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The Best Waxed Canvas Jackets for Battling the Elements

Best Waxed Canvas Jackets 00 Hero

With the advent of waxed canvas clothing, the once water-weary outerwear world was gifted new interpretations of the canvas jacket. These weatherized models could take on rain, snow, sleet, and hail, while still providing the classic look of their unfinished counterparts. Interestingly enough, they would also become lauded for their distinct patterns, which — thanks to continuous use — would become more apparent over time. In a way, each jacket told the story of its wearer, thanks to unique creases, abrasions, and wear marks, giving the style inherent appeal within the heritage menswear crowd. Below, we’ve scoured a few of our favorite picks from around the genre to include in our best waxed canvas jackets guide.

Best Waxed Canvas Jackets Breakdown

What exactly is waxed canvas?

After noticing that wet sails weren’t nearly as effective as dry sails (which probably didn’t take long), 15th-century sailors started curing them by rubbing linseed oil in the fabric, and waxed canvas was born. The water-repellent properties that waxed canvas provided meant it was quickly adopted in sailor’s clothing as well, and it began getting used for everything from bags to jackets. The company British Millerain would pioneer the use of paraffin-based wax, making them the originator of the waxed cotton canvas that’s still used today. Eventually, the industry ditched linseed oil for paraffin wax thanks to BM (because it gets less stiff in cold weather), and waxed canvas jackets continue to be rugged and weather-resistant garments.

Why is waxed canvas good?

While the wax does provide a water-proof barrier, it doesn’t make the jacket fully waterproof, as water can get still inside. So if that’s what you’re looking for, then a rain jacket is more appropriate, but there are options that have covered the entire jacket in wax. These jackets are perfect choices for light rain during chilly days because you get warmth from the material construction (and sometimes a lining), and a waterproof shell to keep the elements at bay.

What to look for

Material: Although style and preference will determine this for the most part, waxed canvas is originally made with 100% cotton canvas, so if you want a classic look and feel, that’s the move (especially if it’s from British Millerain).

Weight: A waxed canvas jacket shouldn’t replace your winter coat, but a heavier option (~14oz) with something like a flannel lining can be useful in cold weather. Alternatively, if you want a jacket for brisk summer nights on the town where you may be taking it on and off, something lighter (~8oz) might be more comfortable.

how to re-wax your jacket

Once you notice the oil getting light (or if you just want to touch things up), you can re-wax your (freshly cleaned) jacket by applying the wax of your choice (usually paraffin or soy wax), letting it dry overnight, and wiping off the excess. Heating the wax before letting it dry with something like a hair dryer will help the wax get into the jacket, and make it more durable, so keep that in mind.

L.L.Bean Double L Waxed-Cotton Upland Coat

  • Antimicrobial cotton lining
  • Designed for hunting, with large lower shell pockets
  • Fabric made with British Millerain
  • A little bulky if you don’t plan on hunting

The Best Hunting Jacket: L.L. Bean’s Double L Waxed jacket is one of the industry’s finest (and most iconic) offerings. It sets the standard for traditional canvas outerwear, thanks to its British Millerain-designed fabrics, water-resistant, waxed-cotton shell, and abrasion-resistant qualities. Dive deeper, and you’ll find that the Double L also features an antimicrobial cotton lining for increased odor resistance, articulated sleeves for a greater range of motion, and plentiful pockets for in-the-field utility.

Material: 100% cotton
Weight: Heavyweight

Orvis Heritage Field Coat

  • Bi-swing back for freedom of movement
  • Waterproof game bag
  • Runs large

The Best Field Jacket: Like L.L. Bean, Orvis’ reputation within the world of waxed garments has been earned over years of hard work. Its aptly-named Heritage Field Coat is a perfect representation of why the Orvis name is so renowned, thanks to its classic integrations. These include a formidable dry-waxed cotton canvas, helping the jacket to resist water and abrasion, and a pair of lower bellows pockets with snap-closure flaps, among other things. But what makes this iconic garment so special is its adaptability. To keep things modern, Orvis has included a handful of quality-of-life upgrades to the garment, including gusseted underarm panels, reinforced elbows/shoulders, a corduroy collar, and a rear-entry game bag that’s been imbued with waterproof qualities.

Material: 100% cotton
Weight: Not listed

Iron and Resin Rambler Jacket

  • American-made
  • Made with British Millerain canvas
  • Runs small

The Best Moto-Inspired Jacket: Iron & Resin’s Rambler jacket is a great-looking model that draws its inspiration from coastal moto culture. Each USA-made garment features a 100% cotton Martexin waxed canvas, a comfortable corduroy collar, and a tack button/zippered front closure for impenetrable protection. If you’re abject to the nomadic, on-the-road lifestyle that this jacket was created to abide by, you’ll find that it’s equally as viable within your traditional outerwear rotation, thanks to its plentiful button-flap pockets, side-welt hand warmers, and conventional appeal.

