Fall is objectively the most fashionable season. Cold, brisk mornings force us to wrap up in a smooth outer layer, breezy afternoons can use some windproofing, and walking home after the show at midnight can get quite nippy – but winter’s not here just yet.

You can still get away with one or two layers and a beanie, depending on the quality of your gear. Everything in your closet is in play from September until December, especially if you’ve got a great coat to throw on top. Autumnal jackets serve as your membrane, stopping chilly breezes and sealing off your look.

The best jacket for fall won’t stuff in an absorbent amount of down or thermal exoskeletons. They’ll stay loose and relaxed, providing enough extra fabric for you to zip up and block off the wind and enough breathability to catch the bus without breaking a sweat.

It’s a magnificently slim line to walk. Plenty of crappy coats will leave you freezing on the cool days and dripping on the hot ones. Don’t buy crappy coats. Invest in the BEST jacket for autumn and stay warm while staying cool for decades.

Girl in a big coat walking through the park surrounded by autumn leaves.
We’re talking good layering practices!
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

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    These Are The Best Jackets For Fall


    Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody

    • Main Material > Recycled polyester
    • Warmth Rating > 3
    • Price ($) > 264

    Houdini Fall in Insulated Jacket

    • Main Material > Recycled polyester
    • Warmth Rating > 5
    • Price ($) > 650

    Patagonia Granite Crest Rain Jacket

    • Main Material > Recycled ripstop nylon
    • Warmth Rating > 2
    • Price ($) > 307

    Cotopaxi Teca Calido Insulated Jacket

    • Main Material > Recycled polyester
    • Warmth Rating > 2
    • Price ($) > 150

    REI Rainer Jacket

    • Main Material > Recycled ripstop nylon
    • Warmth Rating > 2
    • Price ($) > 99

    Arcteryx Atom LT Insulated Hoodie

    • Main Material > Tyono 20-D nylon
    • Warmth Rating > 5
    • Price ($) > 300

    Fjällräven High Coast Wind Jacket

    • Main Material > Recycled polyamide
    • Warmth Rating > 4
    • Price ($) > 185

    Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket

    • Main Material > Quantum brushed nylon
    • Warmth Rating > 5
    • Price ($) > 409

    Patagonia DAS light Hoody

    • Main Material > Pertex Quantum Pro ripstop nylon
    • Warmth Rating > 5
    • Price ($) > 350

    North Face Warm Storm Jacket

    • Main Material > Polyester
    • Warmth Rating > 4
    • Price ($) > 100

    What To Look For In Autumn Jackets

    Autumnal jackets need to be prepared for anything. The season is changing. It will be 25 and sunny one day, nine and rainy the next. Your morning could start with snow flurries and end with warm breezes. Who knows what’s going to happen? Not me, and certainly not the weatherman. 

    With the right Autumn jacket, you shouldn’t even have to worry about the weather before kicking off your adventure trip. Look for your coat to be light, weather-resistant that fits you perfectly for your particular commute.

    Once you have a list of jackets that accomplish those three things, rely on special features, sustainability details, and warranty information to help you decide on the one. 

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    The Best Jackets For Autumn

    patagonia jackets
    The Patagonia Nano Puff

    Peruvian deserts are filled with jackets that failed to complete the assignment. Millions of jackets talk the talk, but their zippers will snag and their “waterproofing” will leak before the day really gets rolling.

    Along our travels, we’ve seen a whole lot of beautiful places, and we’ve seen mountains and mountains of poor-quality goods that wind up in landfills. 

    Enough is enough. We sat down with our spec sheet and material requirements to select the best jacket brands that are ideal for the autumn season. Then, our international team of testers took them to the streets, into the jungle, and toward the mountaintop. These are the results of our search. 

    1. Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody

    Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody
    • Main Material – Recycled polyester
    • Best Use – Bouldering after the snakes are hibernating
    • Warmth Rating – 3
    • Price ($) – 264

    Ranking just behind pumpkin spice lattes and college football Saturdays, the first day cool enough to break out your Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket has long been an iconic sign of Fall. Cynics and critics might think this jacket skirts Patagonia’s reputation, but the warmth-to-weight ratio of the Nano Puff is mind-melting. 

    The lightweight jacket condenses into its own carrying case and inflates like a pufferfish to keep you warm while you waltz amongst the falling leaves. The coat sneaks in two zippered, hand-warming pockets and a nice set of elastic around the hood to help you further lock in the warmth, and the puff takes care of the rest. 

