2 people hiking up a mountain wearing brightly coloured puffer jackets

Best Jackets For Winter

So you know you need a jacket but you’re unsure which is best. That’s totally fine. Even amongst our team, it’s not uncommon to see and hear about each other wearing different jackets for the same purpose in identical environments. There’s definitely more than one way to stay warm, dry, or both.

Perhaps the best and worst thing about having a range of jackets as diverse as ours is that they excel in multiple environments. So, whether you want to add the final piece to your layering system or simply find ‘the one’ that will get you through the season, it’s worth asking yourself a couple of questions:

What will I be doing in it: am I active, running, biking, hiking and working up a sweat — or am I just out for a stroll? And where will I be wearing it: is it cold and wet, or cold and dry?

Asking both will ensure you’re getting exactly what you need. Because whether you’re hiking in the rain, summiting in the snow, or just wanting to stay warm on a crisp morning, the best jacket for you might not be the best for everyone else.

But first...
You’ll notice we use a couple of values to measure a jacket’s performance. Here’s what they mean:

  • Hydrostatic Head (HH) is a measurement of how much water can be applied to a surface before it starts seeping through the fabric
  • Breathability is measured by the speed at which sweat gets out (in grams per square-metre per 24 hours)

In short, greater HH = more waterproof. Greater g/m2/24hr = more breathable.

Already have an idea of the type of jacket you’re after?

Feel free to skip ahead by clicking a link below:

When you’re pushing your limits as much as it’s pouring

Pisa Polartec®Hooded Jackets

For active adventurers

Woman wearing Blue jacket walking through snow using hiking poles

Designed in partnership with the New Zealand Alpine Team (NZAT), the versatile Pisas use Polartec® Alpha® Direct — a synthetic insulation originally created for the U.S Special Forces — to keep you comfortable in all kinds of environments. It’s made by combining lofty fibres with a mesh core that sits directly against your skin to regulate body temperature during low and high intensity activity. For added protection in light rain and snow, we’ve wrapped this unique fabric with a bluesign® approved nylon ripstop fabric with a short-chain DWR C6 finish for improved moisture repellency. It’s a staple in the kit bags of NZAT climbers.

- Polartec® Alpha® Direct provides consistent warmth whether you’re moving or not
- A men’s medium only weighs 380g

- Water resistant — not waterproof
- Won’t pack as small as a nylon rain jacket

When you’re hiking in the rain

Staying dry is as much an essential for safety as it is morale — even if you love a good downpour. And with the heaviest storms generally arriving in winter, these three styles have most bases covered.

Copland Long Rain Jackets

For hunters and hikers

A man and a woman wearing hooded rain jackets hiking through a river using poles

A classic New Zealand-style, the Copland is designed for when you need a tough jacket that goes the distance. It’s made from our Reflex three layer fabric, fully seam-sealed with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish to provide a HH rating of 10,000mm and a breathability rating of 10,000g/m2/24hr.

- A longer cut provides greater coverage under packs and on sidelines
- An adjustable hood, waist, hem and cuffs provide comfort in all kinds of weather
- Cargo and hand pockets provide separate spaces for hands and go-to items

- Other jackets offer better HH and breathability ratings
- While it’s highly water resistant, the chest pocket isn’t fully waterproof

Resolution Pertex® Rain Jackets

For heavy-duty adventures

A woman wearing a blue macpac rain jacket with hood up in heavy rain

Similar in style but with some hidden bells and whistles, the biggest difference between these two jackets is the use of Pertex® Shield Pro — a unique air-permeable membrane that provides greater breathability and HH ratings when it’s layered between the right fabrics. In layman’s terms, it’s more waterproof and breathable. But the Resolution also comes in at around 20 grams lighter, and it’s got a soft piece of polyester at the chin for more comfort when fully zipped.

- Fabric is more waterproof and breathable than the Copland
- An adjustable hood, waist, hem and cuffs provide comfort in all kinds of weather
- Cargo and hand pockets provide separate spaces for hands and go-to items

- While it’s highly water resistant, the chest pocket isn’t fully waterproof

Traverse Pertex® Rain Jackets

A fully-featured, all-round rain jacket

A man and a woman wearing hooded rain jackets hiking through a river using poles

Light, durable, breathable and waterproof — the Traverse just about does it all. Like the Resolution, it also uses Pertex® Shield Pro. But unlike the Resolution, we’ve used it in light and mid-weight nylons to cut weight without compromising durability around the shoulders and lower cuffs — areas prone to abrasion from packs, friction, and the outdoors in general.

