Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Whether in spring, on cool summer nights or in icy temperatures - a fleece jacket is useful in every season. As a warming garment, it is practical and fashionable at the same time and should therefore not be missing from a woman's wardrobe. Even during sports, the fleece jacket keeps you warm, releases moisture and cuts a good figure.

With our women's fleece jacket test 2021 we would like to help you find the right fleece outerwear. Fleece jackets come in different thicknesses and are available with different features. Which one is right for you depends on your intended use. To help you decide, we have compiled a list of the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of fleece jackets for women.




The most important facts

  • Women's fleece jackets come in different thicknesses and are therefore suitable for both summer and winter. They are especially popular as a garment in transitional seasons.
  • However, fleece jackets also serve as warming protection during outdoor and sports activities. Thanks to their high breathability, they reliably wick moisture from the inside to the surface.
  • Fleece jackets are mainly made of polyester fibres, which in turn are obtained from recycled plastics such as PET bottles. This is why fleece jackets are particularly hard-wearing and robust.

The Best Womens Fleece Jacket: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for women's fleece jackets

In the following, we will show you which features you can use to find the right fleece jacket for you.

The criteria you can use to compare women's fleece jackets include:

Type of fleece & properties

Fleece is made from polyester and is divided into different types depending on weight, thickness and material composition. Each type of fleece has specific properties.

Classic fleece is made of soft polyester and is mostly used to make thin jackets. These are perfect for wearing underneath or as warming inner jackets. Even thinner is the so-called micro or wellness fleece, which is light, breathable and quick-drying thanks to fine fibres.

Fleece fabrics can be water-repellent, but not waterproof.

Stretch fleece is mainly used for functional clothing such as for sports. The combination of polyester and elastane fibres gives the fleece a strong stretch. The clothing, which is usually cut close to the body, adapts well to every movement. In addition, stretch fleece is moisture-regulating and wind-repellent.

A fluffy jacket made of teddy fleece is ideal for movement and exertion in cool areas. Teddy fleece has a low weight, but keeps you warm due to its long, fine fibres. If you are travelling in very cold regions, you should go for a jacket with waffle fleece. The thick polyester woven in a waffle shape is particularly insulating and adjusts to the release of moisture.

Size & fit

When buying a women's fleece jacket, you should make sure that the size and fit are optimal. There are differences depending on the intended use.

If you want to use the fleece jacket as a warm cover for everyday wear, the model can be cut a little more casually. A loose fit gives you plenty of freedom of movement and the option to wear other garments underneath. However, the fleece jacket should not be too big or slip. Otherwise cold air can quickly penetrate inside.

Basically,

the more fitted the fleece jacket, the more insulating and breathable it is.
For sporting activities such as mountaineering, climbing or skiing, figure-hugging fleece jackets for women are recommended. These are particularly breathable, absorb perspiration and dry quickly. If they also have a high elastane content, maximum freedom of movement is guaranteed. There is also plenty of room for other layers of clothing over a fleece jacket with a close fit.

Also make sure your new fleece garment is the right length. If you want to protect your kidney area from the cold, you should buy a fleece jacket with an extended back. The length of the sleeves can also vary. Long sleeves often have a thumb loop.

Thermal insulation

How insulating a fleece jacket is depends on the thickness or weight of the material. This is expressed in grams per square metre (g/m²). The heavier the fleece, the thicker and more protective it is against the cold.

Most all-round fleece jackets have a material weight of about 200 g/m².

They keep the body warm both as an underlayer and as an overgarment. Fleece jackets for summer are significantly lighter and thinner at 100 g/m²

In winter or for activities in cold regions, women's fleece jackets with a basis weight between 300 and 400 g/m² are suitable. These are particularly thick and protect the wearer from cold and wind.

In addition to the thickness of the material, the fit also plays an important role for thermal insulation. If the fleece jacket fits close to the body, hardly any cold air can get inside, which needs to be additionally insulated.

Features

Fleece jackets for women are available with different features and extras. Tight hems and closures are particularly important. Bundles can be helpful around the neck and arms. These can be adjusted as desired and thus prevent cold air from entering. Many models also have practical thumb loops.

If the thumb loops are not needed, the sleeve cuffs can simply be folded inwards. This provides additional warmth for the underarms.

The full-length front zip should be windproof and can be pulled up to the chin. A hood offers additional protection. Some models have an adjustable or removable hood that fits perfectly under any bicycle or climbing helmet.

Most fleece jackets have sewn-in side pockets. These serve, among other things, to ventilate the abdominal area, warm the hands and stow small items. If you want to store your valuables safely and without slipping, you should opt for a model with closable pockets on the upper arms or chest. Such a version is especially useful for sports.

Decision: What types of women's fleece jackets are there and which one is right for me?

When choosing a women's fleece jacket, you basically have two options. You can find out which one suits you best with the help of this overview:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Fleece jacket for summer Lightweight, breathable, can also be worn under an additional jacket Not suitable in cold temperatures, wind-permeable
Fleece jackets for winter Good heat retention, wind and water resistant Heavier, restricts movement, longer drying time

With women's fleece jackets you have the choice between a thin model for spring and summer or a thick version for cold days.

