As things start to get a bit nippy outside, choosing the right outer layers is incredibly important. As a modern consumer, you will be spoiled for choice but if you’ve decided that you want to go for a natural fabric, then wool is an excellent option for many reasons.
Don’t be duped into buying something that claims to be ‘like wool’, you’ll want the real deal. If you’re feeling a little lost when it comes to choosing between the best wool anoraks, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here, we will be checking out some of the most impressive products on the market right now and giving you some buying advice to make sure you choose the right wool anorak for your needs.
Why Wear Wool?
There are so many reasons that a lot of people opt for wool. For starters, it’s natural and there’s nothing like using resources provided to us by Mother Nature. But one of the main advantages of wearing a wool anorak is that, even if it gets damp, it won’t make you feel cold. When this material gets wet, it’s still able to insulate quite well. Of course, this applies to times you might get caught in shower and not for swimming across a river and thinking you’ll stay nice and toasty.
Moreover, you’ll have a hard time soaking a wool jacket through to the core as this natural fabric has a good degree of water resistance. When water lands on wool, it will typically bead, especially if the fabric has been treated with lanolin. Tighter weaved products will be even more repellent so they’re great for outdoor adventures.
What’s also great about wool is how breathable it is. Just because something keeps you warm, it doesn’t mean you want it to hold in heat so much that you work up a sweat when standing still. Most of us will wear our wool anoraks for outdoor activities like walking so naturally, you’re going to sweat. This breathable material ensures great airflow so moisture won’t build up, keeping you dry and comfortable.
Additionally, if you do break a sweat, wool is the perfect material as cody odour won’t cling to it. This is a naturally antibiotic material so it’ll stay fresher for longer. Plus since it’s such a good insulator but is also breathable, wool is a great choice for an all season jacket.
Is There A Downside To Wool?
Nothing is perfect and while there are a lot of pros to wearing wool, there are a couple of downsides that you might need to consider.
For starters, wool can be a little scratchy. Different products have different comfort levels and it is possible to find anoraks that have very little ‘scratch’ to them. But keep in mind that there’s no such thing as wool that isn’t scratchy to some degree.
You also need to remember that wool is much heavier than some man made fabrics like polyester. Again, the weight between anoraks will vary but do make sure you check this out and look for the most lightweight products you can find.
This heaviness is also coupled with being bulky. If you’re heading off on a camping trip or long hike, then do keep in mind that packing a wool anorak into your backpack will take up far more space than something like polyester.
Finally, it’s important to note that wool is one of the more expensive materials. It’s quite easy to spend a small fortune on a wool anorak. That said, with all of the amazing qualities that this material has, it’s worth the investment.
Wool Anoraks - Our Top Picks
Now we know why wool is such a great material for jackets and anoraks, it’s time to start shopping. But before you dive in and choose any old product, we’ve found a few that we think you’ll really like. Here come our top picks!
In a hurry? If you don’t have much time using the links below to quickly find our favourites for you. You can be assured we only choose the best products…
Coming in a range of stylish colours and with full torso coverage for maximum protection from the weather, we love the TTCPUYSA wool coat for men. It’s made using new technology with wool that provides benefits such as improved durability and warmth.
OK, it’s quite heavy so it might not be ideal if you’re going to be very active. In that case, you’ll need something a little more lightweight. However, for very cold days, where you need something comforting and snug, this is ideal. That’s thanks to the tightly woven fibres that do an excellent job of keeping out the wind.
There’s a huge front pocket and an adjustable neck so it’s certainly a practical coat. I imagine wearing this when sitting on the side of a lake fishing at the start of spring when there’s still a significant chill in the air. Plus, it doesn’t cost the earth which is great as a lot of wool anoraks can be pretty expensive.
Large pocket for storing essential items
Choice of colours
Bear with us on this because this is quite a pricey investment. This anorak is 50% wool and 50% polyester so you’re really getting the best of natural and manmade fabrics. That alone makes it worth the more expensive price.
But there’s more. The Harkila wool jacket is ideal for people living an outdoor lifestyle. Yes, it says it’s a hunting jacket but you can easily wear it for any outdoor pursuit and be protected from the elements. With a waterproof treatment, rain won’t be an issue and since the wool will regulate your temperature, you’ll always feel comfortable.
It’s got a hood, it’s got zip pockets, it’s even got adjustable cuffs to keep the wind and rain out. It’s the perfect ultimate protection. Plus, it boasts a really stylish design for the modern outdoors person.
|Not 100% Wool|
Reinforced areas make this a heavy duty coat
Doesn’t make a noise when you move
BEST FOR VERY COLD WEATHER
If you are looking for a winter coat that’s going to stick to its promise of keeping you warm, then this is the one I would recommend. It does have an even bigger price tag than the previous anorak we looked at but there is a reason for this.
The Fjallraven wool padded parka is a sport jacket meaning this is a great choice if you’re going on a skiing trip or winter adventure. Not only is the material able to keep you super toasty but there are also several adjustments to keep out the wind including a drawstring neck and velcro cuffs.
What’s also great about this wool anorak is how lightweight it is. Compare the weight to the first coat we looked at and you’ll see why this one is designed for an active wearer. You’ll stay warm without feeling as though you’re carrying the weight of a sheep on your shoulders!
