The best 3-in-1 jackets are incredibly versatile giving you options when you an enjoying outdoor activities or traveling. Designed with a removable insulated jacket liner you get both a rain shell and warm insulated jacket, or layer both in winter time.
Having a heavy winter coat is essential on those extra cold days, but can leave you soaked in sweat when the temperature rises or you're doing some high-endurance activities. On the flip side, a lightweight rain racket is not going to be enough to keep you warm and dry on icy days when staying indoors isn't an option.
That's where 3-in-1 jackets come in. They are versatile and perfect for hiking or traveling when you can only pack one jacket.
So, what exactly is a 3-in-1 jacket? A 3-in-1 jackets consist of two separate layers that can be worn together to make one extra warm coat when you need it. But they can also be separated and worn individually, depending on the type of protection you need.
The outer shell is usually waterproof, with adjustable areas to give you the right fit while blocking out the cold. The inner layer is insulated against the cold but is still light enough for those cool fall or spring days when some type of protection is needed.
Plus, you can where the insulating layer completely on it's own since they are designed as a fleece or down jacket.
Best of all, there are both women's and men's 3-in-1 winter jackets for all types of winter sports.
If the best 3-in-1 jacket is on your winter gear list, check out our reviews and buying tips below.
Comparison Table of the Best 3-in-1 Jackets
3-in-1 Jackets For Men
|The North Face Carto Triclimate Jacket||Hyvent 2L, Heatseeker liner||38.1 oz||Yes||$$$||5|
|The North Face Arrowood Triclimate Jacket||DryVent 2L, midweight hardface fleece liner||31.8 oz||Yes||$$$||5|
|Columbia Eager Air Interchange 3-in-1 Jacket||100% nylon shell, polyester fleece inner jacket||46.0 oz||Yes||$$||4|
|Columbia Bugaboo Interchange Jacket||Omni-Tech shell, Omni-Heat fleece liner||38.8 oz||Yes||$$||5|
|The North Face Thermoball Triclimate Jacket||Dryvent 2.5L shell, ThermoBall-insulated inner jacket||27.5 oz||Yes||$$$||4.5|
|The North Face Evolution II Triclimate Jacket||Dryvent 2L shell, fleece inner jacket||n/a||Yes||$$$||4|
|Patagonia Snowshot 3-in-1 Jacket||H2No shell, fleece liner||47.1 oz||Yes||$$$||4|
|Marmot KT Component Jacket||MemBrain shell, thermal R liner||25.3 oz||Yes||$$$||5|
|Under Armour Storm ColdGear Infrared Porter 3-in-1 Jacket||Storm technology 2L shell, fleece liner||9.87 oz||Yes||$$||4.5|
|Fjallraven Ovik 3 In 1 Jacket||Gshell, -1000 Eco, G-Loft Supreme inner jacket||45.8 oz||No||$$$||4|
3-in-1 Jackets For Women's
|The North Face Arrowood Triclimate Jacket||Dryvent 2L shell, fleece inner jacket||26.81 oz||Yes||$$||5|
|The North Face Highanddry Triclimate Jacket||Dryvent 2L shell, fleece inner jacket||33.51 oz||Yes||$$$||5|
|Columbia Women's Carson Pass II Jacket||Legacy Dobby shell, polyester inner jacket with Omni-Heat reflective||56 oz||Yes||$$||4|
|Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Sienna 3-In-1 Jacket||UA Storm polyester shell, UA Storm technology fleece inner jacket||38.8 oz||Semi||$$||3.5|
|The North Face Cinnabar Triclimate Jacket||Dryvent 2L shell, polyester fleece inner jacket||34.92 oz||Yes||$$$||4.5|
|Columbia Bugaboo Interchange Jacket||Ultra Touch shell, Dotswarm fleece inner jacket||38.8 oz||Yes||$$||5|
Men's 3-in-1 Jacket Reviews
The best 3-in-1 jacket is versatile enough to wear in all types of weather, from sunny and cool to wet and icy. Thanks to its great features The North Face Carto Triclimate Jacket gives you this versatility whether you're climbing, hiking, or traveling.
The outer shell of the Carto men's 3-in-1 jackets is made using breathable nylon. It is waterproof and seam-sealed to keep water on the outside of your jacket, where it belongs.
For extra protection, there is a storm flap covering the center front zipper. This keeps leaks to a minimum, as well as blocking the wind from those tiny zipper holes.
