Best bomber jacket

Outerwear

Hollywood stars like James Dean and Marlon Brando helped make the bomber jacket popular by wearing it in films like “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Rebel Without A Cause,” respectively.

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Which bomber jackets are best?

From the American pilots in the first World War to stars of Hollywood in the 1950s and varsity athletes in the 1970s and 1980s, bomber jackets have been a fashion staple for generations. The quintessential style of a bomber jacket is casual yet practical. Its tight cuffs, loose sleeves and high collar allow you to stay warm while still looking stylish. Whether you’re a fan of vintage clothing or modern aesthetics, bomber jackets are great all-around choice. 

The top bomber jacket choice is the Levi’s Faux Leather Sherpa Bomber Jacket, a contemporary version of the traditional bomber aviator jackets. 

What to know before you buy a bomber jacket

Original bomber jacket style

During World War I, pilots needed something to keep them warm because the planes did not have fully enclosed cockpits. At the time, heavy-duty leather was the best material available. The jackets have high collars, zip closures and tight cuffs around the wrists and waists. Of course, this was all to keep the cold wind off the pilot’s skin. The jackets also featured a series of flaps that pilots could unbutton easily to make things more comfortable. Today’s bomber jackets feature many of the same features, including the zipper sleeve pocket.

Baseball bomber jackets

In the 1970s and 1980s, civilians began wearing bomber jackets. This fashion trend would reach the world of baseball. This unique take on the traditional bomber jacket looked like a varsity jacket with contrasting sleeves and body sections. It also had the key feature of stripes on the wrist cuffs. This style became very popular leading up to the 2000s when hip-hop culture adopted the look. Today, baseball-style bomber jackets are as common as any other style bomber. 

Materials

Traditional bomber jackets were made with leather. Today, many companies opt to use synthetic or faux leather as it’s far cheaper than actual cow’s leather. Today’s bomber jackets are far more versatile, although some still have heavy-duty leather. Nylon is one of the most popular exterior materials because it’s highly durable and rip-resistant. It’s also very lightweight, making it a great option for the fall and spring months. 

What to look for in a quality bomber jacket

Jersey-lined interior

Jersey is another word for single knit cotton. So while a polyester sports jersey may come to mind first, the actual jersey material is far different. The jersey in bomber jackets is a very lightweight cotton layer that sits underneath the nylon or faux leather exterior. It makes it easy to slide the jacket on and off while also adding softness. You don’t want your skin rubbing directly against the nylon, so the jersey makes the whole piece comfortable. 

Sherpa-lined collar

If you want to follow in the steps of the traditional bomber jacket styles, choose one with a sherpa-lined collar. This added layer of warmth will protect your neck from the winter winds. In the same way that many manufacturers have moved away from real leather and into synthetic leather, they’ve also swapped out sheep’s fur for polyester sherpa materials. Fortunately, sherpa still provides adequate warmth and comfort and is particularly good at trapping in body heat. 

Big and tall

Bomber jackets are short, ending around the waist. They also have elastic around the waist and wrists. This means that they can sometimes be too snug for larger body types. Luckily, Levi’s designers and a few other companies have created big and tall selections for the same bomber jackets. These versions are longer in the waist and arms to accommodate taller individuals while maintaining the same bomber style. 

How much you can expect to spend on a bomber jacket

Bomber jackets cost $64-$160.

Bomber jacket FAQ

How do you wash a bomber jacket?

A. Most bomber jackets can be washed on a gentle cycle in the washing machine. However, you should use a mild detergent and warm water. Bomber jackets can be made with various materials, so be sure to check if your jacket is washer safe. 

What kind of outfit goes with a bomber jacket?

A. Bomber jackets are best worn with a casual style outfit. Denim jeans and plain t-shirts make bomber jackets stand out the best. When the weather gets colder, you can wear a hooded sweatshirt underneath the jacket for added warmth and style.

What are the best bomber jackets to buy?

Top bomber jacket

Levi’s Faux Leather Sherpa Bomber Jacket

Levi’s Faux Leather Sherpa Bomber Jacket

What you need to know: This faux leather jacket from Levi’s is designed after the aviator style jackets from the 1920s and 1930s.

What you’ll love: The exterior material is made with 100% polyurethane to avoid using real animal leather. There’s a cozy sherpa-lined collar for added warmth and protection from the wind. It comes with several zipper and button closure pockets, including an interior breast pocket. 

What you should consider: The zipper on this jacket can become stuck over time. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top bomber jacket for the money

Dickie’s Quilted Bomber Jacket

Dickie’s Quilted Bomber Jacket

What you need to know: This comfy quilted bomber jacket is perfect for the spring and fall months when the weather turns slightly cool. 

What you’ll love: There’s a water-repelling exterior coating that keeps you dry during modest rainstorms. The interior has a gray jersey lining, making it comfortable to wear with a simple T-shirt underneath. It comes in several colors and styles, including a green camo bomber jacket and a stark black bomber jacket.

What you should consider: This bomber jacket is not ideal for colder months. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Levi’s Flight Satin MA-1 Bomber Jacket

Levi’s Flight Satin MA-1 Bomber Jacket

What you need to know: Taking it back to the golden age of flight, this MA-1 bomber has the signature pilot zipper pocket on the left sleeve. 

What you’ll love: This jacket is 100% nylon making it durable and lightweight. It comes in a variety of colors, all of which have a satin sheen to them. The front zip closure will make the jacket fit snugly against the body during inclement weather.

What you should consider: There is no fill inside the jacket, making it best for warmer weather. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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