Best 3-in-1 Jackets
If you like to adventure in all the different seasons and climates a great 3-in-1 jacket is a wonderful idea to purchase. How annoying is it to feel the need to store multiple jackets for different types of situations? Before you know it, you have three to four different types of jackets that you are hauling around to adapt to all weather conditions. So, why not just invest in a 3-in-1 jacket that accommodates for mild and chilled days alike? Also, known as a Systems jacket, 3-in-1 jackets allows you to either wear a jacket separately or zip all components together. Below we have listed the top ten best 3-in-1 jackets in the market today and listed detailed criteria to help you decide which one suits your adventure needs best.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research
The seams reduce the amount of bulk
Includes technology that has a high-resistance to water
Outer shell seamlessly comes off for mild weather
- Under Armour Infrared Sienna
- The North Face Cinnabar Triclimate
- Arc'teryx Tantalus
- Men's The North Face Carto Triclimate
- Patagonia Snowshot
- Columbia Eager Air Interchange
- Columbia Whirlibird interchange
- Mountain Warehouse Storm Rain
- Columbia Sportswear Bugaboo Interchange
- Jack Wolfskin Iceland
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Under Armour Infrared Sienna
The seams reduce the amount of bulk
Includes technology that has a high-resistance to water
Outer shell seamlessly comes off for mild weather
It tends to run a little big
When wearing a fleece garment underneath, the fleece-on-fleece can be irritable for some
Under Armour is a trusted brand in warmth and comfortability and their ColdGear Infrared Sienna jacket, just so happens to be one of the best 3-in-1 jackets that a person will find.Read more
A two-layer shell provides an excellent amount of of the and the ColdGear lining does an efficient job of absorbing and circulating your body heat. For an athletic fit, the underneath wear is closer to your body enhancing the warmth.
When you become overheated, you can simply remove the outer shell for a lightweight weather-resistant jacket. In addition, the included three-piece hood has a bungee drawstring for an appropriate fit.
Both the shell and liner is constructed from 100 percent polyester. The UA Storm outer shell has critically taped seams for ideal resistance to both the weather and the wind.
For jackets amount of storage, there are open hand pockets on the front of the jacket.
Everyone should be able to find a color and size option for them. Color choices are available for fury and ox blood, full black, blue and Neptune, ivory and gray, among others. As far as sizes, you can select from small to extra-large.
About the only real issue, you should be concerned with is that this jacket tends to run big. Outside of that, the quality and temperature control speak for themselves.
2. The North Face Cinnabar Triclimate
Pairs a waterproof jacket with a zip-in insulated liner jacket
There are several color and size options to choose from
It is zip-in compatible, meaning you can layer garments underneath if needed
The inconsistency of the sizes is baffling, small maybe too big and x-small to tight
Do not worry men, we will get to you in a minute. It just so happens that The North Face’s best 3-in-1 jacket is their Women’s Cinnabar Triclimate. Again, besides the common sizing issues, there is nothing but pure quality here.Read more
For ample warmth, even in the harshest of conditions, the liner jacket is zip-in insulated. What this does is trap the hot air to reduce the amount escaping through the jacket. Overall, the fabric utilized perfectly regulate your body temperature to keep you comfortable at all times.
The included hood can is fully adjustable and if you do not see a reason for it, it also can be removed. As a 3-in-1 jacket, you can also choose which layers to wear at one time.
The integrated technology utilized in this jacket uses a polyurethane for the utmost in waterproof protection and durability. Also, the front zipper is seam sealed and it does include a storm flap. For fabric, the shell is made from 100 percent polyester and the liner from 100g Heatseeker.
As for pockets, both hand pockets and a secure zip chest pocket are included.
Again, there are a strong number of color choices available including plum, pink and orange, gray and white, full black, and full blue. Meanwhile, sizes range from extra-small all the way to XX-large.
It may take a few returns for you to find the right size for you, as they can be inconsistent, but once you do there will be no looking back.