There are zippered hand pockets and a zippered chest pocket to store your gear. The cuffs of this versatile jacket are Velcro adjustable. A cinch-cord on the hem lets you lock in your body heat for extra warmth. The hood is also fully adjustable and removable.
The liner jacket includes 100g Heatseeker insulation for extra warmth. It also has bound cuffs and two zippered hand pockets. You can wear this on its own, trade it with the shell when the weather turns wet, or wear both together on those damp, chilly days.
You can choose between a black on black or black on asphalt grey combo for these coats. And they come in 5 sizes, so you'll always have the right fit.
Material: 70D x 160D 140 g/m2 Hyvent 2L nylon faille weave shell, 100g Heatseeker liner
Weight: 38.1 oz
Features: Center front zip with snap closure and storm flap, Velcro adjustable cuff tabs, multiple pockets including media pocket, seam-sealed shell
This North Face 3-in-1 jacket is designed to make hiking more comfortable during those colder conditions where a light sweater just won't be warm enough.
Though it has the double layers found on other North Face 3-in-1 jackets, the The North Face Arrowood Triclimate Jacket is lighter than some other models for less weight on your back and shoulders.
The shell is waterproof and seam-sealed to keep you dry when the rain or snow threaten to soak you down. The inner layer is warm hardface fleece, insulating you from the cold. Both are comfortable to wear on their own, depending on the conditions you're facing, and give you the ultimate protection from all types of weather when worn together.
There is an adjustable hood and Velcro tabs on the cuffs to secure both these areas and keep you toasty on the trail. The best hiking jacket also needs some storage, so there are multiple pockets on both layers to ensure you have enough space for all your smaller belongings.
Like other North Face triclimate 3-in-1 coats, this one is zip-in compatible with some other garments from this company, so you can create the perfect outdoor set to meet your needs. Plus there are multiple colors to choose from, so you'll always have the right one to meet your specific style.
Material: 75D 115 g/m2 Dryvent 2L polyester dobby outer, 206 g/m2 polyester hardface fleece inner
Weight: 31.8 oz
Features: Seam-sealed shell, adjustable hood and cuff tabs, zippered chest and hand pockets, media compatible, hem cinch-cord
The Columbia Eager Air Interchange 3-in-1 Jacket is among the best cold weather jackets for those who love skiing and snowboarding in all types of weather. The inner polyester fleece material is great for those cool days on the slopes, keeping you warm without hindering your movements.
If wet snowy or rainy weather threatens to ruin your day, you can swap out the liner for the waterproof nylon shell. This piece of the Columbia 3-in-1 jacket has an adjustable hood that you can wear or remove as needed. There is also a drawcord on the hem to seal out the cold air that could chill you on the inside.
There are two zippered side pockets to keep your hands warm, as well as a security pocket inside next to the zipper for those items that require extra protection. Adjustable cuffs let you wrap the wrists of this 3-in-1 ski jacket over your gloves to keep the snow from getting inside.
When the weather turns extra cold, zip your two jackets together for a thick, warm Columbia 3-in-1 men's jacket. For the picky members of your group, there are 10 color styles to choose from in this insulated waterproof jacket, so everyone can pick their favorite.
Material: 100% nylon shell with nylon taffeta lining, 100% polyester fleece inner jacket
Weight: 46.0 oz
Features: Removable hood, drawcord hem, adjustable cuffs, zippered hand pockets, interior security pocket
The best winter jacket is customizable to give you the warmth you need to battle the cold weather without overheating you and making you sweat.
The Columbia Bugaboo Interchange Jacket lets you add or remove pieces as the weather changes, giving you all the protection you need under any condition.
This men's 3-in-1 jacket has an Omni-Tech waterproof shell with critically sealed seams, but it is still breathable to keep you comfortable inside it. It also has an Omni-Heat thermal liner, which reflects your body heat back to you instead of releasing it into the world.
Other shell features include adjustable cuffs, a drawcord waist, a chin guard, and zippered hand and security pockets. For extra protection, there is also an adjustable, removable storm hood.
Attaching the fleece liner is simple, using the zip-in, 3-point Interchange system. The high collar keeps your neck warm or folds down if you get too warm. There are also a couple of hand pockets for those days when you want to wear the liner alone but still want to keep your hands toasty warm.
