The 7 Best Fleece Vests

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When you need an easy layer, the best fleece vests add warmth without bulk and are comfortable enough to wear indoors. Although a classic, sporty mid-weight fleece is perhaps the most common, you’ll find everything from expedition-worthy pieces that will protect you from inclement weather to fashion-inspired fleece vests made for lounging.

Although you doubtless know the fuzzy material by sight, there are actually many different types of fleece. Microfleece is thinner with fuzzy nap on each side for light warmth, while polar fleece — as the name suggests — is denser with a cozy heft to it. Raschel fleece has distinctive long strands that look a bit like Mongolian lamb fur with a signature silky feel, and sherpa is equally soft with a nice fluff to it.

Fleece also comes in different weights, which you probably won’t care about in a fashion vest but might appreciate knowing if you’re picking something for the great outdoors. They typically fall in a range between 100 to 300 grams per square meter (GSM). Many vests seem to fall within the 200-250 range, which is considered midweight. Microfleece will typically hover around 200 grams or less, while heavy-duty insulated vests can top 300 grams.

Extra things to consider include whether you need additional features like a water-repellent finish, a windproof design, or extra length for added coverage (or coziness). You’ll find these mostly in name-brand vests that are designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind.

Of course, if you’re shopping for a cute fleece layer, none of that really matters. You want the softest thing imaginable that you can live in all week, and that washes up well. Wherever you wear them, whatever the weather, these seven cozy fleece vests are well worth bundling up in.

1. The Fleece Vest With A Cult Following

Columbia's Benton Springs vest is a best-selling fleece vest on Amazon with over 7,000 ratings. Rave reviews called it a "great vest for layering" and many reported that it "fits perfectly." Some shoppers confessed to owning multiple. Made from their proprietary 250-gram polyester fleece that's ultra-lightweight yet warm, it promises to resist pilling for years to stay looking new. It's cut close to the body with tailored princess seams, and hits the mid-hip with an adjustable drawstring hem and two zip pockets to keep hands warm and your phone safe. "A great insulation to weight ratio, don't shrink after being washed, have held up to the use and abuse of a chronically careless adventurewoman and at a fraction of the cost," one reviewer raved.

  • Available colors: 25
  • Available sizes: X-Small – 3X (including petite sizes)

2. This Zip-Front Sherpa Vest For Cozy Days

If you want a cute fleece vest that’s super-soft, look no further. This one is made from plush sherpa and fully lined in an additional layer of fleece. Contrast piping adds definition, and two deep pockets zip securely shut. You'll find the vest in neutral hues as well as buffalo plaid and even leopard print. "Pros: Cute, super comfortable and soft, fit well. Cons: Dog thinks I am an actual plush toy when I wear it," one shopper (and their pup) raved. The brand does recommend sizing up if you prefer a looser fit. You'll want to wash this piece in cold water and line dry it to keep it looking like new.

  • Available colors: 16
  • Available sizes: Small – XX-Large

3. This Budget-Friendly Patagonia Alternative

This casual vest features a sweater knit finish with a brushed fleece interior and contrast piping, making it an affordable alternative to Patagonia for approximately half the price. While no GSM is provided, it's a lightweight option that reviewers reported is comfy and warm. A dedicated wind flap under the zipper ensures drafts won't sneak in and provides a soft layer of protection between your skin and the zip. Two secure handwarmer pockets help keep track of valuables, and there's even more storage hidden inside. In 100% polyester, it's machine washable (which it does very well). "Perfection!" one shopper declared. "It is very well made of quality materials, and launders beautifully. Not included in the description are two substantial interior pockets, great for cell phone, wallet, keys, whatever. And it is very reasonably priced. I bought two."

  • Available colors: 4
  • Available sizes: X-Small – 3X-Large

4. A Polar Fleece Vest That Comes In The Best Colors & Patterns

The Amazon Essentials polar fleece vest comes in so many patterns and colors that it's impossible to overlook. Tiger print? Check. Camouflage? Check. Neon-Trimmed? Oh, yes. Although a specific GSM weight isn't indicated, shoppers compared it favorably to a Columbia vest, so it probably hovers around 200 to 250 gram mark. The zipper has a pull tab so it's easy to find, plus the shoulders are elasticized so you have a good range of motion, and those two slant pockets on the front are perfectly positioned for your hands. "It’s ridiculous how much I have worn these vests since I purchased them, like pretty much every day," one fan admitted. "I love everything about them. I love the inside and outside pockets, the comfy fabric, and how the fabric keeps my torso nice and cozy-warm in the cool Pacific NW."

  • Available colors: 25
  • Available sizes: X-Small – XX-Large

5. An Ultra-Warm Insulated Fleece Vest That Sheds Water

This insulated fleece vest from The North Face combines a windproof synthetic shell with ultra-thick and dense 225-gram raschel fleece. Sandwiched between those layers is 80 grams of the brand's proprietary synthetic insulation, bumping the total weight to a toasty 305 grams. It's all treated with a proprietary finish to repel water so your core stays warm and dry even in inclement weather. There are two covered zip pockets on the front, and it's fully reversible. For a budget-friendly water-resistant option that's not quite as heavy, you might also consider this windproof microfleece vest.

  • Available colors: 6
  • Available sizes: X-Small – 2X

6. A Plus-Size Fleece Vest That's Great For Layering

A lightweight micro-fleece vest that's super layerable, this piece by Woman Within is cut with extra length to hit at the low hip and works well with leggings or your go-to denim. It's finished with piping on the seams and two slant pockets, plus a tabbed zipper. "The fabric is luscious — very soft and yummy, you'd almost want to snuggle with it [...]," a reviewer praised. Many shoppers also found the cut ideal for layering, with one raving: "This vest is amazing! It’s soft, washes well, color is spot on and the arm holes are cut just right. I have four colors and plan on getting a few more. The vest is warm and fits perfectly over a shirt or under a jacket. You simply can’t go wrong!"

  • Available colors: 17
  • Available sizes: Medium Plus – 6X Plus

7. A Stylish Open-Front Sherpa Vest That Feels Like A Wearable Blanket

Soft as a bathrobe and just as comforting, yet still stylish enough to wear anywhere, this sherpa vest will become a new go-to. The long open-front vest falls past the hips, with two generously oversized patch pockets and a relaxed cut. It was practically made for leggings but it's also surprisingly easy to dress up with a pair of boots and a statement necklace. "Soft vest, nice long length. You can dress it up or down - very versatile." a fan observed. But if you're more interested in this piece as a lounge or WFH item, it delivers there too. "Really adds a layer of warmth...Works well over pajamas too," another shopper reported.

  • Available colors: 6
  • Available sizes: Small – XX-Large

Also Nice: A Fleece Pullover That's Just As Easy To Layer

The fleece quarter-zip pullover, much like a vest, works as part of a layering system or it can be worn as toasty outerwear in its own right. The midweight fleece is deceptively heavy and warm (though no GSM weight is provided), and reviewers report it washes up well. Two covered zip pockets lie flat across the front and thin elastic cuffs hit just at the wrist. Reviewers reported they were pleasantly surprised with the qualty. "This fleece exceeded my expectations," one reviewer leveled. "Fits perfectly with room for a base layer or thin shirt underneath...The fleece is thick and warm, zippers are good quality, generous pockets for phone and other items...Liked it so much I ordered another in navy."

  • Available colors: 25
  • Available sizes: X-Small – XX-Large