    While it’s easily the best jacket for Fall, my Nano Puff Hoody takes me much deeper than December. This coat also serves as my go-to mid-layer for the coldest days of the year, sandwiched between a heavy-duty coat and a Merino base.

    The cherry on top is this jacket’s extraordinary sustainability score. Patagonia packed recycled primaloft fill inside of recycled polyester to prove a great jacket doesn’t have to harm the earth. 

    Btw, this is not the last you’ll be hearing about Patagonia’s exceptional jackets, keep scrolling to learn more.

    • Patagonia is the safest bet for Autumn
    • Quilting pattern helps maximise warmth
    • The jacket stays warm when wet
    • Amazing warmth-to-weight ratio, but it has a less great warmth-to-price ratio
    • Not waterproof enough to get you through a rainshower
    • Feels a bit spaceage to wear with some outfits

    2. Houdini Fall in Insulated Jacket

    Houdini Fall in Insulated Jacket
    • Main Material – Recycled polyester
    • Best Use – Ski trips
    • Warmth Rating – 5
    • Price ($) – 650

    We don’t fall in line around here. We stand out. But that didn’t stop us from falling in love with the Fall In’s insulated slice of heaven.

    This jacket from Houdini is one of the warmest coats we’ll cover today, packing in some serious heat while staying light enough for early October.

    The Fall In parka is a winter sports specialist first, meant to fit on top of other pieces, which makes it an ideal ski jacket. Wrap it up over a hoodie, a flannel, or homemade popcorn you intend to sneak into the theater.

    Further confirming its outer layer status is its impressive weather resistance. Between a storm hood and a two-layer hardshell, this fall outer layer beast will keep you warm and dry through all sorts of surprises. 

    Houdini slipped some summer on the inside to finish off their padded parka. The jacket’s insulation comes from recycled Primaloft, which really cranks out the heat. The Houdini was a great addition to my backpacking kit, keeping me warm through long lift rides and staying out of the way on descents. 

    • ¾ length brings great energy
    • Four external pockets and two internal
    • Takes sustainability seriously
    • Expensive and hard to find
    • A bit intense for September
    • Hand pockets are outside the insulation

    3. Patagonia Granite Crest Rain Jacket

    Patagonia Granite Crest Rain Jacket
    • Main Material – Recycled ripstop nylon
    • Best Use – Running through a cold rain
    • Warmth Rating – 2
    • Price ($) – 307

    Patagonia successfully converted recycled fishing nets into a beautiful all-rounder. Slightly looser and packing more zip than the brand’s flagship rainproof Torrentshell, this fall-worthy rain jacket is ultra-versatile.

    Featuring pit zips and a chest pocket, it’s perfect for that time of year when you never know what the weather will bring. Bundle securely with a zipper that locks up to your chin and beats back any nasty wind the early morning brings.

    While it’s not as rainproof as other Patagonia rain jackets, it will still keep you dry through a deluge. Various cinches, drawstring cords, and velcro endpoints help you further adjust your cocoon. 

    Once the weather clears, the free and loose recycled material won’t leave you feeling that clammy humidity that other rain jackets succumb to. My favorite part about this jacket is the hood. When things start to get nasty, I can tighten up the coat to protect everywhere underneath my nose and above my eyebrows. 

    If you’re looking for a super lightweight jacket with some water and wind resistance, check out the Patagonia Houdini Jacket instead or the Arc’teryx Demlo Hooded Jacket if you want a different brand.

    • Incredible combination of high-tech features and sustainable materials
    • Packs down into its own pocket that doubles as a carrying case
    • Helmet-ready hood has its own little visor
    • $100 more than Patagonia’s other lightweight raincoats
    • Not warm enough to wear in the snow
    • Hood and hems can run slightly large

    4. Cotopaxi Teca Calido Insulated Jacket

    Cotopaxi Teca Calido Insulated Jacket
    • Main Material – Recycled polyester
    • Best Use – Walking to the coffee shop
    • Warmth Rating – 2
    • Price ($) – 150

    Cotopaxi has fun while making their jackets. Their Teca Calido coat is an excellent example, full of clutch features and beautiful color schemes.

    In a world of monotone raincoats, this jacket stands out without feeling like too much. It features a block-style colorway with different shades on your forearms, abs, liver, and chest regions. Each color comes together to paint a picture, like the forest floor after a few months of falling leaves.

