How to Choose the Right Fleece Jacket for Women
A cozy fleece jacket is a winter wardrobe essential for many women. The right fleece jacket can keep you warm and comfortable, whether you're running errands around town, hiking your favorite nature trail or lounging around the house. With so many styles and options available, it can be tricky to choose the perfect fleece jacket to suit your needs. Let's take a look at what you need to know before choosing the best fleece jacket.
The Benefits of a Fleece Jacket
Fleece jackets have become increasingly popular among women for their ultra-soft feel and stylish look. One such variety is Sherpa fleece which has a deep plush pile that resembles sheepskin shearling. This makes Sherpa fleece jackets incredibly soft, cozy and warm. Unlike real shearling, Sherpa fleece is cruelty-free and often made from recycled plastics like PET bottles. Plus, a Sherpa jacket can come with all sorts of features like a Sherpa lined hood or Sherpa lining along the arms to keep you extra cozy.
Some key benefits of women's Sherpa fleece jackets include:
- Warmth: The deep pile traps heat exceptionally well to keep you warm and insulated. Sherpa fleece is warmer than other lightweight fleece.
- Comfort: The soft, plushy texture feels great against your skin without being itchy or irritating.
- Style: Sherpa fleece jackets have a stylish, almost vintage look reminiscent of classic shearling jackets. They come in updated modern styles.
- Durability: High-quality Sherpa fleece is quite durable and lasts through many wears and washes.
For maximum warmth and comfort during cold weather, a Sherpa fleece jacket is a perfect choice for everyday wear and outdoor adventures.
Different Types of Fleece Jackets and Their Uses
In addition to Sherpa fleece, there are other types of fleece fabrics, each with distinct properties suited to different uses:
Polyester fleece, made from synthetic polyethylene terephthalate (PET), is the most common and affordable type of fleece. It comes in different thicknesses and weights:
- Lightweight fleece (100-200 gsm) - Very thin and breathable, great for active outdoor wear in mild temperatures. Sometimes called microfleece.
- Midweight fleece (200-300 gsm) - Offers warmth with some breathability and dries quickly. A versatile option for cool weather.
- Heavyweight fleece (300+ gsm) - Very warm and insulating but less breathable. Better for colder conditions.
Wool fleece jackets are made from a blend of wool and synthetic fibers. The wool adds natural warmth, breathability and moisture-wicking abilities:
- Good Temperature Regulation: Wool adjusts to your body heat and humidity.
- Natural Odor Resistance: The fibers inhibit bacterial growth.
- Durable and Long-Lasting: Retains warmth and shape even after many wears and washes.
- Soft Feel: Wool fleece lacks the itchiness associated with 100% wool fabrics.
Wool fleece works well as a mid-layer under a waterproof shell jacket. It's ideal for cold-weather aerobic activities like winter hiking, snowshoeing and mountaineering.
Windproof fleece jackets have a special coating or membrane to block wind while allowing ventilation. This makes them excellent outer layers for activities like skiing, snowboarding and winter running. The wind proofing reduces chill while the fleece lining provides insulation.
Look for windproof fleece with taped seams, adjustable hoods and cuffs and zippered pockets. Athletic cuts allow full freedom of movement.
Hybrid Fleece Jackets
Hybrid fleece jackets combine different materials strategically placed for optimal function:
- Softshell Fleece: Uses stretchy woven panels in high-movement areas for breathability.
- 3-in-1 Jackets: Offers an outer waterproof shell jacket and a zip-in fleece liner jacket for versatile layering.
- Insulated Fleece: Adds down or synthetic insulation over key heat loss areas like the core and sleeves.
What is Sherpa Fleece?
As we looked at earlier, Sherpa fleece is another popular fabric known for its soft and cozy texture. It is commonly used in clothing, blankets and other cold-weather accessories due to its warmth and comfort. Sherpa fleece gets its name from the resemblance of its texture to the wool-lined clothing worn by the Sherpa people in the Himalayas.