3. Arc'teryx Tantalus
Waterproof and windproof
Only comes in 3 colors
Arc-Teryx is a favorite for the high-end jacket market. The Arc'teryx Tantalus jacket is for both resort skiers and those who prefer the backcountry. It has a 3-layer Gore-Tex construction with a soft fleece backer for extra warmth. This is an extremely well-rounded jacket that's ready to handle any adventure you are.Read more
As this is a 3-in-1 jacket, it is entirely up to you which layers you choose to wear. Each way offers you a different type of comfortability. Zipping them together will keep you warm in chilly weather while wearing them separately can add a cool breeze. The Tantalus's outer layer doesn't make you feel bulky, allowing you to stay extra warm while not losing range of motion.
This jacket includes zippers in the arm-pits to keep you from overheating, an adjustable and helmet-compatible hood, and 5 great pockets for stashing your things.
While the inner fleece jacket is constructed from 100 percent polyester, the outer is 92 percent polyester and 8 percent spandex. The wind and water resistance will keep you protected from the weather and the front does feature a full-length zipper.
There are five zippered pockets integrated to provide you with multiple options for storage.
It is difficult to find many reasons to not fall in love with this jacket. Between the super warm construction that doesn't make you feel bulky, the many pockets, the waterproof zippers and snaps, and powder skirt. This is a favorite for both backcountry and resort skiers.
4. Men's The North Face Carto Triclimate
The underarms have pit-zips for variable climate control
The HyVent fabric utilizes special technology to make it breathable and waterproof
The zip-in Polartec Classic 100 fleece liner is removable
The front zipper has been known to become coarser
The Men's The North Face Carto Triclimate excels in comfort and design, all except for the pockets. There could have been more integrated, but that is just a minor complaint.Read more
To adapt to the climate outside, the underarms have integrated pit-zips. For extra warmth, you can zip both jackets together and wear them simultaneously.
Outside of the obvious ability to wear the layers how you please, there is also an adjustable hood and cuffs. Both of which can be adapted for different sizes and fitted with the utmost comfort.
The shell has full-seam seals crafted from HyVent fabric. This is a superior technology that has a tri-component formula for advanced durability and weather protection. Meanwhile, the inner fleece liner jacket is constructed from Polartec Classic 100, which wicks away moisture and is extremely lightweight.
While there are a couple of hand pockets on this jacket, this section leaves a lot to be desired. There is zip-in-compatible integration with complementing garments from The North Face.
On Amazon, specifically, there are many different colored and patterned option available for the jacket including sizes to XX-large jacket. There is a removable hood and a covered front zip with stormflap.
It is worth noting that the addition of more pockets is subjective. Two hand pockets may be all you really ask for and, if so, you will not be complaining about it. Considering every other aspect is nearly impeccable in every way, this only makes the jacket better for you.
5. Patagonia Snowshot
High Collar and Long Hem for keeping snow out
Hooded, wind- and weather-resistant
Patagonia's Snowshot jacket is making a killing on this list and it is clear that they are one step above their competition. With Patagonia's mission to reduce waste, you know that this jacket will last you a long time. You won't be out shopping for another jacket for a while.Read more
When you are wearing the inner jacket in icy cold conditions, the 60g Thermogreen insulation will trap all the hot air inside. This prevents the heat from seeping out, thus reducing the overall heat-loss and increasing the warmth. If you do want a bit of hot air to escape, the jacket also features pit zips.
This jacket pairs an insulated liner jacket with a waterproof shell, but the choice is yours to which one you want to wear. Of course, being a 3-in-1 jacket, you can also wear them simultaneously. In addition, you can combine the jacket with any Patagonia snow pants to keep you even warmer.
Hooded, wind- and weather-resistant DWR-treated Polyester exterior shell with a zip-out jacket insulated with recycled polyester and thermogreen. The shell of the jacket has been treated not only with a DWR finish, but also a 2 layer h2No treatment that increases the wicking power, durability, and comfort of the garment. All zippers are fully weatherproof so you know your items are going to be secure and away from the elements.
