A tried and true design that’s stood the test of time for more than half a century, the quilted jacket is a men’s fashion staple and a go-to garment for wearers in colder climates and regions. The timeless appearance and ample warmth afforded have allowed these winter-ready jackets to remain a must-have wardrobe classic since the style was first introduced in the mid-1960s. And while a myriad of men’s clothing brands produce items that deviate very little from the garment’s original design, a slew of other outfits have begun offering more contemporary, evolved takes on the traditional quilted jacket.
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 chose 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.
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.
Knox Thermal Quilted Jacket MKII
Part of the Knox Layering System, this quilted jacket is made in England and offers ample warmth relative to its weight and heft thanks to the use of INVISTA’s THERMOLITE PLUS quilted insulation. Decorated with subtle black-on-black branding and outfitted with YKK zippers throughout, this machine-washable item also sports a soft ribbed collar and waistband and a pair of waist pockets.
Nau Utility Down Shirt Jacket
This contemporary take on a utilitarian shirt jacket offers the appearance of a classic piece of workwear, while 700 fill power recycled down insulation affords a tremendous amount of warmth. The jacket’s shell is made from recycled polyester and features reinforced internal-bound seams for added comfort and durability. A snap-closure-equipped rib-knit collar also helps this item to remain in place amidst movement while its diamond-quilted shoulders add a few modern style points.
Howler Brothers Voltage Quilted Pullover
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.
Barbour Heritage Liddesdale Quilted Jacket
Though the South Shields brand didn’t outright invent the quilted jacket, it’s undeniably produced some of the most recognizable, iconic, and widely “imitated” traditional British jackets, starting with the Countryman jacket in ’79. Barbour’s Heritage Liddesdale Quilted Jacket takes ample inspiration from the company’s garments of yesteryear, bestowing the classic design with a wind-resistant synthetic shell, a rugged nylon liner, the company’s signature diamond quilt, a contrasting corduroy collar, and snap-closure front.
Goldwin Men’s Down Jacket
Goldwin unequivocally produces some of the world’s most premium outdoor-focused garments, gear, and outerwear, and the brand’s plainly named Men’s Down jacket is by no means an exception. Starting with a Pertex Quantum nylon shell, the jacket is stuffed with 80-gram GREENDOWN insulation and finished off with a lining made from a combination of Antistatic taffeta nylon and POLARTEC CLASSIC 200 polyester.
Taylor Stitch The Quilted Jacket
Taylor Stitch’s Quilted Jacket is a stylish and timeless garment that hides an array of modern elements. The diamond-quilted shell is made from 12oz Boss Duck—a hardwearing hemp-based material—and is mated to a 9oz brushed organic cotton liner before being filled with recycled polyester insulation and decorated with YKK antique brass snaps.
Deus Maxwell Down Puffa Overshirt
Though Deus typically trades in motorcycle gear and garments for warmer, more tropical climates, the custom motorcycle and lifestyle powerhouse has more recently been tapping into the bonafide winter wear sector with offerings like the Maxwell Down Puffa. This top-shelf puffer sports a DWR-treated, matte finish, textured polyester shell and a lightweight polyester lining, and is stuffed with 90% duck down and 10% duck feather wadding. The Maxwell also features a chest patch and bespoke Deus-branded front snap closures.
Flint & Tinder Quilted Waxed Shirt
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.
Filson Hyder Quilted Jac-Shirt
When shopping for a hardwearing piece of workwear, it’s damn-near impossible to go wrong with pretty much anything from Filson, and the Northwestern outfit’s Hyder Quilted Jac-Shirt demonstrates why this is, with a 100-gram PrimaLoft Silver Eco insulation-stuffed diamond-quilted shell made from rugged 4oz cotton with a dry wax finish. Not only does this item do a phenomenal job standing up to the elements, but it’s even able to continue insulating its wearer after getting wet.
Belstaff Lodge Puffer Jacket
Belstaff’s Lodge Puffer Jacket is a modern zip-up item that was inspired by vintage hunting and outdoor garments. The main construction is cut from an onion-quilted Oxford nylon that’s been overlaid with Black Watch plaid wool blend on the shoulder and arms. Two pairs of pockets—dual bottom-closure chest pockets and snap-secured side pockets–provide plenty of storage while button closure nylon lined cuffs and an adjustable button tab at the waist helps to trap in heat and ensure a snug fit.
Todd Synder Italian Quilted Liner Jacket
In typical Todd Snyder fashion, the New York-based designer has delivered a top-shelf interpretation of a traditional quilted jacket, treating the classic silhouette to an Italian nylon outer construction before filling the vertically-stitched shell with Primaloft insulation. Also offered in all-black or OD green, this item was designed to be worn under a larger winter coat as a mid-layer or used as a standalone jacket in less harsh cold weather conditions.
Eddie Bauer Tech Skyliner Jacket
Roughly a decade-and-a-half after the Seattle-based brand’s inception, Eddie Bauer introduced the world to the first down-insulated jacket, and with 2020 marking the company’s 100th anniversary, EB has opted to celebrate the occasion with a modern rerelease of its Skyliner jacket. This time around the game-changing bomber-style garment gets a ribbed hem, cuffs, and collar, an interior EDC storage pocket, and a lightweight water-resistant shell stuffed with Responsible Down Certified high-loft 800 fill premium down.
Pendleton Men’s Sonora Jacquard Quilted Shirt Jac
Pendleton Woolen Mills employs a general philosophy of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” with the Portland-based garments and goods purveyor manufacturing its flannels and jackets today very similarly to how it did when it was founded in 1863. Pendleton’s Sonora Jacquard Quilted Shirt Jac is one such item that could have been unveiled a century ago, with the USA-made item sporting a classic cut and the company’s signature southwestern-decorated 100% virgin wool construction.
Burberry Packaway Hood Quilted Thermoregulated Field Jacket
This premium quilted jacket from Burberry boasts a classic cut, though underneath hides an array of thoroughly modern features. On top of a pack-away hood, the brand’s hallmark vintage check lining, a concealed zipper and press-stud closure, and a 100% polyamide shell with cotton and leather trim, this ultra-high-end offering has been outfitted with 37.5 thermoregulation technology, enabling it to hasten moisture evaporation and bolster breathability.
The 30 Best Winter Jackets & Coats For Men
Want to check out a wider selection of even warmer and more robust cold-weather coats? Then be sure to head over to our guide to the best winter jackets and coats for men for two-and-a-half dozen of the latest and greatest puffers, peacoats, parkas, and other stylish staples.
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