Key characteristics of a Sherpa fleece jacket women include:
- Texture: Sherpa fleece has a distinct texture that mimics the look and feel of sheep's wool. One side of the fabric is soft and fluffy, resembling the fleece of sheep, while the other side is typically smooth.
- Warmth: This fabric is known for its exceptional warmth. The fluffy pile traps air, creating a layer of insulation that helps keep the body warm in cold temperatures.
- Softness: Sherpa fleece is soft to the touch, making it comfortable to wear against the skin. The soft texture contributes to its popularity for clothing items like jackets, hoodies and blankets.
- Thickness: Sherpa fleece is usually thicker than standard fleece, making it well-suited for cold weather conditions. The thickness adds to its insulation properties.
- Durability: While it has a plush appearance, sherpa fleece is generally durable and can withstand regular wear and washing.
- Versatility: Sherpa fleece is used in a wide range of products, including jackets, vests, blankets, throws, slippers, hats and other winter accessories.
Sherpa fleece is typically made from synthetic materials like polyester, although there are also natural variations made from cotton. It has become a popular choice for individuals seeking warmth and comfort in their outdoor clothing, especially during colder months.
How to Choose the Right Fleece Jacket
Choosing the perfect fleece jacket involves considering a few key factors, like your intended use, warmth needs, fit and special features.
Consider Intended Use
Think about when and where you plan to wear your fleece jacket to help guide your selection:
- For highly aerobic outdoor activities like hiking, running, snowboarding or cross-country skiing, look for a lightweight or midweight fleece under 200 gsm. You want excellent breathability and sweat-wicking performance. Athletic cut jackets allow a free range of motion. You can even opt for a Sherpa lined shirt jacket that's lighter to wear but still provides long sleeve protection.
- For everyday around-town wear over a tee or blouse, a stylish lightweight fleece under 200 gsm works well for cool weather walks, errands and casual use. Look for updated colors and patterns with a flattering slim or regular fit.
- In frigid climates where you'll wear your fleece layered under a winter coat, choose heavyweight fleece over 300 gsm. Thick Sherpa and wool-blend fleeces provide superior insulation when you'll be mostly sedentary. Pick roomier fits that accommodate layers.
- For wear around the house while lounging and relaxing, again opt for a plush heavyweight fleece over 300 gsm. Focus on softness and coziness instead of mobility. Sherpa textures and shawl collars add comfy cabin appeal.
Evaluate Warmth and Weight
Assess the warmth you need for your climate and activities. Check the fleece weight and fabric thickness:
- Ultralight fleeces under 150 gsm work best for high-exertion activities in milder weather. They hardly add any weight yet provide a breathable insulating layer.
- Lightweight 150-200 gsm fleeces are versatile for 3-season wear. They make great transitional jackets and nimble mid-layers for snow sports.
- Midweight 200-300 gsm fleece offers the best balance of warmth, breathability and comfort for most cold weather needs. It's a sweet spot for insulation.
- Heavyweights over 300 gsm provide maximum warmth for frigid conditions and sedentary use. But note that they sacrifice packability and breathability.
Consider Fit and Length
- Relaxed regular fit fleeces allow layering bulky sweaters or sweatshirts underneath for casual wear.
- Athletic slim-fit jackets won't impede your movement during active pursuits. They also cut the wind better when worn alone.
- Cropped lengths ending at the waist are ideal for high-output activities. They prevent overheating while still covering your core.
- Hip-length jackets offer more coverage for all-day wear. The extra length keeps your waist and hips warmer. Try on different fits and lengths to test mobility and coverage when possible.
Assess Special Features
Determine if you need any specialized features for your particular fleece uses:
- Hoods are great for added warmth and weather protection. Look for adjustable fits.
- Zippered pockets securely hold small items while moving.
- Thumb loops prevent sleeves from riding up and cover wrist gaps.
