We all know that time of year when the temperature begins to drop, and a flannel won’t quite cut it anymore but a coat would just be too much.
So, maybe Marty Mcfly was onto something when it comes to rocking a vest. See, some of the best vests for men provide insulation in cooler temperatures while offering complete mobility. Serving as the perfect alternative to a jacket or heavy sweater, the vest is certainly a statement piece. It can fill a distinct role in any man’s wardrobe, ranging from an insulated puffer all the way to a classy, suit vest.
If you are looking to expand your wardrobe with the addition of a vest, there are plenty of options out there, but you likely want the best. Each of the vests on this list has its own set of pros and cons for a range of different lifestyles. Whether you’re looking for a lightweight, fleece option to elevate an outfit or something versatile to weather the worst storms, there’s a vest here for you.
Without further ado, let’s zip-up 8 of the best vests for men.
After mulling over dozens of vests on the market today, I was able to narrow the options down to the 8 vests on this list. When considering the best vests for men, it’s important to pay attention to material, insulation, and functionality.
Why it’s great: Howler Brothers produces some of the most unique men’s apparel staples on the market today, with the rounder vest being no different. This vest offers PrimaLoft insulation and a rip-stop polyester shell for durability. The design pays homage to classic styles with heritage snap buttons, large western pockets, and a 1-inch vintage collar.
How it feels: This vest offers a solid amount of insulation without being so stiff that movements are limited. Whether you’re wearing it to go fishing, camping, or out to a casual dinner, this vest can tackle it all.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Howler Bros products are known for unique and eye-catching designs which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The design and colors of this vest are meant to stand out against the competition.
Sizes Available: S-XXL | Colors Available: 5 | Insulation: PrimaLoft Black Rise Insulation | Material: 100% Rip-Stop Polyester (Shell) / 85% Polyester, 15% Cotton (Front & Back Yokes) | Weight: N/A
Why they’re great: The Holden Commuter Vest from Wahts embodies its name as the perfect vest for everyday travel. The water-repellent, lightweight design is complemented by an adjustable hood and dual-front pockets. It’s made from technical Italian fabric which is built to last, and the double zipper closure allows some flexibility around the waist if needed.
How it feels: This vest is padded with eco-friendly filler that is not only comfortable but keeps you warm as well. This one will likely be your best friend the moment fall arrives.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This vest features a non-detachable hood, which makes it more of a casual option overall. As long as you dress casually on the day-to-day, this shouldn’t be much of an issue for you–the hood might even come in handy during rain or snow.
Sizes Available: S-XXL | Colors Available: 3 | Insulation: Lightweight Eco Friendly Padding | Material: Technical Italian Fabric | Weight: N/A
Why it’s great: This extendible vest from Tropicfeel might rival your winter jacket when it’s time to reach for something to keep the cold out. It features a waterproof design capable of handling moderate rain and snow while being adaptable to plenty of scenarios. The bottom can extend for more body coverage, there is a built-in neck warmer that hides away, and the entire vest can be packed down to fit into a backpack.
How it feels: This vest offers enhanced breathability while providing insulation in key areas of the body for maximum comfort–even in the coldest conditions.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The only thing this vest is lacking when it comes to winter protection is a heated element. Although this is not a heated vest, it still offers plenty of insulation to preserve your natural body heat.
Sizes Available: XXS-XXL | Colors Available: 4 | Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Luxe | Material: 100% Recycled Material | Weight: N/A
Why it’s great: When working within the limits of a budget, you really can’t go wrong with Amazon Essentials. This polar fleece vest is a low-cost alternative for any man looking to add a pop of color or style to simpler outfits. The abundant amount of colors and sizes this vest offers (including big and tall) ensures there is something here for just about any kind of style.
How it feels: This vest is a thin, fleece material which means it offers a ton of comfort without any restricted movements. It’s super soft and the lightweight design makes it hardly noticeable when worn.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: If your primary consideration when purchasing a vest is functionality, then this one might be a bit light for you. With minimal insulation, this piece prioritizes style over warmth.
Sizes Available: XS-6XL Big & Tall | Colors Available: 27 | Insulation: N/A | Material: 100% polyester/recycled polyester | Weight: 8 Oz
Why it’s great: Amazon Essentials strikes again! This minimalist puffer vest hits every base with thousands of positive customer reviews behind it. It’s water resistant, insulated, and highly packable–even including a travel pouch. There are plenty of vibrant color options, including “earth red” if you too are trying to get back to the future.
How it feels: This vest is extremely lightweight and pliable so it can be worn without a second thought–you might even forget it’s there.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Since this puffer vest is primarily made of polyester or nylon, it might be a little loud when you move around. Everyone knows the sound of a chatty puffer vest, so that’s something to keep in mind if it’s a pet peeve of yours.
Sizes Available: XS-6XL Big | Colors Available: 15 | Insulation: Synthetic Padding | Material: 100% Polyester/Nylon | Weight: 9.59 Oz
Why it’s great: Naked Cashmere is a brand that specializes in products made with cashmere–one of the most luxurious materials in the apparel industry. This puffer vest comes at a lofty price but is buttery soft and comfortable for all-day affairs. The refined design combined with the funnel neck makes this a classic-looking vest with outstanding quality found in every stitch.
