The Best 3-in-1 Jackets of 2019

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Editor’s note on January 12, 2019: Now that winter has officially arrived, we took an opportunity to scour customer reviews and refresh our recommendations for the best 3-in-1 jackets of the year. Some picks—like the Patagonia Snowbelle and Snowshot jackets—remain top-rated customer favorites, while others—like the Marmot Sugar Loaf and KT component jackets—have been added to the guide.


Sometimes called a systems jacket, or a component jacket, a 3-in-1 jacket combines two main elements:

  • An outer shell jacket, often waterproof and non-insulated
  • A liner jacket, usually lightly insulated with synthetic fibers or down

The “3” in the name comes from the number of ways you can wear these elements—each one can be worn as a standalone piece, or they can be snapped or zipped together to be worn as a complete system for more powerful protection from the elements. Here are the best 3-in-1 jackets of 2019.

Patagonia Snowbelle 3-in-1 Jacket 

Best Full-Featured Ski/Snowboard 3-in-1 Jacket

Versions: Women's, Men's

Patagonia Snowbelle Jacket

 

  • MSRP: $399
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 8.7 oz. (Women’s) / 2 lbs. 15 oz. (Men’s)
  • Shell Fabric: Polyester (70% recycled) with H2No waterproof/breathable laminate
  • Mid Layer Insulation: 60g Thermogreen® synthetic insulation (90% recycled)
  • Other Features: Powder skirt; removable, helmet-compatible hood; pit zips; Recco® reflector; durable water repellent (DWR) on both shell and liner

What Makes This Jacket Especially Awesome: Its liner jacket is reversible—smooth on one side, quilted on the other—so it’s almost like getting four jacket configurations for the price of one. Partially recycled fabrics and insulation, and a stamp of approval on some of its elements from the sustainability organization bluesign® make it a nice choice for environmentally conscious winter enthusiasts.

The North Face ThermoBall Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 Jacket 

Best Full-Featured Ski/Snowboard 3-in-1 Jacket

Versions: Women's, Men's

The North Face ThermoBall 3-in-1 Jacket

  • MSRP: $349
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 13.8 oz. (Women’s) / 3 lbs. 0.3 oz. (Men’s)
  • Shell Fabric: Polyester with DryVent waterproof/breathable laminate
  • Mid Layer Insulation: 124g PrimaLoft® ThermoBall™ synthetic insulation
  • Other Features: Powder skirt; helmet-compatible hood; pit zips; durable water repellent (DWR) on shell 

What Makes This Jacket Especially Awesome: Its parka length (hitting below the hips) has garnered enthusiasm from customers who appreciate its rear coverage. That little bit of extra coverage, in addition to heavier-weight insulation than many 3-in-1s offer, makes this a toasty little number for those who hate being cold.

Columbia Alpine Alliance II Interchange 3-in-1 Jacket

Best Bang for Your Buck Ski/Snowboard Jacket

Versions: Women's, Women's Plus Sizes

Columbia Alpine Alliance 3-in-1 Jacket

  • MSRP: $220–$250
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 12 oz.
  • Shell Fabric: Nylon/polyester with Omni-Tech waterproof/breathable coating
  • Mid Layer Insulation: 100g Microtemp synthetic fibers
  • Other Features: Powder skirt; adjustable hood; pit zips

What Makes This Jacket Especially Awesome: Omni-Heat® thermal-reflective lining and the thumbholes in the liner’s sleeves do a great job upping this jacket’s cozy game. And, it costs less than the price of many standalone ski shells these days.

The North Face Clement Triclimate 3-in-1 Jacket   

Best Bang for Your Buck Ski/Snowboard Jacket

The North Face Clement 3-in-1 Jacket

  • MSRP: $280
  • Weight: 3 lbs.
  • Shell Fabric: Nylon with DryVent waterproof/breathable laminate
  • Mid Layer Insulation: 80g Heatseeker synthetic fibers
  • Other Features: Powder skirt; removable, helmet-compatible hood; pit zips

What Makes This Jacket Especially Awesome: Both the shell and the liner have zippered pockets to help prevent your phone or wallet accidentally falling out on the ski lift or on the trail. It has a more athletic fit than many bulkier 3-in-1 options.

Marmot Sugar Loaf Component 3-in-1 Jacket

Best Full-Featured Multisport 3-in-1 Jacket

Versions: Women's, Men's

Marmot Sugar Loaf 3-in-1 Jacket

  • MSRP: $425
  • Weight: 1 lb. 9 oz. (Women’s) / 1 lb. 12 oz. (Men’s)
  • Shell Fabric: 2-layer GORE-TEX® waterproof breathable recycled polyester
  • Mid Layer Fabric and Insulation: Pertex® Quantum nylon with Thermal R synthetic fill
  • Other Features: Removable hood; powder skirt (removable on women’s Sugar Loaf)

What Makes This Jacket Especially Awesome: When the need to stay dry is non-negotiable, it’s hard to beat the waterproof protection of GORE-TEX matched with 100% seam-taped construction. This jacket’s light insulation and low overall weight make it ideal for shoulder-season adventures in wet or rapidly changing conditions. The powder skirt (fixed on the men’s KT, and removable on the women’s Sugar Loaf) lends versatility for snowsports, while the storm hood is removable to reduce bulk on days when you don’t need it.