- Weighs around half as much as a Copland or a Resolution
- Pertex® Shield Pro is incredibly waterproof, windproof and durable for its weight
- Its adjustable hood zips away when you don’t need it

- Zips aren’t fully waterproof

PRO TIP: if it’s wet and cold, layering a Nitro pullover (men’s and women’s) under your jacket will help keep you warm without overheating. Save your insulated jacket for when the rain stops. Or when you’re done walking.

Warm jackets for cold hikes

Just because it’s sunny, it doesn’t mean it’s warm. Insulation is still essential if you’re heading up a peak for sunrise or enjoying a crisp tramp. And (quietly), we like to think our insulated jackets are some of the best. These next two will certainly go the distance. But as we head further up the mountain, our alpine jackets will perform closer to sea level, too.

Sundowner HyperDRY Down Jackets

A warm, breathable, technical down jacket

A man and a woman wearing hooded rain jackets hiking through a river using poles

Made for the cold, Sundowners are wind resistant, water resistant, and breathable. It’s one of our go-to technical down jackets, filled with responsibly-sourced 600-loft HyperDRY™ down which is covered by a Pertex® Quantum shell. Pertex® Quantum is a tightly woven yarn that allows the down to fully puff out. It’s lightweight, packable and soft to touch, too. Sundowners are also available with hoods (COMING SOON )

- Down jackets are more packable than synthetic ones
- HyperDRY duck down is less prone to clumping when wet

- Down won’t perform as well as a synthetic or hardshell jacket if it’s around consistent moisture
- The amount this jacket puffs out means it’s not recommended as a mid layer

Sou'west PrimaLoft® Jackets

When you need warmth in environments that could also be wet

A man and a woman wearing hooded rain jackets hiking through a river using poles

A great synthetic option, the Sou’west works as a mid or outer layer depending on the conditions. Its hand pockets are raised so you can use them if you’re wearing a pack. The cut of its arms and shoulders make climbing and scrambling over rough terrain easier. And, it can be packed down into its chest pocket when you need it out of the way.

- Synthetic insulation performs better than down when wet
- Made from 100% recycled and bluesign® approved nylon outer and lining fabrics
- PrimaLoft® Silver insulation is made from 70% post-consumer recycled polyester content

- The hood on the hooded version is non-helmet compatible
- Synthetic insulation doesn’t compress as much as down

PRO TIP: try the vest if you’re after a lighter mid layer (men’s and women’s)

Pulsar Alpha PrimaLoft® Hooded Jacket

An easy-care option for kids

A man and a woman wearing hooded rain jackets hiking through a river using poles

Reversible and synthetic, the Pulsar Alpha is filled with PrimaLoft® Silver Hi Loft Ultra. Opting for this synthetic insulation in particular means it has the same look, feel, packability and warmth of down. However, this is more durable and resistant to water.

This jacket is also coming in infant sizes this season. Keep an eye out for it in stores and online.

- Internal draft flap reduces heat loss
- Hand pockets on both sides
- Machine washable

- It’s not waterproof

For anyone around the snowline

If your adventures take you to alpine environments, chances are you’re looking for a jacket that’s warm, light and able to handle a bit of snow. These three should keep you in good stead; regardless of whether you’re climbing Aoraki, enjoying a bluebird day on the slopes, or walking downtown to the après ski.

Icefall HyperDRY Hooded Jackets

When you need warmth that won’t take up space

A man zipping up a grey and green Icefall jacket with a white snow background

Designed in conjunction with the New Zealand Alpine Team (NZAT), the Icefall was made for weight-conscious climbers who require warmth and water resistance on snow. Filled with a combination of responsibly-sourced HyperDRY RDS goose down and PrimaLoft® Gold synthetic insulation with Cross-Core Technology, the Icefall is able to provide warmth without compromising weight or packability. Did we mention it’s wrapped in an ultralight Pertex® Quantum shell with a water repellent finish, too?