Material: 100% cotton
Weight: 10.5oz

Buck Mason Dry Waxed Canvas Highland Jacket

  • Fabric sourced from a famous Scottish mill
  • Blanket-lined
  • N/A

The Best Autumn Jacket: Buck Mason calls this piece a jacket, but it’s genuinely a chore coat, and it’s one with remarkable weatherized properties. The Dry Waxed Canvas Highland Jacket is constructed using premium fabric sourced from a world-famous Scotland mill and a blanket lining for optimized warmth and comfort from top to bottom. It’s rounded out with sturdy white stitching, a corduroy collar for maximum style, and a cold weather-ready look that’s undeniably ideal around autumn.

Material: Canvas: 100% cotton. Lining: 80% polyester, 10% wool, and 10% recycled fiber.
Weight: 14oz

Flint and Tinder Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket

Flint and Tinder FLannel Lined Waxed Jacket
  • The famous jacket from The Last of Us
  • Made in the USA
  • Waxed on both sides
  • Sleeves can be a little long for some

The Best Trucker Jacket: Flint and Tinder are masters of their craft, and when it comes to heritage garments, there are few who can compare. The brand’s Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker is one such example. Boasting a handsome, field-jacket-inspired silhouette, weather-resistant Martexin 7 oz. sailcloth, and fully-lined sleeves for additional comfort, the Waxed Trucker is sure to keep you protected from the elements, without sacrificing style and presence. The best part? Since the jacket’s fabrics take on a persona of their own, every task, outing, or meet-up will add a little bit of character to your garment, making it uniquely yours.

Material: Shell: 100% cotton. Lining: 100% polyester.
Weight: Not listed

Rogue Territory Supply Jacket

  • Handmade in Los Angeles
  • Daniel Craig wore it in the newest James Bond
  • Shoulders and chest will stretch a bit with wear

The 007-Approved Jacket: After taking one look at Rogue Territory’s Supply Jacket, it’s immediately clear that this is one of the more unique models in the genre. Its waxed canvas exterior takes on a recognizable patina over time, while a handful of utility-focused pockets have been implemented to keep your most important items within arm’s reach. Add some branded nickel buttons into the mix, and this heritage-inspired piece becomes an aesthetically-astute staple that’ll turn heads wherever it’s worn. The best part? It’s handmade in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, giving it that true American-made feel.

Material: 100% cotton
Weight: 10oz

Filson Tin Cloth Work Jacket

  • Built with the label’s signature Tin Cloth which highly durable and water-resistant
  • Stands up to abrasions and tearing
  • Some may want chest pockets

The Best Work Jacket: Filson’s Tin Cloth Cruiser arrives hot on the heels of the genre’s other heritage-inspired pieces, and if we’re being honest, it’s got its work cut out for it. That being said, this great-looking model is already one of our favorites, thanks to its cleanly-tailored outdoor appeal. It boasts a water-repellent and abrasion-resistant oil finish Tin Cloth construction, synthetic-lined sleeves, and a hip-length hem to keep things snag-free whenever you’re in the work environment. However, if you’re more interested in the jacket’s stylish appeal, you won’t be disappointed to hear that it’s accompanied by a tab-adjustable waist, button cuffs, and a dry-finish Cover Cloth lining that’s sure to add insulating warmth to the Cruiser’s long list of positive traits.

Material and Weight: 14oz Tin Cloth + 6oz 100% cotton dry finish Cover Cloth + 8oz 100% cotton flannel + 16oz 100% wool + polyester twill

Barbour Classic Bedale Jacket

Barbour Classic Bedale Jacket
  • Iconic jacket from a classic British company
  • Lived-in look out of the box
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • N/A

The Most Rugged Jacket: Barbour’s Bedale is as classic as it’s going to get. This British staple features a lauded Sylkoil waxed cotton construction, a traditional zip and snap-front placket, and a corduroy collar for comfortable utilization on those days where the rain and wind won’t seem to let up. Its waterproof design is complemented by a classic Tartan cotton lining, two front flap pockets, and elastic inner cuffs to seal in warmth, making it even more attractive as a fall/winter piece.

Material: 100% cotton (Sylkoil)
Weight: Midweight

Belstaff Trialmaster Jacket

  • Breathable and lightweight
  • Adjustable collar and belt
  • Vintage style
  • Italian sizing

The Premium Pick: U.K.-bred heritage clothier Belstaff excels at making traditional outerwear, so it’s no surprise the Trialmaster has served as its flagship piece for over 70 years. The surprisingly breathable waxed cotton jacket features an adjustable belt, paving the way for adjustability that you can’t find with the average option. Then, it’s rounded out with a sturdy set of reinforced shoulder and elbow panels, snap fastenings, a handful of pockets, and the brand’s signature twill lining.

Material: Exterior: 100% cotton. Body lining: 100% cotton. Sleeve lining: 100% viscose
Weight: 6oz

The Best Field Jackets for More Rugged Outerwear

Photo: Buck Mason

What better way to add to this rugged ensemble than with a pick from our best field jackets guide?