The North Face Arrowood Triclimate 3-in-1 Jacket 

Best Bang for Your Buck Multisport 3-in-1 Jacket

Versions: Women's, Men'sThe North Face Arrowood Triclimate 3-in-1 Jacket

  • MSRP: $199
  • Weight: 1 lb. 10.8 oz. (Women’s) / 1 lb. 15.8 oz. (Men’s)
  • Shell Fabric: Polyester with DryVent waterproof/breathable laminate
  • Mid Layer Fabric: 200-weight fleece

What Makes This Jacket Especially Awesome: You might have thought it impossible to get not one, but two, jackets from The North Face for less than $200, but the Arrowood demonstrates otherwise. Rather than offering a traditional “puffy” insulated liner jacket as many 3-in-1s do, this comes with a midweight fleece liner that makes this more suitable for cool, crisp shoulder-season days or spring skiing.

Fit Tip: Customers report that the women’s version runs slightly small.

Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Down Parka 

Best Casual 3-in-1 Jacket

Versions: Women's, Men's

Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka

  • MSRP: $599 (Women’s) / $549 (Men’s)
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 2.9 oz. (Women’s) / 2 lbs. 14.7 oz. (Men’s)
  • Shell Fabric: Polyester stretch twill with H2No® waterproof/breathable barrier
  • Mid Layer Insulation: 700-fill-power recycled down
  • Other Features: Removable hood, 2-way zipper, DWR on both shell and liner

What Makes This Jacket Especially Awesome: This do-it-all parka is a jacket you can live in all winter long. Its recycled goose and duck down  has been reclaimed from cushions, bedding and other used items that can’t be resold. The women’s version comes in a longer, slimmer silhouette than the men’s, which provides more coverage and warmth for drizzly commutes, chilly walks and winter travels.

Shop All 3-in-1 Jackets

3-in-1 Jackets Buying Advice

What are the advantages of a 3-in-1 jacket?

The common adage on how to dress for winter sports is to wear layers. Layers let you adapt to changing weather—sudden afternoon storms, or unexpected sunny patches just as you’re starting to work up a sweat.

By its nature, a 3-in-1 jacket is a layering system designed to help you adjust easily to changing temperatures or exertion levels. Maybe you want to wear both a shell and insulation for those first few ski laps and chilly early-morning lift rides. After you’ve warmed up, you have the flexibility to switch to just the shell or the liner—depending on the weather.

Because the two jacket elements are designed to go together, they integrate easily with one another, typically via snap tabs or zippers. In many cases, buying a 3-in-1 jacket can provide some cost savings over purchasing a shell and insulating layer individually.

One tradeoff: The extra zippers or integrating tabs add some weight and bulk to the jacket. Though some high-end 3-in-1 jackets offer full-featured technical performance, many 3-in-1 jackets are more entry-level oriented—budget-friendly picks, say, for those outfitting themselves or their families for a new ski season.

Pro Tip: If you have the opportunity to visit a store in person and try a jacket on, be sure to try on the jacket in all 3 of its configurations. Especially, ensure the fit of the outer shell isn’t too baggy when worn without the insulating liner.

When should you wear a 3-in-1 jacket?

3-in-1 jackets are a great choice for most cold-weather activities with some element of stop-and-go action. (For high-exertion, aerobic pursuits like winter running, skate skiing or backcountry skiing, you’re probably better off with higher-end, non-insulated shells more singularly focused on breathability.)

Downhill skiing and snowboarding are two of the most obvious candidates—especially resort skiing where conditions often fluctuate over the course of a day, or where you might alternate between high exertion and resting on ski lifts or mountaintop decks. Many 3-in-1 jackets also come with snowsports-specific features like powder skirts (to seal out snow when you’re skiing or riding in powder), helmet-compatible hoods or designated ski-pass pockets.

Pro Tip: The powder skirts in many jackets also often have snaps or tabs to interface with compatible ski pants from the same brand for an even more seamless barrier against wayward snow.

3-in-1 jackets are also suitable for cold-weather backpacking, snowshoeing or casual winter wear—or activities (hiking, camping, travel, etc.) for which you might otherwise individually choose a waterproof shell or a light insulating mid layer. They’re also a great general addition to your winter wardrobe—perfect for wearing to the dog park, around town or to shovel your driveway after a blizzard.

Learn More: How to Choose Insulated Outerwear

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