Sizes range from Small to X-Large, giving everyone in need of the best 3-in-1 jacket the right fit.
Material: 100% nylon plain weave Ultra Touch shell with 100% nylon 210T taffeta lining, 100% polyester Dotswarm fleece liner jacket
Weight: 38.8 oz
Features: Omni-Heat thermal reflective shell, Omni-Tech waterproofing, seam-sealed, removable storm hood, zippered hand and security pockets, adjustable cuffs, chin guard
The best light winter jacket will keep your warm during any of your winter sports without weighing you down and leaving you exhausted. At less than 2 lbs, the The North Face Thermoball Triclimate Jacket will let you stay active all day long.
As well as being an incredible light jacket, this one has all the features you need to stay warm and dry in any type of weather. The outer shell is waterproof, with sealed seams that keep the water from leaking inside. It is also breathable to keep you from sweating when the temperature rises or you exert yourself. Pit-zip venting lets you air out when needed.
It has a fully attached hood to protect your head from the cold. Adjustable cuff tabs let you secure your sleeves over your gloves. A cinch-cord on the hem seals out the cold air. You won't need to worry about losing any of your gear, thanks to the zippered chest and hand pockets.
An inner liner needs to be breathable but still insulated to keep your warm. That's why the North Face has included the best PrimaLoft jacket on the inside, with PrimaLoft ThermoBall synthetic insulation on the body and 60G PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Eco for the sleeves, collar, and the side panels.
Material: 80D 133 g/m2 Dryvent 2.5L 95% polyester and 5% elastane shell, 30D 45 g/m2 100% nylon taffeta inner
Weight: 27.5 oz
Features: Seam-sealed shell, adjustable hood, hem, and cuff tabs, zippered chest and hand pockets, pit-zip vents, PrimaLoft insulation
This men's 3-in-1 waterproof jacket will keep you dry at all times, whether your in a light drizzle or dealing with some heavy snowfall. But you won't have to worry about soaking in sweat since it is also breathable, with pit-zips for some extra air movement.
The shell also has a few other features to make this the best 3-in-1 jacket for any type of winter activity. There are adjustable cuffs to cover your gloves and a cinch-cord at the waist for security against cold winter air. The fixed hood is adjustable and has a bonded brim, but stows easily into the collar when you don't need it.
The brushed knit chin guard protects your skin from the zipper, and the collar lining is warm and comfortable against your neck. There are two zippered hand pockets for extra warmth or storing smaller items.
The inner jacket has elastic cuffs, two more zippered pockets, and is warm enough for cool fall days on the trail. It also makes a great liner for the outer shell of this men's triclimate jacket. Alone or together, you'll always have the best adventure jacket for almost any season.
Material: 120 g/m2 Dryvent 2L 100% nylon shell, 190 g/m2 100% recycled polyester fleece inner jacket
Features: Seam-sealed, chin guard, stowable adjustable hood, pit-zips, adjustable cord hem, multiple pockets
Outdoor 3-in-1 jackets need to be versatile enough to use with any cold weather sport you want to participate in. The Patagonia 3-in-1 jacket covers all areas, with a breathable, waterproof H2No Performance standard shell with a few key features.
The pit-zips keep you cool when hiking or climbing, so you won't sweat too much and give yourself a chill. The 2-way adjustable hood protects you from the cold, but also has a visor to block the sun on brighter days. It is helmet-compatible for those whose sports require such equipment and is removable for the days you don't need it at all.
There is also a powder skirt with a webbing loop located at the center of the back which connects easily to any of Patagonia's snow pants. The DWR finish keeps you dry on the outside while the slick mesh lining wicks moisture away on the inside.
The inner layer is a convertible jacket on its own. It is reversible, with smooth fabric on one side and quilted face fabric on the other. There is a layer of lightweight 60g Thermogreen insulation to keep you warm without adding too much weight. Put together, this is one of the best 3-in-1 jackets for men for all occasions.
Material: 4.7 oz 75D 100% polyester micro twill shell with DWR finish and polyester lining, 2.2 oz 100% polyester plain weave inner jacket, 60g Thermogreen 100% polyester insulation
Weight: 47.1 oz
Features: Removable, helmet-compatible, adjustable hood with visor, pit-zips, low-profile cuffs, powder skirt, reversible inner jacket, multiple pockets
The best winter hiking jacket is as stylish as is it useful. The Marmot KT Component Jacket is sleek and versatile, while still giving you all the functions you need on the trail or the slopes. And it comes in four great colors to meet your personal tastes.