A strong amount of pocket integrations includes an exposed, secure-zip chest pocket and covered hand pockets. The jacket also features Recco reflectors to help in any search and rescue missions.
Patagonia is a crowd-favorite for outdoor gear. Not only will they last you, but their mission to reducing waste ensures that you're getting a great jacket that lived a life as something else in the past. But don't worry. It's not skimping at all on quality. This jacket is a wonderful high-quality product that is known for its features including a fully adjustable and removable hood.
6. Columbia Eager Air Interchange
The storm hood is both adjustable and detachable
There are several colors to choose from
Hook-and-loop cuffs are also adjustable
Overall, the jacket does not breather sufficiently
The inside pocket, while convenient, is quite flimsy
Columbia also knows a thing or two in the jacket industry and while their Men’s Eager Air Interchange jacket does not breathe extremely well, it does have a spectacular fit and a waterproof nature.Read more
With the modern classic fit, it feels more relaxed and not sloppy. This makes it ideal for any activity you can think of. But, it is worth noting that other jackets have superior breathing.
The included storm hood is both removable and adjustable. In addition, the cuffs and long sleeves are also adjustable. Of course, you can wear the waterproof jacket with or without the fleece liner.
While the inner lining is crafted from 100 percent polyester, the outer shell and lining are constructed from 100 percent nylon. To provide adequate protection from the weather, the fabric is waterproof.
Not only are there two zipped hand pockets but also an interior secure zipped pocket.
Quite a few color options to choose from including blue heron mystery, ever blue, graphite and peppercorn gravel. For sizes, choose anywhere from small to XX-large.
It only takes one issue to alter your opinion of a product. Although this may be this jacket’s breathing issue, it should not blind you from all the other amazing design features.
7. Columbia Whirlibird interchange
Includes an adjustable snap-back powder skirt
Seams are critically sealed
The Omni-Heat thermal reflective silver dots in the liner jacket reflect heat back to your body
The hood is really small
Once you take the liner out, you lose your inside pockets
Using Omni-Heat and Omni-Shield technology, the Women’s Whirlibird Interchange Jacket is able to achieve both a regulating body temperature and waterproof experience. Plus, it has enough pockets present to hold all your accessories.Read more
To keep you comfortable throughout the day, there are zippered underarm vents that regulate your core body temperature. Omni-Heat thermal reflective technology is also utilized to reflect heat back to your body to prevent overheating.
Besides the liner jacket being removable, both the storm hood and cuffs are fully adjustable. On cold days, this can seal in the warmth and prevent any heat from escaping your body.
The liner includes Omni-Shield technology that will repel water and stains, preventing them from affecting the surface. Lining fabric consists of Nylon taffeta and the shell consists of polyester and Omni-Tech technology.
Loads of pockets are present on the shell including zippered handwarmer pockets, an interior security pocket, and a goggle pocket.
There are more colors than you probably care to look for including variations of black, red, white and gray. Sizes range from extra-small to extra-large.
Much like anything else, there are some small gripes present here but they are just that, small. The quality and design will more than make up for any issues.
8. Mountain Warehouse Storm Rain
Inside pocket allows headphones to flow through
The IsoDry fabric keeps perspiration out
The inner fleece prevents balls of fluff from forming
It would be nice if the outer pockets were lined
Some women may need the bottom area wider
What the Mountain Warehouse Storm Rain Jacket excels in is its technology to resist wind and water. As a cool bonus, it also has an interior pocket to accommodate for a pair of headphones.Read more
With a mesh lining, all the air is allowed to circulate and on warmer days this provides you with an extra amount of ventilation. Overall, the jacket has a highly-breathable membrane preventing you from overheating.
