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WHICH men’s vests ARE BEST?

Whether you’re layering up for adventure in the heart of winter or just looking to add a pop of warmth to your spring and fall wardrobe, a good quality men’s vest can get the job done. Heat radiates out from your core, so keeping your torso nice and toasty is one of the best ways to ensure your fingers, toes and extremities stay warm throughout the day.

The Barbour Bradford Gilet Vest is one of the best, allowing a full range of motion — making it a great choice for outdoor activities while making a cool fashion statement as well. 

What to know before you buy a men’s vest


Vests come in a variety of different shapes and designs, which often reflect what they are designed for. For example, rugged or down vests that are made for outdoor activities such as hikes, skiing or snow shoveling, tend to have a regular fit that leaves room for layers and mobility. On the other hand, vests that are optimized for style or the urban environment tend to have a slimmer fit that accentuates the width of your shoulders and the narrowness of your waist. 

Warmth needs

While all vests add warmth, some are warmer than others. If you plan to use your vest as a piece of outdoor gear, consider getting one with insulation and a weather-resistant shell. However, if you’re looking for something to wear to casual activities like outdoor sporting events or walks, consider something without insulation that’s smaller and more modern. 

What to look for in a quality men’s vest 

Water-resistant technology 

If you plan to wear your men’s vest as your outermost layer in a functional setting, like hiking or camping, you need to be able to rely on it for warmth. Waterproof treatments help keep wind and water at bay, while allowing your insulation to operate at peak performance in any conditions. Plus, these treatments extend the overall lifetime for your vest by protecting the interior materials. 

Useful accessories 

Top quality vests include handy features like an internal packing pocket, fleece-lined compartments and stow-away hoods. Features like these help you get the most out of your vest without drastically changing the price. 

How much you can expect to spend on a men’s vest

As with all clothing, there is a wide price range when it comes to vests. Expect to spend between $20-$40 for budget models that likely won’t be fitted. Mid-tier models with increased insulation usually cost between $40-$80 while top-end models can cost well over $120. 

Men’s vest FAQ

How should I style my vest?

A. Style is all about individuality, and since each vest is unique, there is no right or wrong way to dress your vest. However, if you’re worried about looking good and don’t know where to turn, it’s hard to go wrong with a solid pair of blue jeans and boots. If it’s extra cold, consider adding a knitted hat. 

Should my vest be my second, third or fourth layer? 

A. How you layer your new vest depends on what activity you’re preparing for. If you are hitting the ski slopes or going for a hike, you may want to add slimmer layers under the vest to increase warmth. However, if you’re wearing your vest out on the town or casually, people tend to wear it as the outermost layer. 

What are the best men’s vests to buy?

Top men’s vest

Barbour Bradford Gilet Vest

Barbour Bradford Gilet Vest

What you need to know: Offering classic style and premium materials, this is an ideal choice for anyone interested in a high-end vest that performs as well as it looks good. 

What you’ll love: Featuring luxurious baffle quilting and herringbone accent patches, the Bradford vest provides a modern take on a traditional design. Beyond its warmth, it has numerous pockets and a large, heavyweight corded collar that will keep your neck warm in bitter conditions. Plus, caring for the Bradford vest is super easy because it’s machine washable and doesn’t require any waterproofing. Lastly, because the Bradford is a regular-fit vest, it hugs you in the right places while leaving ample room for additional layers and breathability. 

What you should consider: Because the Bradford is made by Barbour, one of Britain’s foremost luxury brands, this vest is quite pricey. 

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top men’s vest for the money

Stoic Mixed Media Vest

Stoic Mixed Media Vest

What you need to know: Featuring luxurious sherpa and multiple pockets, this reversible vest offers excellent style and functionality without breaking the bank. 

What you’ll love: This vest provides the ultimate in versatility. For warmer days simply flip the cozy sherpa to the exterior, which also adds a pop of style, and on colder days turn the sherpa towards your body to enhance its insulating properties. Plus, with three individual zippered pockets you can carry everything you need for a night out on the town or a day hike in the woods. To top it all off, the sherpa side has an appealing mix of red and blue accents that lend this vest a vintage aesthetic. 

What you should consider: Although this vest is reversible, the shell side still doesn’t do a great job of breaking the wind and repelling water. 

Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry

Worth checking out

Eddie Bauer Downlight Vest

Eddie Bauer Downlight Vest

What you need to know: Designed for die-hard adventurers, this high-performance vest is ideal for anyone who likes outdoor activities and needs supreme functionality. 

What you’ll love: Boasting 800 fill, sustainably and responsibly sourced down insulation and an incredible 20D recycled nylon shell, this vest is warm and durable. You don’t have to worry about stray branches tearing the fabric, and the Downlight also has Eddie Bauer’s unique waterproofing treatment, which promises to keep you dry in blustery conditions. The Downlight easily packs into itself for easy transport. 

What you should consider: There are not many color options from which to choose. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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

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