But it wouldn't be the best 3-in-1 jacket if it didn't keep you warm. It has a durable, waterproof shell that lets the water slide off instead of soaking through. The seams are all taped as well, to keep any leaks from ruining your adventures.
Other features this 3-in-1 winter jacket shell includes are pit-zips for ventilation, a powder skirt, a drawcord hem, and adjustable Velcro cuffs to secure them tightly around your gloves.
There are a 2 each of the zippered chest and hand pockets, as well as a zippered sleeve pocket for slim items you want to keep close at hand. This 3-in-1 waterproof jacket shell even has an internal media pocket to keep your smaller devices safe and dry.
The removable Thermal R liner jacket is great for higher temperatures that still require a bit of protection from cool winds. Elastic cuffs keep the cold air out of your sleeves and two zip pockets hold your gear or warm your hands.
Material: MemBrain 100% Polyester Oxford 4.5 oz/yd, 100% Polyester mini ripstop DWR 1.6 oz/yd
Weight: 25.3 oz
Features: Seam taped 2-layer construction, removable storm hood with brim, multiple zippered pockets, powder skirt, adjustable Velcro cuffs, drawcord hem, pit-zips
If you are looking for the best lightweight winter jacket, this one from Under Armour may just be the right one for you. Both pieces together weigh less than a pound, but this doesn't mean it's too thin to keep you warm.
The shell uses UA Storm technology to repel water, letting it roll off instead of holding onto it and soaking you down. It is also a windproof jacket, but though it won't let the air in, it is still breathable to keep you comfortable.
The ColdGear Infrared technology has a special inner coating of soft, thermo-conductive material that retains your body heat, keeping you warmer on those icy days that would normally chill you to the bone.
There are a couple of zippered hand pockets, as well as a chest audio pocket with an internal escape hole for your headphones. But don't worry, if you add the inner liner for some extra warmth, there is also an internal escape on this layer as well.
The inner layer of these 3-in-1 outdoor jackets also feature moisture wicking, quick-dry material, another layer of the waterproof UA Storm technology, and some extra hand pockets for the days you want to wear the liner on its own.
Material: Bonded 2-layer polyester twill fabric exterior with smooth taffeta lining shell, high-loft fleece inner jacket
Weight: 9.87 oz
Features: Windproof, ColdGear Infrared technology, adjustable cuffs, adjustable bungee hem, multiple zippered pockets
Since the Fjallraven Ovik Jacket isn't exactly waterproof and is a bit heavier than some other 3-in-1 hiking jackets, it may not be the best lightweight rain jacket for those who live in rainy areas. But for those who may not need a 100% waterproof jacket, this everyday 3-in-1 jacket is still great for a variety of outdoor sports.
The outer shell is made from recycled materials and resists both water and wind. You can use it on its own on warmer days when the weather requires a coat but not multiple layers. Other features of this shell are a couple of hand pockets and a mesh lining for breathability.
The inner jacket is also made from recycled fabric, with a G-Loft Supreme synthetic insulation that is soft on your skin and warms you up when you need it. There is a rib-knitted collar that cradles your neck. Two additional hand pockets are great for small items or those days when you forget your gloves.
Each one of these layers can make a great travel jacket, or put them together to keep you extra warm when the temperature drops and the snow starts to fall.
Material: G-1000 Eco (recycled 65% polyester and 35% organic cotton) shell with polyester lining, 100% polyamide inner jacket with G-Loft Supreme filling (100% polyester)
Weight: 45.8 oz
Features: Water and wind resistant, adjustable hood, 2-way zipper, multiple pockets
Women's 3-in-1 Jacket Reviews
If you need the best 3-in-1 jacket for varying temperatures, you can't go wrong with this North Face women's triclimate jacket. The outer shell is waterproof, but doesn't sacrifice on breathability to keep you dry in wet weather.
The The North Face Arrowood Triclimate Jacket features a fixed hood that is fully adjustable to give you the exact amount of protection you need. The zippers on the coat and the hand pockets are all exposed, reverse-coil zips to keep your belongings safe.
The wrists are Velcro adjustable to fit easily over your gloves or can be tightened to your skin when not wearing any. The hem is also adjustable using a cinch-cord to keep the cold air from blowing into your coat from the bottom.
