A workwear jacket can be a life-saver—and I do mean that literally.
When you’re working hard, you may not notice the temperature dropping as the afternoon cools down.
If you live in Canada (like me) or the Northern United States, this cold tends to sneak up on you quickly.
But a good workwear jacket will keep out the cold and wind while offering extra protection against impact, abrasion, and safety hazards.
With plenty of space to store your tools, phone, and EDC essentials, it’s an absolutely game-changing addition to your work wardrobe.
Here in central British Columbia, we get at least six solid months of jacket-wearing, very cold-weather (like near or below freezing temperatures).
Given all the time I spend working outdoors, I’ve come to appreciate a good work jacket—and have been on a quest to find the best of the best.
I’ve put around 100 hours into testing, researching, and reading reviews for every jacket I could find.
My research has led me to assemble this list of the very best workwear jackets around.
Carhartt is the go-to brand for tradespeople here in Canada. Its products are high-quality, durable, and affordable—everything a tradie needs in work-specific clothing.
Of all the Carhartt jackets I tested, this was my favorite. It’s made with a tough, heavyweight cotton duck fabric, triple-stitched seams, and reinforced with Cordura nylon at the cuffs to prevent wear.
The Sherpa inner lining of the body and quilted nylon sleeve lining both do an amazing job of keeping out the cold and wind during the shoulder seasons, and offer enough warmth to make it a winter-friendly coat (when layering).
With six pockets—two on the inside, four on the outside—it’s got all the storage space a guy needs to carry his most used tools and essentials all day long. It’s affordable and built to last a long time.
Looking for something thicker and a bit heavier-duty? I recommend this Dickes jacket for sure.
The sanded duck canvas exterior is windproof and abrasion-resistant, and it’s lined with high-pile polyester fleece to keep out the cold.
The adjustable cuffs make it easy to wear this jacket over work gloves and winter gloves. Thanks to the triple-needle seams, you’ll never have to worry about the coat breaking or tearing on you. And for all your EDC essentials, you’ve got plenty of storage space in the two inner pockets, two handwarmer pockets, and one chest pocket.
But what makes it a real winner in my book is that it’s the most affordable option on my list. The price tag is low but the quality is high enough you can trust it to last you for years of daily work use.
I’ll be honest: this Timberland PRO jacket feels more like a sweater than a thick, heavy jacket, because of how light and flexible it is. The soft fleece inner lining reminds me of my favorite hoodies, and the canvas exterior is lightweight and beautifully soft once broken in.
Thanks to the articulated elbows and bi-swing shoulder gussets, it allows for total freedom of movement whether I’m swinging a sledgehammer or pounding in nails. But what really makes this the ideal jacket for me is that it’s available in Big and Tall sizes, which is absolutely necessary for my 6’6” frame and extra-long arms.
Ariat makes my favorite pair of budget-friendly work boots, so I was delighted to find they also make quality workwear.
The Rebar Canvas Jacket pairs perfectly with my Groundbreakers—both are built tough, lightweight, and work-friendly while also being affordable and stylish.
It’s built using “ToughMax”, a proprietary fabric that combines sturdy cotton with high-tech polyester and stretchy elastane. The result is a jacket that’s twice as tough and far more mobile than a cotton canvas coat.
Really, this jacket has everything I look for in workwear: a water-repellent exterior, Sherpa lining for warmth in cold weather, ribbing at the hem and cuffs so I don’t wear it out over hard days of work, and an interior pocket and exterior zippered chest pocket to safely store my phone and AirPods.
Every piece of TrueWerk clothing I’ve tested has impressed me. They combine durability with versatility, comfort and convenience.
The S3 Solution Jacket is built using a fabric that blends 75-denier polyester with just enough Spandex to give it a nice amount of stretch. You can wear it swinging a sledgehammer, digging trenches, chopping wood, or hauling lumber—it’s made to flex and move easily with you.
The Teflon DWR coating shrugs off light rain and even snow, and the seams have been reinforced for both added durability and extra waterproofing. The inner fleece lining is soft and silky against your skin but does an amazing job of trapping in body heat. Thanks to its drawcord waist, you can pull the lower hem tight to stop wind and cold from seeping up your back as you work.
The “softshell” jacket is lighter than many of the heavier and heavier-duty jackets I’ve assembled on this list, but that just makes it one of the most versatile.
This Carhartt jacket doesn’t offer quite as much warmth as my top pick, but the blanket-lined body still makes it useful for the late autumn and early spring when the weather is cold but not freezing. The cotton duck is heavyweight and durable, and the triple-stitched seams won’t fray or tear even after years of hard wear.
What I particularly appreciate about this jacket is the pockets, which have been rivet-reinforced so they can hold up under heavier use as well as the weight of heavier tools.
The fact that the jacket is water-repellent and windproof is the final “pro” that earned it a spot on my list of the best work jackets on the market.
