Think windbreakers are an overrated item of clothing? Welp, Prada has an entire section of what they think are the best windbreakers for men. Neiman Marcus showcases even more designer windbreakers from the likes of Versace, Dsquared2 and Alexander McQueen. Comedian Jo Koy recently wore a black windbreaker on stage during his opening monologue in his latest Netflix comedy special, In His Elements.
So… maybe there is room for a windbreaker (or two) in your closet. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to pay Prada prices. Below, we’ll break down the different styles of this popular light jacket, as well as the best windbreakers for men available right now.
What the Hell Is a Windbreaker Anyway?
Glad you asked. A windbreaker is a lightweight zip-front jacket usually made from nylon and sometimes lined in mesh or net. Made to protect the body against light rain and wind, it’s a shell that can be worn day or night. A windbreaker is also known as a windcheater or a cagoule.
While they’re practical light jackets for those awkward transition months when you don’t want anything too warm, they can actually have some serious benefits for runners and athletes. A 2012 study published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine found that wearing a windbreaker when working out in cold weather helps prevent hypothermia.
The best windbreakers are not only great protection against the elements, but they also look damn good.
Type of Windbreakers for Men
The best windbreakers keep you comfortable when it’s windy, rainy or chilly. While you may think there’s only one type of windbreaker, there are a few variations.
The Coach Jacket: made from the same material as a windbreaker, the coach jacket differs in that it has a snap front, and doesn’t have a hood.
Anorak: it’s a pullover jacket with a hood, half-zippered front and kangaroo pockets.
Packable Windbreakers: These jackets come with their own pouch or fanny pack, in which the windbreaker can be stowed. These are great for camping trips and gym bags.
Shopping for the Best Men’s Windbreakers of 2020
What is the best windbreaker for your lifestyle? If you’re a runner, look for jackets that have reflective material (if you run at night) and ones in bright colors (for the day) to ensure visibility. If you’re an avid hiker, bright color combinations or bold prints will help you be spotted by fellow hikers on the trail. Since windbreakers are lightweight, they’re easy to fold, relatively weightless and can easily be stowed in a day pack.
While the aforementioned Prada windbreakers might look good on the runway, we would actually recommend you purchase a more affordable jacket instead. Scroll through to find the best windbreakers to wear as summer turns to fall.
1. ASOS DESIGN Packable Windbreaker Fanny Pack
BEST FOR TRAVEL
How cool is this jacket? One minute it’s a bag, and the next, a jacket! Perfect for places whose weather changes hourly (Hellooo Miami!). The zip front jacket has elasticated cuffs, funnel neck, drawstring hood and the khaki shade is a neutral hue.
2. Pashko Euphoric Japanese Inspired Tech Travel Jacket
Designer Patrick Robinson, who once helmed The Gap’s creative team, has struck out on his own and created Pashko, an elevated line of everyday wear for men and women. His windbreaker wouldn’t look out of place at a business breakfast or lunch. Made for the inveterate traveler, this is a windproof hooded jacket lined in fleece for extra warmth on brisk days. Layer it over a tee or sweater. It has four roomy zippered pockets and a drawstring waist.
3. Alpha Industries Utility Windbreaker
BEST FOR RUNNING
Made from a company that’s been supplying outwear to the military for years, this is a sturdy jacket, especially at the price point. The inner and outer layers are made from 100% polyester, and it features two zippered exterior pockets and a drawstring at the hood.
4. Eddie Bauer Momentum UPF 50+ Anorak
BEST FOR SUN PROTECTION
If you’re an outdoor lover or someone who loves a good, long walk, this could be the best windbreaker for you. The fabric is imbued with UPF technology and is water repellant. The half zip front is finished with a hood, and there are two front pockets that can be zipped up. Fold it up when not in use and store it in its own kangaroo pouch. Eddie Bauer isn’t known for making the most stylish men’s clothing, but this color block windbreaker is actually very much on-trend.
5. HUF Catalina Windbreaker
This cool plaid windbreaker adds a dash of fashion to a tee and jean or chino and polo shirt outfit. It has two zippered handwarmer pockets, a drawcord hood and an embroidered logo on the left chest. Wear it out for brunch or canoeing with friends.
6. TRAILSIDE SUPPLY CO. Mens Windbreaker
BEST FOR UNEXPECTED WEATHER
If you’re not fond of hoods, this is the best windbreaker for you as it has a high funnel neckline, but no hood. Trailside Supply Co.’s windbreaker jacket also has zippered pockets, is wind and dustproof, has adjustable cuffs and an inner pocket. Fold it into a tiny square and stow it in your glove box or backpack. Show in Mars Red, it also comes in 7 other colors.
7. H&M Windbreaker
BEST RETRO COOL
This hooded windbreaker has a vintage vibe, kinda reminiscent of James Dean’s bomber jacket. It has a mesh inner liner, hidden elasticated cuffs and also comes in khaki and black.
8. Adidas Allover Print BB Teal Windbreaker Jacket
BEST ON & OFF THE COURT
This relaxed fit windbreaker has a mesh-lined interior that makes it a great choice for working out outside. The digital leaf print adds an on-trend touch to casual wear too. The zip pockets safely hold stuff and the waist is elasticated and ends with a cord and tie.
9. ASOS Design Oversized Hooded Windbreaker
BEST STATEMENT MAKER
This hooded windbreaker looks like it’s from a high-end designer. Crafted in an up-to-the-moment hue, this oversized hooded jacket could be layered over a sweatshirt in the fall.
10. LL Bean Men’s Mountain Classic Full-Zip Jacket
L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Maine used to be open 24/7, just in case someone needed duck boots or a canoe. One of the oldest outdoor sports outfitters and a preppie’s best friend, anything bought from the company will last until the 3rd generation. The company updated one of their classic anorak designs, gave it a front zipper, angled front patch pockets and made it water resistant.
11. Nike Hike Windbreaker Jacket
BEST FOR ADVENTURES
Nike created this bright-hued color block hooded jacket for hikers, runners and anyone who’s looking for a jacket to use when the temps seesaw from warm to slightly chilly. This could be the best windbreaker for hikers, you’ll be spotted through tree branches and brush. It has two front zippered pockets, and
12. Alpha Industries Windreaker Utility Jacket
Looking like it just strolled off a runway, this is the best windbreaker for trend-heads and minimalists alike. The sleek lines and simple tailoring makes it easy to pair with work or weekend wear.