The inner zip-away part makes the best fleece jacket, due to its mid-weight and smooth material. It also has a couple of zippered hand pockets to keep your belongings secure or warm up your hands when the weather turns chilly.
This women's 3-in-1 North Face jacket is even zip-in compatible with many other items from this company, so you can match your gear as needed. It also comes in a variety of colors and sizes, giving you the right coat for you every time.
Material: 75D 117 g/m2 Dryvent 2L 100% polyester shell with taffeta lining, 206 g/m2 100% polyester smooth-face fleece inner jacket
Weight: 26.81 oz
Features: Seam-sealed, adjustable hood, Velcro cuff tabs, hem cinch-cord, multiple zippered hand pockets
The best hiking rain jacket is designed to let you move easily while still keeping you dry in unfavourable weather. This North Face Triclimate 3-in-1 jacket gives you that great protection from rainy days, but uses stretchable material to give you the ultimate maneuverability.
The outer shell on the The North Face Highanddry Triclimate Jacket is made using their DryVent coating, which keeps the water out without sacrificing breathability, so you won't overheat during your adventures. But to keep you warm, there is taffeta lining and Heatseeker insulation.
To give you the right fit and the most amount of protection, the best 3-in-1 jacket also has an adjustable hood, hem, and Velcro cuffs. There are two zippered hand pockets as well as an internal zippered chest pocket for the gear you want to keep close and safe.
When the weather warms up and the clouds clear out, you can swap your ladies 3-in-1 waterproof jacket for the soft Agave fleece inner jacket. There are two hand pockets as well on this inner layer to warm your hands or carry your gear.
If the weather cools down again, there is a simple zipper system to attach the two jackets to make one 3-in-1 travel jacket for the best protection you can get.
Material: 117 g/m2 DryVent 2L 100% polyester shell with 60g Heatseeker insulation, 360 g/m2 95% polyester and 5% elastane heathered smooth-face fleece inner jacket
Weight: 33.51 oz
Features: Adjustable hood, Velcro cuffs, hem cinch-cord, multiple zippered pockets
The best waterproof hiking jacket protects you from any type of weather Mother Nature throws at you, from light snow to heavy rain. This Columbia interchange jacket uses Omni-Tech technology, which is not only waterproof, but has critically sealed seams to keep those high-stress areas from leaking.
There is an attached, Sherpa-lined hood with a removable synthetic fur collar to warm up your head and block the wind from your face. The comfort cuffs on the shell are adjustable with a thumb hole to block out the cold while still giving you maximum hand movement.
The drop tail on the best women's Columbia 3-in-1 jacket gives you even more protection at the back without hindering your leg movements. You can wear this shell on its own, or use the zip-in system to attach the inner liner for extra protection.
This liner uses Omni-Heat reflective material to absorb and retain your body heat. This is even more useful when using the liner jacket on its own when the weather doesn't warrant the outer waterproof shell. You'll still stay warm on all occasions.
Both layers of the best outdoor jacket have handwarmer pockets, though only the ones on the shell are zippered. There is also a zippered chest pocket on the shell for phones or other slim items you want to keep close and protected.
If you are after a women's 3-in-1 jacket that performs just as well on the slopes as it does in town, the Columbia Women's Carson Pass II Jacket Review is one to consider.
Material: Legacy Dobby 72%nylon/28% polyester shell with 100% nylon 210T taffeta lining, 100% polyester inner jacket with Omni-Heat reflective lining and 80g Microtemp XF II insulation
Weight: 56 oz
Features: Zip-in and 3-point Interchange system, adjustable Sherpa-lined hood, adjustable cuffs, drop tail, removable synthetic fur edging, adjustable cuffs with thumb hole, multiple zippered pockets
The best 3-in-1 jacket for winter keeps you extra warm when the temperatures drop. This one from Under Armour does just that, thanks to the ColdGear Infrared lining on the inside of the shell. This is UA's unique ceramic coating that absorbs and retains your body heat, warming you up on the inside for a more comfortable time outside.
The shell and inner layer of these 3-in-1 jackets for women both use highly water-resistant UA Storm technology to resist moisture from snow and rain. This lets you wear both layers separately in damp weather without worrying about being soaked to the skin.
