Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

The Best Anoraks for Outdoor Adventure

Looking for outerwear as versatile as you are? Look no further.

a group of jackets
Houdini, Patagonia, Filson

Would you like to freshen up your outerwear game this fall? Rather than shopping for yet another shell, maybe it's time you considered trying out an anorak — the standard shell's slightly more stylish, interesting counterpart.

Designed for protection from wind and rain, anoraks have a long history. They were originally worn by the indigenous peoples of the Arctic, and were made from animal furs or hides. Modern versions have typically been made from water-resistant or waterproof materials and almost always feature a hood and a quarter zip for easy heat dumping and dressing. The latest and greatest anoraks come in a variety of materials and can be used anywhere from the ski slopes to taking the dog for a walk around camp.

If you haven't considered the anorak before and you need a new piece of outerwear — consider this your sign to give one a try. Here are our favorites.

Best Overall: Patagonia Isthmus Anorak

Patagonia Isthmus Anorak


  • Lightweight and easy to pack

  • Not fully waterproof
  • Waterproofing: DWR
  • Materials: 4.2-oz 95% nylon (65% recycled)/5% spandex
  • UPF protection: 40+

    Leave it to the masterminds at Patagonia to make our favorite anorak: made from lightweight nylon and with just enough spandex for stretch, the Isthmus is the ideal addition to any kit. Although it's water-resistant, not waterproof, testers have found it to hold up just fine in most rain showers. A quarter-zip yoke, three-panel hood, adjustable cuffs and the ability to pack down into its own pocket make this piece as functional as it is comfortable, true to Patagonia form.

    Best Upgrade: Houdini Shelter Anorak

    Houdini Shelter Anorak


    • Minimalistic style lets the essentials shine
    • Built to function during any activity

    • Pricey
    • Waterproofing: PFAS-free DWR finish
    • Materials: 70% recycled polyester, 30% polyester face fabric
    • Weight: 520 grams

      We won't dance around it: Yes, the Shelter costs upward of five hundred bucks, but because it's been built to function in essentially any outdoor activity, you could consider getting rid of your quiver of pricey, single-function jackets and just stick with this one. Houdini stripped away everything but the essentials on the Shelter; it's built with a three layer water- and windproof shell that's ultra breathable.

      Constructed from 70 percent recycled poly and free from any PFAS, the Shelter also features an adjustable drawcord hem, two-way adjustable hood, kangaroo pocket with internal pocket and an adjustable collar with buttons. Wear it cycling, skiing, hiking, camping or wherever your outdoor adventures take you.

      Best Budget Anorak: REI Co-Op Trailmade Softshell Anorak


      REI Co-op Trailmade Soft-Shell Anorak

      $29.83 (70% off)

      • Soft and stretchy fabric is comfortable during high-output activities

      • Colorways aren't very subtle
      • Waterproof: Water-resistant
      • Materials: 88% nylon / 12% spandex (Bluesign approved)
      • Weight: 15.1 ounces

        If you're curious about the anorak but not entirely sold, it's worth trying out a budget-friendly option to see how you'll take to the style. REI's Trailmade Softshell Anorak is built from a windproof and water-resistant nylon/spandex blend, and weighs just 15.1 ounces. It's packable and has an adjustable hood, and the deep center zip allows for easy on/off and for dumping heat.

        It's not made from the most technical fabric out there, but you won't find this quality at this price anywhere else. The colorways are pretty loud, so if you normally rock a more muted palette, this may not be the anorak for you.

        Best Waxed Cotton Anorak: Filson Ranger Anorak

        Filson Ranger Anorak


        • Fit is accurate and comfortable
        • Classic look will never go out of style

        • Not made in the USA like other Filson goods
        • Waterproof: Water resistant
        • Materials: 6-ounce dry-waxed 100% cotton

          It's not a requirement that a functional anorak be cut from synthetic, polyester cloth, and Filson's Ranger demonstrates that with style and durability. Made from water-resistant waxed cotton, the Ranger's pullover design was modeled after "early mountaineers and WWII-era troops serving in arctic units", according to the brand. That heritage plays well with the modern features on the jacket, which include a quarter-length front zipper, snap-adjustable cuffs, a drawcord-adjustable hood and a kangaroo front hand pocket.

          Best for Wearing Around Camp: Jungmaven Shoreline Anorak

          Shoreline Anorak Jacket


          • Incredibly comfortable
          • Unisex style works for anyone

          • Not as technical as other fabrics
          • Waterproof: No
          • Materials: 5-ounce 55% hemp / 45% organic cotton ripstop blend

            Hemp is one of the most versatile, durable and sustainable natural fibers available, and in the form of an anorak, is incredibly comfortable. The Shoreline is not the most technical anorak on this list; but what it lacks in waterproofing and wind protection, it makes up in style, wearability and quality.

            We love the Shoreline for its understated aesthetic, comfort and design details: the crosshatch construction repels rips, and the drawcord hood and waist keep chilly breezes at bay. We've worn this anorak on road trips, hiking, camping and hanging around camp, and it gets better with every wear.

            Best for Heavy Rain: Cotopaxi Cielo Rain Anorak

            Cotopaxi Cielo Rain Anorak


            • Multiple pockets and zippers effectively regulate temperature

            • Fabric color is more vibrant than it appears online
            • Waterproof: Yes, 10,000 mm rating
            • Materials: 100% recycled polyester

              If you want an anorak that can do its job keeping you protected against showers and wind, no questions asked, Cotopaxi has you covered. The Cielo's fit is comfortable and roomy, the fabric is soft and almost silky to the touch, and multiple pockets and zippers help regulate fluctuating temperatures with ease.

              Cotopaxi's mission to provide eco-friendly gear is evident in the Cielo: it's made from 100 percent recycled polyester, features a PFC-free DWR treatment and has a 10,000 mm waterproof rating. Sure, it's a little bright, but that'll help your friends and family keep an eye on you in the wild (or the airport). If you're looking for a functional, easy to wear piece, it's hard to argue with the Cielo.

              Best Fleece Anorak: The North Face Denali Fleece Anorak

              The North Face Denali Fleece Anorak


              • Water-resistant fleece is functional and cozy

              • Runs a tad large
              • Waterproof: Water-resistant DWR finish
              • Materials: Body: 50-denier 300 gram Polartec recycled polyester knit fleece; overlay: 70-denier x 160-denier 121 gram recycled nylon

                Sometimes, cozy fleece is the call: if that's the case for you, and you don't plan on being in any crazy storms, the Denali Fleece Anorak from The North Face is about as comfortable and soft as anoraks come. Made from Polartec fleece with a non-PFC DWR finish, the Denali is supremely comfortable and soft. It'll handle light showers fine, and will keep wind at bay no problem. The sizing runs a little large, but unless you're trying to layer it under another shell, the oversized look isn't too exaggerated.

                    Advertisement - Continue Reading Below