Contemporary outdoor apparel is often measured by its worth in technical features, waterproof ability and breathability rating. Modern innovations in material and construction have seen water-resistance and breathability reach unforeseen sophistication—much to the pleasure of outdoor athletes the world over. And, as technical outerwear evolves, more casual pieces have seen a resurgence of heritage outdoor design aesthetics—think ’60s and ’70s mountaineering and coastal style. We’ve brought together five our favorite exemplary jackets for spring. While these aren’t pieces of cutting-edge outerwear, each offers enough technical capability for spells in the swirling conditions the change in seasons brings on. Best of all, each of these pieces stands the test of sartorial time; shirking the style of the day for a more timeless look means you’ll weather more storms in these jackets.
Fjällräven: Jacket No. 68
Don’t let its street-ready styling fool you, the Jacket No. 68 ($600) from Swedish heritage outdoor brand Fjällräven is among the most rugged and wilderness capable jackets on the market. Utilizing the brand’s proprietary G-1000 Eco and G-1000 HD fabrics (in high-stress points), the jacket is incredibly durable, water-resistant and quick to dry after a downpour. Ample pocket-space and an ultra-roomy hood contribute to comfort and convenience. In addition to the No. 68’s wilderness credibility, it’s surprisingly versatile in a range of temperatures. Fjällräven calls it a four-season jacket, which may well be true if you’re trekking Northern Sweden in July. Perfect for warmer days with just a T-shirt and very layer-friendly for winter, this jacket is truly appropriate for any weather.
Filson: Guide Work Jacket
Few American outdoor brands rival the storied history of Seattle-based Filson. Known for their heavyweight flannels and sturdy canvas outerwear, the brand has been the trusted go-to for explorers and adventure-seekers since it was founded in 1897 to outfit prospectors seeking gold in the untamed Alaskan wilderness. The Guide Work Jacket ($400) brings trusted materials and construction methods in a modern fit. Designed for shooting, two oversized bellows pockets for shotgun shells (or your smartphone) and a recoil shoulder pad lend to the jacket’s functionality and durability off the range. Moleskin-lined, hand-warmer pockets increase the seasonal use of the Guide Work Jacket while an all-over nylon lining makes layering up easy.
Battenwear: Scout Anorak
Inspired by the surf and outdoor gear of the ’70s and ’80s, designer Shinya Hasegawa founded Battenwear to combine retro styling with elements of contemporary design. Based in NYC, all of Battenwear’s products are made within a three-block radius their design studio. The Scout Anorak ($345) is designed for thriving in even the foulest of spring storms. A rear game pocket comes in handy whether you’re hunting ducks or waves. Zippers running along both sides of the jacket make for quick ventilation and removal should temperatures climb. Built for adventure, expect the Scout Anorak to be a trusty companion in the city and woods alike.
Barbour: Benkirk Jacket
Often conjuring images of the English countryside, famed British outerwear-maker Barbour also has a rich history of creating apparel for the high seas. Designed for temperate, wet weather, the Benkirk Jacket ($375) features a richly textured four-ounce waxed canvas. A shorter cut in the body and detachable hood make this a perfect three-season piece. Minimal branding and a monochromatic design lend to the timelessness of this water-resistant seaside staple.
Saturdays Surf NYC: Nathan Parka
Drawing on inspirations from classic surfwear, Saturdays Surf NYC has swiftly established a global following. Maintaining a minimal aesthetic, the brand incorporates design features only when they serve a purpose. The Nathan Parka ($375) is a modern take on the fishtail rain jacket. With a longer cut, the jacket provides protection from the elements on rainy surf missions and spot checks. A bonded-cotton exterior keeps the jacket on the non-technical side while taped seams lend to water resistance. The Nathan is a go-to for stormy spring days with enough protection for the coast and pared-down styling for the city.
Barbour and Fjällräven images courtesy of End, all others courtesy of respective brands