- 800-loft down provides warmth without too much puff
- HyperDRY down is less prone to clumping when wet
- Cross-Core Technology creates a temperature barrier to provide warmth without adding weight
- It only weighs around 300 grams

- While it’s DWR-coating is water resistant, a hardshell is a must if rain or snow is on the forecast
- The hood isn’t removable

Pulsar PrimaLoft® Hooded Jackets

For outstanding warmth in wet conditions

A man wearing a black macpac puffer jacket with a black beanie in front of mountain range on sunny day

Also designed for climbers in conjunction with NZAT, the Pulsar is a fully synthetic option that provides outstanding warmth in wet conditions. Filled with PrimaLoft® Gold synthetic insulation, it’s lined with 100% recycled nylon on the inside and covered with a 100% recycled nylon Pertex® Quantum shell on the outside for wind resistance, increased water resistance and breathability. Even if you’re not a climber, the Pulsar can be a great outer layer for touring, hiking or riding on bluebird days.

- The hood is helmet compatible
- All the nylon in this jacket is recycled and bluesign® approved
- PrimaLoft® Gold insulation is bluesign® approved, and made from 55% post-consumer recycled content

- Not as packable as a down jacket
- Slightly heavier than the icefall

Equinox Waterproof Down Jackets

Our first waterproof down jacket

A man and woman wearing blue and red hooded equinox jackets in front of a waterfall

Men’s and women’s sizes arriving soon
You read correctly: Waterproof. Down. Jacket. Designed for the cold and tested by a ski patroller, the Equinox combines HyperDRY down with a fully seam-sealed Pertex® Shield Air outer shell for extremely breathable, warm, waterproof protection. PrimaLoft® Gold insulation has been added in the chin and lower cuffs instead of down for its higher water resistance, and the hood features a stiffened peak to keep your vision clear.

Don’t miss out when they hit our stores, sign up to get the latest from us.

- Less than 800 grams for a 700-loft puffer jacket
- Pertex® Shield Air nylon boasts a breathability rating of 40,000g/m2/24hr (Same as the Tempo)
- Waterproof outer fabric

- Outer zips are only highly water resistant
- Not as packable as other down jackets

When you just want a warm jacket

Whether you’re heading out for coffee, commuting to work or even camping — our classic down jackets are classics for a reason. They’ve been staples for years, and these styles are loved equally for the warmth they provide and the versatility they offer.

Mercury Hooded Down Jacket

A warm down jacket to wear after the adventure

A man wearing a bright blue macpac Mercury jacket on a shady day

Toasty, warm, comfortable. The Mercury is filled with 650 loft RDS duck down, and we’ve maximised its potential by sewing elastic bindings around the cuffs and hood to help trap heat inside. The nylon lining and outer fabrics are also bluesign® approved, confirming they’ve been made responsibly at each step of the supply chain. But because they aren’t made using Pertex, the Mercury isn’t as breathable as a more technical jacket like the Icefall. This isn’t to say you’ll cook wearing one on a walk, but we designed this jacket to keep you warm at the knees up after a ride, the lodge after a day on the mountain, and on the sidelines when your team’s taking to the field.

- RDS certifies the ethical sourcing of down — no live plucking here
- bluesign® certification proves responsibility at every step of the supply chain
- It packs down into its own stuff sack
- No DWR treatment means this jacket needs a waterproof shell overtop if it’s wet
- If it does get wet, the down is prone to clumping

Jupiter Hooded Down Jacket

A women’s-specific down jacket made for cool conditions

A woman wearing a mustard coloured macpac jupiter jacket with the hood up on sunny day

If you wondered why the Mercury is only available in mens’ sizes, here’s why. The Jupiter is its equally toasty sister; filled with the same 650 loft RDS duck down, and made using the same responsible processes so you can feel good as you will warm. Available in three colours and designed with a narrower fit about the shoulders and waist; it’s equally at home at the pub after a trail ride or run, out on a chilly walk around the dog park, or at your favourite backcountry hut.

- RDS certifies the ethical sourcing of down — no live plucking here
- bluesign® certification proves responsibility at every step of the supply chain
- It packs down into its own stuff sack

- No DWR treatment means this jacket isn't suitable if it’s wet
- If it does get wet, the down is prone to clumping

Halo Hooded Down Jackets

The quintessential Macpac down jacket

A woman wearing a dark purple macpac puffer jacket with the hood up, standing in a valley

One of our most enduring styles, the Halo has been around for years for good reason. Both men’s and women’s versions have been updated and refined to where they’re now available with and without hoods (men’s and women’s), and without sleeves (men’s and women’s vests). Compared to the Mercury and the Jupiter, Halos are filled with 600 loft RDS duck down.

