From modern anorak and hoodie hybrids to more sophisticated sport jacket-style pieces, the quilted jacket space is currently comprised of a wide array of products. As such, there’s an enormous number of quilted jacket types to choose from, each varying in its durability, degree of formality, level of weatherproofing and insulation, and aesthetic style. Because of the sheer size of this space, we’ve taken the time to pore through the segment and highlight the best men’s quilted jackets currently available while also briefly delving into a condensed history of the jacket and what makes them special.
Baffles & Stitches
What Makes The Quilted Jacket Special?
Quilted jackets typically employ a diamond and square grid stitch pattern, with each square holding a uniform amount of insulation, as well as some extra space and room for air. In addition to affording a timeless and quintessential British aesthetic, this design allows the jackets to retain and recycle heat, without having to come at the cost of bulk, weight, or mobility. And because quilted jackets are engineered for foul—but not extreme—weather conditions, they are typically made from water-resistant or outright waterproof materials, or other rugged constructions such as waxed canvas or cotton that’s been fortified via a DWR-type finish.
Armor Liners to High-Fashion
A Brief History Of The Quilted Jacket
Quilted construction was first utilized for bedding as far back as the first century C.E., though the padded and stitched design wouldn’t really take off in a widespread capacity until the 17th century, namely in Europe. The type of construction allowed for a decent amount of warmth relative to its weight and bulk, and it was quickly adopted by other areas including clothing, though often for more niche uses such as for the padded garments that lined chain-mail and other armor or for equestrian riding applications.
While quilted bedding evolved and morphed into insulated comforters and duvets, there was decidedly less progress in the quilted clothing realm. This, however, would change in the 1960s, when an American ex-pat living in England would introduce what is widely recognized as the first contemporary quilted jacket. After retiring from the US Air Force in 1960 relocating to the UK with his wife, Steve Guylas opened a tackle shop and started a thermal outwear company called “Husky Ltd.”.
It is worth noting that Eddie Bauer should receive some credit for pushing the jacket envelope when the company released the world’s first down-insulated jacket in 1936 with its Skyline model, though Guylas is undeniably the father of the modern quilted jacket that we know today.
Being a passionate angler, hunter, and all-around outdoorsman, the Pennsylvania-native was always looking for garments that could sufficiently ward off cold weather without restricting movement or overly weighing him down. His specific requirement would ultimately motivate him and his better half to design a quilted vest for hunting. The next logical step would be a jacket that Husky released in 1965 after the quilted long-sleeve item became popular and increasingly requested by Guylas’s hunting buddies.
Husky originally produced its quilted jackets exclusively in OD green and navy blue, though the garment would burst onto the mainstream fashion scene after Queen Elizabeth was spotted wearing one of Husky’s corduroy-collared quilted jackets while riding one of her horses. From there, the garment’s popularity spread like wildfire, quickly being adopted by other garment makers and eventually making its way to American shores. In 1979, the next evolutionary step in the modern quilted jacket came with Barbour’s release of its Countryman quilted jacket. Since then, the quilted jacket has become a bonafide men’s clothing staple that now takes a variety of forms.
The Best Quilted Jackets Available
Carhartt gILLIAM jACKET
A more modern and technical take on the American brand’s typically workwear-focused jackets, Carhartt’s Gilliam Jacket is a versatile shell or mid-layer item with a full DWR-treated 1.75oz Cordura construction reinforced via a heavy-duty quilted-nylon lining stuffed with 100-gram polyester insulation. Produced in seven colors, the Gilliam features a mock-neck collar, offset chest map pocket, an inner pocket, and two snap-closure lower-front pockets.
j.cREW sUSSEX qUILTED jACKET WITH pRIMAlOFT
You don’t usually see J.Crew getting technical, but this Primaloft-bolstered jacket is the perfect blend of traditional style and everyday function, which is everything we’ve grown to expect from J.Crew. Composed of recycled polyester and organic cotton, the Sussex Quilted Jacket is finished with a pair of roomy slant pockets, and a trusty zipped chest pocket for a good amount of storage space.
hOWLER bROTHERS vOLTAGE lIGHTING qUILTED jACKET
Howler Bro’s Voltage Quilted Pullover is almost certainly one of the space’s most modern interpretations of a quilted jacket, with the anorak-style offering boasting 60-gram PrimaLoft Gold insulation behind a stylish and idiosyncratic “lightning” quilt stitch pattern. Produced in black or orange, this water-resistant pull-over efficiently traps and retains heat through the use of an integrated wind cuff in the hood up top and a bungee-secured drop tail hem.
thE nORTH faCE thERMOBALL eCOjACKET 2.0
This eco-friendly option from The North Face is heavier than it looks, albeit still light enough to stay comfortable. Best of all, it’s another sustainable choice that’s bound to withstand the test of time, boasting a fully recycled nylon makeup and sustainable fill-power. The latter is courtesy of TNF’s innovative ThermoBall tech, paving the way for optimized warmth no matter how windy or rainy it gets.
