5 Best Field Jackets in 2021: The Winter Warrior Coat

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William Barton Avatar by  William Barton | Last Updated:  Jan 19, 2021

Field jackets are tough to buy online: they need to be sturdy, warm, and stylish. Those qualities don’t always go together, either. 

That’s why we put together the best field jackets for guys to make the shopping process easier. From budget to splurge, style-forward to rugged, your new favorite jacket is waiting here for you.

Our Top Pick Overall
  • Made with 8oz waxed shelter cloth for excellent durability
  • Cotton lining protects from below freezing temperatures
  • Tom Beckbe lifetime guarantee: if it has a manufacturing defect, they’ll repair or replace
Best Army
  • 100% cotton shell
  • Has a hidden hood with drawstring
  • Lining available to turn this into a winter coat
Best Under $100
  • Wide variety of color options
  • More of a true “government issue” fit
  • Comes with quilted liner
Best Slim
  • Fashion-forward, slim fitting jacket with unique stitching in the pockets
  • Made with 100% indigo dyed Japanese cotton
  • Free shipping and returns
Best Heavyweight
  • Looks rugged, but has more luxury features built in like corduroy collar and quilted lining
  • Excellent heavyweight field jacket due to insulation
  • Hidden hood that stows away in the collar

There’s nothing quite like waking up early and watching the sun rise in autumn. 

The chill in the air, red morning light, dew on the ground. 

It’s great if you have a cup of coffee warming your hands. Even better if you’re wearing your old faithful favorite field jacket. 

What’s that? You don’t have an old faithful favorite field jacket? We have to fix that.

Here are our favorite field jackets, from budget to spendy, and rugged to trendy.

5 Best Field Jackets for Men

1. Tom Beckbe Tensaw

Tom Beckbe review featured image

Tom Beckbe is an Alabama based sportsmans brand with a legacy of hunting, angling, and enjoying all things outdoors.

We tried out their flagship Tensaw field jacket and love it. The heavy 8oz waxed shelter cloth is rugged enough to pass through southern pines without ripping and warm enough when the dew on the ground turns to frost. 

As a nice little bonus, a hidden Napoleon pocket in the front flap offers a gentlemanly place to store a little flask of bourbon for warming up when the hunt is over.

What I Like

  • The 8oz waxed shelter cloth patinas beautifully over time and can stand up to practical use.

  • It’s relatively lightweight for how warm it keeps you. 

  • If anything on your jacket breaks, Tom Beckbe will first try to repair it, and if it can’t be repaired, they’ll replace it. 

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s a bit roomy through the torso.

What Other Reviewers Say

The Tensaw has scored a 4.9-star average with over 150 reviews on the Tom Beckbe site. Many reviewers compared the Tensaw favorably to the Barbour coat (which is the industry standard waxed jacket). Reviewers who’ve tried both say they prefer the fit of the Tensaw.

The Verdict

The Tom Beckbe Tensaw heads our list because of its quality. Consider this an heirloom jacket—the thick, waxed shelter cloth looks and feels rich, and it offers plenty of protection from the cold and any brush you’re walking by. 

Our Top Pick
Tom Beckbe Tensaw Jacket

Made with 8oz waxed shelter cloth and a lining reminiscent of Alabama red clay, the Tensaw field coat is Tom Beckbe's flagship product. And based on the quality, it can be an heirloom, too.

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2. Alpha Industries M-65 Defender

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Alpha Industries was commissioned in 1958 to make jackets for the US military, so if anyone knows how to make an army field jacket, it’s them. 

The M-65 Defender is no-frills and high-quality. With four front pockets and two pockets in the lining of the jacket, this offers a vintage military style with a dose of practicality. 

Alpha Industries makes a standard M-65 jacket, and the M-65 Defender. We prefer the Defender version because of its slimmer fit. It still has plenty of room in the torso, but it fits more fashion-forward and not so much like a government issue jacket.

What I Like

  • It’s available in black, olive drab, and camo for the full military aesthetic. 

  • The M-65 makes for a great transitional jacket, but you can buy an additional liner to outfit this coat for winter. 

  • The bi-swing back means you’ll have plenty of range-of-motion here. 

What I Don’t Like

  • All versions of the M-65 Defender come in a vintage slub cotton, which is great if you like the “worn-in” look, but not if you want a crisp, new looking coat. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers on Amazon give the M-65 Defender a 3.9 out of 5 with 35 reviews at the time of writing. After reading through the comments, every negative review stems from folks not knowing this is a slimmer-fit jacket. Many people were expecting a military-issue fit—something that has tons of room in the pockets and torso. 

Those who understood that this Alpha Industries jacket is more of a style-piece rather are happy with it as it’s fashionable enough to wear out and about, but still has the military look.

The Verdict

If you want that classic army-vintage look and feel, but don’t want a bulky coat from the surplus store, the Alpha Industries M-65 Defender is an excellent choice. 

Made with vintage slub cotton and slimmed down more than the standard military-issue, the M-65 Defender strikes a balance fit for the modern man.


3. Rothco M-65

The Rothco M-65 is an affordable field jacket that has the same look and feel of a standard issue army coat.

It comes with a button-in quilted nylon liner which helps add extra protection from the elements when things get chilly. 

This field jacket has extra room in the sleeves and torso so it fits comfortably under and over other layers.

What I Like

  • The Rothco M-65 comes in six classic color options so you have much more variety than with the other jackets on this list. 

  • Even with the less expensive price point, the buttons and zippers are all brass.

