You don’t need to be in the military to appreciate the value of a good, sturdy tactical jacket.
A tactical jacket will be one that prioritizes performance over style, and it’s crucial if you have a hobby or job that requires certain gear. Inspired by military apparel, tactical jackets go beyond the level of a normal coat, keeping you both warm and functional in some of the worst weather.
With thousands of tactical apparel options to choose from, finding the right fit can be overwhelming. We’re here to help you make the best decision in your purchase so that you will be prepared no matter what life throws at you.
What to Look For in a Tactical Jacket
When you’re shopping for a good tactical jacket, keep in mind the following characteristics:
Materials and Construction
Tactical jackets should be sewn from materials that are not only durable, but also comfortable. Too often, a jacket sacrifices form and comfort in favor of functionality, making it so unpleasant to wear that you end up ditching it halfway down the trail.
Good materials to consider include fleece, polyester, and nylon.
The construction is important, too. A tactical jacket needs to be made from a durable material have strong stitching. Otherwise, whether you choose to go with a natural or synthetic material, or a lightweight versus heavyweight format, is up to you.
Chances are, you aren’t going to be wearing your tactical jacket while sitting in your office. Instead, you need an army jacket that will hold up to all the worst that Mother Nature can throw at you. To that end, look for a jacket that is windproof, waterproof, water-resistant, or moisture-wicking capabilities.
A hood can help, too!
The whole point of tactical clothing, when compared to the rest of the standard men’s’ vest or jacket selections, is that it has lots of storage. Investing in a tactical jacket with storage for all of your field gear is a must, but a jacket with hidden pockets for magazines or concealed carry is even better.
It can be tough to buy clothing of any kind online without knowing exactly how it will fit you. Since you can’t try it on, make sure you pay attention to the fit and measurements listed by the manufacturer and by other customer reviews. This will give you a good idea of how the jacket will fit your unique body type.
Remember, fit is important because it will help you move with ease while in the field.
Some tactical jackets are convertible. This can be helpful, as it will provide you with a greater versatility of uses. Some have both a liner and a shell. These can be separated from each other and worn individually. Others have sleeves that can be removed so that you have a men’s vest to wear instead.
Our Top 3 Picks
Short on time? Skip the full list. Here are the three best tactical jackets for you to consider.
The 20 Best Tactical Jackets to Keep You Warm, Dry, and Prepared For Anything
This multipurpose jacket is easily one of the best, perfect for the transition times between seasons when you aren’t quite sure exactly what to wear.
Great for casual wear along with activities like hiking, fishing, hunting, motorcycling, camping, and more, this jacket is 100% polyamide with a downy insulation layer. It is both strong and wear-resistant. Its surface deflects moisture and dirt, so you won’t even need to wash it often.
- Made of soft, slick material
- Multifunctional jacket with multiple purposes
- Stylish cut makes it appropriate for casual wear
- Hood is not removable
The Zapt 1000D Cordura US Army Tactical Jacket looks like exactly what you would expect when shopping for a tactical jacket. Available in several colors, including Coyote Tan, Grey, Iron Black, and Multicam, this jacket is made out of high-density 1000D Cordura fabric.
This construction ensures that you will stay safe and dry at all times. It has a windproof collar design and shoulders and cuffs that are covered by two separate layers of fabric. The left arm of the army jacket comes with its own functional gear pocket. The coat also has an emergency drag strap.
What more could you want?
- Durable 1000D Cordura fabric
- Comes with adjustable waist cinch and pen tubes
- Has four interior pockets
- Does not have a hood
The FFNIU Tactical Men’s Jacket is perfect for outdoor wear in any season – spring, winter, or fall. It is water- and wind-resistant, helping to keep you warm with its ultra-insulating properties.
This jacket has multiple pockets, including two large zippered chest pockets, one small pocket on the left sleeve, and two on the left arm.
One of its best features is that, while you’re wearing it, you don’t have to worry about it making a ton of noise as you move. It is almost silent as you walk through the woods, making it a good choice for hunting enthusiasts.
- Soft outershell that is comfortable for outdoor sport
- Water and wind-resistant
- Multiple Pockets
- Some customers complain about the zipper
With six different color options to choose from, the Susclude Men’s Outdoor Military Tactical Jacket is easily one of the most customizable. It is a softshell comprised of high-performance polyester and spandex.