bARBOUR hERITAGE lIDDESDALE qUILTED jACKET
By fusing modern-day tailoring with timeless style, Barbour manages to craft the space’s most exemplary piece. The iconic Liddesdale silhouette is composed of a trusty, wind-resistant synthetic outer and rounded out with a sturdy nylon lining for optimized longevity. Of course, it wouldn’t be one of the brand’s most iconic pieces if not for the signature diamond quilt, granting it that sleek look that’s virtually impossible to ignore. Choose from a quartet of heritage colors to coincide with your look.
pENDLETON qUILTED shIRT jaCKET
Pendleton’s iconic collection of quilted blankets may be more popular than this shirt, but it still offers a naturally-capable function. It is composed of water-repellent virgin wool woven in the brand’s heritage mills. It’s all rounded out with a set of button-through flapped pockets, an interior chest pocket, and, that’s right, an extra pair of side-seam pockets for good measure.
fLINT AND tINDER qUILTED waXED sHIRT jaCKET
Manufactured in a trio of color options, Flint and Tinder’s Quilted Waxed Shirt Jacket offers ample protection from the cold in a decidedly classic package. The jacket’s shell is constructed from an extraordinarily water-resistant British Millerain waxed canvas, sports a diamond-stitched quilt pattern inside and out, a soft-touch Japanese polyester fabric liner, and contains recycled Primaloft insulation. There’s also a media pocket for smartphones and other mobile gadgets, and dual chest pockets designed to accommodate EDC gear.
rELWEN qUILTED taNKER jaCKET
This piece from Relwen is ideal for wearing in transitional seasons, all the while being versatile enough to keep you warm in the winter and feeling cool on a breezy summer night. Taking inspiration from the WWII-era silhouette, this tanker jacket boasts a water-resistant shell made from a nylon-cotton blend and recycled polyester fill for eco-conscious warmth.
tAYLOR sTITCH tHE qUILTED bOMBER jACKET
Leave it to Taylor Stitch to craft a piece as rugged as this ooze as much style as it does. The S.F. imprint’s take on the quilted jacket comes in the form of a traditional bomber, highlighted by all the quintessential details you’d expect to appear on the beloved silhouette. Made in collaboration with Halley Stevensonsons, the two use a six-ounce cut of organic cotton dry wax for virtually unrivaled weatherproof performance, then round it out with a ribbed collar to strap the warmth.
a kIND OF gUISE kenny Quilted Cotton-Corduroy Jacket
As big fans of A Kind of Guise, it may be biased to say there’s no room for error with this plush piece of outerwear, but if that’s the case, so be it. The boutique brand describes its German-made Kenny jacket as “contemporary yet timeless,” a set of qualifiers that undoubtedly apply when nabbing a glimpse at its chic corduroy design and wavy quilted motif. It’s finished with a tonal button closure, two roomy slant pockets, and a traditional collar.
Todd Snyder Italian Quilted Down Snap Bomber
Sticking to the script while adding a refined twist is Todd Snyder’s M.O., and the Italian Quilted Down Snap Bomber is the purest example of this consistent brand of design. Its sturdy exterior is composed of nothing but Italian nylon and packed with 650-fill power duck down for maximum warmth. It’s equipped with a bevy of pockets, finished with a snap button closure, and available in a handful of colors that will work easily with most outfits.
Blue Blue Japan Indigo Two-Tone quilt Liner Jacket
This intricately-crafted pick from Blue Blue Japan is one of the most unique options you’ll come across in this space. This versatile piece boasts a tried-and-true sashiko pattern for longevity’s sake. This five-century-old embroidery method is impressively functional and just as stylish, deeming it a perfect pick from top to bottom. It’s all rounded out with roomy patch pockets and a traditional single-zip closure.
Canada Goose HyBridge Quilted Nylon Down Jacket
Like most of its outerwear, Canada Goose’s weather-ready option is a shoo-in for this department. Its down-filled composition is powerful enough to keep you warm for any winter, and it’s bound to stay intact thanks to an insanely sturdy CORDURA nylon ripstop shell. It’s finished with a two-way zip closure, a bevy of pockets, and rib-knit cuffs to ensure no cold air seeps in.
Stone Island Shadow Project Quilted Liner Jacket
We could’ve gone with any old Stone Island jacket for this pick, but its Shadow Project line churns out a premium option that the rest of its catalog can’t compete with. The sustainable piece is padded with PrimaLoft-TC, an exclusive insulation tech composed of recycled technical fivers. Then, the eye-catching garment is finished with a set of hand pockets and a pair of fastening snaps, then gets garment-dyed in this mesmerizing shade of Pistachio Green, deeming it one of the most distinctive jackets you can find, quilting aside.
and WANDER Diamond-Stitch Quilted Jacket
While Stone Island is the father of techwear, it’s a space that oozes innovation, so it’s only fitting to include a newer label to close things out. Japanese imprint and WANDER crafts a remarkably comfortable pick that is warm, sleek, and built for any condition. And while its chic diamond-stitch quilted finish is easy on the eyes, the jacket boasts a 90/10 down fill that makes it even easier on the torso when temperatures dip on your next adventure.
The Best Synthetic Down Jackets for Cold Weather
If you’re trying to up the warmth, our guide to the best synthetic down jackets isn’t only beneficial for winter forecasts, but the planet, too.