The Best Men’s Heavyweight T-Shirts for a Sturdier Feel

Best Heavyweight Shirts 0 Hero
Photo: Taylor Stitch The Heavy Bag Tee

When it comes to staying warm, the first thing that comes to mind is tossing on one top after another — but what’s the use when the base layer has no substance? For this reason, and several others, heavyweight t-shirts have become an essential element of a long-lasting wardrobe. But, with that comes a few questions whose answers certainly differ based on your preferred texture and weight, all of which we tackle in our trusty guide to the market’s best options.

The Best Heavyweight Tees Across the Board

How Heavy Is Heavy?

Carry That Weight

With the standard for mid-weight t-shirts being around 6 ounces, it’s clear that the basis we’ve set for these casual pieces is pretty low, and rightfully so — after all, they’re just t-shirts. Nevertheless, the trusty methods that go into crafting a heavyweight shirt are a testament to longevity and serve as a worthy attempt at keeping you warm when temperatures are low, with some of our favorite options ranging anywhere between 6.5 and 13 ounces — that’s right, a 13-ounce shirt, not a sweatshirt.

Remember that, when accounting for any garment (including the good ol’ t-shirt), by no means does being heavy equate to being better, but you can usually bank on anything with some weight to it holding up longer. And while it may feel stiff right out the gate in this case, a couple of runs in the laundry are sure to give any heavyweight tee the hand-soft feel you look for in a new shirt, all the while retaining its sturdy construction.

Hanes Beefy-T Short Sleeve 4-Pack

Hanes Beefy T Short Sleeve T Shirt
Photo: Hanes

The Starter Pack: In case years’ worth of cable commercials haven’t explained it well enough, Hanes’ signature Beefy-T weighs in at 6.5 ounces, is constructed from 100% ringspun cotton, and is finished with a tag-free label for no unwanted itchiness. All things considered, it’s impossible to go wrong when you’re paying less than $10 a tee, and while these aren’t necessarily the best around, who could argue with such an affordable price?

Weight: 6.5 ounces
Origin: Imported

Carhartt Relaxed Fit Heavyweight Short-Sleeve Pocket T-Shirt

Carhartt Relaxed Fit Heavyweight Short Sleeve Pocket T Short
Photo: Carhartt

The Single Starter: Even though Carhartt’s been around for over 120 years, its famous pocket tee only came about in the early ‘90s. Nevertheless, it became a sure-fire favorite amongst blue-collar workers and anyone who can appreciate the affordable basics. While its solid-colored options, of which there are over five, are entirely composed of sturdy cotton jersey, the brand’s collection of Heather shades utilizes a blend of materials that still sum up to a sturdy weight of 6.75 ounces.

Weight: 6.75 ounces
Origin: Imported

Buck Mason Field-Spec Cotton Heavy Tee

Buck Mason Field Spec Cotton Heavy Tee
Photo: Buck Mason

The Safest Bet: While Buck Mason’s Pima Cotton tee is often heralded as the shirt worn around the world, it couldn’t hold a candle to this bad boy, at least not weight-wise. The L.A.-bred clothier’s Field-Spec material is ridiculously sturdy, much in part to its 310 GSM cotton construction — for reference, the famous Pima material is composed of 140GSM fabric. With a prototypical 8-ounce makeup and five colors to choose from, this tee has more than enough weight go around.

Weight: 8 ounces
Origin: Imported

Lady White Co. Rugby T-Shirt

Lady White Co Rugby T Shirt
Photo: Lady White Co.

The Upgrade: As self-admitted fans of Lady White Co.’s plain shirts, it’s shocking to admit the minimalist brand offers an even sturdier option. Meet the Rugby T-Shirt, a pre-shrunk, boxy-fitting tee that weighs in at a hefty 10 ounces. Meanwhile, its famous ‘Our T-Shirt’ weighs a formidable 6 ounces, deeming this tightly-knit upgrade ideal for long-term wearing. Best of all, it’s cut, sewn, and knit using domestic cotton just a few miles away from its L.A. flagship, so it’s practically built for Hollywood.

