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The Best Waxed Canvas Jackets for Wet Weather

Protect yourself with one of these water-repellent options.

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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 originally crafted jackets from oiled sailcloth. In the early 20th century, textile mills developed a process for finishing cotton with paraffin wax, creating fabric that was flexible, warm, durable and weatherproof.

What Is Waxed Canvas?

Though many brands have adopted lightweight waterproofing technologies like Gore-Tex, countless companies still produce hard-wearing waxed-canvas outerwear. It's tough, water-resistant and has gone largely unchanged over the past century. Although it's occasionally been adapted to suit to newer silhouettes, the trusty treatment still works well to this day, in spite of new, synthetic materials and membranes.

Because long before there were synthetic fabrics, before Gore-Tex and “weatherproof breathability," there was thick cotton and a can of wax. Early sailors realized that wet sails caught the wind better than dry sails, but wet sails were too heavy and slowed the ships down. The solution was rubbing oil into the sailcloths, making them more efficient and also water repellent so they stayed light in the rain. The sailors started cutting jackets out of the oiled sailcloth for themselves, wearing early editions of the rain jacket, but these primitive designs, made with linseed oil, became stiff in the cold and faded in color.

In the early 20th century, manufacturers developed a process for impregnating cotton with paraffin wax. The new material made for flexible, warm, durable and waterproof clothing that was quickly adopted by soldiers, outdoorsmen and sailors. Since then a slew of synthetic, breathable and waterproof fabrics have been developed — and used in those lightweight Arc'teryx jackets everybody wears. But a few companies have stuck with waxed cotton, which remains much more suited to workwear and carries the look and history of a real outdoorsman.

These are our favorite examples, old and new, available now.

The Best Waxed Canvas Jackets for Men


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    Our pick
    Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket
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    Flint and Tinder

    For the money, this is one of our favorite options. 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.

    An affordable alternative
    Waxed Canvas Trucker Jacket
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    Marine Layer

    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.

    An upgrade
    Dry Waxed Canvas Highland Jacket
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    Buck Mason

    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. TLDR: it's more elevated. Made with fabric sourced from the Halley Stevenson mill in Scotland, this iteration is dry waxed and blanket-lined, too.

    Ashby Wax Jacket
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    Barbour

    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.

    Bakers Chore Jacket
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    Universal Works

    Editor’s Note [5/25]: The Bakers Chore Jacket t is currently out of stock as of this update. As an alternative, we recommend the Barbour Ashby. It is similar in styling but is a bit more expensive.

    Universal Works' original Chore Jacket was a simple workwear design inspired by the brand's founder's father, who wore a chore coat almost every day. This version is nearly the same save for the waxed cotton exterior and the contrasting cord collar.

    Waxed Field Jacket
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    American Trench

    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.

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

    Editor’s Note [4/6]: The Double L Waxed-Cotton Upland Coat is currently out of stock as of this update. As an alternative, we recommend the Barbour Ashby. It is similar in styling and color, but is a bit more expensive.

    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.

    Waxed Cotton Flight Jacket
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    Billy Reid

    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.

    Blanket Lined Supply Jacket
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    Rogue Territory

    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.

    Waxed Canvas Hunting Jacket
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    Aimé Leon Dore

    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.

    Trinity Wax Jacket
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    Burrows & Hare

    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.

    Waxed Bexley Jacket
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    Peregrine

    Originally just a family-owned manufacturer, Peregrine — owned by the UK-based Glover family — turned its focused toward clothing, but UK-made, vintage-inspired clothing at that. This is The Bexley, military-referencing jacket cut from a Millerain-made waxed cotton fabric. It has a soft hand feel and all of the features you'd expect from something weatherproofed.

    More Rugged Coats & Jackets
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    Huckberry

    Explore the following guides to find more of our top jacket recommendations.

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