Tom Beckbe Review: How Strong Are These American Roots?

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 

Tom Beckbe is a new brand out of Alabama focusing on field clothes for southern hunters. But like many new brands, there aren’t a ton of reviews floating around.

So we picked up the brand’s most popular pieces, put them to the test, and laid our thoughts out plain to see.

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The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Tom Beckbe

Tom Beckbe

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Bottom line: Tom Beckbe’s commitment to quality is outstanding. The Tensaw waxed jacket is a one-of-kind heirloom type coat, and their shirting and fleece is some of the best quality we’ve come across. The fit is a little larger around the torso, so factor that in when buying.

Ratings:

The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • Tensaw waxed jacket is heirloom quality
  • Fleece quarter-zip is some of the softest fleece we’ve tried
  • Quality guarantee---if a product is defective, Tom Beckbe will repair or replace
  • Free shipping, free returns, and free exchanges

Cons:

  • The shirt and fleece leave a lot of room in the torso---good if you have a huskier build, but a little loose otherwise

There’s nothing finer than waking up early to go shooting. 

For me, I’m usually shooting photos. 

For you, maybe it’s duck or deer. 

When the late autumn chill crawls in, your gear makes the difference between a focused and restorative morning out in nature and a frigid shiver-fest. 

With the cold season underway, I checked out the new brand, Tom Beckbe. I’d been hearing whispers about their flagship waxed jacket, so I gave the brand a try. 

So how’d they do? Keep reading for my full thoughts. 

What Is Tom Beckbe?

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Tom Beckbe is an Alabama-built hunting and outdoor clothier with an emphasis on quality. If a duck call is something you have on you regularly, you should be familiar with the brand.

Their flagship is the Tensaw jacket: a waxed canvas field coat made in the USA. But Tom Beckbe is still expanding, with a new line of shirting and fleece vests and pullovers, too. 

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The brand’s origin was organic. The founder, Radcliff Menge, had a vision for the perfect field coat for hunting in the Alabama pines. He brought his ideas to a pattern maker, and through several iterations, Menge had his perfect jacket: rugged enough for a hunt, but stylish enough for wearing into town. 

On nearly every occasion he wore it, someone stopped to ask him where he bought it. It didn’t take long for Menge to realize he’d tapped into something. The Tensaw jacket was born, and the brand Tom Beckbe wasn’t far behind. 

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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Things to Consider Before Buying Field Clothes from Tom Beckbe

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Tom Beckbe’s clothes are built for folks who appreciate quality. Their outerwear and shirting is made for tough conditions, like wading through dry pine branches in winter. If the stitching and fabric can withstand that, it’s good enough for Tom Beckbe. 

That kind of quality comes at a price though. It’s true that Tom Beckbe isn’t the cheapest brand on the market. 

But a lot of folks like to think of their clothes from a “cost-per-wear” standpoint. And if you can stomach the up-front cost of a Tom Beckbe piece, you’ll find that it’s really not so expensive when you’re wearing the same old Tensaw field jacket in a decade. 

Tom Beckbe Review

For my review I picked up the flagship Tensaw jacket, along with two new offerings from Tom Beckbe: their Knit Fleece Quarter Zip and their Flannel Shirt

Tensaw Jacket

Tom Beckbe 1

The Tensaw is the inspiration behind the brand, and after looking through some videos on the brand’s site, I couldn’t pass over it. 

The shell is durable 8oz waxed shelter cloth, so it has excellent water resistance and won’t rip on any old twig you brush by. I noticed that even after a few wears, I could see the patina forming. And if you know much about wax jackets: your patina is a badge of honor. Boots, jeans—they all work on the same principle. 

Tom Beckbe 19

With a Bedford cord lined collar, I had no scratching or discomfort, even though the collar is quite large (which is good—if it gets cold, the extra protection around the neck is crucial).

I picked up the medium, and it fit my 6’1”, 190lb frame well. It’s a bit wide in the torso on me, but the arms and shoulders fit perfect. 

Tom Beckbe 6

There’s mobility for days with this coat. The Tensaw has a bi-swing back and gusseted arms, which means I can flail as much as I want in the woods without putting any strain on the lining. 

As for warmth, I haven’t had a chance yet to truly test the jacket’s insulation. I’m in North Carolina, and the coldest it’s been this year is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 celsius). Still, with just the Tensaw and a flannel shirt, I was plenty warm. 

I’m not a hunter myself—the closest I’ve ever come to a hunt was the time I accidentally hit a lizard with a basketball. But it’s clear the Tensaw’s pocket storage balances utility and style.

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There’s a few large bellow pockets, side hand-warmer pockets, and even a nifty Napoleon pocket in the front for packing away a flask of “Grandpa’s old cough medicine.” I’ll be honest: I didn’t even know there was a Napoleon pocket in the front the first few times I wore it. So it’s really concealed.  

