

  • Generous pocket sizes
  • Bartack reinforcements at pocket corners
  • Five-thread cover-stitching at the seams
  • Mid-length may not be for everyone

Best Merino Wool Fleece: When it comes to Buck Mason, you can always expect some sort of modern-day inspiration. In this case, the brand implements that signature touch with interestingly cut, diagonal patch pockets. Sure, it may sound impractical, but it looks too cool to ignore, so we have no choice but to mention it here. Lastly, the fleece is finished with bartack reinforcements at the pocket corners for maximum durability, making it a piece you can expect to hold onto for years to come.

Material: 80 GSM double-knit woolen fleece
Fit: Classic

Patagonia Classic Retro-X Fleece Jacket

  • Made in a Fair Trade Certified factory with recycled material
  • Classic style
  • Wind-proof
  • Runs a bit short

Best Retro Jacket: Patagonia has already made an appearance on our list, but the brand’s Retro-X fleece is a bit too good to pass up. This windproof model adopts the same retro styling as its kin but introduces a bespoke membrane for increased weatherization. If you live in an area where bouts of wind and water are common, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the Retro-X features a set of resistant pockets to keep your important items safe from harm, as well as a partially-recycled Sherpa fleece that’s been imbued with polygiene for efficient odor control.

Material: 13-oz 100% polyester (85% recycled) bonded ¼”-pile fleece with a windproof mesh backer
Fit: Regular

Carhartt WIP Devin Liner

Carhartt WIP Devin Liner
  • Stylish design
  • Easy to layer
  • Generous pocket sizes
  • N/A

Best Layer Fleece: This layer-friendly option is simple, stylish, and, like most things from Carhartt WIP, ready to take on the most strenuous days in style. It’s made with 100% polyester and equipped with roomy, zipped nylon taffeta front pockets, ensuring your headphones, keys, or pocket knives stay put. Most importantly, it’s finished with a woven military label, which you won’t find on many other high-quality fleeces on our list… not to mention across the market

Material: 100% polyester
Lining: 100% polyester
Fit: Not listed

Snow Peak Thermal Boa Fleece Jacket

  • Made with recycled material
  • Sealable neck
  • Big and warm hood
  • No XXL option

Best Thermal Fleece: Snow Peak’s Polartec fleece is as simple as it sounds, but when it comes to functional outdoor garments, performance is all that matters. Luckily, that’s where this clothing item excels, thanks to its insulating fleece jersey, high neck, and two-way zip fastening. Since this iconic homage has been built to take on the elements with ease, it features all of the details you might expect from a more utilitarian offering, including side slit pockets, thumb slots, drawstrings, and a sealable neck, helping you to trap warmth when you need it most.

Material: 100% recycled polyester (Polartec fleece)
Fit: Not listed

Woolrich Reversible Curly Fleece

Woolrich Reversible Curly Fleece in Sherpa and Taslan nylon
  • Water-resistant (on the nylon side)
  • Five pockets in total
  • Wind-resistant
  • Contrasting colors may not be for everyone

Best Reversible Fleece: Woolrich is an industry titan, and like many of the brand’s garments, it doesn’t shy away from its intentions. This medium-weight insulating layer features a polyester and wool blend of fleece, a reversible design (with a warm wool Sherpa side and a water-resistant nylon side), and a zip closure to keep things locked up tight. To round out the jacket, you get a contrast zip fastening, with three pockets on the Sherpa side and two on the nylon side.

Outer: 60% polyester, 40% virgin wool
Inner: 100% polyamide
Fit: Comfort

Canada Goose Kelowna Fleece Jacket

  • Reflective details on the back collar
  • Jersey backing for extra softness
  • Abrasion-prone areas are reinforced
  • Expensive

Best Premium Fleece: Like most outerwear pieces you’ll find in Canada Goose’s coveted catalog, the Kelowna Fleece Jacket showcases the luxurious side of outdoor attire. It is composed of cozy, wool-crafted, high-pile fleece, so the versatile jacket operates well as a mid or top layer, depending on how cold it is outside. For functionality’s sake, it’s equipped with strategically placed reinforcement in high abrasion areas and a zippered chest zipper to keep gear safe and sound.

Material: Wool
Fit: Not listed

The Best Sneakerboots for Rugged Style

Best Sneakerboots 0 Hero

You might want some equally cold-weather-ready kicks to accompany your new jacket, so check out our best sneakerboots guide.