    Beyond the great looks, the Teca Calido is an outdoor brand with a mission. Under the banner of “Gear for Good“, the brand promises to make durable gear with a commitment to ethics and eco-conscious practices.

    That’s how you bring great value, right? You might not notice it at first glance, but this insulated beauty is the same puffy-style jacket that each company is taking a crack at. It delivers maximum warmth at minimum weight

    This option doesn’t quite pack the same tech specs as some of the other ones we’ve looked at. I didn’t find it to feel as warm, windproof, or water-resistant as the Patagonia options above. But not every jacket is designed for snowstorms.

    This slick beast made out of wholly repurposed materials from the factory floor, is enough coat to get you through fall in style. 

    • Reversible, with a flashy colorway on one side and monotone on the other
    • Great zippered chest pocket doubles as a stuff pocket for the whole jacket
    • Incredibly sustainably sourced materials
    • More for style than function
    • For an insulated jacket, we would expect a bit more warmth
    • Not many options to increase breathability

    5. REI Rainer Jacket

    REI Rainer Jacket
    • Main Material – Recycled ripstop nylon
    • Best Use – Hiking Mt. Rainer
    • Warmth Rating – 2
    • Price ($) – 99

    I don’t trust a lot of rain jackets under 100$. There is a time and a place to go cheap, but you’ve got to pay to stay dry. Or, you can opt for REI’s Rainer. I mean, REI is one of the best outdoor brands, so you’ll surely find the right one for you.

    The laminate jacket packs tons of premium features into a two-digit price point to make the great outdoors more accessible than ever. 

    The 2.5-layer coat doesn’t work on either extreme as well as some major players. You won’t find the same stormproofing weather resistance or intense breathability as the jackets at the top of the class. Still, this coat has enough protection to get you from your house to work or school in the morning. It can also dabble in surprise showers while waltzing in the woods. 

    Another thing that makes the Rainer worthy of our list is its unique neckline. Many budget coats rehash the same old design, but not this one. The Rainer has a turtleneck-esque zipper that keeps the hood down and your neck warm. Clutch details like that one thoroughly impress, and the budget price tag makes it an easy choice. 

    Be sure to grab a REI membership card to take advantage of their great deals.

    • Comes with an amazing return policy
    • Still packs pit zips and a stowable pocket
    • Hood stows away when you don’t need it
    • Sticks to your skin in hot/dry weather
    • Not as waterproof as some other rain jackets on our list
    • Jacket does not move well with your body
    The best present of all… is CONVENIENCE!

    Now, you could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

    So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card! REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

    Buy on REI!

    6. Arcteryx Atom LT Insulated Hoodie

    Arcteryx Atom Insulated Hoodie
    • Main Material – Tyono 20-D nylon
    • Best Use – Not letting any cold weather stop you
    • Warmth Rating – 5
    • Price ($) – 300

    Arcteryx makes the best jackets for all seasons, and the Atom is no exception. This insulated hoodie will work as a standalone jacket until the coldest days of winter when it thrives as a powerful mid-layer. It looks, fits, and protects as if a Nanopuff hoody and a raincoat had a child.

    The jacket boasts exceptional warmth, making it reliable winter outerwear when the mercury starts to dip. While it’s not entirely waterproof, it does an excellent job at repelling light rain and snow, keeping you comfortable and dry in most autumn conditions. The monotone scheme and fit at all corners make this jacket pop without any flashy colors.

    Greatness is found in the details, and Arcteryx brings plenty home to you.

    From cinched corners to an elastically hemmed hood that snugly fits around your face, this jacket is all about providing the perfect fit and protection. Whether hiking through the colorful autumn foliage or strolling through town, you’ll feel cozy in your gusseted underarms. 

    • Relatively affordable for an Arc’teryx
    • Relatively inexpensive for an Arc’teryx
    • Warmth and protection without compromising on style
    • Not enough waterproofing to wear as an outer layer in the rain or snow
    • Relatively affordable for an Arc’teryx
    • Don’t call it a hoodie if there’s a full zipper

    7. Fjällräven High Coast Wind Jacket

    Fjallraven High Coast Wind Jacket
    • Main Material – Recycled polyamide
    • Best Use – Dayhikes and Friday night lights
    • Warmth Rating – 4
    • Price ($) – 185

    We’ve looked at many jackets today that sit somewhere on a line from style to performance. If there were ever a jacket that sits exactly in the middle of those two extremes, it would be this one.