This tactical jacket has a hood, something you don’t always find. It’s lined with fleece and offers long-lasting temperature control and insulation. You will feel warm and cozy every time you put this jacket on.
It has multiple pockets – two on the sides of the chest that can hold multiple items or be used to keep your hands warm. It also has a wrist pocket, upper arm pockets, and back zips that form one larger pocket.
- Suitable for all kinds of outdoor activities
- Excellent customer service
- More than half a dozen pockets
- Not the best for super cold weather
The 5.11 Tactical Lightweight Packable Jacket is one of the toughest and most rugged you will find. It is made of 100% polyester, offering durability even in the most challenging situations.
With tough fabric construction, this jacket I both wind and rain resistant. It’s efficient while also providing full coverage for the most intense tactical missions.
- Packable and portable
- Elasticized sleeve cuffs for the perfect fit
- Made out of durable nylon and polyester
- Zipper is not sturdy
The Amabilis Men’s Responder Tactical Jacket is made with a 50/50 nylon and cotton blend. A lightweight jacket that is the top choice for the military, this softshell jacket has strategically placed panels for a perfectly tailored fit.
It even has a reinforced neoprene armor plating – plus, it has ten total pockets for all your gear.
- Offers a range of sizes, including half-sizes
- Has an anodized aluminum ring for clipping and lanyard attachments
- Lower backdrop hem for additional coverage
- Buttons have a tendency to break
The Labeyzon Men’s Outdoor Tactical Jacket is unique in that it is made out of 100% cotton. More of a cargo bomber jacket than a true-blue tactical jacket, this one has a high-quality durable feel.
With shoulder straps, a full front-zip placket, and knitted rib cuff and hem, this tactical jacket it’s one of the most stylish for daily wear.
- Has multiple front and side pockets
- Can be machine washed
- Made of cotton
- Fits small
The CRYSULLY Men’s Tactical Jacket is another one of the best, featuring two large chest pockets, two back pockets, and an assortment of other pockets that are perfect for stashing all of your gear.
A mostly waterproof jacket, this one has a softshell fabric with a warm liner fleece. It is windproof and has adjustable wrist cuffs, too.
- Made out of polyester and fleece for warmth and waterproofing
- Good for hunting, hiking, climbing, and fishing
- Wind-resistant collar
- Does not have hand pockets
This army jacket by Survival Tactical Gear is another top pick. It’s made with 1000 Denier Cordura military-grade material, giving you the utmost level of protection against abrasion and other damages.
With plenty of large pockets and a MOLLE system, this jacket has all the options you need to keep you protected for a full day of hiking or exploring. It even is windproof and rainproof!
- Has adjustable cuffs with velcro fastening
- Drawstring at waist and hip areas keep things snug
- Multiple large pockets
- Only available in one color
The Free Soldier Tactical Jacket is not only functional, but it’s also warm and comfortable. A softshell jacket insulated with soft polar fleece, this coat ensures maximum heat retention and gives you next-to-skin comfort in all kinds of cold weather.
The outer shell is 95% polyester and 5% spandex, offering wearers durability along with stretch and security. It is windproof and adjustable with a 3D hood that can be hidden and expanded to fit your unique needs.
- Adjustable cuffs and hood to block the wind
- Lightweight and breathable
- Up to 7 security pockets
- Zipper is backwards
If you’re looking for a true-to-size tactical jacket with tons of pockets, the CQR Men’s Tactical Softshell is the one for you. This one comes with dual slash chest pockets with easy-grip zipper pull tabs along with two separate shoulder pockets and two internal pockets.
It even has ID patch panels on the outside for quick identification along with velcro-secure adjustable cuffs. It’s available in more than a dozen different colors, too.
- Fits true to size
- Available in 15 different colors
- Comes with a large hood
- Not the best at shredding water
The Columbia men’s Ascender Softshell offers more options for customization than just about any other product we have reviewed. This one comes with nearly two dozen different styles and color options. It is machine washable and both wind- and water-resistant.
With a standing collar and zip front, this jacket is not only stylish, but it’s also tough. It has zippered hand and chest pockets along with an abrasion-resistant chin guard. Made out of 100% polyester, it’s sure to stand the test of time.
