14 Winter Jackets People With Illness and Disability Recommend
While many look forward to all the fun holiday festivities the cooler temperatures bring, winter can actually create major difficulties for those with chronic illnesses and disabilities. The cold weather may exacerbate pain or other symptoms, and heavy snow or ice can have a major impact on accessibility – especially if you use a wheelchair or other mobility aid.
Among the many challenges this season can bring is finding a winter coat. Many of the coats designed to keep us warm are heavy, bulky and cumbersome to take on and off. Those with an illness or disability need coats that are comfortable, don’t create additional pain, don’t put pressure on certain body parts, and are easy to slip on and fasten, whether you are using a wheelchair, have limited mobility in your arms and shoulders, or struggle with pain and numbness in your fingers.
That’s why we asked our Mighty community to share which brands of winter jackets are the best for those who struggle with illness or disability. Here are their recommendations.
We hope the products below, all recommended by our Mighty community members, help you or a loved one in your health journeys. Just so you know, The Mighty may collect a share of sales from the Amazon links on this page.
“Torrid will always be my go-to,” said Emma Hooker. “My coats in recent years were just uncomfortable. I just bought a coat from Torrid with a nice soft lining, a soft hood with fur inside, and it actually looks good and is warm. It’s also easy to move around in. It was only $90 and a birthday gift… so win-win. It’s important to be comfortable when most of your day consists of being uncomfortable.”
Buy the jacket above for $65.34 from Torrid.
Dani Coombe recommended, “Rab! Superbly soft and warm, and also super light. If you get cold easily this is the perfect brand for you. And if you’re feeling fragile it’s also perfect as it’s so light. (Plus they only use sustainable and kind goose down.)”
Buy the jacket above for $200 from Rab.
3. Buck & Buck
This poncho is designed to be warm and easy to wear for those who use a wheelchair or have mobility issues.
Buy the poncho above for $29 from Buck & Buck.
4. The North Face
“North Face!” Nora Wagner wrote. “They are the warmest coats I have ever owned and that’s coming from a girl who lives in the second coldest/snowiest city in the US. They are also very durable and worth the price. And as someone with CRPS caused skin sensitivity, the softness helps a lot.”
Sarah Manduke told us, “I wear the three-in-one North Face [featured above]. It has a windbreaker type on the outside that is zipped onto the coat and the coat itself is thermal and the inside is so fuzzy and comfortable. This coat could keep me warm forever and it has bands to tighten around the wrists and waist as well so you don’t have to worry about the cold getting in. Best coat I’ve ever worn, hands down.”
“North Face Thermoball [three-in-one] jacket [featured above]!” recommended Rebecca Parten. “It’s so thin but so warm. Due to the thinness I’m able to put it on by myself and it doesn’t look super bulky/weird. Plus it comes in kids sizes as well as adult sizes.”
Buy the jacket above for $349 from The North Face.
Sarah Langer wrote, “PACT’s hoodies are very warm and comfortable too. I buy a size larger for comfort and they still look good. It’s thick organic cotton, so no harsh chemicals to give my skin rashes. I live in these hoodies most of the time!”
Buy the hoodie above for $55 from PACT.
6. Milwaukee Heated Hoodie
Carrie Dodman Peacock said, “I truly couldn’t survive the cold weather without my Milwaukee heated jacket and, for the those transition days, my heated hoodie. I have have these for over two years and simply can’t live without them. You have a choice of three heat levels that activates panels in the front and back. The jacket has a separate button to activate the pocket warmers. For anyone with a cold sensitivity issue, this is definitely your answer! Best gift ever from my hubby.”
Buy the hoodie above for $186.50 from Grainger.
“My Columbia coat with the Omni-Heat liner,” said Carrie Miller. “It was a little pricey ($160 when I bought it four years ago) but I love it. It is lightweight, the lining reflects my body heat and keeps me warm no matter whether it is 5 or 50 degrees outside, and it has little hand warmers built into the sleeves when my hands are cold but I need my fingers accessible. Bonus – it’s purple, which is the color for fibromyalgia and lupus, two of my illnesses.”
Kathleen Brockway told us, “I like Columbia outerwear. I have a two-jacket system (shorter inner jacket, and longer, roomier outer jacket). They are very light and comfortable, even when stacked together. They are roomy in the shoulders, and easy to get on and off. The inner jacket has an easy-to-use zipper, and the outer jacket (which can be zipped onto the inner jacket or worn by itself) has easy-to-use big snaps to close it. The pockets are big and easy to get hands, gloves or other small things in and out. Both of the jackets in my combo have collars that come up past my ears and do a great job of keeping my neck warm. (Some models have hoods.) Columbia jackets are also machine washable.”
“Columbia jackets are very warm and are made a little larger, which is really nice since I have a broader build. This also makes them really easy to take on and off and layer,” added Jaydon Yeomans.
Buy the jacket above for $195 from Columbia.
8. Koolway Sports
Koolway Sports designs jackets specifically for people with disabilities. The one pictured above features a front zipper, zippered sleeves, cuffing, a detachable hood, optional shoulder openings, front security pocket, underarm zips and a half-back to eliminate extra fabric in the back of the coat.
Buy the jacket above from Koolway (price varies by size).
Mary Oster Boumeester told us, “Patagonia down jackets are very light yet warm. As I must always wear many layers, the lightness is appreciated. They are better quality than any brand I’ve tried.”
Masha Polinski added, “Lightweight, down-filled puffer coats are my favorite. They do such a good job protecting from the cold and wind without being heavy. Love how soft they are!”
Buy the jacket above for $229 from Patagonia.
This jacket is part of Target’s adaptive clothing line for children. It is designed to be wheelchair-friendly, with velcro openings on the sides and zip-off sleeves making it easier to get off and on.
Buy the jacket above for $34.99 from Target.
11. Lands’ End
Carrie Beth Burns recommended, “Lands’ End fleece [featured above] —it’s lightweight, thin and soft (not gritty texture of many fleece options) so easy enough to wear, but still thermal for when temperatures dip way down.”
“I have a down jacket from Lands’ End. They’re lightweight and have regular and plus sizes. I love their coats!” added Chris Richards.
Buy the jacket above for $79.95 from Lands’ End.
12. Freedom Foundry
Hegarty Janice Beck said, “I just bought a lightweight jacket at Costco this last weekend. It is a very, very soft jacket and warm. It is a Freedom Foundry in the men’s section. It cost me $15. I will be layering and using a soft scarf for my head and neck. With all my different chronic illnesses, soft and warm is what I like.”
Buy the jacket above for $14.99 from Costco.
Sarah Langer suggested, “Yala’s organic bamboo jackets. They are silky smooth and soft, breathable and warm, and make me look like I’m put together.”
Buy the jacket above for $145 from Yala.
14. Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Vest
Out of Tommy Hilfiger’s adaptive clothing collection, this down-filled vest is lightweight and breathable but will keep you warm. The zip closure is also magnetized at the base so you can zip or unzip easily with just one hand.
Buy the vest above for $99.50 from Tommy Hilfiger.
15. Mountain Equipment
Dani Southall said, “I couldn’t hack winter without my Mountain Equipment down jacket. Super warm, easy large zips and double Velcro (handy if you can’t use the zip sometimes and also seals the heat in). However, they are quite pricy.”
Dee Stewart recommended, “Down jackets with Velcro because even if you’re in so much pain… when you come home, you can tear it open and feel like Superwoman.”
Buy the jacket above for $250 from Mountain Equipment.
Have a brand you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below.