The right jacket changes everything. To help you stay out longer this fall, our outdoor experts have selected their favourite storm-blocking shells and core-warming insulation.
Meet our top ten picks for go-to jackets you can wear all day, every day, everywhere.
1. Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody
Your go-to for: Insulation for endless active pursuits
An incredibly versatile insulating layer for active people – look at the hundreds of 5-star reviews as proof. Coreloft™ synthetic fill provides reliable warmth, feels weightless and is highly compressible. The outer taffeta nylon shell is DWR treated for wind and water resistance, and the whole package is designed with breathability in mind.
“My favourite mid-layer for backcountry skiing. When I kick out heat skinning up, it lets moisture escape well. Plus the cuffs keep out the cold and the hood cinches nicely to do the same.” – MEC staffer Nick A.
2. Arc’teryx Beta LT Jacket
Your go-to for: Protection in demanding mountain conditions
Lightweight and hard-wearing for fast-moving alpinists or anyone who wants solid protection when the weather turns. The 3-layer GORE-TEX® is waterproof-breathable, water-tight zippers seal out wetness, and the helmet-compatible hood has a laminated brim to deflect rain and snow. When things heat up, pit zips cool you down.
3. MEC Synergy GORE-TEX Jacket
Your go-to for: Durable protection in wet, cold alpine environments.
Our top-of-the-line MEC waterproof shell. The adventure-hungry Synergy uses gold standard GORE-TEX® fabric technology with alpine-specific features like watertight zippers, a high collar to keep out blowing snow, and a helmet-compatible hood. It’s such a hit with MEC Ambassadors that we devoted an entire blog post to why the Synergy is so well-loved.
“When I stuff the Synergy in my pack, I know I’m carrying something I can trust to protect me in severe conditions. It’s my go-to on the ski hill, and any time conditions might whip up.” – MEC Ambassador Bruce Kirkby
4. MEC Hydrofoil Stretch Jacket
Your go-to for: Maximum wet-weather protection, plenty of stretch
Waterproof construction that’s ridiculously breathable. The 4-way stretch fabric is soft and supple, never crunchy. It’s lightweight and packable with fully taped seams and provides awesome value for a rain shell.
“I’ve owned a Hydrofoil for years and it’s kept me dry on so many soggy west coast days. I use it for trail weekends and even on bike commutes in serious Vancouver winter rain.” – MEC staffer KB
5. Patagonia Torrentshell 3-Layer Jacket
Your go-to for: All-day comfort, long-lasting waterproof durability.
Durable waterproof protection in a lightweight design to block torrential (get it?) downpours. Nice details include underarm zips for venting and an adjustable hood with laminated visor. Since it’s so packable, it’s an essential piece to bring anytime there’s a hint of precipitation in the forecast.
6. MEC Aura Hoodie
Your go-to for: Core warmth, even if it’s wet
Loaded with 100g insulation under a DWR-treated shell, so it stands up to dampness and keeps chills at bay. Synthetic insulation stays warm when it’s wet (a benefit over down). Elastic cuffs seal out the drafts and lock in the warmth. Plus it stuffs into its own pocket for packability.
7. MEC Aquanator Jacket
Your go-to for: All-round waterproofing on soggy days
Breathable, totally waterproof, and won’t feel clammy during moderate activity. If you’re looking for an everyday jacket for rainy walks or wet-weekend campouts, the simple yet effective Aquanator is it. The unlined 2.5 layer construction keeps it packable, but it’s still feature-rich with fully-taped seams, an adjustable hood and underarm zips.
8. MEC Airstream Hoodie
Your go-to for: Breathable warmth that does the work of multiple layers
Technical enough for mountain missions, invaluable for adventures with variable temperatures. The durable nylon shell stretches, breathes and has a DWR finish to shed light precipitation. Inside, warm synthetic fill is breathable and stretchy. A helmet-compatible hood, cinchable hem to seal out wind, and zippered pockets top it all off.
“A critical part of my layering system from October to May – I love how breathable it is since I heat up fast. I use it for brisk morning bike commutes, setting up camp, and cold ski days as a warm layer on the uptrack or under the Synergy on the descent.” – MEC Label product designer Joel F.
9. Patagonia Down Sweater
Your go-to for: Powerful warmth in a light, packable layer.
The modern standard for extreme conditions. The outer shell fabric is extremely light with a DWR finish to keep it water-resistant and windproof. Quilted construction keeps the premium, traceable 800 fill-power goose down in place and the clean design is roomy enough for added base layers.
“I’ve worn the heck out of my Patagonia Down Sweater and it doesn’t have a single tear. It was my go-to fall jacket in Ottawa and isn’t bulky under a shell in winter. The packability is amazing – I took it all over Scandinavia one November.” – MEC staffer Sarah U.
10. The North Face Thermoball Eco Jacket
Your go-to for: Versatile insulation that packs down small
Light and compressible to squeeze into your pack for climbing, skiing and hiking trips. It’s also made with the earth in mind – ThermoBall insulation is 100% post-consumer recycled material that adds warmth, even when wet. The shell is recycled nylon and has a DWR finish to block wind and shrug off drops.
Looking for even more options? Check out our full fall jacket collection from trusted outdoor brands.