Weight: 10 ounces
Origin: Los Angeles, CA

Freenote Cloth 13 Oz. Shifter Tee

Freenote Cloth 13 Oz Shifter Tee
Photo: Freenote Cloth

The Heaviest Heavyweight Shirt: If you want something that might even start to weigh you down, look to Freenote Cloth. The trusty boutique hones its distinctive brand of vintage appeal and formidable feel to construct the 13 Oz Shifter Tee — that’s right, this thing is 3 ounces short of a pound. Using a USA-made, custom-knit cotton fabric, the humble boutique sews the Shifter in its SoCal-based factory and then pigment dyes it for that unique, thrift store-adjacent look. Keep in mind that the brand suggests you hang dry this piece when pulling it out of the washer to avoid shrinkage.

Weight: 13 ounces
Origin: Los Angeles, CA

Taylor Stitch The Heavy Bag Tee

Taylor Stitch The Heavy Bag
Photo: Taylor Stitch

Best Sustainable Heavyweight Shirt: With its upcycled cotton and recycled polyester construction, Taylor Stitch’s fully-eco-friendly option garners this admirable title by a landslide. Further, the brand touts its unique material as “the first truly waterless fabric,” which is beyond impressive, to say the least. The burly shirt is as sturdy as its name suggests, boasting an 8-ounce makeup and fully-taped shoulder seam to ensure it’s built to take on your day-to-day routine for years to come.

Weight: 8 ounces
Origin: Honduras

FGS Originals Heavy-weight T-Shirt

FGS Originals Heavy weight T shirts
Photo: Field General Store

Best Japanese-Made Heavyweight Shirt: Front General Store is a Brooklyn-bred vintage shop that sells everything from old-school single-stitch tees to well-aged Burberry trench coats, but that’s not why it appears here. The shop’s line of Originals follows suit with the quality of items it scours to give new life, part of which is a top-shelf heavyweight tee. Crafted in Japan and weighing somewhere along the lines of 7 ounces, it’s clear that this overseas affair is a trusty option, albeit FGS chose to keep hush-hush about the overall weight.

Weight: ~7 ounces
Origin: Japan

Whitesville Japanese-Made T-Shirts 2-Pack

Whitesville Japanese Made T Shirts
Photo: Whitesville

Best Japanese-Made 2-Pack: Whitesville has been doing things the right way since the late ‘50s, serving as one of the initial sportswear imprints before the more prominent names like Champion and Russell started doing their thing — clearly, we’re talking long before Nike and adidas. Proving that it still has a place in the world are these famous Japanese-made tees composed of 7oz jersey developed by Toyo, a native heritage brand who purchased its licensing rights and began reproducing the tops in their original form, including its nostalgia-inducing packaging. After all, anything formerly worn by Marlon Brando deserves consideration in our book.

Weight: 7 ounces
Origin: Japan

3Sixteen Heavyweight Pocket T-Shirt 2-Pack

3Sixteen Heavyweight Pocket T Shirt
Photo: 3Sixteen

Best Overall 2-Pack: Like most items from 3Sixteen, it’s impossible to overlook the meticulousness that goes into making these t-shirts. Sure, their premium denim is far more tantalizing, but these buttery soft tops are a wardrobe staple you won’t regret snagging. Using custom-knit 225 gsm jersey fabric made in Canada, the New York-based boutique then cuts and sews its shirts in the same S.F.-based factory as its jeans. For stability’s sake, it even implements a triple needle overstitched collar, so you don’t have to worry about sagging. What could make it better? Oh, yeah, you get two of them.

Weight: ~6.6 ounces
Origin: San Francisco, CA

The Best White T-Shirts for Men

Photo: Taylor Stitch The Heavy Bag Tee

If you’re in the market to stock up on staples, check out our guide to the best white tees money can buy.