Survival clothes are more than just fashion items. A survival jacket needs to be durable, functional, and …look absolutely regular.
Whether you are preparing for a weekend in the New England woods or to keep the sun off of you in the desert, choosing the right survival jacket can be vital. So what makes a survival jacket the right one?
Survival Jacket – What to Consider Before You Buy
There are several factors to take into consideration before you make your purchase.
In choosing a survival jacket, the climate is a significant factor in narrowing down your requirements. Will you be facing sub-zero temperatures? Monsoons? Blizzards? Fog? Identifying the climate you will be facing makes it clear what you need your survival jacket to provide.
The next factor to consider is what you will be doing in your survivalist jacket. Lots of running? Hiding in the wilderness? Cutting wood for fires? Fording rivers? The answer to this question will help you decide what features will be most important in your survival jacket.
You will also need to consider what you will be wearing underneath your survival jacket. Will your jacket need to provide extra warmth because what’s underneath it is thin? Or will the clothes underneath help keep you dry and toasty? Will the coat need to be comfortable over bulky layers of clothing? Thinking this aspect through will help you choose the right survival jacket for you.
What to Look for in a Survival Jacket
Once you have a clear idea of what kind of environment you will be dealing with in your survival jacket, there are specific features you need to consider.
Pockets are critical from a survival standpoint. You will need plenty of space to store necessary survival items: tools, weapons, supplies. You will also want at least some of those pockets to be quickly and easily accessed in the case of an emergency, so the placement of the pockets can be as important as their number. It is also essential to consider how they are secured—the last thing you want is to lose your crucial supplies because your pockets don’t zip shut.
Obviously, one of the essential functions of a jacket is to provide warmth. This is where all that thinking you did about your environment will come in handy. How much heat do you need your jacket to provide? Are we talking about a slightly frosty evening or Jack London’s “To Build a Fire?” The answer will help you decide what kind of insulation is appropriate.
Unless you’re planning to set up camp in the Ica Desert, selecting a survival jacket with no waterproofing features is a major mistake. Precipitation is inevitable, and you need to prepare for it. Consider the material of which the jacket is constructed and any features that might help seal the coat against the damp. You will be glad you did.
The higher the quality of materials your survival jacket is constructed from, the more effective it will be at keeping out the cold and wet. Don’t skimp on this aspect of your gear and settle for the cheapest garment you can find. A survival jacket is an investment. Forking over a little more cash now will definitely pay off later.
Since you will be wearing this outerwear for long periods, make sure it is comfortable. If you’re in an area that will get hot, you’ll need something that allows your skin to breathe. Hours of sitting in muggy sweat will become uncomfortable and unhygienic.
Top Ten Survival Jacket Selections
Below is a roundup of some of the best survival jackets on the market. Now that you know what features are most important for the environment in which you will be surviving, you should be able to find the perfect option on this list.
Every item included here is both practical and stylish, so you feel out of place when you wear your new jacket out in public.
Big Horn Tactical Survival Jacket With Chest Pockets
This garment is microfiber with a fleece lining. It is wind and water resistant but still lightweight and compact. Also, it features an elastic waist, anti-pilling materials, hook-and-loop cuffs, and side pockets.
It lacks a hood but is otherwise suitable for providing warmth and keeping out moisture.
Bear Grylls Men’s Bear Expedition Gore-Tex Jacket
Gore-Tex is both breathable and waterproof, making it an excellent choice for a survival jacket. This heavy-duty jacket is surprisingly lightweight and features multiple pockets, waterproof zippers, a hood with front and back stoppers, and a polyester lining.
Adjustable cuffs and a brushed chin guard add to the comfort of this sturdy jacket.
Carhartt Men’s Sherpa-Lined Sierra Fleece Jacket
The sherpa lining in this jacket provides plenty of warmth. It also features a drawcord hood, storm cuffs, ergonomically shaped sleeves, and a sturdy cotton duck outer shell.
All of these characteristics help keep out the cold and wet. This jacket includes several pockets, including one in the inner left chest.
Rab Infinity Endurance Jacket
This stylish option is made with Pertex, a new lightweight material that is water-resistant and highly breathable, and filled with Hydrophobic European Goose Down, which provides warmth without extra bulk or weight.
The hood is designed to accommodate a helmet, and the jacket includes several pockets, including a zippered check pocket, two zippered hand-warming pockets, and an internal security pocket.
Rothco Special Ops Waterproof Softshell Jacket
Featuring three-layered construction, this survival jacket’s polyester outer shell repels cold, wind, and water.
Best of all, it boasts zippered pockets and vent zippers under each arm for perspiration release, making it both handy for storage and comfort. The hood can be folded into a zipper compartment or removed.
Canada Goose Men’s Expedition Parka Coat
This one is designed for the coldest climates. To provide the ultimate warmth, this jacket features a down-filled, adjustable hood with a fur ruff lining, an interior drawstring waistband, a chin guard, mid-thigh length for even more protection, and rib-knit cuffs.
It also provides six exterior pockets.
Rothco Concealed Carry Softshell Survival Jacket
This jacket is a pocket lover’s dream come true; it has them on the exterior, interior, and pretty much anywhere a pocket could possibly be placed.
One is even specifically designed to carry a pistol. If you can’t find a place to stash a piece of gear in this coat, you’re carrying way too much stuff. This option is also water-proof and features a three-layer design.
Arctix Men’s Performance Tundra Survival Jacket
All of the critical seams in this garment are sealed, making it water-tight. This jacket is highly durable and well-insulated yet still lightweight.
It also features heat-trapping microchambers for extra warmth. This coat rounds out its usefulness with a removable hood, several exterior pockets, and a visibility-aiding reflective lining.
Condor Outdoor Summit Softshell Jacket
This is another pocket-rich jacket with two chest pockets, two internal pockets, double back pockets, a forearm pocket, and two shoulder pockets.
For warmth and dryness, it features a drawstring waistband and hood, a polyester surface with Dupont Teflon Coating, and adjustable wrist cuffs. It also includes vent zippers under the arms for ventilation.
Viking Men’s Thor Waterproof Industrial Survival Jacket
Considering how sleek this jacket looks, it provides astonishing protection against the elements. It is constructed from Trilobar Rip-Stop Polyester, which is highly resistant to tears and abrasions. All of the seams are triple-sewn and heat-sealed.
The jacket also features a removable inner liner, a double-overlapping storm flap for the front zipper, a removable/adjustable hood, a chin guard, and a comfortable fleece collar.