All portions of the jacket are adjustable including the hood, hem, and cuffs. This allows you to tailor the jacket to your specific needs, while also allowing you to remove layers you do not need.
Its outer 100 percent nylon shell uses IsoDry fabric to provide a waterproof and breathable membrane that keeps perspiration out. In addition, the seams are taped and there is an included storm flap for further protection against the rain and the wind. Meanwhile, the inner fleece is made from 100 percent polyester and prevents little balls of fluff from forming.
There are pockets on the exterior, but truly noteworthy is the inside pocket that allows headphones to easily flow through.
Only two colors are available, fuchsia and turquoise, but sizes from 0 to 18.
For rainy days, there may not be a better 3-in-1 jacket for you. It may not be the best for anything past this, but it is also not as if it will not keep you warm on cooler days.
9. Columbia Sportswear Bugaboo Interchange
A strong amount of pocket options
The adjustable hood easily detaches
An Omni-Tech shell resists abrasions and is waterproof
Seams could have been sealed better
The front zip jacket is a little too big to adapt for the inner zipper
All three of these Columbia jackets are really a toss-up and that goes back to the quality of Columbia. The Sportswear Men’s Bugaboo Interchange Jacket, in specific, is fairly similar to the previous 3-in-1 jacket.Read more
Because the fleece liner jacket utilizes Omni-Heat reflective thermal lining, much like the previous Columbia jacket does, it is able to keep your body heat inside. However, it also will not overheat you.
For maximum weather protection, you can wear both layers together. On warmer days, you can simply ditch the inner layer. If you do not see a need for the hood, you can remove it. Finally, the cuffs are adjustable to keep as much heat inside as possible.
The implemented Omni-Tech technology is able to provide waterproof and breathable properties. All in the meanwhile, it resists abrasion and is sealed in critical places to keep moisture from entering. For specifics, the shell is made from 100 percent nylon 210T taffeta while the liner from 100 percent polyester.
All sorts of pockets are included, zippered handwarmer pockets, a zippered chest pocket, an interior security pocket, and a goggle pocket.
There are a decent number of colors such as black, collegiate navy, dark backcountry, and hyper blue. For sizes, pick from small to 4X-large.
There is quality at every turn here, but it slightly exaggerates the critically seamed seals. They are not sealed perfectly and can allow water in. But, as long as it is not a torrential downpour it is not something you should worry about.
10. Jack Wolfskin Iceland
The integrated light hood can be adjusted
There are articulated elbows to enhance range of motion
The outer jacket is waterproof and windproof
Manufacturer could have done a more sufficient job constructing the zippers, quite flimsy
Capping off this impressive list is the Jack Wolfskin Women’s Iceland 3-in-1 Jacket. Sure, it may not offer much that the previous jackets did not but is that really a bad thing?Read more
Its breathable, yet soft cotton-like finish keeps you dry and comfortable at all times. On the outer jacket, the elbows are also articulated to make them more adaptable for your arms.
The choice is yours to whether you want to wear the inner jacket on its own or as a part of the overall jacket system. Past this, the hood is also adjustable to cater to everyone’s specific needs.
An outer jacket made up of 100 percent polyamide taffeta is highly waterproof of up to 6000 mm. Meanwhile, the inner jacket is made from Nanuk 200 Fleece making it extremely warm and robust. But, the zippers are quite flimsy and not up-to-par.
Not only are there a couple of zipped hip pockets and two zipped side pockets on the fleece, there is a secret Napoleon pocket.
Several sizes are available from extra-small all the way up to XX-large. A few colors are also open including black, dark sky and red.
If you can live with zippers that tend to be flimsy, you should not run into any issues with this garment. This is the hope as the comfort and breathability make it worth it alone.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Comfort is paramount no matter the type of garment you are looking into. When it comes to the topic of 3-in-1 jackets, most of the comfort is concentrated on the idea of warmth and temperature regulation. After all, that is their entire purpose as they give you multiple wearing options to adapt to certain temperatures outside. However, there are certain ways that manufacturers will achieve the correct level of warmth.
