Barbour is one of the better-known names in heritage menswear. Renowned for their field and shooting countrywear jackets in waxed and water-resistant finishes, they have over 100 years of experience in the industry. But, is the Barbour jacket warm enough for someone who doesn’t do shooting or horseback riding?
If you want to jump right to the answer of whether or not some Barbour jackets are warm, click here.
A Brief History of Barbour
John Barbour opened J. Barbour & Sons in South Shields, England, in 1894. In the early part of the 20th century, the company made a name by selling waxed canvas and cotton jackets. They became particularly popular with motorcyclists, and the company designed full racing suits for British international teams between 1936 and 1977.
The water-resistant properties of the waxed cotton pieces got notice from landed gentry and country houses. They also grew increasingly popular with shooting and equestrian sports.
In 1974, the Queen of England, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales issued a Royal Warrant for “Manufacturers of Weatherproofing and Protective Clothing.” In this capacity, Barbour is permitted to display the Royal Coat of Arms on their product, denoting them as an official supplier to the Royal family.
Today, the company brings around £225M annually and employs almost 1,000 people. It remains a family-held company. Most products, including the iconic waxed jackets, continue to be made in England. But, the company has outsourced production to other countries as well.
What Jackets Does Barbour Make?
That, of course, is a very broad question. But, it helps to consider the Barbour jacket in three distinct styles: the waxed jacket, the quilted jacket, and the waterproof jacket.
The Waxed Barbour Jacket
The original Barbour jacket, most are of medium weight and feature a tartan lining. The company offers a number of different models and fits, each with subtle variants.
The Bedale is perhaps the the most iconic. It’s a relaxed-fit cut designed for riding and shooting, but will look in-style in either the Cotswalds or Central Park.
The Ashby is a contemporary, more tailored version of the Bedale. It has the substantial collar, hand-warming pockets, and waxed canvas, but comes in a trimmer silhouette.
Both models are mid-weight and will do well in fall and early spring months. The waxed collection, though, offers customers the opportunity to add a storm hood, Sylkoil hood, and variety of linings.
The Sylkoil is a very ‘trad’ look, and has generated considerable discussion in the Ask Andy community!
The Quilted Barbour Jacket
The quilted jacket is a interesting hybrid, claiming to offer the ‘perfect balance of warmth and weight.’ The quilted models come in a variety of silhouettes; from the fuller-cut Classic Liddesdale to the more fitted Powell model.
Weights will vary between the two, as well. The product information is light (literally) on the Liddesdale, only saying it has both a polyester lining and shell. However, it can be worn for both Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.
The Powell Barbour jacket is definitely the heavier of the two pieces, with 50g of wadding and a full fleece lining. The wadding, lining, and shell are all polyester. While you might not want to trek a mountain with it, it’ll certainly keep you warm through most weather down about 32/0 degrees.
The Waterproof Barbour Jacket
After waxed and quilted jackets, Barbour also offers waterproof pieces. Like the others, the waterproof jackets come in a variety of styles as well.
The Lorden is a classic Mac jacket, a single-breasted trench coat hitting around mid-thigh. It’s lined in cotton and has a cotton exterior shell. But, unlike the better-known (and considerably more costly) Burberry trench, it doesn’t have a throat latch or a belt at the waist.
The Amersham and Benson are zip-up style jackets suitable for ultra-casual outings. Cut to hit at the hip or just below it, they’ll look best on a quick errand with some sneaker and denim. Both appear to be mid-weight models with polyamide linings and shells. And, each feature a nifty rollup hood you can break out in case of spotty showers. Typical British weather…
The Grenson is the closest Barbour offers to a winter parka. With a fully waterproof shell, baffle-quilted lining, and a hood with faux-fur trim, this will certainly prepare you for the elements!
Are Barbour Jackets Warm?
For the most part, yes. They’re distinct from parkas or winter performance fabric pieces, and you certainly wouldn’t want to take them to the North Pole. But, most Barbour jackets will keep you plenty warm for a walk through the city or down a country lane.
Is a Barbour Jacket Worth It?
With prices starting around $200 full MSRP and moving up to above $400 for a waxed piece, a Barbour jacket isn’t especially cheap. But, in comparison to down-filled jackets from Montcler or Canada Goose, they’re relatively affordable.
But on styling alone, a Barbour jacket is worth it if you’re seeking a classic silhouette and a heritage brand name.
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