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The Best Outerwear for Men

With durability and sustainability in mind, we explore some of 2018's best activewear gifts for him

Just in time for the holiday season, cold weather arrives to thwart any and all plans of enjoying one’s time outside– or does it? With clothing from these seven respected heritage brands, outdoor adventure abounds. If you’re buying for yourself or a loved one, know that whether you are hiking or landscaping, gardening or rock climbing, these brands (and some exciting new sustainable offers!) will not disappoint.

L.L. Bean’s Trail Model Fleece Jacket

L.L. Bean’s “Made in Maine” cred is by this point iconic, and the heritage American brand offers a wide variety of products for men are made to last. One of the brand’s tag lines, “The outside is in everything we make”, harkens in particular to the iconic and super affordable Trail Model Fleece Jacket, which is made from up to 85% recycled polyester and is engineered to be last for years. It also comes in variety of colors is softer, lighter, and more breathable than generic fleece.

Patagonia’s Recycled Wool Collection

When it comes to the environmental impact of manufacturing, Patagonia has a few new tricks up their sleeve. For winter 2018, they introduced minimally designed recycled wool outerwear that is naturally water-repellent for the stylishly inclined. The Men’s Recycled Wool Jacket is made from shredded, discarded wool blended into a modernized collection whose purchase reduces land use requirements for sheep grazing while also keeping excess waste out of landfills.

The North Face’s Denali Jacket

North Face once introduced a “Backyard Hoodie” made from locally-grown cotton, and this season, the iconic outdoor outfitter is focusing its attention on high-volume products that use lots of material because it is so popular, like the iconic Denali Jacket. Through some new hi-tech fleece innovations, the North Face staple (which is especially popular among college-age men) is made using 50% less water, 50% fewer chemicals, and 25% less energy than before. (Learn more in NF’s “Behind The Seams” video, above.) If that’s not a reason to revisit a classic, we don’t know what is.

Fjallraven’s Bergtagen Eco-Shell Jacket

The iconic Swedish brand is beloved by hipsters and soccer moms alike, as the brand’s water-resistant backpacks have randomly become a huge trend among non-explorers in the United States. Nevertheless, the iconic Swedish brand is beloved among The brand’s Bergtagen Eco-Shell Jacket is idea for alpine trekking or skiing, with an articulated, stretchy fit that also offers warmth and waterproof protection from rain, sleet, snow, and strong winds. The breathable “Eco-Shell” is made from partially recycled polyester that’s Fluorocarbon-free– a boon to explorers who want to experience the wilderness without contributing to its demise.

Carhartt’s Recycled Wool Crew Socks

Carhartt is sort of a good ole’ boy when it comes to functional men’s workwear, with #weekendwarrior and #workmenswear vibes aplenty. The brand’s full cushion recycled wool crew socks are great for hikers, contractors, construction workers, and anyone who often performs a hard days work in boots. The recycled wool material and extended heel-to-toe reinforcement offers great insulation and superior sweat management for cold and warm weather alike, which makes the socks less susceptible to wear and tear. (No hole-y socks here!) Plus, the recycle material is gentler on the earth and designed to last several seasons.

Barbour’s Waxed Jackets

The genteel historicism of Barbour’s heritage clothing aesthetic cannot be understated: if ever there was a decidedly English outerwear brand, Barbour is it– and the brand’s environmental cred comes not necessarily from how their jackets are made but from how they are maintained. It’s said that Barbour’s jackets “wear in, not out.”

Barbour’s iconic Waxed Jackets come in a range of styles, from heavy and armored to antique and distressed, and if an item ever gets torn or damaged, or loses its finish, Barbour will re-finish the wax and repair the damage. In this way, fewer jackets need to be purchased throughout the years which in turn leads to less production and waste on both the consumer and supplier side. We particularly love the Men’s Spring Collection for 2018, in which the heritage jackets are worn as street wear– these are functional wardrobe staples for the stylish man in your life.

Filson’s Limited Edition Wax Work Vest

Ah, Filson. Nothing says, “hard days work ahead” quite like strapping up in one of this brand’s iconic aged leather or canvas bags, which are designed to last “approximately forever.” Since 1897, this Seattle-based brand has been making activewear and bags for rugged outdoorsmen– from fleeces and flannels to wool coats, outerwear vests, and their iconic Tin Cloth Jacket, which is milled in Scotland and coated with Filson’s proprietary oil-finish wax for durability. We love the look and feel of the brand’s limited edition Wax Work Vest, which is designed to last forever. Seriously. The heavy-duty waxed cotton shell is water-resistant and insulated with a cotton-twill lining; buy one of these bad boys and you’ll be warm– and looking good– for years to come.

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