    High Coast Wind blocks the weather in three different earthtone colors with a hood that can zip up tightly and give a look that keeps the wind and the haters out of your way. 

    The jacket is relatively simple – there’s nothing on here that’s reinventing Autumn. Instead of putting brainpower into new concepts, Fjällräven filled their coat with thoughtful details.

    There are excellent adjustments to make on the hood, zippers across the hand pocket, and a wee storm flap outside the zipper to help block some more wind. 

    With its handy features and classic look, this jacket is suitable for both city streets and outdoor adventures, although I wouldn’t trust it in gnarly conditions. It’s exactly what you need for an epic hike when a late November game day creeps into a chilly overtime. 

    • Cuffs and hems seal the jacket to your body
    • As amphibious as any jacket out there
    • Dries quickly
    • Kind of ugly for a Fjall Raven… Put a fox on the chest!
    • Not as waterproof as it looks
    • Gets quite wrinkly after getting stuffed into a backpack

    8. Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket

    Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket
    • Main Material – Quantum brushed nylon
    • Best Use – Supporting small businesses
    • Warmth Rating – 5
    • Price ($) – 409

    The Feathered Friends name holds a different weight than some other brands we’ve looked at today, especially considering their jacket’s price point. Investing in a $400 Arc’teryx is one thing, but $400 from a brand you might not know about feels a bit more risky. In this case, this risk pays off. 

    While the big names have their hands in everything, Feathered Friends are down specialists. They’ve been handmaking their coats in Seattle for over 50 years.

    Their jackets have made it to countless mountaintops. It’s constantly stitched without bells or whistles but with maximum attention to sustainability and details. 

    The EOS jacket has been along for the ride for years now, constantly receiving upgrades and improvements along the way. Known as an ultralight killer, 34% of the jacket’s total weight is its toasty down-fill. It’s a seriously warm jacket that stays light, powered by a family-owned business that does things correctly. 

    • Made in North America
    • Slimftting for a puffy jacket, especially one this warm
    • Slim fitting for a puffy jacket, especially one this warm
    • Advertised towards casual hikers with an intense price tag
    • Hood has less down warmth than other parts of the jacket

    9. Patagonia DAS light Hoody

    Patagonia DAS light Hoody
    • Main Material – Pertex Quantum Pro ripstop nylon
    • Best Use – Late fall climbing
    • Warmth Rating – 5
    • Price ($) – 350

    Patagonia’s DAS hoody has been an essential part of its alpine selection for years, but its heavyweight and bulky build was holding it back to winter use only. The iconic brand with the purple mountains rectified that with the DAS light option. It helps you break out your hoody earlier in the year and wear it longer. 

    The key to the DAS light is Patagonia’s micropuff synthetics, which dry faster and hold up better overall in wetter conditions. It also has a similar warmth-to-weight ratio to feathers plucked off geese, providing a better overall solution than most traditional down. The DAS brings an 800-fill Plumafill synthetic feel to create a better way to get outside. 

    The DAS is a burlier and more robust approach than the Micropuff hoodies we looked at earlier. The jacket is more durable, warmer, and more oversized than Micro Puff at the slight cost of a few extra ounces, making it an excellent choice for winter as well.

    Most breezy fall mornings won’t notice the difference, but if you’re planning on spending significant time outside this fall, splurge for the additional protection of this extreme hoody. 

    • 2-way zipper opens up from the bottom and top
    • Zips up above your nose, and the hood cinches down to your eyebrows
    • Great weather-resistance, but still not waterproof
    • Less breathable than most other fall hoodies
    • A bit extreme for most fall days

    10. North Face Warm Storm Jacket

    North Face Warm Storm Jacket
    • Main Material – Polyester
    • Best Use – Getting to school in the rain
    • Warmth Rating – 4
    • Price ($) – 100

    From fits, water-resistibility, and technical materials, there’s a lot to learn about the NF.

    After a sunny morning, you can sit out on your porch as rain rolls in and sends the leaves tumbling down to the ground. And you can do it wrapped up in a cozy, warm storm jacket from North Face. 

    Like an Ice cream paint job, the warm storm jacket has fleece on the inside and stays clean on the outside, thanks to a solid waterproof layer.

    North Face field out the edges with seam seals and a rain flap around the center zipper that helps protect your core from serious showers. Underneath the water resistance are two layers of synthetic fleece that bring the heat. 

