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? Read on for insight into where these jackets come from and our top picks for the best field jackets of 2022.
What Is a Field Jacket?
A classic field jacket is forest green or khaki, but modern spins on this military coat can come in any dark or neutral color. These jackets are usually made of a more durable fabric that can provide some protection from cold and wet weather. A field jacket should have four snap-close pockets, two on the chest and two on the hip. Finally, field jackets have a classic collar that can be turned up against the wind, though some modern field coats also come with hoods.
A Brief History of Field Jackets
Field jackets have seen a huge resurgence in popularity lately thanks to nostalgia for the ’70s and ’80s and the menswear world’s never-ending love affair with military-inspired clothing. Fashion connoisseurs have pointed out that the military is menswear’s most prolific designer. Staples like combat boots, chinos, bomber jackets and even crew-neck T-shirts (yes, really) all have their roots in military uniforms over the decades. When U.S. pilots needed warmer coats for high-altitude flights, the bomber jacket was born; decades later, it’s still one of the most popular men’s jackets. Men’s field jackets have undergone a similar journey.
The U.S. military first introduced field jackets 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 and was a standard issue until 2009. Now it’s a rugged fashion staple you see on everyone from Jay-Z to Tom Ford. It’s especially popular during transition months when you need a lightweight jacket for layering.
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. Check the thickness and weatherproof abilities (i.e., fabric, concealed hood, etc.) and pockets set up for maximum utility.
The Best Field Jackets for Men
To make your search for a great coat easier, we’ve found the best field jackets for every purpose and sense of style. We looked for stylish, rugged options from our favorite menswear and outerwear brands, including L.L.Bean, Alpha Industries, Bonobos and Levi’s. We left out some stylish options with ridiculous price tags, and we think we found options that will fit a range of budgets.
1. Buck Mason Storm Stopper Field Jacket
Nobody likes it when their outfit gets rained on. With this option from Buck Mason, the water will just run off your back. Come on, it’s literally called the Storm Stopper Field Jacket. What do you think will happen? Nothing? It features a cozy cotton topped off with a highly durable water-repellent finish. So, no matter how heavy the rain is, everything under your jacket will stay dry.
2. Alpha Industries M-65 Mod Field Jacket
The Alpha Industries M-65 field jacket is iconic. This timeless military design pays homage to the jacket’s original purpose before it was a fashion statement, giving it a classic look that feels right on everyone. Included are hidden snap buttons with an exterior zip for security with a sense of durability that’s completely bragworthy. This iconic field jacket is available in forrest green or navy blue, but for 2022, we actually prefer the new camo print, pictured below and selling out fast.
3. Levi’s Military Jacket
This military jacket from Levi’s differs from traditional field jackets, but we think the overall look is close enough to include it here. Most field jackets have four snap-close pockets, but this Levi’s jacket only has two on the chest. This option could be the perfect fit if you prefer to slip your hands into an open pocket. It’s also more affordable than most field jackets, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a coat to get a little dirty.
4. L.L. Bean Field Coat
L.L.Bean is the brand that always knows how to create a timeless staple that you will desire to have in your wardrobe. This traditional-fit field jacket is crafted of a heavy-duty Nor’Easter cotton canvas that provides superior protection against wind, rain, and snow. It’s completely water-resistant and stain-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about panicking when you spill something on it. The jacket features five pockets for added storage, and this piece is machine washable.
5. Polo Ralph Lauren Water-Repellent Field Jacket
If it’s a classic menswear piece, Ralph Lauren probably makes a good one. This field jacket has a rugged yet refined look, and it’s functional, too. The jacket has a zippered collar with a packable hood, and the recycled polyester exterior is water resistant to withstand the elements. The pockets on the front have snap closures.
6. Barbour Wax Jacket
Before high-tech synthetic fabrics came on the scene, Barbour made water-resistant jackets the old-school way. Their cotton jackets are waxed with oil to keep water out. The inside of the jacket has a quilted lining for comfort and warmth, while the outside has four secure pockets. There’s also a packable hood built into the collar.
7. Madewell Field Jacket
Usually, it takes a few years for your field jacket to look lived in, but this one comes perfectly beat up fresh off the hook. That’s because it’s garment-dyed, giving it an appealingly uneven finish. It’s made from cotton and has a packable hood. The front of the jacket has zippers and snaps for a more secure fit.
8. Taylor Stitch Pathfinder Jacket
Sadly, the classic Taylor Stitch field jacket pictured earlier in this piece is no longer for sale, but the menswear brand does have a handsome new jacket currently available for pre-order. Taylor Stitch has a unique business model, and customers have the chance to crowdfund new designs or purchase a la carte. This navy blue field jacket is made from 100% organic cotton with a waxed finish for durability in all weather.
9. Todd Snyder Whipcord Shirt
This shirt jacket from Todd Snyder is a perfectly streamlined version of a field jacket. It has a hidden placket, so the buttons aren’t visible when it’s buttoned up, and the textured fabric is inspired by suiting. It’s made from cotton with a touch of stretch for comfort.
10. Tom Ford Slim-Fit Suede Field Jacket
Tom Ford’s field jacket is, unsurprisingly, the most luxurious option on this list. The jacket pulls inspiration from the military and Western wear alike to create a sleek yet tough jacket. The jacket is made in Italy from a 100% leather exterior and a cupro/cotton lining.
11. Flint and Tinder Flannel-Lined Waxed Hudson Jacket
Nobody likes a jacket that isn’t able to keep them warm properly. Luckily you won’t have to worry about that problem with this garment. It’s lined with a soft, cozy flannel durable enough to protect you against cold winter air.
12. Canada Goose Forester Jacket
The Orvis Men’s Heritage Field Coat can keep you comfortable during most outdoor pursuits by including a waxed cotton canvas and upper pockets. 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.
13. Everlane The Waxed Cotton Field Jacket
Everlane makes a budget-friendly take on the waxed cotton jacket. The shell is made from a blend of cotton and lyocell, while the inside has a flannel lining to keep you warm in winter. The jacket has a boxy fit and four patch pockets on the front for stashing your essentials. It’s available in slate gray and green.
14. Off-White Arrows Logo Field Jacket
BEST STREET STYLE PICK
The late Virgil Abloh, former creative director of Off-White and Louis Vuitton Men’s, was 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.
15. Levi’s Corduroy High Pile Fleece Collar Field Coat
Levi’s doesn’t just make durable and acclaimed denim — the brand also created modernized field jackets. Thanks to the high-pile fleece collar, this style is like no other on the list. The soft, cozy jacket comes in three colors.