Depending on which season you want to wear your fleece jacket, you can choose the right outerwear. In the following section we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of jacket.

Fleecejacken für den Sommer

Fleece jackets for summer

Thanks to their light weight and small pack size, fleece jackets for summer can be easily taken anywhere. Even in a suitcase, the thin fleece jacket hardly takes up any space. It is ideal for spring or cool summer evenings.

But a fleece jacket with a weight of up to 200 g/m² doesn’t just provide enough warmth for everyday wear. It is also ideal for intensive, sporting activities. The lightweight polyester absorbs sweat evenly and releases it to the outside. In addition, the thin fleece jacket hugs the body perfectly, allowing maximum freedom of movement.

Advantages
  • Lightweight
  • Small pack size
  • Suitable for intensive sports
  • Extremely breathable
  • Maximum freedom of movement
  • Can also be worn under a winter jacket
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for colder temperatures
  • Partially highly wind-permeable

Summer fleece jackets can also be perfectly integrated into the onion principle. This is the combination of different garments that are pulled over each other. Underneath the winter jacket, the fleece jacket ensures regulated moisture transport to the outside so that the wearer stays dry and warm.

However, the thin fleece jacket is not recommended as an outer layer or for throwing over quickly in colder temperatures. The lightly woven material lets through cold and wind after a short time. To keep the body warm in the long term, a fleece jacket of 300 g/m² or more is the better choice.

Fleecejacken für den Winter

Fleece jackets for winter

Fleece jackets for winter are characterised by a weight per unit area of 300 to 400 g/m². This means they offer reliable protection even in very cold temperatures. The thick material has the ability to store warmth particularly well and for a long time.

In addition, winter fleece jackets are suitable both for strenuous activities and for use in the rain. Thanks to the long fibres, the fleece jacket insulates even when sweaty and wet. Due to the thickness of the fleece, models for winter are generally more waterproof and windproof.

Advantages
  • High heat retention
  • Long fibres insulate very well even when wet
  • Protective even in cold temperatures
  • Windproof and waterproof
Disadvantages
  • Heavier and larger pack size
  • Limited movement especially under an additional jacket
  • Longer drying time

Fleece jackets for winter are correspondingly heavier and have a larger pack size. As a protective layer in a double layer, this can quickly become a nuisance. Depending on the model, the thick fleece jackets can be too bulky under the additional jacket. This could restrict freedom of movement. If the winter fleece jacket is also very wet, it takes a while to dry.

Guide: Frequently asked questions on the subject of fleece jackets for women answered in detail

In the following guide, we have compiled the most important questions about fleece jackets and answered them briefly. After reading the guide, you should know all the essentials about fleece clothing.

What is fleece?

Fleece is a knitted fabric characterised by interlaced fibres. This creates so-called plush handles, which are cut open and roughened to create a soft, cosy surface. The fibres are mostly polyester or, more rarely, cotton.

Did you know that fleece and fleece are often confused due to the same pronunciation?

However, fleece is a material made of loose plastic fibres that is produced in a similar way to paper. Unlike fleece, the joining of the fibres does not follow a pattern.

The plastic of recycled PET bottles is suitable for obtaining polyester fibres. For this, the plastic is melted until it has a viscous consistency. Then the liquid is pressed, cooled and processed into long fibres. In this way, fleece can be produced particularly cost-effectively.

Thanks to the special properties and weave of the polyester fibres, fleece is

  • warm
  • light
  • soft
  • elastic
  • breathable
  • water-repellent
  • quick drying.

Of course, these characteristics can vary depending on the thickness and materials used. That's why you should think about what you need your women's fleece jacket for before you buy it. In the following section we will show you what fleece jackets are suitable for.

What are fleece jackets suitable for?

Basically, you are always well equipped with a fleece jacket. They are very useful in everyday life as a fashionable cover-up or as a transitional jacket. A fleece jacket is particularly suitable in spring, on cool summer nights and on grey days in autumn. In combination with wind- and rainproof clothing, it protects you even in icy temperatures.

Damen Fleecejacke-1

Fleece jackets are perfect for outdoor and sports activities on cooler days. They are warming and breathable.
(Image source: picjumbo.com / Pexels)

But the fleece jacket is not only popular as an everyday garment in women's wardrobes. Fleece jackets are also ideal for outdoor sports activities. Thanks to their climate-regulating function, they are popular for jogging, hiking, cycling and climbing, among other things.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of fleece jackets?

Fleece jackets are characterised by their high wearing comfort. Thanks to the brushed material, the surface is very soft and does not scratch. Accordingly, fleece feels extremely pleasant and soft on the skin. In addition, air is trapped when fleece is woven. This is what gives fleece fabrics their heat-retaining properties.

In addition, long fibres ensure low moisture absorption from the outside. However, they reliably transport sweat and vapour from the inside to the surface. This makes fleece jackets particularly breathable and suitable for sports.