Typically, the inner layer should be the one to add extra insulation and warmth. You may see this accomplished by a tighter fit to the body, the type of fabric, and extra insulation. For example, a type of heat reflective thermal lining to keep the body heat inside. Though, sometimes too much warmth will make you uncomfortable. Some layers will adopt integrated pit-zips underneath the arms or a mesh lining. This is an exceptional way to regulate the body heat and provide just enough ventilation to make the jacket breathable.
Of course, the convenient aspect of this type of jacket is you are mostly under control of the heating elements. Simply add or remove layers when necessary to provide the correct amount of comfort.
3-in-1 jackets are specifically designed to allow you to choose the layers you want to wear at a given time, hence their name. No matter what, you are guaranteed this when investing in a specific version. But, in addition to this, there are typically additional design features that allow you to tailor the jacket to fit your needs. In specific, the hood and the cuffs. It cannot be guaranteed that each jacket will have all these adjustable features, but most should have a variation of them.
For hoods, it is important for them to have a hem string for adjustability as not everyone has the same head and neck size. In downpours and bitterly cold days, wearing your hood can provide you with the extra protection you need. Also, some are completely detachable. This comes in handy in instances where the hood is more of a liability than an asset. Really, the same goes for the cuffs as the tighter you adjust them the less air that will seep through. On warmer days, you may want them loose for ventilation purposes.
This is the phase that is the most important for jackets (or anything else for that matter), the construction. Crazy thing is, most jackets utilize different types of technologies and fabrics to make them unique. For example, you may see some crafted from 100 percent polyester, 100 percent nylon, Polartec Classic 100 for wicking away moisture, or a HyVent fabric for advanced protection against the weather. However, these are just a few of the many.
The outer shell and inner layer are generally constructed differently. For an outer shell, you typically would like to see critically taped seams for ideal resistance to the wind and water and a polyurethane coating for added durability and protection against the elements. Then, for the inner layer, you could look for technology that repels water and stains or any technology that provides protective elements to mother nature. But, when it comes down to the preference of polyester or nylon (or any other general fabrics), they each have different advantages. Polyester’s fibers do not wear down quickly and it is resistant to wrinkles and shrinking while nylon is thin and flexible with a strong amount of toughness.
These jackets are all made unique by their features. Some have hoods, cuffed sleeves, or feature a DWR treatment. Another often overlooked feature that we researched here was the pockets. As simple as it seems, pockets can make a huge difference in a jacket. Besides the obvious of wanting a place to warm your hands up in the winter, they can provide you with storage options that may lend a helping hand. Take, for example, hand pockets. When you are going on a long trip, they are a nice spot to place your accessories such as keys, money, and your smartphone. But, there are other times you would like to store objects and items in a more secure location. This is where interior pockets can into play, as it provides an enhanced amount of confidence that nothing will happen to the items you place inside. With these type of pockets, they can even hold your music device and allow you to route the headphones inside.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
After purchasing your jacket (keep the tags on), try each piece on individually. Make sure they all fit well together and also that the outer layer isn't too baggy when worn alone.
If you are feeling a little turned off the price of these jackets, keep in mind that you are getting 3 jackets. You can wear each one individually, or all 3 together. 3 in 1 jackets are a great investment and one of these top-rated jackets will last you for a long time.
Other Factors to Consider
When you have a garment such as this, with so many great options to choose from, it is often the little details that can make the difference. Yes, this is referring to the color and overall visual appeal. From one person to the next, this can be different depending on the color scheme. Thus, making it convenient when sellers provide you with several (as in 10+) to choose from. The same goes for sizes, but it is a little more important. If need be, you could put up with a color choice that you are not in love with. But, if the jacket does not fit correctly there is no enjoyment in wearing it. Note, some jackets will be true to size while others may require you to go up or down a size you typically would.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may have never even been aware of it, but waterproof and water-resistant do not have the same meaning. While they both serve the same purpose, offering a repellent to water, the amount of water they repel is the difference. When a material is labeled as water-resistant, it means that they have a coating that will prevent water from penetrating the fabric. However, it is only promised to work for a certain amount of saturation. Thus, after extended contact from heavy rain, you still may feel wet afterward.
