Best Jackets | Top 10

North Face jackets, Patagonia jackets, and a number of other really, really, good jackets

Finding the best, most stylish, jackets is no straightforward undertaking so if you think this is just a collection of decent winter coats, thrown together with more carefree abandon than a 19 year old Parisian lad on a ski slope you need to think again, you silly goose.

Listing the top ten jackets in the world right now requires deep, thorough, analysis as well as proper consideration for the activities and predicaments donning said coat can find a person in. From days snowboarding, to trekking, to walking the five minutes to the pub for a pint in February; we’ve tried to create a list of the greatest jackets that will offer a little bit of something for everyone.

Without further ado then, let’s zip-up and head on.

1) Patagonia Men’s Powder Bowl Jacket – £419.99

When you think of powder bowls, you think of fresh lines on a bluebird day. Huge rooster tails of pure, untouched snow flying up as you have literally the most fun anybody on Earth is having at that precise time. So, you’d expect a jacket bearing the name Powder Bowl to be able to stand up to a day in the back country. Made from two-layer Gore-Tex, this Patagonia jacket is durable, waterproof, windproof, and breathable. In short, if you’re off for a day of freeriding, this is just about the best coat you’re going to get.

Where You Would Wear This

You think back to a more innocent time. A time of hope. A time of optimism. A time of opportunity, and unbridled joy. A time where you could be anything, do anything. “Oh, you beautiful, naïve fool” you warmly say to yourself. You are, of course, thinking about the very first day of your snowboard trip. It’s now day four, and your 38 year-old knees burn as if rods of white-hot metal run through them. Your stomach is screaming from a combination of bending to strap in 60 times a day and the fondue incident on the second night. Oh, to be 18 again, virtually indestructible on that season in Tignes. Still, at least now you can afford to stay warm in your Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket.

2) The North Face Thermoball Hooded Jacket – £127.99

The North Face Thermoball Hooded jacket is an excellent coat if you’re after something compact, that you can wear just about anywhere, and that’s going to keep you nice and warm when the mercury drops. The nylon outer has a DWR finish to keep moisture at bay, and internally it’s insulated with lightweight Primaloft Thermoball, a synthetic material that mimics natural down insulation, but which keeps you warm even when it’s wet.

Where You Would Wear This

It’s Monday morning, and you’ve had the entire weekend for the crippling dread about the events of Friday night to grow. It’s been a full two days since the work’s Christmas Party, and you have no recollection of what happened after around 8pm. All you know is that you went, and that you woke around midday on Saturday, on your sofa, still fully clothed, with an unquenchable thirst and a head that felt like it was full of expanding foam. But now this. The anxiety of what you may have done is infinitely worse than any hangover.

“If I survive this, I’ll never touch a drop again”

Sat in the office again, you’re forced to confront the unknown. Why is nobody talking to you? Literally, not one person has said hello. And why did Rob from planning linger a little too long when your eyes met. What does he know? “Pictures. I bet he’s got pictures of me doing something awful,” you irrationally reason. You want the world to swallow you up. In lieu of that unlikely event though, you slip your North Face Thermoball jacket on as you sit at your desk – even pulling the hood over your head to shield you from the judgement of your colleagues.

Oh God. Dave from IT Support has just walked past, looked at you and sniggered to himself. You promise yourself you’ll never drink again. “If I survive this, I’ll never touch a drop again” you say, making a bargain with a God that, until now, you’ve never believed in.

3) Volcom Vco Inferno Snow Jacket – £159.99

The intriguingly named Vco Inferno jacket from Volcom should be on your shopping list if you’re heading to the snow this winter. Made from nylon, it has a 15,000mm waterproof rating and critically taped seams to stop water finding its way in. The regular fit gives you enough room to move about as much as you want, without ever feeling swamped.

Where You Would Wear This

You’ve spent the day cruising down the P60, doing your best to look like you weren’t just bottling the many rails and hits. In truth, you’d not really paid that much attention to the blue skies and glorious, deep snow because you’d spotted on his Instagram that Stalé Sandbech is also in Laax and you’d been fruitlessly trying to catch a glimpse of the Norwegian style master.

