These Are The 23 Best Men's Pea Coats, Car Coats, Walker Coats, and Overcoats
We've researched the best men's winter coats, 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.
Continuously updated as we find new ones or old ones go out of stock, rewritten and expanded in 2023.
What's the difference between pea coats, car coats, walker coats, and overcoats?
Generally speaking, these coats are defined by their length and formality:
You'll notice in the product titles below that brands and retailers are inconsistent with the naming convention. Some that are listed as car coats are far longer than traditional ones, and some walker coats are simply titled topcoats. For our purposes, we're organizing them by length.
What is a topcoat?
Similarly and traditionally, topcoats and overcoats are defined by their length and weight. Topcoats were lighter weight material and end at or above the knee whereas an overcoat was a little heavier and longer. Today however, you'll find retailers and brands use these terms interchangeably to simply refer to longer coats that fall below the middle thigh.
The Best Pea Coats
The pea coat is a traditional winter wardrobe essential that originates in the 1720s. The British and Dutch navies, whose sailors utilized it to protect themselves from the fierce winds and rains of the North Sea, are where it first appeared. The coat, which was first referred to as a “p-coat” or “pijjekker,” was fashioned of strong, thick wool to help keep the sailors warm. The classic pea coat is double-breasted, has a wide collar that can be turned up for added protection, and is cut short to the hip.
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. Today, you can find pea coats made from a variety of materials including wool, cashmere, cotton, and alpaca, which create a lighter and more comfortable version of the traditional pea coat. In terms of style, the pea coat has a timeless and classic look that is both elegant and functional.
Military uniforms have long served as a source of inspiration for fashion designers. Military garments' masculine and functional designs have been adapted for everything from streetwear to black tie, and the pea coat is no exception. The pea coat has become a staple for many men and women due to its ability to provide cold-weather protection, its ageless classic design, and its ability to be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Read more about how military uniforms have influenced modern fashion.
How to Wear a Pea Coat
Pea coats can easily be worn with casual outfits all the way to more dressed up and professional styles
Italian Corduroy Peacoat
Todd Snyder Rating:
5.0 (2 reviews)
Navy, Black (wool), Dark Olive, Vintage Blue Plaid, Black (corduroy), Hazelnut
Classic Melton Wool Peacoat
Schott NYC Rating
4.5 (233 reviews)
100% Melton wool
Black, Navy, Charcoal, Oxford Grey, New Navy, Dark Oxford Grey
Double Breasted Wool Peacoat
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.
More Pea Coat Outfit Inspiration
Check out these Primer posts on how to style your new pea coat:
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. Most car coats have a standard flap collar, but you may find some that have notch lapels.
Car coats are often made from wool or other thick materials that will provide insulation and protection from the wind, but they can also be made of cotton and have more of a rain jacket weight. Many car coats also feature a water-resistant or even waterproof coating, making them a great option for those who live in areas with lots of rain or snow.
One of the best things about car coats is their versatility. They can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. They look great with a work clothes, or paired with a crew neck and jeans for a casual day out. They also make great transitional pieces, as they can be worn over a sweater or light jacket during the fall, and then layered over a thicker coat when the temperature drops. Overall, car coats are a great investment for anyone looking for a stylish and functional coat to wear during the colder months that may be less nautical than a pea coat and less formal than an overcoat.
Weston Wool Blend Scarf Coat
Black: 67% Polyester, 8% Rayon, 8% Wool, 6% Cotton, 6% Nylon, 5% Acrylic; Charcoal: 77% Polyester, 7% Rayon, 7% Wool, 6% Acrylic, 3% Other Fibers
Light Grey, Navy, Charcoal, Black
Blake Shelton x Land's End Insulated Wool Rancher Coat
Land's End Rating:
4.7 (3 reviews)
Shell: 50% wool, 45% polyester, 5% other fibers; Lining/Insulation: 100% polyester
Charcoal Buffalo Check, Evening Star Buffalo Check
The Best Walker Coats & Topcoats
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.
We're including topcoats starting in this section, but as mentioned above that terms is now used inconsistently by brands.
How to Wear a Topcoat
Topcoats are a classic outerwear choice that can be worn with any outfit, from jeans and t-shirt to a dressed up professional suit – providing warmth, protection from the weather and a polished, masculine look.
Italian Melton Topcoat
Banana Republic Ratings:
Shell: 80% wool, 20% nylon; Body lining: 100% cupro rayon; Sleeve lining: 55% polyester, 45% cupro rayon
Wool Blend Melton Classic Topper
4.5 (25 reviews)
60% wool, 30% polyester, 5% nylon, 5% other fibers; Shell: 100% polyester lining
Light Grey, Navy
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.
When it comes to color, a neutral hue such as black, navy, olive, brown or grey is always a safe choice. These colors are versatile and can be easily paired with a variety of outfits. If you want to add a pop of color to your wardrobe, consider an overcoat in a bold shade such as red or forest green. Just be mindful of the formality of the occasion and choose a color that is appropriate.
Another important factor to consider when shopping for an overcoat is the type of closure. A single-breasted overcoat with buttons is a classic choice that can be dressed up or down. A double-breasted overcoat with buttons is a more formal option that exudes sophistication. An inner bib with a zipper closure can be a practical choice for an overcoat that will be worn in wet or cold weather.
In terms of length, a knee-length or longer overcoat is a good choice for formal occasions, while a shorter overcoat can be worn more casually. The length of the overcoat should also be determined by your personal style and body type. If you are tall, a longer overcoat may be more flattering, while a shorter overcoat may be more suitable for those who aren’t.
Trento Plaid Topcoat
Banana Republic Ratings:
Body Lining: 100% cupro rayon; Sleeve Lining: 55% polyester, 45% cupro rayon; Shell: 75% recycled wool, 25% polyester