In the colder months, when farmers needed to bundle up but still get down to business, they reached for a barn coat. The rugged piece of outwear traditionally featured a rip-resistant cotton canvas exterior, flannel lining, and a wide collar that could be flipped up to defend from the wind. It was also cut for mobility with gusseted shoulders, hung down past the hips for extra protection, and had generous pockets. Warm and rugged, it was the ideal choice.
Today, the barn coat remains an excellent cold-weather option and continues to resonate a rugged charm that looks as good on acres of pasture as it does on city avenues. The best barn coats retain the features that made early iterations shine but feature modern touches that add to their usefulness — and are handsome as hell. Now, no, a barn coat isn’t going to be quite as warm as a thick parka or a down-filled puffer jacket. But the name of the game when wearing one on very cold days is layering. Think: a lightweight or medium-weight flannel shirt atop a cotton henley with a barn coat on top.
Below are some modern barn coats to consider, ranging from classic to more modern. All of them are rugged, warm options to throw on when the cold comes.
Orvis has long been a reliable source to lean on when you need hard-working gear for winter chores and off-grid adventures. This iconic barn coat is lined with brushed, yarn-dyed flannel for plenty of warmth, and the cotton canvas is both garment-washed (made to be worn with minimal break-in needed) and yet tough as nails.
The daunting Northeast winters likely provided plenty of inspiration when Lands’ End first set out making its timeless and rugged barn coat, and it’s no surprise that it’s still every bit as useful these days. The corduroy collar delivers a touch of extra warmth around your neck when flipped up to protect when the winds blow. And wind and water-resistant cotton canvas construction through the body provides plenty of weather-ready protection, too. Four pockets deliver all the space you could ever need for your daily carry and small tools.
The best barn coats are built for grueling days in the field and adverse weather aplenty, and if they can deliver some sustainable style points in the process, that’s all the better. Patagonia hits each of these benchmarks in fine fashion, offering up a barn coat with an astounding array of oversized, well-made pockets and an innovative, insulated lining. It’s also 25 percent more abrasion-resistant than traditional cotton canvas, and hemp also regenerates soil as it grows.
A tried-and-true workwear brand like Carhartt should spare no expense when churning out classic styles, and that’s certainly the case with this iconic chore coat. The corduroy collar is a classic barn coat feature, while rivet-reinforced pockets deliver durability and much-needed storage space for whatever you carry.
Searching for a barn coat that’s fit for the town and ready for the country? NYC-based Corridor knows what you need, turning the traditional barn jacket into a sharp, city-ready edition thanks to a deep grey color and a wide-wale corduroy collar. The result is a modern and fresh redesign of the barn coat, while still offering front-button and side hand-warmer pockets, not to mention a heavyweight cotton canvas build.
Filson just might have the market cornered when it comes to crafting unstoppably epic, rugged gear with history and heritage close at hand every step of the way. That’s high praise, but you know this to be true if ever you’ve tried the brand. If not, well, you’ll certainly be glad you’ve got this wool-lined, raw indigo jacket with plenty of hard-wearing style. It’s an update of a style first pioneered by the brand in 1914, and while it doesn’t technically feature “barn jacket” in the name, we’re willing to let that slide: It’s a rugged Filson jacket, after all.
The barn coat or barn jacket sure has come a long way from its humble origins on the farm and in the field. This quilted barn jacket from modern style purveyor Cole Haan is surprisingly sleek and modern, yet still boasts many of the same features as a traditional barn jacket, like body flap pockets and a stand-up collar. When you need a warm jacket for travel, consider this streamlined take on the barn coat.