5 Types of Winter Jackets To Wear in the Pacific Northwest

Post Summary: Best Types of Winter Jackets To Wear In The Pacific Northwest

Updated November 2021

Winter can be an unpredictable season, especially in the Pacific Northwest! If you are outside a lot like us, picking the right outer layer is an essential part of any adventure.

What you should wear on the Washington coast versus hiking in the Cascade Mountains is very different – there’s not a one-coat-fits-all scenario for all activities.

This is why we’re breaking down the essential winter coats and jackets to wear in the Pacific Northwest.

In this post, we’re going to share the best types of winter coats & jackets to wear in the Pacific Northwest our favorite places to explore for each, and product suggestions of course!

Five Winter Coats & Jackets To Wear in The PNW


1. The Puffer

Puffers are some of the best hiking jackets for cold weather. Usually down-filled, puffer coats can be packed into small spaces when not in use. However, don’t let their small size detract from their powerful ability to keep you warm!

Down consists of the lightweight feathers that come from ducks and geese. Packed together, these feathers create tiny air pockets, thus creating an effective barrier between you and the outside elements.

Pacific Northwest Winter Adventures With a Puffer Jacket:

Read More: How To Spend 24 Hours in Snowy Vancouver, Canada


Grab your gear and let's go! If you are like us and love to be outside, we've written this comprehensive post about the best winter coats & jackets to wear in the Pacific Northwest this season. We're covering everything from rain gear, parkas, to puffers, even utility jackets! TheMandagies.com

2. The Parka

Parkas can be recognized by their length (usually extending to the mid-thigh) and are meant for keeping their wearer warm in frigid temperatures. Nearly all parkas have a wind and water-resistant layer, keeping you warm in light rain and snowy conditions.

Pacific Northwest Winter Adventures With a Parka:

We would recommend wearing a parka when snowshoeing on Hurricane Ridge because the exposed trail can get very windy and cold!

Read Of More Parkas: What To Expect For A Sunrise Hike At Palouse Falls


Emily at God's Thumb Hike in Lincoln City

3. The Raincoat

A raincoat is an absolute STAPLE if you are planning to visit the Pacific Northwest, any time of year in any season. We recommend purchasing a waterproof shell like this one so that you can add warmer layers underneath as you see fit. It’s also an essential layer to include on any backpacking gear list!

If you are heading over to the Olympic Peninsula, we highly recommend packing a high-quality rain jacket to keep you dry in those temperate rainforests!

Pacific Northwest Winter Adventures With a Rain Jacket:

Read More: Our 20+ Favorite Raincoats For The PNW


4. The Jean Jacket

This one isn’t so much for warmth as is it for the style. A good winter jean jacket leaves room for layering a hoodie or sweater for extra coziness.

Bonus points if you can find a sherpa-collared one! A jean jacket is the perfect outer layer for chilling at Pacific Northwest cabins or running errands around town.

Pacific Northwest Winter Adventures With a Jean Jacket:

Read More: Morning Hike At Lake Wenatchee


Best Types of Winter Jackets To Wear In The Pacific Northwest

5. The Fleece Layer

While this may seem like simply just a winter layer, sometimes only a fleece is required in the Pacific Northwest winter! If you are spending time indoors with only brief moments outside (think something like this dreamy Oregon coast cabin!) a simple fleece is all you need.

Wearing a fleece jacket can also work on long hikes, so you can peel off layers down to your fleece as you warm up. You can also wear a fleece for setting up camp on the Washington coast or hiking up to Heather Lake in the morning.

Tip: For maximum mobility and ease of use, get a fleece with a full zipper!


*Bonus* The Utility Jacket

With several pockets, a utility jacket is the best choice for having all your gear within arm’s reach. This jacket is perfect for the outdoor photographer, gear lover, or someone who simply loves having their chapstick, phone, and keys all at their fingertips.

Layer it over a warm, fuzzy hoodie to give yourself an extra layer against the cold climate! We think this jacket is best used when exploring the coast like at Cape Kiwanda, Ruby Beach, or Cape Flattery.


What are some of your favorite types of winter jackets to wear during the winter? What are some of your favorite activities to do outside with them? Let us know in the comments below!

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