Other shell features include critically taped seams, a 3-piece hood with a bungee adjustment for the right fit, a UA MagZip front zipper, zippered hand pockets, and a secure chest pocket with an audio port for your headphones or earbuds.
The removable inner jacket has a brushed fleece face and a soft Sherpa lining to keep you comfortable and warm. This material combo wicks moisture away from your skin and dries fast if it does get wet. It also has a standup collar to protect your neck and a couple of open hand pockets. To show off your figure, it also has princess seams for a stylish, streamlined fit.
Material: UA Storm polyester shell with ColdGear Infrared lining, UA Storm technology polyester inner jacket with brushed fleece face and Sherpa lining
Weight: 38.8 oz
Features: Critically taped seams, adjustable hood, UA MagZip magnetic quick-zip front, multiple pockets, moisture wicking fabric, princess seams
The best 3-in-1 jacket provides you with protection no matter what type of conditions you're dealing with. The The North Face Cinnabar Triclimate Jacket gives you just that.
Whether you're wearing the shell, liner jacket, or both together, the Cinnabar is a warm and comfortable women's 3-in-1 jacket for any season. And the zip-in system lets you take them apart or put them together in only seconds.
The outer shell is waterproof, with sealed seams to protect you from wet weather, but is still breathable to keep you from overheating inside your coat. The front zipper is also protected using a storm flap and a Velcro closure. It also has pit-zips to cool you off if the weather warms up or to reduce any sweating if you're exerting yourself during some active winter sports.
The hood is adjustable, giving you all the protection you need, and is removable when you don't need any at all. Velcro on the cuffs and a cinch-cord on the hem let you secure these areas against the cold and snow.
The liner jacket uses Heatseeker insulation to keep you extra warm and has a brushed collar which is soft against your skin while providing some wind protection. On both the liner and the shell are a couple of zippered hand pockets. The shell also has a zippered media pocket on the chest to keep your devices accessible as well as safe.
Material: 75D 110 g\m2 Dryvent 2L 100% polyester plain weave shell, polyester fleece inner jacket with 100g Heatseeker insulation
Weight: 34.92 oz
Features: Removable and adjustable hood, Velcro cuffs, hem cinch-cord, pit-zip vents, storm flap and Velcro closure over center zipper, multiple pockets, media compatible
If you love to ski or snowboard, you need the best outdoor jacket for easy movement on the slopes. But it still needs to protect you from the damp chill of winter. Whether you wear the shell, the inner liner, or both together, you're sure to have the right amount of warmth without hindering your skills.
The outer shell of the women's Bugaboo is waterproof, with critically sealed seams. But it is still breathable, keeping you comfortable inside your coat without letting the cold air in. There is an adjustable storm hood to use when the weather turns ugly, as well as adjustable cuffs and a drawcord on the hem to tighten those areas against the snow and cold winds.
The inner layer of the Columbia Bugaboo Interchange Jacket, Columbia's best women's 3-in-1 jacket for skiers uses an Omni-Heat thermal liner.
Columbia's Omni-Heat thermal liner reflects your body heat back to you, retaining it for maximum warmth on those chilly days. But this layer is also breathable, so you won't be soaked by sweat, no matter how vigorous your activities are.
You can wear each of these layers on its own, depending on the conditions you'll be facing that day. If extra protection is necessary, there is an easy to use zip-in interchange system to attach them together. This limits shifting layers while you move, so the jacket truly becomes one perfect piece.
Material: 100% nylon plain weave Ultra Touch shell with 100% nylon 210T taffeta lining, 100% polyester Dotswarm fleece inner jacket
Weight: 38.8 oz
Features: Adjustable hood, hem, and cuffs, zip-in interchange system, multiple zippered pockets, critically sealed seams, modern classic fit
Guide to Finding the Best 3-in-1 Jacket
What is a 3-in-1 Jacket?
A 3-in-1 jacket, also called an interchange or interactive jacket, consists of two separate layers that can be used together or on their own as needed. The outer shell is made from waterproof or water-resistant materials to keep you dry in damp weather. They can also be windproof as well, to protect you from all the elements.
The inner layer is the insulating part of the best 3-in-1 jacket. Fleece or polyester are the usual materials used for these jackets, due to their warmth and comfort. On cooler days you can wear these inner jackets on their own to keep those chills at bay.
When the weather warrants both layers at the same time, these jackets can be worn together, insulating you from the cold and protecting you from the wet all at once. Usually, there is a zipper to attach the two layers together, though some use buttons or hooks instead.
