Waxed canvas jackets are readily associated with rugged outdoorsmen and skilled tradesmen. It makes sense. The fabric used in this outerwear was inspired by jackets made early sailors, who crafted outerwear from oiled sailcloth. In the early 20th century, textile mills developed a process for impregnating cotton with paraffin wax, creating fabric that was flexible, warm, durable and weatherproof.
Though many brands have adopted lighter-weight waterproof technologies like Gore-Tex, countless companies still produce hard-wearing waxed-canvas outerwear. It's tough, water-resistant, and largely unchanged in the past century. These are our favorite examples, old and new, available now.
Buck Mason's Highland Jacket pays homage to waxed jackets of yesteryear with its rich brown and green color way. The shape's traditional, too, but this option fits truer to size and more tailored. Made with fabric sourced from the Halley Stevenson mill in Scotland, this iteration is dry waxed and blanket-lined.
This lightweight Waxed Trucker Jacket from Marine Layer has a windbreaker look to it, but it's waxed with a Scottish water-repellent finish, lined with fine blanket for warmth, and fully closable with a zipper and snaps.
There are waxed jackets and then there are waxed jackets. Drake's Coverall is a waxed jacket. What's that even mean? Well, it's a serious upgrade on even the best heritage brands: there's the body made from heavyweight Italian cotton, the mid-wale corduroy collar, and a signature plaid liner.
American Trench's Field Jacket takes cues from more robust coats, hence why it hits just below the hips. You can take on any weather in this one while still looking plenty stylish.
For the money, this is one of our favorite options. It just isn't the cheapest. A soft flannel liner offsets the rugged, waxed sailcloth exterior. Flint and Tinder opts for the original fabric used for waxed jackets, sailcloth, instead of canvas. The OG textile ages like leather or selvedge denim.
Designer Billy Reid applies the technical know-how of a waxed jacket to the simple chore coat shape. Easy to wear and even easier to care for.
The sherpa-lined Watts Jacket will not only keep you warm but dry, too. It's dry-waxed for water-repellent capabilities without looking too technical or work-related.
UK-based Burrows & Hare embraces the best thing about a waxed cotton jacket: its ability to brave rain, sleet, and snow. Think of this option as the ultimate rain coat: it's sleek, waxed, water-repellent, and finished with a parka tail.
We'd be remiss not to mention Barbour, an icon of British luxury since 1894, in a roundup of waxed jackets. The brand definitely didn't invent the waxed jacket, but it certainly helped broaden its reach. This Ashby Jacket comes waxed, of course, with a contrasting corduroy collar, a plaid liner, and plenty of Moto references.
The Upland Coat is another classic waxed jacket, this time courtesy of L.L. Bean. But there's a big twist hidden in this one: the jacket's entirely machine washable. Weird, right? The brand worked with its supplier to forge a signature process that'd provide the durability needed to survive a wash cycle.
Streetwear, meet the utilitarian's favorite outerwear style. This one comes by way of NYC brand Aimé Leon Dore, in a rich Oxblood color. The shape's similar to others on this list, but it's finished with brass buttons and a black cord collar.
Handmade in LA, Rogue Territory's Supply Jacket references Lee's original Stormrider jacket, and is finished with a Japan-made liner and satin sleeves. These run a little small, but will stretch at the shoulders and elbows.
Ah, your eyes! I know, this is a bright ass orange jacket. Like, the kind you wear for visibility while hunting. However, it's made by menswear expert Sid Mashburn. Lightweight and unlined, this one makes a great outer layer or a nice seasonal respite from the rain.