It should not be forgotten that fleece jackets are made from recycled plastic. It is melted down and processed into polyester fibres. The fleece jacket itself could also theoretically be recycled.

Advantages
  • Pleasant to wear thanks to soft surface
  • Highly insulating
  • Low moisture absorption or reliable release to the outside
  • Made from recycled plastic
Disadvantages
  • Poorly printable
  • Wind-permeable
  • Rapid linting
  • Electrostatic charge
  • Release of microplastics when washed

When it comes to windproofness, however, fleece jackets can't compete. Thanks to the integration of air, fleece can store heat well, but it does not keep out the wind very well. Closer woven fabrics are needed for this.

Due to the synthetic material, fleece jackets become electrically charged.

The material of fleece jackets can also form knots on the surface. This is because fleece tends to form lint, also known as pilling.

This is especially noticeable in areas of the jacket that are subject to heavy wear. The rough outer surface is also difficult to print on. Although printing is possible, it is usually of poor quality.

Furthermore, synthetic fabrics made of plastic can release microplastics when washed. This is also the case with the fleece jacket. Polyester fibres could be washed into lakes and oceans and contribute to pollution.

How much does a women's fleece jacket cost?

The price of a women's fleece jacket varies depending on its use and manufacturer. Before buying, you should therefore consider the purpose for which you need a fleece jacket.

If you only want to wear the fleece jacket as an everyday garment, for example as a transitional jacket, a simple model made of thin fabric will suffice. You can buy one for around 20 euros.

Type price range
Thin fleece jacket for summer 20 - 50 euros
Functional and sports fleece clothing 50 - 100 euros
Thick fleece jacket for winter 80 - 200 euros

You can also get functional or sports clothing made of fleece relatively cheaply. Here you should pay particular attention to good equipment. Brand-name clothing from well-known manufacturers in the sports sector is priced between 50 and 100 euros.

If you want the fleece jacket to keep you reliably warm in icy temperatures, a thick, high-quality version is recommended. The cost of such a model is in the three-digit range.

What are the alternatives to a fleece jacket?

Fleece has many positive qualities that make it a good choice for a jacket. However, even a fleece jacket has its limits. Depending on the weather conditions and temperatures, there are suitable alternatives.

Soft and hard shell jackets

If you need a jacket to protect you from precipitation and wind, you should go for a soft or hardshell jacket. These consist of several membrane layers that hold back even strong winds. Soft and hardshell jackets are also lightweight, breathable and stretchy.

Damen Fleecejacke-2

Hardshell jackets are particularly suitable for use in heavy precipitation and snowfall. Thanks to several layers of fabric, the wearer stays dry.
(Image source: Guduru Ajay bhargav / Pexels)

The only differences between the two types of jackets are their moisture-proof properties. Softshell jackets have a higher breathability, but can only repel water.

Softshell jackets are not waterproof and are only recommended for use in light precipitation or snow.

Hardshell jackets, on the other hand, have the functions of a classic rain jacket. They are absolutely waterproof and provide protection even in continuous rain.

Soft and hardshell fabrics are thicker than fleece, water-repellent and windproof. These jackets are perfect for layering under a fleece jacket for warmth.

Merino wool jacket

If you don't want to compromise on a soft and fluffy finish, then a merino wool jacket could be ideal for you. The fine wool comes from the merino sheep and is mainly used for the production of functional and winter clothing.

Unlike other types of wool, merino wool does not absorb odours.

Merino wool has a high heat storage capacity when it absorbs moisture. Energy is released when the protein and water molecules collide. In very high-quality models, temperature increases of up to ten degrees can be achieved.

Merino wool is also very comfortable to wear. Compared to other types of wool, it does not scratch. However, a jacket made of merino wool could quickly become too warm. It is therefore less suitable for summer or sports.

How do I wash a fleece jacket?

To enjoy your fleece jacket for a long time, you should clean it properly. It's best to read the washing instructions label before you wash it for the first time. Below we have put together some more tips on how to clean fleece clothing gently.

  • Remove items from the pockets and close all zips.
  • Then turn the fleece jacket inside out. This will protect the outside.
  • If available, place the jacket in a laundry net.
  • Use a very mild detergent.
  • Do not add fabric softener. Otherwise the fabric structure could change.
  • Wash the fleece jacket at a low temperature (30°C) or according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • If possible, switch the washing machine to the gentle cycle. Avoid using the spin cycle.
  • Air dry the jacket instead of tumble drying it.

For extra gentle cleaning, you can hand wash your fleece jacket. All you need is a little detergent and lukewarm water. The fleece jacket will dry on the line in no time.

What can I do about lint on my fleece jacket?

Many fleece jacket manufacturers use so-called anti-pilling fleece. This is marked on the jacket. If lint still forms on your women's fleece jacket, it could be caused by too rough a wash cycle. Therefore, make sure you clean it gently and follow the washing instructions or our tips described above.

If you want to remove coarse lumps on your fleece jacket, a lint brush or lint shaver can help. These tools remove lint from the surface. However, lint on fleece garments is merely a visual blemish. Their functions are always preserved.

Image source: progressman/ 123rf.com

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