Advantages of 3-in-1 Jackets
The main advantage of buying the best 3-in-1 jacket is their versatility. Since they have multiple layers that each have their own handy features, you can use your 3-in-1 jacket for travel, hiking, skiing, and a variety of other outdoor sports.
When the day is rainy or snow is falling, but the temperature is still decent, you can just slip on the outer shell for moisture protection. If it's cool and dry, the inner layer works best to keep you warm. And for those icy days when you need all the protection you can get from all types of conditions, you can attach them together to make one thicker jacket.
Another advantage of these types of coats is that they can be used alone or layered in any season. Just having the best triclimate jacket at your disposal removes the need for any other outdoor coat. Their versatility makes them the only one you'll ever need.
Things to Consider When Finding the Right Triclimate Jacket
The outer shell of an interchange jacket may have a soft liner and a thin layer of insulation, but the main purpose of this layer is the waterproofing. Shells usually achieve this type of protection using some type of coating or membrane.
Coatings are cheaper to apply to the fabric, but they may wear out over time, losing their effectiveness against moisture. Membranes cost a bit extra but last much longer. They also add some breathability to the shell of the best 3-in-1 jacket models.
Some shells aren't totally waterproof, though, but they'll still have some resistance to moisture, repelling light rain or snow. They may not be able to protect you from heavy downpours, though, so be sure to check out your shells rating before heading out in nasty weather.
Tapes seams are also a must to keep leaks from happening in those tiny thread holes. Fully taped seams cover all areas, while critically tapes seams are only used on the high-stress areas.
The inner layer of the best 3-in-1 jacket is where the insulation comes in. Many brands use either fleece or softshell material, both of which have their benefits.
Everyone knows fleece is soft and warm, giving you a cozy layer you can snuggle into when you're feeling a chill. But fleece is a bit heavy and doesn't have much give. Down jackets provide some of the highest warmth to weight ratio out there. Thermoloft insulated jackets come in a close second.
Softshell material is lighter and stretches as needed, which is essential for those who ski, climb, or hike. This type of fabric is also windproof, giving you a bit more protection for some extra warmth.
An insulating layer may also be made to retain your body heat while wicking moisture away to keep you as dry as possible.
Style & Fit
When it comes to the style and the fit of the best 3-in-1 jacket models available, there are two main types for you to choose from, depending on the type of activities you prefer to spend your time on.
The traditional style of these 3-in-1 waterproof jackets has a straight cut design. They fit a bit looser, making them a great choice for walking or hiking in cooler temperatures, though they may not be warm enough for the icy cold of January.
If your activities require a bit more maneuverability, the alpine style may be a better option. These have a fitted design, hugging your natural curves while still giving you room to move comfortably. These models also have better heat retention, which is essential for those lower temperatures. For those who plan to head to higher elevations, an alpine cut is the best choice.
When it comes to connecting the inner layer of your jacket to the shell, there are a few methods to choose from. The easiest one to use is the zip-in technology, which allows you to zip the inner layer to the outer layer. There is usually some sort of hook and loop or buttons on the cuffs to hold the sleeves together as well.
Some of these interchange coats also use hooks, snaps, or buttons to hold the two pieces together, though these aren't as secure or as durable as a strong zipper would be. But these aren't prone to rusting either, so if you live in damp areas, these may be a better option for you.
Both of these options are easy to use, quickly attaching your layers when you need that extra protection or releasing them when it's too warm to wear both at once.The North Faceand Columbia have refined the connection system on their jackets and provide some of the best systems out there.
When it comes to durability, the best 3-in-1 jacket can last as well as any other type of coat. Of course, this all depends on the materials used to make it.
Most brands stick with nylon or polyester, both of which are strong enough to resist tears or abrasions. These fabrics are used on both the inner and outer layers, so it doesn't matter if you wear them together or on their own. They will still last for years.
If possible, try to find one that uses ripstop technology. If the material should catch on a sharp branch or scrape across a pointy rock, ripstop fabric will prevent any tear from spreading.
Hood, Cuff & Drawcords
Though not necessary, special features on these areas will all show up on the best 3-in-1 jacket to give you the best fit and the most amount of warmth.