However, when it is labeled as waterproof, it will withstand a higher amount of contact from water and prevent penetration. As such, a garment with critically seamed seals can be referred to as waterproof. To wrap it up, waterproof fabric is superior to water-resistant fabric. Though, both do a superb job of repelling water.
Garments are so tricky when it comes to washing and drying. It sure would be nice if each material and fabric would wash and dry the same, but they have different properties that alter the process. There is a general rule of thumb you can follow with these types of jackets, but it is always beneficial to reference the care label that is sewn inside of them. Whatever the label suggests and recommends, do so. No one knows how to wash the garment better than the brains that created and designed it.
But, as a point of reference, you should steer away from using bleach or dry cleaning this type of jacket. Only use a mild laundry detergent and try to stay away from fabric softeners. Wash it in warm water on a gentle cycle and when you dry it, do so on the lowest possible heat setting. Or, you can simply let it air dry, not allowing it direct access to the sun as that could fade the coloring.
Now you have a general understanding of how to wash this type of jacket, but how frequently should you do so? Jackets are special types of garments that do not need to be washed after each use, so you do not need to go to that extreme. Honestly, it really depends on how frequently you use and dirty the jacket. Do not count up how many times you wear and use it either, as there is no set number of times.
Let’s say that you use your jacket regularly, say once a week, it may be in your best interest to wash it every 4-6 months. This is what Mountain Warehouse, a trusted manufacturer of 3-in-1 jackets, recommends. So, you can imagine that if you only use it 2-3 times a month it may only be necessary to wash it once a year.
As great as waterproof jackets are, through general wear they can begin to lose their waterproof nature. You will be able to notice if your jacket begins to absorb the water and if this happens, it does not mean that the jacket is junk. All you need to do is reproof it and it is a lot easier than it sounds. A few choices to consider would be a waterproof spray and a wash-in proofer. Both of which will work great, but it is up to you which one is more convenient.
With a waterproof spray, simply wash and dry the jacket beforehand and then apply the spray to every inch of the fabric. For an even coating, hang the jacket up and spray from a relatively close distance. Just make sure to not overcoat a certain area and then let the jacket dry naturally. Meanwhile, a wash-in proofer is used in the actual washing process. Simply, pour the correct amount in with your detergent and wash as you normally would. As heat helps to activate it, dry the jacket on a low heat setting.
Taped seams are crucial for jackets to maintain their waterproof capabilities. In fact, without taped seams, you do not have a waterproof jacket. But, the name implies that all the seams are simply taped. However, you may be thinking that this would stick out and look unappealing. Well, things are not exactly what they appear to be and here is the process of it. The holes from the stitching, on fabric, need to be properly covered so water can’t seep through.
Basically, to give the condensed version, a machine will melt tape over all the seams to seal them. So, you will probably not even notice that they are sealed shut (unless water starts getting in, then you know something is wrong).
Even though 3-in-1 jackets are designed to keep you warm, are they warm enough to allow you to ski in them? Truthfully, it depends on how much of a hardcore skier you are. These types of jackets are a jack of all trades when it comes to inner and outer layers. However, for skiers who are driven by performance other jackets will be superior to a 3-in-1. Other jackets will offer superior insulation and shell options and that may bode better for performance-oriented skiers.
If you are a casual skier, on the other hand, you will probably fall in love with the convenience and never want to ski in anything besides this type of jacket. Having both an outer shell jacket and inner liner jacket can adapt to multiple climate changes.
- How to Choose the Best Winter Jacket, Outdoor Advice, Sep 25, 2018 ,