4) Burton Welton Anorak Jacket – £107.99

They may be best known for making snowboards, but Burton also produce some of the finest winter gear out there. The Burton Breach Snow Jacket is ideal for somebody venturing onto the slopes for the first time or who wants a really good all-winter coat for here in Blighty. It has a 10,000 mm waterproof rating, along with a DWR finish and fully taped seams, so it will stand up to all but the most brutal of rain storms.

Where You Would Wear This
There’s a reason you’ve not spoke to Tim since you left college, and yet here you are, six years later, walking into Wetherspoons (his choice) to catch up. What exactly you’re catching up on remains a mystery. Your lives have taken you on different paths, a fact you could not be happier about.

“Anorak alert! Anorak alert!”

“WAZZZZAAAAAP!” shouts Tim making reference to a Budweiser advert you’re both too young to really remember as your eyes meet. It’s too late to go back now. “Oh no!” he shouts, spotting your Burton Welton jacket, “Anorak alert! Anorak alert!” repeating a joke that wasn’t funny back when fate forced you to spend time with him in the name of education and holds even less humour now you’re adults.

The lad behind the bar asks what he can get you. You resist the urge to ask for a claw hammer, instead opting for a guest ale which has every chance of carrying the same threat to your wellbeing. “I thought you’d be a wine man now, Mr Big City” Tim suggests, seemingly trying to imply some sort of inadequacy in your character based upon a drink choice you didn’t even make. You look at your watch, and calculate how quickly you can leave without causing offence before silently making yourself the promise you’ll never – NEVER – do this again.

5) Adidas Originals Palmeston Tt Track Jacket – £59.99

Granted, not one for the coldest of winters days, but a super stylish option for the warmer weeks either side of the cold months, this adidas originals jacket is just dripping with style. Copying the original 1990’s Palmeston track jacket design, this light jacket is made from a combination of recycled polyester and cotton. As such, it’s as ethical as it is cool, and by George, it’s cool.

Where You Would Wear This
“OOOOSH Mayte! OOOSH! Away days. Love an away day. Keep ya nut down, mayte. Keep ya nut down. Know what I mean? Few beers mayte. Few beers. Bit a beer before the footy mayte. OOOSH! Naughty tackle on the weekend, mate. Propper naughty. Propper left one on him. Yes mayte. Beers, mayte. Love it, mayte. Gazza, mayte. Love him. Love Gazza. Euro 96 mayte. Gazzy crying. Lineker telling Kevin Keegan to watch him mayte. Love it, mayte. Mundial, mayte. Read it every week mayte. Love away days mayte. Beer mayte. Sesh. Sesh-on. Seen the Youtube, mayte. Bergkamp. Bergkamp, mayte.”

Even so, it’s still a nice coat.

6) Billabong Stalefish Anorak Blue – £131.99

When you hear the name Billabong, you probably think of surfing, but they’ve been making top end winter gear for ages, so the Stalefish Anorak comes with some real pedigree. With a name like Stalefish, it’s obviously been designed for the slopes, but the polyester construction, and fully taped seams make it sturdy enough to stand up to whatever a British winter can throw at it. The only thing it can’t do is help you tweak those Stalefish grabs.

Where You Would Wear This
“All place your ha-ands…” begs unlikely Wolves fan and Reef singer Gary Stringer, “On my ho-o-o-o-ole” is probably the next bit. Could it be? Surely not. But it sounds… Anyway. It’s 1998, Britpop has become a sweaty behemoth and catapulted indie bands into the limelight, and there isn’t even a Google yet to check what exactly Stringer is singing (and God knows, you’re not asking that dick Jeeves). With the confident swagger of a yet-to-turn-shit Gallagher brother, you look resplendent in your Stalefish Anorak snow jacket. Just lay off the faux Manc’ accent.

7) Deus Ex Machina Tokyo Coach Jacket – £80.49

Another jacket that we wouldn’t really recommend for a full winter expedition to somewhere cold and remote. When it comes to just being one of the most stylish coats on the market though, this Ex Machina Tokyo from Deus is a knock-out. Made from Nylon, it’s water resistant and is a touch lacking in breathability. But who needs breathability when you look this dope.