Though a hood is needed to keep the wind off your face and neck, a removable one is extra convenient. You don't always need that extra protection, and a bulky hood can be annoying at times. An adjustable hood is also a great option, so it isn't hanging over your eyes while you're skiing or hiking a difficult trail.
Adjustable cuffs are quite common these days. They are great for tightening this area around your gloves or mittens, locking out the snow and keeping your wrists and arms warm and dry. Velcro is the most common choice for this type of adjustment since it is easy to use with free or covered hands.
Drawstring or bungee cords on the hem are also a good option to have. This makes it easy to tighten the bottom of your jacket, blocking out the wind that could sneak up the bottom and chill you from the inside. These are also easy to use, locking in place until you remove your coat.
It's always easier to layer your clothing, especially in the winter. This way, you can add or remove them as needed to keep yourself comfortable and warm without overheating and starting to sweat.
That's the beauty of the best 3-in-1 jacket. You can wear the inner layer on cool days, the outer layer when wet weather threatens, or layer them together for the most amount of warmth and protection on your cold-weather adventures.
It also doesn't take much to carry the extra layer with you in your car or backpack. Since these layers are thinner on their own, they are much more packable than a thicker 1-piece winter coat.
You can also layer your clothing underneath as needed, wearing lighter t-shirts or thicker sweaters, depending on the weather.
Every coat needs a few pockets and the best 3-in-1 jacket around will make sure to meet this requirement. In fact, there will usually be pockets on both layers, for those times when you wear them separately.
Hand pockets will be a definite addition to the inner jacket and the outer shell. Usually, these will be zippered for extra security, but there may just be a flap or nothing at all to hold your gear in. The ones without may be best for warming your hands instead of storing your stuff.
Internal or external chest pockets are also common on the shell, usually with zippers to secure your important items. Sometimes you'll even find one that is media compatible, which means it will have a small hole to pass the cord of your headphones or earbuds through. This way, you won't have any cords dangling in or out of your jacket.
Security pockets on the inside are convenient for your more expensive or hard to replace items, like your phone, wallet, or cards.
There are a few other features to look for to make a normal coat into the best 3-in-1 jacket money can buy. One you may want is a long cut design. This gives you more protection over your bum and upper thighs. A chin guard also protects your skin from zipper abrasions.
Pit-zips can open up and provide you with some much-needed ventilation during strenuous activities. For skiers and snowboarders, a powder skirt is also essential. These attach to your snow pants, locking out the powder if you happen to take a tumble.
Storm flaps over the zippers block out the wind from those tiny holes between the metal. Thumbholes are also handy, allowing you to tighten the cuffs around your wrist without hindering your hand movements.
Interchange jackets can be a bit pricey, depending on the brand and the features you are looking for. The more pockets, insulation, and extras you want, the more it costs to make your new jacket.
Of course, you don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent one. Many of the best 3-in-1 jacket companies have created styles that range from $100-$200. These are still durable, warm, and have a few handy features you need to make it a worthwhile part of your winter gear.
Of course, if you want a top of the line model that will last for years through even the most rugged adventures, you may have to double or even triple that price for everything you need.
The Bottom Line
No matter what season or activity you prefer to head outside for, having the best 3-in-1 jacket in your closet can only enhance your adventures. Their versatility and convenience is only part of the appeal, with their features and warmth making them a great addition to your gear.
It's hard to ignore that The North Face makes some of the most versatile and highest performance 3-in-1 jackets on the market today. They have a handful of models for both men and women---with the Arrowood 3-in-1 Jacket being a standout for both.
If you are in need of a decent 3-in-1 jacket but don't have hundreds of dollars at your disposal, both the men's and women's Columbia Bugaboo Interchange Jacket are decently priced. These two also don't skimp on the features, giving you great insulation and waterproofing, as well as a few extras to make them worth your while to buy.
A lightweight jacket is also great to have, especially if your hobbies have you hiking through rugged terrain where extra weight will leave you exhausted. The Under Armour Storm ColdGear Infrared Porter 3-in-1 Jacket is the lightest on our men's list. For the ladies, The North Face Arrowood Triclimate Jacket is less than 2 lbs, which won't slow you down at all.
For skiers or snowmobilers, the Patagonia Snowshot 3-in-1 Jacket has a helmet-compatible hood to ensure you have the ultimate protection in a crash without sacrificing warmth. Plus the powder skirt closes off any areas between your jacket and snow pants, keeping the white stuff from soaking you on the inside.