- Zipper guards prevent chin irritation from zippers.
- Hem cinch cords adjust fit and seal out drafts.
- Softshell panels add breathability and stretch in targeted areas.
- 3-in-1 designs allow layering a waterproof shell over a fleece for versatile performance.
You can zero in on the ideal fleece jacket by considering your specific needs, climate and uses. Test out the fit and feel if possible before purchasing.
Popular Uses for Sherpa Fleece Jackets
As you can see, fleece and Sherpa fleece jackets are versatile and can be used for various purposes. Here are some of the most common:
- Casual Wear: Sherpa fleece jackets are perfect for everyday casual wear. They provide warmth and comfort, making them ideal for running errands, grabbing coffee or lounging around.
- Outdoor Adventures: Sherpa fleece jackets are excellent for outdoor activities like hiking, camping and nature walks. They provide insulation to keep you warm during chilly mornings or evenings in the great outdoors.
- Layering: Sherpa fleece jackets make great mid-layers under heavier coats or waterproof shells. They add an extra layer of warmth without being too bulky, making them versatile for varying weather conditions.
- Travel: Sherpa fleece jackets are lightweight and packable, making them convenient for travel. Whether you're hopping on a plane or going on a road trip, a Sherpa fleece can provide comfort during transit and act as a warm layer at your destination.
- Fall and Spring Seasons: Sherpa fleece jackets are well-suited for transitional seasons like fall and spring, when the weather can be unpredictable. They provide the right amount of warmth to keep you comfortable during cool mornings and evenings.
- Campfires and Bonfires: Whether you're camping or enjoying a backyard bonfire, a Sherpa fleece jacket can keep you warm and cozy as you gather around the fire.
- Colder Indoor Settings: Sherpa fleece jackets are great for environments with inconsistent heating or air conditioning. They can be worn indoors to stay warm without bundling up in heavy clothing.
- Outdoor Sporting Events: Attending outdoor sports events or cheering from the sidelines can get chilly, especially in colder months. A Sherpa fleece jacket can provide the warmth you need to enjoy the game.
- Casual Work Attire: In workplaces with a casual dress code, a Sherpa fleece jacket can be a comfortable and stylish addition to your outfit during colder days.
- Relaxation: Sometimes, the best use for a Sherpa fleece jacket is simply to relax at home, read a book, watch movies or enjoy a cup of tea wrapped in warmth.
Remember, Sherpa fleece jackets come in various styles, lengths and colors, so you can choose one that matches your style and preferences. They offer a blend of comfort and functionality, making them a popular choice for various activities and occasions.
Additional Fleece Gear for Winter
Fleece is a versatile and warm material, and it's used in a variety of essential winter gear beyond just jackets. Here are some other fleece winter items you should grab before the cold weather hits:
- Fleece Sweaters: Fleece sweaters are a cozy and stylish option for staying warm in colder weather. They come in various styles, from pullovers to zip-ups, and can be worn as outerwear or mid-layers.
- Fleece Hoodies: Fleece hoodies combine the comfort of a fleece garment with the added warmth and coverage of a hood. They're perfect for casual outings and relaxed outdoor activities.
- Fleece Pants: Fleece-lined or fleece-backed pants provide insulation for your legs during colder months. These can be regular pants with a fleece lining or even thicker fleece-lined leggings for added warmth.
- Fleece Scarves and Neck Gaiters: Fleece scarves and neck gaiters help keep your neck and face warm and protected from chilly winds. They're handy for outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding or hiking.
- Fleece Gloves and Mittens: Fleece gloves and mittens provide insulation for your hands while allowing dexterity for various tasks. They're often used as inner liners for heavier waterproof gloves.
- Fleece Hats: Fleece hats, often known as beanies, are designed to keep your head warm. They're lightweight, breathable and fit snugly, perfect for outdoor activities or everyday wear.