When the warm days start cooling off, you’ll be glad you’ve got this Wrangler shirt jacket in your closet. It’s built with everything you need for protection from the chill, wind, and on-the-job hazards—including a tough duck canvas exterior and ultra-cozy polyester Sherpa inner lining—but because it’s a shirt jacket, it’ll be lighter, looser, and easier to wear on those days when it warms up in the afternoon after a cold morning.
It wears like a proper jacket, but weighs as little and feels as comfortable as a heavy-duty long-sleeved shirt. It’s the ultimate cool-weather companion on the job.
I’ve worn this jacket for the last year or so, and it’s become one of my all-time favorites and daily winter go-tos. The 37.5 technology incorporated into the inner lining does an amazing job of balancing warmth with breathability, insulation with ventilation. It also provides a bit of padding to add some heft to the jacket so it feels like a heavy-duty, work-friendly top layer that’s more than capable of standing up to driving rain or falling snow.
I’ve worn this jacket in sub-freezing temperatures and never felt the chill. Even when using it for hardcore work (including doing demolition and working a jackhammer), the tough polyamide exterior fabric holds up to abrasions and resists rips and tears.
The collar is lined with fleece and built extra high to keep out the wind, and the hood offers extra protection from wind and rain but can also be detached for more comfortable wear.
The addition of two-way stretch panels at the back make it wonderfully easy to move and flex through even the busiest, fastest-paced work day.
There’s a lot to love about this Filson jacket. To start off, the tin cloth is tough, resilient against damage, and has a weather-resistant finish that will shrug off rain, wind, and snow with ease. The inner canvas cover cloth offers extra protection against cold and wind, making it suitable for autumn, spring, and even mild winter use.
The cargo pockets offer ample storage space for your EDC essentials and your hands will stay toasty warm in the blanket-lined handwarmer pockets.
Thanks to the wool on the collar, you’ll have no trouble keeping your neck warm even if the wind is blowing. And finally, it’s cut to just the right length (hip length) so you can wear it over a tool belt without it getting in your way.
If you’re the kind of tradesman who wants more form than function, this L.L. Bean coat is definitely a good option.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s work-rated, using a medium-weight, two-ply cotton canvas exterior, Thinsulate insulation on the interior, nylon lining for the sleeves, and corduroy at the cuffs. Plus, the bi-swing shoulders and underarm gussets give you total freedom of movement.
But really, this chore coat is better for style use. It’ll let people know you’re a hard-working guy who knows his way around tools—the perfect weekend companion to swap out for your stained, scuffed, and worn-down weekday work jacket.
I’ve been a Patagonia fan for years. I truly appreciate their dedication to building high-quality, reliable, and long-lasting athletic and work-rated clothing. This Iron Forge barn coat is, in my opinion, one of the best jackets the brand makes.
The hemp canvas used in the jacket’s construction is noticeably tougher than standard cotton canvas, and requires a far shorter break-in time to develop that “lived-in” feel you want.
The addition of a bit of Thermogreen insulation makes it ideal for cool-weather use, but it’s lightweight enough you won’t overheat even if the days are warmer.
Features like a snap-closure abrasion flap, double-fabric shoulder panels, corduroy collar, and the many, many pockets (including one on your lower back for work gloves or a helmet) make it both incredibly convenient and reliable for your daily work use.
Wear this Duluth Trading Co jacket in the dead of winter to stay toasty warm. Rated for temperatures as low as -15 F (or -26 C for us Canadians), it’s the perfect ultra-cold weather jacket thanks to the use of Thinsulate insulation to trap body heat inside the tough-as-nails nylon shell.
The jacket features moisture-wicking panels in the armpits and at the backs to keep you dry even if you’re a heavy sweater (like me), and the zippers located at the armpits allow you to open up the coat to let excess body heat escape. The nylon shell is lightweight and wonderfully breathable, helping to keep you comfortable in any climate.
Best of all, you get a whopping eight pockets—including two spacious, zippered handwarmer pockets—that provide more than enough storage space for all your tools, electronics, and knickknacks.
I bought this jacket as an inexpensive gift for my landscaper brother-in-law, and he can’t stop raving about it. According to him, the combination of sturdy cotton canvas exterior and polyester lining delivers excellent comfort, reliability, and on-the-job performance.
The jacket is heavier than I expected, courtesy of the twelve-ounce heavyweight fabric used in its construction and the corduroy at the collar. But for someone who spends a lot of time digging, hauling plants and trees, and working outdoors, it’s more than tough enough to handle abrasion as well as the elements.
The Tecovas Overnight Trucker Jacket is the sort of coat I’d use during the warmer spring-through-autumn months.
Its midweight construction ensures it’s light and ventilated enough that I won’t overheat if the days are warm, but offers enough warmth to stay cozy on a cool night.
The addition of elastane into the cotton fabric adds elasticity so I can move easily when baling hay or mucking out a barn. Paired with a dark pair of jeans and my favorite work boots, it’s a truly stylish addition to my farm or ranch workwear.