  • This has a similar cut to the standard issue military M-65.

What I Don’t Like

  • The colors on Amazon aren’t perfectly reflective of what you get. Expect a different shade than what you ordered.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers on Amazon rate the Rothco M-65 a solid 4.5 star average with over 400 entries. Folks liked the looser fit of this jacket as it can act as a great outer layer when winter sets in. Some noticed that the khaki wasn’t true military khaki, and the same goes for the other color options.

The Verdict

For a rock-solid field jacket that doesn’t break the bank, the Rothco M-65 is the ticket. It’s everything you’d expect from a lightweight military-style coat and not a whole lot extra. 

Because it comes with a quilted nylon liner, it’s almost like getting two jackets in one, which is a nice bonus when the weather turns and it gets cold outside.

Best Under $100
Rothco M-65

Consider the Rothco M-65 the cheaper, slightly less authentic version of the Alpha Industries M-65 (with a significantly smaller cost, too). It's still a great coat, but much more budget-friendly.

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4.  7 For All Mankind “A Pocket” Field Jacket

7 For All Mankind is a bit spendy, and by far the most style-focused brand on our list. This piece takes the title “field jacket” with a hefty dose of creative license.

The result is a slim-fitting jacket made with deluxe Japanese indigo-dyed cotton. This isn’t the kind of jacket you actually take out into the field for a hike or a hunt—it’s better suited to a chill day at the cafe.

What I Like

  • The slim fit is style-forward, sharp, and contemporary.

  • The Japanese indigo-dyed cotton is exquisite. 

  • 7 For All Mankind offers free shipping and returns for this jacket. 

What I Don’t Like

  • As a fashion piece, it’s not as practical as the other offerings on this list. But it definitely looks cool. 

What Other Reviewers Say

There aren’t any online reviews for this specific jacket, but 7 For All Mankind gets a lot of love for their denim. Reviewers tout the quality over and over, so if you’re in the market for a flattering jacket, you’re getting what you pay for here.

The Verdict

If you want field jacket vibes without all the bulk of an army or hunting coat, check out 7 For All Mankind’s Field Jacket

Decked out with top quality Japanese cotton with intricate stitching patterns along the pocket, this coat looks rich, and has a contemporary slim fit that will help you look sharp when you’re out on the town.


5. J.Crew Insulated Field Mechanic Coat

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J.Crew for field coats? You better believe it. 

The fashion brand took inspiration from old military mechanic jackets and rolled it into a hefty, insulated workhorse. 

Made with a standing corduroy collar (and a hidden hood) and a quilted liner, this jacket is an excellent piece for late fall and winter. It has a little extra room for layering, but it’s still fairly trim for the style-focused among us.

What I Like

  • The PrimaLoft insulation makes this warm enough to wear all winter. 

  • Garment-dyed fabric means this jacket will look better the more you wear it. 

  • It has a sturdy build and solid hardware.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s just a personal preference, but we’re not fans of the arm pocket—not a deal breaker, but we prefer truly functional pockets only.

What Other Reviewers Say

There are only a few reviews for this jacket on the J.Crew website, but all three praised this jacket in cold weather. The only star to get knocked off was because the reviewer claimed this jacket actually comes in a more olive/khaki color instead of the true khaki pictured on site. 

Another reviewer gave this jacket a coat of wax, which is good to note for those who want a little more weather resistance.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a heavyweight field jacket that can make it out in the snow, take a peek at the J.Crew Insulated Field Mechanic Coat. Made with sturdy garment-dyed cotton, quilted lining, and PrimaLoft insulation, this bad boy will keep you warm all winter long.

Best Heavyweight
J.Crew Insulated Field Mechanic Coat

The J.Crew Mechanic Coat has a few key benefits that come in handy when the temperature takes a sharp turn south. First, it's insulated and can keep you warm in sub freezing cold. The corduroy collar and flannel lining are welcome fuzzy additions when it seems like the world just wants you to be uncomfortable.

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Into the Field

If you’re ready to dive into the world of field jackets and pick up an heirloom quality piece, check out the Tom Beckbe Tensaw. The waxed 8oz shelter cloth can take a beating, so it’s perfect if you need a functional piece to keep you protected. 

Tom Beckbe Tensaw Jacket

Made with 8oz waxed shelter cloth and a lining reminiscent of Alabama red clay, the Tensaw field coat is Tom Beckbe's flagship product. And based on the quality, it can be an heirloom, too.

Check Best Price Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

If you’re looking for a more military aesthetic, Alpha Industries and Rothco deliver with their own versions of the classic M-65. 

For the fashion-focused, 7 For All Mankind’s Field Jacket is impressive for its indigo-dyed Japanese cotton and meticulous slim fit. 

And for anyone looking to pick up a heavier winter jacket at a reasonable price, the J.Crew Insulated Field Mechanic Coat is the go. 

So which field jacket will it be for you?

FAQs

Are field jackets warm?

Not all field jackets are created equal. Look for lined field jackets like the Tom Beckbe Tensaw if you want something to keep you warm in winter.

Is it ok to wear military jackets?

Wearing military inspired clothes like a field jacket is still stylish in 2021. Field jackets have been popular since the 60s, and are considered a classic menswear piece because of their ability to layer and protect from the rain.

How do you style an army jacket?

Our favorite way to rock an army jacket is with raw denim and a pair of American heritage boots like the Red Wing Iron Ranger. The key to looking sharp in an army jacket is the fit—because army jackets usually fit a touch large, you can always take yours to a tailor and add darts in the back to slim it down.