- RDS certification confirms the down in this jacket has been sourced ethically
- Other brands’ jackets at the same price-point only use 550 loft down
- They’ve been a staple in our lineup for just over 10 years

- Not as breathable as alpine jackets
- Not recommended in the coldest conditions

Atom Hooded Down Jacket

A toasty jacket for kids

2 children wearing brightly coloured down jackets running through a rocky cave

A light and warm, 600-loft option for kids, the Atom comes in four colours for kids of all ages. Made using the same materials as the adult Halo jackets, they’re also treated with a durable water repellent for resistance to moisture.

- The jacket tucks away into itself for easy packing — or to create a soft travel pillow when on the go

- Not recommended in rain

Névé Three-In-One Jackets

Men’s and women’s sizes arriving soon

Made by combining a Reflex polyester outer shell and an internal down jacket (similar to the Uber), the Névé is made for everything from cold and wet winter hikes to resort skiing and snowboarding with ease. Both jackets feature hand pockets for extra warmth or storing small essentials. Separating them is simple as a simple zip and snap.

- Three jackets for the price of one
- Both jackets can be worn individually depending on the conditions

- No snow skirt
- The shell’s YKK AquaGuard® zips are water resistant, not waterproof

Don’t miss out when they hit our stores, sign up to get the latest from us.

Element Three-In-One Pertex® Coats

A three-in-one option with added style

Woman zipping up a black element jacket in front of a timber wall

The Element coats are designed for style without cutting any features. Made with Pertex® Shield, the outer shell is fully seam sealed and features a breathable membrane, providing a 15,000mm hydrostatic head rating and a 20,000 g/m2/24hr breathability rating. Its inner down jacket is filled with a 600 loft Responsible Down Standard (RDS) duck down.

- Each jacket can be worn on their own or easily separated
- RDS duck down is sourced responsibly

- Not suitable on hikes in wet weather
- Inner down jacket is not suitable in the rain

Uber Light Hooded Down Jackets

For warm winter days and backcountry huts

Woman wearing a bright red uber jacket holding black backpack straps

More of a mid layer, the Uber Light range is still cosy and warm as an outer in light winter winter weather — or in a hut. Filled with around half as much down as a Halo jacket, we’ve used 650 loft RDS duck down to ensure a great warmth-to-weight ratio without the bulk. This makes any style super packable, and there are plenty of styles and colours to choose from. Check out the regular jackets (men’s and women’s), vests (men’s and women’s), and the brand new pullovers (men’s and women’s).

Reach for these if you’re hitting the slopes

With any luck, this winter’s snow season will be one to remember. But regardless of whether you’re planning a trip to your favourite resort or thinking about booking your first lesson, we’ve got a couple of options that will keep you warm and dry whatever the mountains throw at you.

Powder Reflex Ski Jackets

A fully-featured snow jacket

Woman wearing a pink and black powder jacket with ski helment and goggles standing on snow

Made using our waterproof Reflex polyester outer shell, these breathable snow jackets are fully seam sealed. They’ve got removable snow skirts and a jacket-to-pants connector system to keep the snow out and the warmth in. If the weather warms up, simply unzip the underarm vents.

- Quilted lining and synthetic insulation in the body and sleeves
- Helmet-compatible hood

- Jacket is one piece — the insulated lining can’t be removed from the shell

Spree Reflex Ski Jacket

A kids snow jacket with room to grow

Woman wearing a pink and black powder jacket with ski helment and goggles standing on snow

Made with similar specs to the adult Powder jackets, the Spree is a waterproof snow jacket designed for kids. The built-in snow skirt helps to keep the white stuff out and provides attachment points for our jacket-to-pant connector system — where elastic jacket tabs thread through corresponding pant loops and snap together, keeping outer layers secure.

- You can get an extra season out of growing skiers and snowboarders by unpicking the red stitching in the lining to grow each arm by 4cm
- Helmet-compatible hoods

- The shell can’t be worn on its own on warmer days