- Has a drawcord-adjustable hem
- Equipped with a modern classic fit
- Perfect for wearing between seasons
- Not as many pockets as some of the others
The Condor Phantom Soft Shell Jacket is made out of 100% polyester. I thas multiple tactical pockets and zippers, including underarm vent zippers and full front zippers with dual sliders. With reinforced elbows and a drawstring waistband, this tactical jacket is one of the best-fitting options you will find.
- Has loop cuff and hook adjustments
- Comes with a drawstring waistband
- Comes in six different colors
- Can be too form-fitting for some
Magcon Sen makes a fantastic men’s tactical army jacket. This option comes in four different colors and styles, including blue, black, tan, and army green. It consists of a super soft Shark Skin softshell fabric with a warm inner fleece.
Not only is this jacket windproof, but it’s also waterproof and super breathable. It has a drawstring waist and hood – the latter of which is completely concealable.
- Has multiple pockets
- Comes with a forearm pocket for keys and small accessories
- Underarms have pit zips for ventilation
- Seams have a tendency to leak after repeated wears
The Carwornic Men’s Military Tactical Fleece comes in multiple colors, including black, grey, and green. A soft medium-weight fleece, it has a zipper closure to keep you warm in the fall and even during a cold winter.
With two main pockets in the middle, one on the right arm, two on the left arm, one at the back, this tactical jacket has all the storage you could ever possibly need.
- Windproof and thermal
- Has a large hood
- Double zipper for secure open and closure
- Sizing runs small
The CQR Men’s Tactical Softshell has some of the best options for people seeking a diversity of choices. With over a dozen colors and styles available in this jacket comes with an optional removable hood along with two separate shoulder pockets.
These pockets have ID patch panels on the outside for quick identification.
The CQR Softshell comes with dual slash chest pockets and easy-grip zipper pull tabs. It also has adjustable cuffs that can be adjusted with Velcro, along with two zippered internal pockets.
- Has multiple zippers and pockets
- Comes in more than a dozen different colors
- Can be purchased with or without a hood
- Removable hood is too long for many people
The ROTHCO Spec Ops Tactical Fleece Jacket is a great choice for a variety of reasons. Not only is it made out of 100% heavyweight polyester fleece with an interior tricot lining for added warmth, but it also has two separate zippered shoulder pockets with 3 ¾” square loops for patches. It also two separate front zippered pockets and a zippered chest pocket.
This jacket has a mandarin collar and an internal main zipper-flap for maximum comfort. It also has customizable features like a drawstring waist and foldout cuffs.
- Available in three different colors
- Warm and breathable
- Great base layer
- Cuffs thumb-holes are sewn slightly off-center
The Tacvasen Military Tactical Jacket is made out of 100% polyester. The inside is comprised of soft, lightweight fleece. As a result, this jacket is incredibly comfortable and breathable. It comes with multiple pockets, including two on the shoulder, and a vent zipper under each arm.
With a drawstring hood and waist along with adjustable wrist cuffs, this jacket is designed to fit just about any body type.
- Has zippered front and back pockets
- Made our of breathable lightweight materials
- Available in six different colors
- Not compatible for easy packing
The Tru-Spec tactical jacket is made out of 90% nylon and 10% spandex. It comes with side seam zippers to give you easy access to your belt and all the gear you might have stored on it.
Made out of lightweight material that is not only durable but also wind and water-resistant, it provides plenty of room for holstered firearm and ballistic vests. It comes with two angled waist pockets and two rear zipper pockets for storage, too.
- Has multiple pockets and side zippers
- Lightweight and waterproof
- Too warm for summer use
If you are looking for a tactical jacket that is as comfortable as it is effective, consider this polyester and fleece jacket by ReFire.
This jacket has a unique military tactical design with a total of seven pockets -two in the front, and seven in the back. Its plush fleece material keeps you warm in the cold weather and produces no pilling. It even has a double zipper for added longevity.
- Has a total of seven pockets
- Long sleeves come with thumb holes
- Comes in multiple colors
- Sizing runs very small
Why You Need a Tactical Jacket
Although tactical jackets were originally designed for military use, they are now incredibly popular among hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Designed to keep you warm while also allowing for breathability and mobility, tactical jackets are both practical and functional.
To make things even sweeter, most tactical jackets are stylish enough to be worn every day. The best tactical jackets are made out of durable and comfortable materials and provide plenty of space for all of your gear.