Field jackets are one of the few pieces of men’s clothing that you can buy (and wear) any time of the year. Whether you need something for chilly spring evenings, summer travel or winter layering, we suggest considering a new field jacket. Not sure where to start? Unsure where these jackets even came from? Read on.
The History of Field Jackets
Field jackets have seen a huge resurgence lately thanks to 70s/80s nostalgia and menswear’s never-ending love affair with military-inspired clothing. As fashion connoisseurs have pointed out, the military is menswear’s most prolific designer, with staples like boots, chinos, modern suits and even T-shirts (that’s right) all being adaptations of military uniforms over the decades.
Field jackets were first introduced by the US military in World War II as a lighter, more wind and water-resistant alternative to the wool coats worn in World War I. The jacket was a huge success, as it was standard issue until 2009. Now, it’s a rugged fashion staple you can see on everyone from Jay-Z to Tom Ford.
How to Pick a Field Jacket
When choosing a field jacket, your main consideration should be its purpose. Will you be using it as protection in the wilderness? A go-to office coat? Or maybe somewhere in-between? Because they’ve been around a while now, field jackets are offered with a wide variety of styles, purposes and price points. Be sure to check the thickness and weatherproof abilities (i.e. fabric, concealed hood, etc.) as well as pocket set up for maximum utility.
The Best Field Jackets for Men
To narrow down the search for a great men’s field jacket, we’ve categorized the coats and found the best option for your needs. Check them out below.
1. Vuori Ripstop Jacket
Cali-based Vouri’s clothing combine style and functionality. Take their field jacket AKA the Ripstop. Made with stretch, it has a Teflon coating woven into the fabric. That extra touch helps stains bounce off and keeps the cotton-blend fabric supple. This makes this the best field jacket not only for taking long walks in the wild but for travel and commuting, too. The field jacket comes in cool hues like this dark copper (shown), oregano ( sage-green) and black.
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2. Fjällräven Räven Lite Jacket
Fjällräven is known for its sleek, minimal designs that are durable and sustainable. The Räven Lite Jacket doesn’t disappoint with its lightweight design that makes sure that you stay easy, breezy, comfortable. It features a hood that can be turned into a collar when not in use and a two-way zipper for easy accessibility.
3. Aether Shadow Jacket
BEST MINIMALIST DESIGN
Cleanly tailored, this field jacket is for those who like slimmed-down, utilitarian style. And yes, that trend is going strong. The Shadow jacket has two front chest pockets, a small, but useful pocket on one sleeve, and two hand pockets that are on the side seams. Made from cotton twill, this is a jacket you can wear for spring, summer, and fall.
4. Brooks Brothers Water-Repellent Field Jacket
BEST FOR RAINY DAYS
Nobody likes it when their outfit gets rained on. With this option from Brooks Brothers, the water will just run off of your back. It features a water-resistant tech fabric that’s lightweight for pique optimal wearing. It also has a hood and comes with a front zip closure with a snap storm placket for those extra rainy days.
5. Alpha Industries M-65 Mod Deco Field Coat
BEST FOR WEEKENDS
When it comes to outwear that outlast trends, is well made and can easily become your “go-to” jacket, we always head on over to Alpha Industries. They’ve been making stuff for the military for years, you know they need durable stuff. Alpha’s consumer line is just as well constructed and looks cool no matter when or where you wear it. Their M-65 field jacket’s modeled on the military one. It’s unisex and has a hood that’s tucked into the collar —unzip it when it rains. There are four spacious outer pockets that can hold almost everything. It’s water-resistant, and to protect you even more from crappy weather, there’s a zipper and snaps. Nothing’s going to get between you and that jacket.
6. Canada Goose Forester Jacket
By including a waxed cotton canvas and upper pockets, the Orvis Men’s Heritage Field Coat is capable of keeping you comfortable during most outdoor pursuits. Whether you’re hunting, fishing or just hanging out with friends, you’ll find that this sturdy jacket repels rain and briars with ease. It’s available in several colors and sports two further front-facing pockets for keeping your personal effects close at hand. For added comfort, the jacket features gusseted underarm panels with grommets for ventilation. These elements also help maintain a comfortable temperature inside the coat.
7. Amazon Essentials Utility Jacket
This easy option from Amazon comes in three colors that make layering a breeze. It has four pockets on the front that will hold whatever you need to get through your busy day. It is machine washable and keeps the customer’s comfort in mind with its 100% cotton composition.
8. Levi’s Washed Cotton Military Jacket
BEST FOR UTILITY
Levi’s doesn’t just make great and acclaimed denim — the brand also creates an interesting military jacket. It comes in 16 colors that give you a mass variety of styles. Also, it features two chest pockets with snap closures, a welt chest zipper pocket, two lower welt pockets and a hidden interior pocket for added storage and security.
9. Off-White Arrows Logo Field Jacket
BEST STREET STYLE PICK
Virgil Abloh, creative director of Off-White and Louis Vuitton Men’s, is known for his artistic take on streetwear. The Off-White Arrows Logo Field Jacket comes in a sleek black that’s stylish and aesthetically pleasing. It features the signature Off-White logo on the back and a stand-up collar silhouette.
10. Madewell Slim Fit Field Jacket
An interesting option from Madewell, this field jacket features an unstructured fit and snap-flap pockets. It also has a packable hood that helps you turn your jacket into a nice summery option. It is a garment dyed in this medium brown wash that matches most styles in your wardrobe already.
11. Goodthreads Military Jacket
This option from Goodthreads is a medium-weight military-style jacket that features four pockets on the front. It comes in five colors, and it has a zip front with a button placket. Also, it is machine washable and has an effortless feel to it.
12. Rag & Bone Austin Field Jacket
Prided on their signature denim, Rag & Bone created a field jacket that’s sure to make your everyday wear more functional. Although it only comes in black, it’s striking and eye-catching. It features asymmetrical chest pockets and a stand collar. This jacket uses nylon and lightweight cotton for a comfortable yet durable all-day jacket.
13. Old Navy Built-In Flex Stowaway-Hood Military Jacket
An American heritage brand, Old Navy is known for affordable, simple pieces that get the job done. This option is a durable and functional military jacket that features a zippered standing collar. It also has covered snap-flap welt pockets on the front and a covered five-snap placket. It is effective and cozy, so why not?
14. G-Star Raw Back Pocket Field Jacket
An intriguing option comes from G-Star Raw. This field jacket features a bellows pocket on the back to add extra compartments for storage. Also, it has turned chest pockets for easier access. In a neutral green, this jacket can conform to many aesthetics.
15. Frame Military Regular Fit Shirt Jacket
One of the more relaxed options comes from Frame. This military-style shirt/jacket has four front pockets and two snap shoulder epaulets. It has a regular fit and should be dry cleaned.
16. Alpha Industries M-65 Field Jacket
This option from the notable Alpha Industries brand is stylish and dramatic. It is water-resistant and wind-resistant, making it perfect for those rainy days during the spring or summer. The army green color is minimal and can act as a neutral to pair with brightER colors. Also, the jacket has a concealed hood hidden in the collar, four exterior body pockets and a wire field coat zipper.