The 20 Best Men's Pea Coats, Car Coats, Walker Coats, and Overcoats
We've researched the best men's winter jackets, based on material composition, product rating, and price.
A Note About Fabric:
High wool counts are always desirable for the quality of cloth, but the inclusion of polyester and synthetic fibers shouldn’t be as much of a turn-off when shopping for winter outerwear as when searching for a suit or clothing for warmer weather. Natural fibers like wool, cotton, silk, and linen are considered better for the environment, but what’s better when considering the wearer himself?
There’s a reason that it’s hard to find reasonably priced outerwear that doesn’t have a composition of at least 25% polyester or other synthetic fibers like nylon or rayon. Polyester is stronger and more flexible than many natural fibers, and its lack of breathability that makes it burdensome in the summer can be a blessing to wearers hoping to retain heat in the winter.
If you’re looking for dressier outerwear like an overcoat to wear with a suit, a higher wool count is desirable. If you’re looking for a durable winter workhorse such as a pea coat or casual walker, don’t let a high polyester count dissuade you.
What's the difference between pea coats, car coats, walker coats, and overcoats?
Generally speaking, these coats are defined by their length and formality:
The Best Pea Coats
The pea coat is a classic cold-weather staple dating back to the 1720s when it warmed the backs of European sailors in harsh weather. Three centuries later, the pea coat retains its venerable double-breasted, short-length design properties but reimagined with a lighter fabric composition that better suits the needs of a modern wearer less prone to taking to the high seas.
4.2 (35 reviews)
50% wool, 50% cotton
Black, Charcoal, Navy
One of the better-looking budget pea coats.
Double Breasted Wool Peacoat
4.2 (544 reviews)
52% wool, 40% polyester, 8% other fibers
Black, Charcoal, Dark navy, Jet black, Comet grey heather, Navy, Carbon
Nick’s Note: Seems like a solid go-to for the budget pea coat shopper.
Kenneth Cole New York
Wool Blend Coat with Bib
4.3 (263 reviews)
57% wool, 35% polyester, 4% acrylique, 4% other fibers
Navy, Medium brown, Solid black
The Best Car Coats
If the pea coat originated at sea, the car coat began life inland as a warm outer layer for motorists that soon grew as ubiquitous as cars themselves. The term has been used interchangeably through the last century, but the general modern marketing use refers to a short casual jacket that looks great for a hard day of working in the snow or paired with a cardigan and tie on your way to that evening holiday party.
The Best Walker Coats
As its name implies, the walker is essentially a short overcoat that ends well above the knee to ease the wearer’s perambulations. Dressier than a car coat, a walker can be worn with a suit, particularly if one commutes to work in the city and needs a practical but warm top layer that won’t get caught in the car door or stuffy on the subway.
Signature Wool Blend Topcoat
4.2 (9 reviews)
50% wool, 50% other fibers
Black, Charcoal black /heather black, Brown herringbone
Barnes Walker Coat
4.5 (150 reviews)
70% wool, 20% nylon, 10% cashmere
Black, Camel, Charcoal, Navy
I dig the color options, the reviews, and the partial cashmere composition. One of the better walkers I’ve found.
Bryce Top Coat
4.0 (51 reviews)
70% wool, 20% nylon, 10% cashmere
Another winner from Tommy with this composition and option for camel. With its ticket pocket and short length, this could double for a heavy sport jacket when worn with sweater and scarf. (Of all the ones I’ve researched, this is the one I’m most tempted to add to my outerwear collection.)
The Best Overcoats
A traditional full-length overcoat is the most appropriate to be worn with a suit, though it can add an elegant – and warm – layer to a dressed-down wool sweater worn with your best jeans and boots. A mostly-wool single-breasted overcoat, knee-length or longer, is a good place to start before graduating to more complex overcoats like the Chesterfield, covert coat, guards coat, or paletot.