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The 7 Best Men's Fleece Jackets of 2021

There are a few clothing items that are just prerequisites for life in the outdoors. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you like to spend time outside, you probably own a good raincoat, a favorite pair of boots, and if you’re lucky, a fleece jacket you love. Fleeces blur the line between technical outdoor apparel and more casual wear. In other words, a good fleece is always ready to meet you where you are. Need a little extra insulation for a cold day on the ski hill? Throw a fleece under your puffy. That spring evening spent around the fire pit is a little chillier than you bargained for? Fleece to the rescue!

If you don’t own a good fleece, you owe it to yourself to find one, and if you already have one, well, there’s no such thing as too many fleeces! The fleece jackets on this list run the gamut from highly technical to casually retro-styled. We’ve chosen each one for its own unique reasons—they’re each the best at something. So think about what you’re looking for from a fleece, what’s missing in your life as an outdoors person. One of the best fleece jackets on this list is sure to fill that missing hole.


Arc’teryx Delta LT

The best men's fleece jackets of 2021
 

Arc’teryx might be better known for their high-end outerwear, but they’ve instilled that same deep sense of practicality into their Delta LT fleece as well. So, while it’s got a more subdued aesthetic than some of the other fleeces on this list, it’s packed with performance. The Delta LT is designed as a four-season layer, it’s great on its own on chilly summer evenings, it pairs well with a shell during the shoulder seasons, and works well under a puffy in the winter. That means it has a little bit of a slimmer fit and is made out of a lighter material than some of the other pieces on this list, it’s meant to be light and fast.

The Delta LT’s microgrid fabric helps moisture wick away from your skin so you stay dry even when you’re working hard, and the ¾ quarter zip makes it easy to get on and off, even if you’re wearing a helmet. If you’re looking for one of the best men's fleece jackets that you’ll wear all year round without ever noticing it, the Delta LT was made for you.

StyleMaterial Original Price
Quarter-Zip PulloverPolartec® Classic 100 Micro Velour Small Grid$115

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Outdoor Research Trail Mix Hoodie

The best men's fleece jackets of 2021
 

While all fleeces work well as part of a layering system, Outdoor Research’s Trail Mix Hoodie is designed to function as a stand-alone garment too. That means it’s a little thicker and warmer than fleeces like the Arc’teryx Delta LT, and it has more pockets, along with a hood. Those additions mean that it’s optimized for slightly different use scenarios. There’s less of a need to pair it with another insulating layer in the winter, or layer over it with a shell in the shoulder seasons. Instead, you can just slip it on and go.

The Trail Mix has two large, comfortable hand pockets, as well as a zippered chest pocket for valuables. Its casual styling means you can wear it out to the brewery after your hike or ski, without looking like you’re some uber-technical mountaineer. But rest assured the carefully thought-out fit and materials of the Trail Mix are designed to keep you comfortable even when you’re pushing hard in the mountains. The Trail Mix was designed to combine equal parts casual styling and technical performance and it handles both with aplomb.

StyleMaterial Original Price
Full-Zip Hoodie100% Bluesign® Approved Polyester$99

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Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Full-Zip Jacket

The best men's fleece jackets of 2021
 

You’ve probably seen someone in Cotopaxi gear before and assumed they were just wearing the coolest vintage gear you’d ever seen. That’s because Cotopaxi knows how to make technical clothing look good, really good. The Teca fleece is no exception. It’s available in a variety of retro colorways, all guaranteed to get you compliments on your hike. But Cotopaxi doesn’t just make good-looking clothes, they’re also good for the planet. The Teca is made out of repurposed materials and comes with a lifetime warranty.

The Teca has two comfortable hand pockets and a DWR coating that helps the fleece shed light precipitation. The zippered sweater design strikes a nice balance of warmth and packability. It works well under a puffy jacket on colder days but has a looser fit so it still looks great in a casual setting. If you miss the days gone by when technical gear looked as cool as it performed, the Cotopaxi Teca is your ticket to nostalgia and comfort.

StyleMaterial Original Price
Zippered SweaterRepurposed Fleece and Taffeta$99.95

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Houdini Power Houdi

The best men's fleece jackets of 2021
 

If you’re looking for a full-featured hoodie on the more technical end of the spectrum, Houdini has you covered with their Power Houdi. The Power Houdi is built as a do-it-all insulator. That means that it has slightly thicker and warmer material than the Delta LT, but not as slim of a fit. It works better over thicker base layers than some other options and isn’t quite as minimalist. That means that it works better as a stand-alone hoodie as well. It’s also adjustable, with an easy-to-use drawcord hem.

While the Houdi has a sleek profile, it’s packed with features. It has two large, zippered hand pockets on the outside, along with zippered inner stash pockets. And Houdini realized that some fleeces have a tendency to slide up your arms when you’re climbing or riding a bike, so the Houdi has extra long sleeves with thumb loops to keep them in place. The Houdini Power Houdi is the sort of garment you buy and then wear regularly for a decade. It gets the job done, it lasts, and it looks good the whole time.

StyleMaterial Original Price
Full-Zip HoodiePolartec® Power Stretch® Pro$200

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Arc’teryx Kyanite LT

The best men's fleece jackets of 2021
 

If you like the design philosophy behind the Delta LT, but want something with a few more features, well, the Kyanite LT fits the bill. Like the Delta, the Kyanite is meant to work as a year-round garment, but it comes with zippered hand pockets and a hood, so it works better than the Delta as a stand-alone piece. And the Torrent stretch fleece moves smoothly with your body, even during high friction activities like running or nordic skiing.

The Kyanite is very breathable, it’s not going to do a good job keeping the wind out, because that’s not the point. Instead, it lets your body breathe and keeps you from getting clammy with sweat. It’s slim enough to fit under just about any shell, and the hood works well under a helmet. If you want a highly technical fleece that’s still capable on its own, the Kyanite LT will keep you looking, and feeling good.

StyleMaterial Original Price
Full-Zip HoodieTorrent™ Stretch Fleece$149

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Patagonia R1 TechFace Hoodie

The best men's fleece jackets of 2021
 

Patagonia’s original R1 hoody might just be the most beloved fleece of all time. Thousands upon thousands of people swear by the Patagonia fleece jacket. So why change a classic? Well, Patagonia realized they could increase the utility of the R1 without changing the parts everyone loved by adding a technical face layer to it. That means that the R1 TechFace shrugs off moisture and light rain with its breathable DWR layer. So you don’t need to wear a shell over it most days.

The R1 is supremely versatile, it will keep you warm and dry in most weather conditions, and looks great doing so. A company rarely manages to update a classic without ruining some aspect of what we loved about the old version, but Patagonia did just that with the R1 TechFace.

StyleMaterial Original Price
Zip Hoodie92% Polyester (69% Recycled)$179

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The North Face ‘95 Retro Denali Jacket

The best men's fleece jackets of 2021
 

If the Denali looks awfully like the North Face fleece jacket your rad grandfather wears sometimes, it’s probably because it’s very similar. The Denali has been a mainstay of The North Face’s line for a quarter-century now, so why not re-release this classic?

Of course, TNF added some updates like more durable recycled materials and an adjustable drawcord hem. And it’s not just cozy and good looking, the Denali also has a DWR coating to help keep you dry in light downpours. So if you want your fleece to look as good in 25 years as it did 25 years ago, the Denali is the obvious choice.

StyleMaterial Original Price
Zip Sweater100D 360 G/M² 100% Recycled Polyester Knit$198.95

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