But there is a downside to this seemingly wonderful jacket. It’s not as durable as some of the others we have looked at. For this reason, it’s probably better for occasional wear, especially when you consider how much you’re paying for it.
Great for winter sports
Very thick and cosy
Lots of large pockets
Collar and cuffs are adjustable
Choice of colours
Sometimes, you don’t want an all singing, all dancing coat made for tackling the wilds of Patagonia. If you’re looking for something to pop on for your morning commute or to keep you warm while you wait for a cab after an evening out, this one is perfect.
It doesn’t have a hood which is a little disappointing as we all know that rain could fall at a moment’s notice in the UK. However, there are velcro cuffs that can be adjusted to keep out the chill. It’s also got two side pockets for keeping your keys, wallet and phone as well as hidden chest pockets, all that feature a snap closure. It’s not as secure as a zip but for casual use, it’s more than sufficient.
The one problem you may have with this coat is the maintenance. It’s common among many wool coats but you’ll need to have this one specially cleaned which can be a bit of a pain but again, it’s certainly not a deal breaker.
Lots of pockets
Great for day to day wear
Reinforced areas for improved durability
BEST LADIES WOOL JACKET
For all the women out there, this soft, stylish wool anorak is perfect for autumn and winter. What’s more, since this is a polyester blend, you’ll get the benefits of both materials. Not only is it incredibly comfortable but it will keep you warm on colder days without being overly heavy.
The Hurley jacket features a hood and a high collar which is great at stopping the wind and chill getting in. However, if you wanted to wear this on a cool, dry spring day then the hood is removable which will make it feel less bulky.
This is an extremely stylish wool anorak for women with a modern fit and elongated length that goes well with a variety of dress styles. Wear it over jeans and boots for hiking but just as easily put it over the top of a smarter outfit, perhaps for work. It’s nothing if not versatile which can’t be said for all wool jackets as some are made primarily for more active use.
The only issue that I really see with this one is the lack of adjustability. While the cuffs are elasticated, they’re one size which isn’t great on very cold days. But for such an affordable price, it’s a minor inconvenience.
Cuffs are not adjustable
Things To Consider When Choosing A Wool Anorak
Fortunately, there aren’t too many differences between wool jackets. The general concept is the same but there are a few things that might set one anorak apart from another. Here are some handy buying tips to help you ensure you get a wool anorak that perfectly matches your needs.
100% Wool Or Wool Blend?
You’re going to find that a huge percentage of wool anoraks aren’t made from 100% wool. Normally, you will find that they’re blended with things like polyester, cotton and other materials. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it means you will get all the benefits of wool along with the benefits of the other materials.
However, do keep in mind that while wool blend jackets may be more affordable, they might not offer the same warmth as pure wool. If you’re looking for something for use in very cold conditions, 100% will keep you as warm as possible and it’s often worth paying that little bit extra.
One of the things I noticed while reviewing wool anoraks was that some were lacking in adjustability. If you’re going to be wearing a coat in cold weather then having open sleeves or an open waist or collar can let in a chill. This massively takes away from how warm the coat is.
For this reason, it’s always worth finding a wool anorak that can be adjusted so that when the wind picks up, you won’t know a thing about it because you’ll be toasty under your coat.
Does It Have A Hood?
This is a key question when buying wool anoraks. Technically speaking, a jacket only becomes an anorak if it has a hood. Although there are exceptions to this. But without getting into the design technicalities, I would suggest choosing something with a hood. Purely to ensure better protection in cold or wet weather.
There are plenty of wool anoraks whose hood can be removed so if you won’t make use of it all the time, it doesn’t need to be in your way.
Caring For Your Coat
Since wool is a natural material, it comes with much higher maintenance than synthetic fabrics. This means that you may have to have your coat dry cleaned which can be costly and inconvenient. That said, if you choose a wool blend coat, you will likely be able to wash it on the cool wool cycle in your washing machine. In any case, it’s super important to check out the care instructions before you do anything.
As we have discovered, buying a 100% wool coat will mean that you get something heavier. Some people love the idea of this as it can feel very cosy and comfortable. However, if you’re going to be doing anything active while wearing the coat, this weight might not be as beneficial.
In this instance, it’s better to go for a lightweight wool blend anorak that provides you with all the protection you need but doesn’t weigh you down.
The final thing I would encourage you to look at when choosing between wool anoraks is how many, if any, pockets it has. Some come with just one or two while others are loaded up so heavily with pockets that you won’t have any need to take a bag with you.
If you’re choosing a wool anorak for hiking, camping or other outdoor activities, then you’ll likely have more bits and pieces to take with you. In this case, go for something with more pockets but also make sure that they are secure. Zip fastenings are much more reliable and safe than things like snap closures or velcro. But do make sure that the zip moves smoothly and doesn’t get caught on the fabric.
Owing a wool anorak is a surefire way to keep yourself warm and comfortable in the winter. These jackets have the perfect balance of comfort, durability, weatherproofing and style so they’re ideal for almost any occasion. There are wool anoraks made for active pursuits like skiing and hiking while others have a more casual feel. Our top picks will have something for every taste, all you need to do is choose the one that suits you best.