- Fleece Socks: Fleece-lined or fleece-blend socks offer extra warmth and comfort for your feet during the winter. They're great for wearing inside winter boots or around the house.
- Fleece Blankets and Throws: Fleece blankets and throws are perfect for snuggling indoors during cold winter nights. They're soft, lightweight and provide warmth without feeling too heavy.
- Fleece Headbands and Ear Warmers: Fleece headbands and ear warmers cover your ears and forehead to keep you warm while allowing your hair to remain free. They're suitable for running, walking or any outdoor activity where you want to keep your ears warm without wearing a full hat.
- Fleece-Lined Jackets and Coats: Apart from standalone fleece jackets, you can find winter coats and jackets with fleece linings in strategic areas, such as the collar or body lining, to provide extra insulation.
Fleece is valued for its warmth, softness and moisture-wicking properties, making it an excellent choice for a wide range of winter gear. Whether you're enjoying outdoor adventures or seeking cozy comfort indoors, fleece items can help you stay warm and stylish throughout the colder months.
At Stio, we believe in the transformative power of the outdoors. Our passion for adventure, nature's beauty and the thrill of exploration led us to create a brand that embodies the spirit of outdoor living. We're more than just a clothing company; we're a community of adventurers, environmental stewards and outdoor enthusiasts committed to sharing our love for the wild places that inspire us.
Founded in 2011, Stio was born from a simple yet powerful idea: to create high-quality outdoor apparel that seamlessly combines style, function and sustainability. Our journey started in the heart of the mountains, where we drew inspiration from the rugged landscapes and untamed wilderness surrounding us. Every product we craft reflects this inspiration and a testament to our commitment to authenticity and innovation.
- Adventure: We are adventurers at heart, constantly seeking new challenges, experiences and ways to connect with the natural world. Our apparel empowers you to embrace the unknown and embark on your next great adventure.
- Quality: We believe that outdoor apparel should be as resilient as the landscapes it's designed for. That's why we obsess over the details, from the choice of materials to the construction techniques, to ensure our products stand up to the rigors of outdoor life.
- Style: Nature is our muse, and style is our canvas. Our designs blend functionality with modern aesthetics, allowing you to transition seamlessly from the trail to the city streets without compromising form or function.
- Sustainability: Preserving the places we love is a responsibility we take seriously. We're committed to minimizing our environmental footprint by using sustainable materials, ethical manufacturing processes and giving back to the communities and environments that inspire us.
Stio isn't just a brand; it's a community united by a shared passion for the outdoors. We're hikers, climbers, skiers, bikers and explorers of all kinds. Our apparel is tested and trusted by athletes and adventurers who push the limits and redefine what's possible. Together, we celebrate the moments of triumph and the simple joys that nature brings into our lives.
Whether you're conquering a peak, embarking on a weekend camping trip or enjoying a walk in the woods, Stio is here to equip you for your journey. Shop our women's fleece clothing today to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the warmest women's fleece jacket for winter?
For maximum warmth, look for a heavyweight Sherpa fleece over 300 gsm. Wool fleece blended with nylon or polyester is another excellent insulator. Features like thumb loops, zipper guards, high collars and extended lengths will also help keep you toasty.
Is fleece waterproof?
Most standard fleece jackets absorb moisture rather than repel it. Exceptions are windproof or water-resistant coated fleeces designed for wet conditions. Layer an outer waterproof rain jacket or shell over a fleece-insulating layer for heavy rain and snow.
Should fleece jackets be tight or loose?
A roomier regular-fit fleece allows layering over bulky sweaters or sweatshirts for casual around-town wear. For outdoor activities, choose a slim athletic fit for better mobility and wind resistance with just a single base layer underneath.
How do you wash fleece jackets?
Check label instructions, as methods vary by fleece type. Most can be machine-washed warm and tumble-dried low. Use mild detergent, wash dark colors separately and avoid fabric softeners which can impair fleece's wicking properties. Resist over-washing, which hastens pilling.