How it feels: This cashmere vest is luscious, soft, and heavily padded which means you probably won’t want to take it off once it’s on.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Since these are such luxurious materials, this vest must be hand washed to maintain its longevity. This may be a bit inconvenient, but with such a high-quality product, it’s worth the extra effort.
Sizes Available: S-XXL | Colors Available: 2 | Insulation: 100% Polyester | Material: 100% Pure Cashmere | Weight: 714 Grams
Why it’s great: Of course, you can’t talk about men’s vests without also mentioning the suit vest. This Banana Republic suit vest creates a streamlined aesthetic that will perfectly complement an elegant outfit. If you’re interested in upgrading to a 3-piece, this vest is just the one to do so.
How it feels: The slider tab on the back ensures this vest feels custom-tailored to your body, making it ideal for a slim-fit suit. The wool and elastane materials are soft and slightly stretchy for complete comfort.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This vest is only available online, so you won’t be able to try it on before buying. However, most people have no issue buying online and the adjustable nature of this piece makes it a great fit for many different body types.
Sizes Available: 38-44 | Colors Available: 2 | Insulation: N/A | Material: 99% Wool, 1% Elastane| Weight: N/A
Why it’s great: Sometimes you care less about the style of a vest and more about its functionality. The Outlander utility vest from Outback Trading Co offers plenty of storage space with 5 secure pockets. While some utility vests may create a bulky silhouette, the pair of adjustable waist buckles on this one ensures you never run into this issue.
How it feels: The oilskin material is both breathable and waterproof with a nubuck-style collar to reduce irritation. The two-way zip allows for a more comfortable fit around the waist if it feels too constricting at times.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Since this is an oilskin vest, maintenance is a bit more complicated than something you’d simply throw in the wash. However, the website does feature detailed instructions for various ways to clean the vest while maintaining its natural beauty.
Sizes Available: SM-3XL | Colors Available: 1 | Insulation: 100% Cotton | Material: Oilskin | Weight: N/A
Buying Considerations For The Best Vests For Men
When purchasing any article of clothing, it’s always important to pay attention to the material. Material is the biggest indicator of quality and can give you some insight into the potential longevity of a product. Nylon and polyester are commonplace for puffer vests while fleece variates are typically made from polyester or cotton. Of course, you might stumble upon something made from cashmere or wool, but those are typically found at a higher price bracket.
Insulation is another key factor when searching for the best vests for men. Fleece vests and suit vests typically have little to no insulation, making them a great way to add complexity to a simple outfit. On the other hand, puffer vests can also boost your style while keeping you warm in the process.
The specific material used for padding can vary a lot too, which has different effects on insulation. In general, cheaper vests tend to use synthetic materials for padding while more expensive options will likely opt for natural materials. If you can afford it, vests with natural filling will likely be more efficient at holding in warmth.
Since most vests serve as accessories, it’s always great when they offer some additional functionality. Besides just keeping you warm and looking good, vests often feature additional pockets to expand your everyday carry arsenal.
Some vests also come with hoods which can save your hair in a rainstorm. The specific features of a vest will depend on its purpose and design which ultimately boils down to what you’re looking for to make life a little simpler.
Why You Should Trust Us
As a writer at FashionBeans, I’ve done my fair share of research into men’s attire and style trends. I’ve also been putting these principles into practice for over a decade, trying out different brands and determining what’s best.
Among these trends, one that’s often forgotten is the vest. So, I made sure to include only the very best in this list, narrowing down dozens of options. Hopefully, these recommendations can inform you of what to expect when searching for the best vests for men.
In short, if you want an option that’s undeniably versatile and stylish, it’s hard to go wrong with the Howler Brother’s Rounder Vest. This vest combines modern features with a classic design all while making you look great no matter what you do. The NS60 Extendible Vest from Tropicfeel is also another great choice with just about as many features as a Swiss army knife.
Yes, vests are still in for men and they always will be. Although there is a constant shift in stylistic trends, most staples will never go out of style–this includes the vest. While vests might be less prominent than in the 80s, you can still spot them all around you on any crisp Autumn day. Oh, and suit vests will always serve to elevate formal outfits to another level. When it comes to pretty much every style trend, I would recommend you wear the clothes you like, and that you should disregard anyone who claims, “Vests aren’t in anymore”.
Generally, vests look best when worn with long sleeves as it creates a more pleasing aesthetic; however, they can work with short sleeves as well. If you’re wearing a suit vest with a t-shirt, it can add a layer of complexity to an otherwise plain outfit. Generally, though, I would recommend puffer and fleece vests to be paired with long sleeves for most occasions. At the end of the day, a vest is still an accessory that serves a purpose–keeping your core warm. If you wear short sleeves with a vest, sure your body will be warm but your arms might get a little chilly.
Vests do a great job of keeping your torso insulated and warm. They’re a great option to pair with a hoodie if there’s only a slight chill out. Now, vests can also vary a lot when it comes to the level of insulation they offer. Puffer vests can naturally keep you relatively warm while fleece vests might not be as effective in comparison. Of course, a heated vest will always fare better than a standard vest, but those are typically for people very serious about warmth. The type of vest you end up picking will be the biggest factor when it comes to warmth.