Choosing the best insulated active gear for women

Staying active while it’s cold out can be a challenge, especially for women. For the most part, the problem lies in there not being enough jackets that can pull off the double duty of staying breathable while still keeping you warm. Some companies have tossed their proverbial hats into the ring and put out jackets they claim to exhibit those qualities. Don’t worry too much about finding the best ones, however, because a helpful list has already done just that. (h/t to

  • MtnLogic Cozy Hoody: The MtnLogic project is the brainchild of Peter Whittaker, head of Rainier Mountaineering and an accomplished climber in his own right. All products from this line were made to provide climbers with apparel that combined performance with comfort, and the Cozy Hoody is no different. It provides warmth on cold days and breathability on training days, making it perfect for cold training days. As an added bonus, the Cozy Hoody includes a hood (of course) that’s adjustable, liberal in size, and wonderfully cozy to the touch. You can use it as a layer for cool-weather backpacking too – par for the course for a product line made by a climber for climbers.
  • Outdoor Research Women’s Ascendant Hoody: What makes the Women’s Ascendant Hoody unique is that the insulation was originally developed for members of the United States Armed Forces, those who can’t afford to pause and add or remove layers while on the move. The outer shell, on the other hand, is made of wind- and water-resistant Pertex Microlight 20D ripstop nylon stretch-woven shell. This makes for a jacket that’s breathable and cushy on the inside, while simultaneously being stretchy and protective on the outside. A zippered chest pocket makes it easier to carry items with you. One thing to note is that the Women’s Ascendant Hoody can get very warm (the thumb loops in the cuffs can make things even warmer), so it might be a bit too much for mildly cold weather. Still, it’s an excellent choice for hiking and biking in cooler temperatures, and can even be usable on ski tours.
  • The North Face Women’s Ventrix Hoodie: Here’s another jacket with special insulation – the Ventrix is an innovative material with temperature-sensitive perforations that expand and release heat during moments of sustained physical activity. During times when there isn’t any intense movements, these perforations constrict to conserve heat. The Ventrix Hoodie is, basically, an all-around jacket that was made for use on longer, more frigid trails. It’s comfortable and easy to move in, and is suitable for both casual and high-intensity outdoor workouts.

Now, choosing from these jackets will depend largely on how warm you want to be while exercising. The Cozy Hoody is perfect for staying just the right kind of warm, while the Ventrix Hoodie is for when you want to take things to the next level of warm. None of the jackets cost more than $250, although the Cozy Hoody is the most affordable one at just $179. But really though, these are all excellent choices, so whichever one you pick will undoubtedly become your best friend during the chillier months of the year. (Related: 4 Steps to Staying Healthy This Fall.)

And why wouldn’t you want to exercise in cooler weather? According to, exercising during winter has a variety of benefits, including – but not limited to – burning more calories than usual, strengthening your heart, and building a tolerance for this kind of climate. What’s not to love? And you can make your experience even better with any of the above-mentioned active insulation jackets.

If you’d like to read up on even more active gear and wear for any weather, simply visit

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