Workwear can mean very different things to different people, depending on the work they do. While there are many jackets that are suitable for a range of conditions, often different jobs have different needs when it comes to workwear. Some rely on the weather—if the rain starts falling, the work stops. For others, the work must continue in all but the worst conditions. So we selected a range of the best workwear jackets to cover the needs of just about anyone wanting the best workwear for their job.
Cat’s Triton quickly became one of the favorites in our test, as we discovered feature after feature. First of all, the shell is a heavy waterproof, windproof, breathable material that stretches in four directions. Heavier material reinforces the elbows, and the hidden storm cuffs fit comfortably without being too snug and irritating. The detachable hood integrates seamlessly, while front two-way, weatherproof zippers allow access to double pockets and provide maximum ventilation when needed. Finally, adjustable cord locks allow for a personalized fit around the hood and bottom of the jacket. The Triton will work well for anyone whose outdoor work or activity continues, regardless of the cold, snow, or rain.
You can’t go wrong with a coat or jacket from Carhartt—it’s been manufacturing work clothes using tough cotton duck longer than just about anyone else. The brand’s Armstrong Traditional is made with signature features that have stood the test of time: deep shoulder pleats (now enhanced with a stretch panel that lets arms move freely without binding), pleated elbows, large patch pockets, and lining that's quilted with 3M Thinsulate insulation. This is a versatile coat that you’ll see on the backs of contractors, carpenters, arborists, landscapers, farm hands, and many others working outdoors or in unheated spaces.
Flint and Tinder's trucker jacket may just take the cake for unique fabric: It's made using a waxed and fully weather-proof Martexin sailcloth. Because the material is designed to look better with time, it's ideal for jobs that entail a little wear and tear. We also love the classic styling and the fact that it's fully lined with a super soft blanket-like material—in other words, ideal for wearing if you work in a place where the weather dips quickly.
As you might expect from a Texas-based brand, this workwear jacket is designed to be on the lightweight side and therefore ideal for warmer temps. It has some stretch to it, so can be worn over layers, and while it might not stand up to more hardcore activities, it's just durable enough to withstand most outdoor work. There's even an interior chest pocket, where you can keep smaller essentials to ensure they don't get lost throughout the day.
On the other hand, if it's serious warmth you need, go for this Proof down jacket. It's insulated with down, and constructed from graphene—a fabric that's apparently renowned for its strength and durability, so despite its puffy appearance, this is one jacket that's surprisingly hardy. (Bonus: It's also stain- and water-resistant.)
Although the company doesn’t say, the super-duty cotton duck feels to be pre-washed, so it was soft and comfortable without any break-in period when we tested it. A heavy sherpa lining and tailored hood make the High Country cozy in sub-freezing morning temperatures, too. Being a jacket, rather than a coat, it’s cut a little shorter, so keeping the cold off the lower back can be a challenge; but the knit waistband and cuffs helped to keep drafts out without being too snug. The two patch pockets on the front of the jacket were big enough to accommodate gloved hands and have brass rivets, reinforcing the stitching at stress points. While Berne’s heritage comes from agricultural work clothing, the High Country is for just about any kind of rough outdoor chore or activity.
For workers whose jobs require clothing that meet the ANSI/SEA 107-2015 Type R, Class 3 standards for visibility, this jacket checks all the boxes when the weather gets wet and the visibility low. With reflective strips over both shoulders, around the waist, and double strips around the arms, it easily shines when it catches light from any direction—and in the daylight, the hi-vis orange is hard to miss. When we wore it in the rain, we were very happy with how dry we stayed, with no water making it through the seams or material. Lastly, the detachable, adjustable hood is large enough to accommodate a helmet.
Featuring premium technical materials, this jacket is water- and wind-resistant, with a quilting nylon lining. The relatively light jacket offers surprising warmth. While the profile is cut slimmer than previous Dickies styles, the material offers significant stretch, so mobility isn’t hindered and you can layer underneath it without it getting bulky or binding up.