    Warm Strom is one of Autumn’s essential outdoor gear. It’s perfect for the kids to spend freezing fall mornings waiting to get on unheated, uninsulated school buses. The oversized fit wraps easily over hoodies and base layers, and your kids can even wear it over their backpacks to keep their homework dry. 

    • Both handwarmer pockets are zipped
    • Fleece runs all the way through the hood
    • Heatseeker insulation is sourced from recycled materials
    • The jacket is more ready to conquer Nordstrom than a North face
    • Only available in children’s sizes
    • Contains recycled polyester, but also plenty of unrecycled polyester

    11. Black Diamond Coefficient LT Hybrid Hoody

    • Main Material – Primaloft insulated
    • Best Use – Climbing and mountaineering
    • Warmth Rating – 8
    • Price ($) – 180

    Designed with rigorous activities in mind like rock climbing, mountaineering, biking and scrambling, the Coefficient LT Hybrid Hoody is the perfect accompaniment. This super lightweight fleece will keep you warm on any adventure you can throw at it.

    Its design is created with movement in mind. A woven Primaloft insulated front panel provides warmth against the elements. Combined with the Polartec Power Grid gridded interior it offers superior wicking performance and breathability. Not only that but the stretchy material of the arms and back allow the wearer true freedom of movement.

    Other important features for outdoor activities and sports include a hood made specifically to go underneath a helmet, thumb loops to protect the hands and ensure the arms don’t roll down and a zippered front pocket for your trail mix.

    • Thumb loops
    • Chest Pocket
    • Gusseted underarm for mobility
    • The jacket is more specialised for mountaineering
    • More expensive than other fleeces
    Best Jacket For Autumn – Fall
    NameMain MaterialBest UseWarmth RatingPrice ($)
    Patagonia Nano Puff HoodyRecycled polyesterBouldering after the snakes are hibernating3264
    Houdini Fall in Insulated JacketRecycled polyesterSki trips5650
    Patagonia Granite Crest Rain JacketRecycled ripstop nylonRunning through a cold rain2307
    Cotopaxi Teca Calido Insulated JacketRecycled polyesterWalking to the coffee shop2150
    REI Rainer JacketRecycled ripstop nylonHiking Mt. Rainer2 99
    Arcteryx Atom LT Insulated HoodieTyono 20-D nylonNot letting any cold weather stop you5300
    Fjällräven High Coast Wind JacketRecycled polyamideDayhikes and Friday night lights4185
    Feathered Friends Eos Down JacketQuantum brushed nylonSupporting small businesses5409
    Patagonia DAS light HoodyPertex Quantum Pro ripstop nylonLate fall climbing5350
    North Face Warm Storm JacketPolyesterGetting to school in the rain4100

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      Final Thoughts On The Best Jackets For Fall

      The best jackets for fall have rugged shoes to fill. They have to be prepared for everything without leaning too heavily anywhere. Pump your jacket full of too much insulation, and you’ll be warm and clammy once the sun comes out. Leave your jacket too thin, and you’ll have to keep it in the closet by the end of October.

      Besides striking a great balance between warmth and breathability, fall jackets must also decide what weather they want to handle. Not every jacket needs three layers of gore-text and H2No technology. But if you spend enough time outside, you’re going to need more than a windbreaker. 

      I like to invest in one impenetrable rain jacket for my hikes so I can fill out my closet with other pieces that don’t create an impenetrable wall. This brings me to the final key point on the best jackets for fall: There is no such thing as one jacket that’s better than everything else.

      As you saw from the jackets on our list, instead of trying to outperform everyone everywhere, each one of these jackets fills a niche that other coats can’t offer. You simply can’t create a jacket that offers superior flexibility, breathability, waterproofing, warmth, wind resistance, and style compared to anything else. 

      So, the best jacket for fall is actually a combination platter of a few high-quality pieces built for different scenarios: one for everyday wear, one weatherproof, and one for extreme sports. 

      But we are broke backpackers, after all. While we all wish we could have a closet full of Patagonia’s and Arc’teryx, you likely only have the budget for one or two major jacket investments in a year. Consistently invest in jackets built to last, and slowly, over time, you can build up your perfect arsenal. 

      Now, if you’re gearing up for an awesome trip, check out the Broke Backpacker’s ultimate travel resources. They’ll help you squeeze every drop of fun out of your adventure! Cheers :))

      A bridge over a stream in a forest in autumn
      Autumn feels.
      Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

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