Tom Beckbe 18

The Tensaw is made in the USA, and if you’re looking for something more suited to warmer climates, Tom Beckbe also makes the Tensaw ES, which has the same cut and features, but uses 6oz waxed cloth rather than 8oz. 

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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Knit Fleece Quarter Zip

Tom Beckbe 22

The Tom Beckbe Knit Fleece Quarter Zip is the softest fleece I’ve ever felt. This mid-weight sweater can stand on its own (with a shirt underneath) in 40 degree weather.

I’m a big fan of the faux-leather lining for the zippered pockets, which makes this pullover look sophisticated. 

This is a great piece to wear as an outer layer, but because it’s fairly lightweight, it works as a mid-layer under the Tensaw, too. 

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I picked up the medium, and again I had some issues with excessive fabric in the torso. I had this issue for all three items, but it’s most pronounced in the Quarter Zip. That said, if you’re a barrel-chested guy with a husky build, having some extra room in the torso is perfect. I wouldn’t call this a slim-fit by any stretch of the imagination.  

Like the Tensaw, the fleece has the look and feel of top-quality clothing—it’s rich looking. Not only does that feel great, but I think others notice, too. 

Tom Beckbe Knit Fleece Quarter Zip

Not only is this one of the softest fleece sweaters we've ever tried, the leather pocket seams add a touch of sophistication not often found elsewhere.

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Flannel Shirt

Tom Beckbe 13

I wanted to try out Tom Beckbe’s shirting, and since winter is on the way, I picked up their mid-weight combed cotton flannel

I’m impressed with how thick and sturdy this shirt feels while still being soft. Again, I had the same issue with a little too much room in the torso, but it was less pronounced on the shirt than it was in the pullover. 

Tom Beckbe with vintage gentlemen damascus knife 1

The Flannel Shirt is built for work, with gusseted arms and pleats behind the shoulders—perfect when you want to see how far you can cast your line. 

For an outdoors shirt, this is as good as it gets, but it is cotton, unlike some sporting shirts that use only performance fabrics (which are easier to clean after hunting or fishing). It offers a lot more warmth and comfort than a performance fabric, but that’s important to note if you plan to clean game with it.

Tom Beckbe Flannel Shirt

It's the details that separate this flannel from others. Made with combed cotton and extra thick button closures and collars, this flannel is perfect as an outer layer on brisk spring fishing expeditions or as a mid-layer on frosty early morning fall dove hunts.

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What do Other Reviewers Say About Tom Beckbe?

As a new brand, there aren’t too many reviews for Tom Beckbe overall, but the Tensaw jacket has a 4.9-star average with over 150 reviews as of writing. 

There are a few comments comparing the Tensaw to a Barbour jacket—and Tom Beckbe emerges the victor in that head-to-head. Several reviewers were leaving their thoughts after several months—sometimes a full year—and durability doesn’t seem to be an issue. 

My Thoughts Overall On Tom Beckbe

What I Like

  • The Tensaw waxed jacket is heirloom quality—it should patina well over time and last for decades.

  • The synthetic fleece quarter-zip is one of the softest mid-layers I’ve ever tried on. 

  • Tom Beckbe backs their products with a quality guarantee: if a product is defective, Tom Beckbe will repair or replace it. 

  • Free shipping, free returns, and free exchanges.

What I Don’t Like

  • The shirt and fleece leave a lot of room in the torso, which is good if you have a huskier build, but a little loose otherwise.

Who is Tom Beckbe for?

Tom Beckbe is built for the southern hunter. So if quality, durability, and equal parts style and utility are important to you, you should know Tom Beckbe’s products.

The Verdict

Tom Beckbe hit a home run with their Tensaw waxed coat. The build and materials quality is outstanding, and the USA-constructed jacket looks both classy and rugged. 

The Fleece and Flannel Shirt seemed a little loose in the torso for me—both still fit well and look great, but they appear to be made with the huskier gent in mind. 

But in all three pieces I’ve tried, the fabrics are the star. The cotton Flannel is sturdy and soft, the Fleece is lightweight and warm, and the 8oz waxed shelter cloth is something you can depend on when crashing through pine branches in the early spring.

The free shipping, returns, and exchanges, in addition to the brand’s quality guarantee, make shopping with Tom Beckbe almost entirely risk free.

So if waking up before dawn, heading into the field as the sun rises, then kicking back in the evening by the campfire with a flask of American single malt sounds like a perfect day, Tom Beckbe is your brand.


FAQs

When was Tom Beckbe founded? 

Tom Beckbe’s first design was their Tensaw jacket in 2015.

What’s the difference between the Tom Beckbe Tensaw and Tensaw ES?

The Tom Beckbe Tensaw ES jacket is lighter and less insulated. It still has the same waterproofing wax, but it’s better suited to warmer climates. The regular Tensaw is for colder climates.

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