Where You Would Wear This
Your other half has arranged what she calls a double date and you call going to the pub with some friends. It’s with her mate Chloe and her new fella. You’ve already had a look at his Facebook and have seen that he’s pretty cool. He can pull off a cap without looking like he’s still into Nu-Metal, and his tattoos aren’t of Marvel characters. You need to up your game. But you’ve got this covered. You slip your Deus Ex machine coaches jacket over a white t-shirt, bang on some black jeans and desperately try to retain as much information about grime artists from Wikipedia as you can. You’ve got this.

8) Element Alder 2 Tones Jacket – £69.99

The Element Alder jacket is one of the best light winter jackets we’ve seen. Made from Polyester, it has a water repellent coating to keep moisture at bay when the heavens open. The regular fit gives a slim, athletic silhouette without being overly skinny, and the two-tone finish makes for a jacket that you can dress up or down, depending on where the mood takes you.

Where You Would Wear This

You open yet another email from Phil on the 4th floor. It’s a meme again. Of course it is. It’s 12.55pm and this is the eighth meme today. This time it’s a still from The Lion King where the dad lion holds the baby lion up, and it says the shadowy place is Penge, and to avoid going there. You don’t even know where Penge is, let alone have any emotional investment in the place for this to be relevant in any way. You’d block him, but he’s an admin on the 5-a-side WhatsApp group and you’re kind of on the edge of the squad anyway. You suck it up, slip your Element Alder jacket on, and head to Greggs for your lunch.

9) Haglofs Nengal Snow Jacket – £259.99

Designed for cold, snowy conditions, the Nengal jacket by Haglofs is one of the best winter coats we’ve come across. Made from two-layer Gore-Tex with a DWR finish, it will keep you dry and warm, without the need for bulky insulation and padding. The fit is slim, so it won’t flap around whether you’re flying down a red run on the piste, or just running for the bus.

Where You Would Wear This

For a fleeting moment you swear you can feel the rain on your face. Almost as soon as you feel it, it’s gone. Like trying to re-imagine a face from a dream after you wake up, you strain your synapses to try to make the feeling come back. You long for the cold rain against your face, the headwind blowing you backwards as you charge on towards the summit of Bowfell.

Suddenly, you snap back to reality. You remember you’re not out in the Lakes, bagging peaks, but in a Honda dealership, listening to somebody call Paul tell you why your MOT and service has cost £895.87. Silently, you run your fingers down the arm of your Haglofs Nengal jacket and hope to be transported far away. It doesn’t work. You’re still in Cannock. January is shit.

10) Columbia Rugged Path Jacket – £180

Based near Portland in the Pacific North West, Columbia know a thing or two about making outwear that’s both functional, but also effortlessly cool. The breathable Omni-Tech polyester construction is waterproof and breathable. However, open the jacket up and you’ll instantly see the Columbia Omni-Heat reflective technology – quite literally a silver lining that will keep you warm by reflecting your body heat back towards you. This jacket is warm, snug, comfortable, and yet gives you the impression it’s also absolutely bomb-proof. A real champion.

Where You Would Wear This
There comes a point in life – a sort of tipping point, if you will. You don’t really change, but things are definitely different. It creeps up so silently that you don’t even notice it until it’s there. You start to think of pension contributions, and what the schools are like where you live. A good night out looks like four pints of beer before listening to Rumours at home, and not a bag of nosebleed chang and waking up on a strangers floor in wherever the fuck Bilston is.

A quick pint after work no longer involves driving around to find a 24-hour McDonalds because Tina has drank so much vodka and energy syrup that she needs to consume her bodyweight in chicken nuggets to avoid going into anaphylactic shock. In short, a time when you start making sensible decisions. But sensible doesn’t have to look bad. Sensible can look smart, and stylish, and in charge. You know this. You’ve embraced this. And you’re wearing the Rugged Path Jacket by Columbia and, by God, you look good doing it.

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