For a versatile year-round layering piece that can also function as a standalone garment, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than a good fleece jacket. They’re built for the outdoors but won’t look out of place running errands, thrown on over gym clothes, or paired with cute yet casual pieces to meet friends. Choosing the best fleece jacket for you depends a lot on the weather you’re dressing for — you can find soft pieces that are light enough for summer as well as heavyweight fleece jackets that will keep you feeling cozy on even the coldest days.
Fleece is divided into weight classes based on grams per square meter (GSM). Anything less than 100 GSM is considered super lightweight, while anything above 300 GSM is considered heavyweight fleece. If you’re looking for a good weight for a fleece midlayer, a 200-300 GSM pick is a smart choice, according to Trespass in the United Kingdom. It won’t be too hot under additional layers if the forecast is chilly, and can be worn on its own for more temperate days. Keep in mind that not all products have a specified GSM rating, so you might need to rely on reviews to find out just how warm some fleece can be.
A Note On The Care Of Fleece
Although fleece is a sturdy fabric, it needs special care to stay its warmest. Even warm water and low dryer heat can cause the synthetic fibers to fuse together and clump, which results in a nubbier fabric over time with less insulation. All of these jackets and layers are machine-washable, but make sure to air-dry your fleece to keep it in good condition.
Whichever weight you opt for, these six fleece jackets include everything from quarter-zips and hooded options to layers built for fashion in seasonal patterns and on-trend textures. They’re great for everything from weathering the outdoors to cozying up inside.
1. A Lightweight Fleece Jacket That's Great For Layering
A great lightweight fleece, this zippered jacket is whisper-weight with a solid construction that doesn’t skimp on details. The 100 GSM fleece is sewn with flat seams to prevent chafing, and a short stand collar blocks the wind without added weight. The zippered side seam pockets feature tonal pull tabs that make them easy to open. Shoppers reported that it washed well and air-dried quickly. "This is perfect, exactly what I wanted – a light weight fleece jacket! Great quality, love the fit, warm enough for fall days, thin enough to be layered under a coat," one fan raved.
- Available colors: 5
- Available sizes: X-Small – X-Large
2. A Midweight Fleece Jacket That Comes In So Many Colors
This bestselling 250 GSM midweight fleece jacket has racked up over 11,000 reviews from Amazon shoppers. It’s made from heavier fleece with a stand collar, elastic cuffs, and a drawstring hem for adjustable ventilation. In addition to two zippered side pockets to keep your hands warm, there’s also an interior pocket that’s big enough for a smartphone. One fan test drove theirs in Yellowstone National Park, and reported, "It was cold, snowy, and windy. I wore this fleece comfortably every day! Most of the time, the only thing I wore under it was a basic long sleeved thermal shirt, and that ended up being all I needed. During the coldest, windiest times, I layered with an additional thin, breathable jacket. I never got sweaty, but I also stayed plenty warm." It's available in petite and regular sizes and more than four dozen colors.
- Available colors: 45
- Available sizes: X-Small – 3X
3. A Heavyweight Full-Zip Fleece That's Extra Plush
This heavy-duty fleece jacket is made from thick 315 GSM raschel fleece, which is known for its deep pile and silky sheen. A curved back hem provides extra coverage without impeding movement, and the thick stand collar zips up to your chin to block even fierce winds. Subtle princess seams create shape through the box-cut body for a fit that leaves plenty of room for layers while still looking streamlined. Two zippered pockets plus convenient storage hidden on the inside hold everything you need to keep handy. "My dad bought me one of these coats a couple years ago and it has been my favorite coat ever since," one shopper shared, with this caveat: "My mom has been stealing it because she loves it so much." Score North Face's quarter zip version if you prefer a pullover style.
- Available colors: 25
- Available sizes: X-Small – 3X-Large
4. This Budget-Friendly Pullover Available In Cozy Prints
This fleece pullover comes in cute seasonal patterns and versatile solid shades for a fun and functional addition to your capsule wardrobe. It’s made from mid-weight polar fleece (though no GSM is listed) that reviewers say is ultra-soft on both sides. The stand collar’s zipper and has a tab for a smooth pull, and there are two zipper pockets to hold all of your essentials. "Soft and fleecy on both sides which is really nice. The length is great, it hits just above the hip which gives enough coverage but isn't too long," one reviewer noted, then came back with an update on the quality: "The first one has totally lived up to all my hopes. I ordered a second one that has been just as great!" You can also find it as a full-zip fleece jacket.
- Available colors: 18
- Available sizes: X-Small – XX-Large
5. A Water-Resistant, Hooded Fleece Jacket For Rainy Days
This hooded fleece jacket is made with a water-resistant outer layer that sheds moisture, and an ultra-shaggy fleece lining that keeps you warm and dry in light precipitation. It repels dirt so you can eke out a few more wears between washing, and the elbows are padded to protect against bumps and bruises. Although there's no GSM listed, Amazon shoppers swore it was absurdly warm. "I wore this for a day in Rocky Mountain National Park and it was perfect for the trip. At 40 degrees in the valley with a breeze, I was warm and comfortable. The coat didn't make me sweat even with the heat on in the car. When we went up in elevation to about 10,000 ft with wind and blowing snow, I stayed warm and dry," a reviewer testified. A stand collar with a hood provides extra coverage when you need it, and two side-zip pockets plus an inner pocket provide plenty of storage space for your essentials.
- Available colors: 5
- Available sizes: Small – XX-Large
6. This On-Trend Sherpa Pullover
If you’re looking for a cute and cozy layering piece and aren’t too concerned with outdoorsy features, this sherpa pullover combines ultra-plush faux sherpa with a chic moto-inspired zippered lapel. It's finished with a banded hem and sweatshirt-style cuffs to keep out drafts, plus two side pockets. Although this trendy pick doesn't specify any sort of GSM, one shopper confirmed it was soft, warm, and comfy cozy. "At first touch & wear, it was extremely cozy and within a few short minutes, you can feel the warmth set in. This would be perfect for the fall, mild winter, and early spring. Looks more expensive than what I paid for it."
- Available colors: 20
- Available sizes: Small – X-Large