5 Best Women’s Work Jackets

Women have contributed to rugged professions as long as they have been around. Farms, industry, transportation, and even construction have all benefitted from the presence of female professionals.

As more and more women take their rightful place in work situations that require physical labor and getting their hands dirty, it is only right that the workwear industry provides protective functional clothing for the ladies on the job.

We researched just what the workwear industry offers to female professionals in terms of protective work jackets, and although the choices may not be as numerous as in the case of their male counterparts, we were pleasantly surprised to find quality women’s work jackets available.

Best Women's Work Jackets

We had some tough women professionals test work jackets for a month and give us a “no holds barred” opinion about what works, why, and what they look for and need in a quality work jacket.

The overwhelming choice for the best overall women’s work jacket is the Carhartt Wj130 Women’s active Duck Work Jacket if you do not require cold climate insulation and waterprooofing. This is a basic all-round cotton machine washable work jacket that offers flexibility and comfort at an affordable price.

Work JacketMaterialInsulatedWaterproofFit
Carhartt Wj130 Women’s active Duck12-oz. 100% duck cotton80 gr. 3M Thinsulate™NoAdjustable hood, Bigger bend in elbows
Prairie Dawn 3 in 1 Barn100% organic cotton60 g. of Thermolite® Eco92 polyester, removable zip vestDWR coatingRegular fit
The North Face Arrowood Women’s Triclimate®PolyesterPolyester fleeceYes, DWR finishStandard fit, Hem cinch cord, Elastic adjustable hook and loop cuffs
Carhartt Yukon Extremes®500 denier nylon outer shell390 gr. 3M Thinsulate™Water resistantRib-knit cuffs, Adjustable hood
Carhartt Crawford Women’s Bomber Jacket100% cotton with 2% spandexMesh liningNoCuffs, collar, and waistband are rib-knit

The Reviews

Best Overall Women’s Work Jacket

1.) Carhartt Wj130 Women’s active Duck Work Jacket

A work jacket, in the true sense, this Carhartt women’s jacket offers comfortably smooth wear, with a great zipper closure and a drawcord for adjusting the hood.

Made from heavy 12-ounce duck cotton for the outer shell, it also features 80 gr. of 3M Thinsulate™ insulation for chilly mornings.

Pockets are lined with tricot and a pencil stall is featured. The pocket bottoms have been reinforced for abrasion resistance.

The inside pocket has a zipper closure. Sized from X-small to 3X-Large Plus it is machine washable in 100% cotton.

Pros

      • 12-oz. 100% duck cotton
      • Machine washable
      • 80 gr. 3M Thinsulate insulation
      • Zipper closure
      • Adjustable hood
      • Seams are triple stitched for durability
      • Ample choice in sizing

Cons

      • Slim-sized arms
      • No front chest pocket
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Women’s Jacket for Farm Work

2.) Prairie Dawn 3 in 1 Barn Work Jacket

Prairie Dawn 3 in 1 Barn Work Jacket

This Prairie Dawn barn coat by Patagonia is ideal if you are involved in physical chores daily. Manufactured in heavy-duty cotton canvas, it can resist even the worst wear and tear.

The great thing, however, about this jacket is the removable vest that you can wear by itself or as that extra bit of add insulation on colder days.

The jacket alone will do fine in the spring and fall, but when the cold hits, this vest can really make a difference, and if it’s not cool enough for the jacket, the vest should suffice nicely.

Manufactured with 100% organic cotton, Patagonia uses 100% recycled nylon in the quilted vest. The jacket is lined with 100% recycled polyester taffeta and integrates 60 g. of Thermolite® Eco92 polyester, 92% of which is recycled.

Corduroy trim on the cuffs, collar and internal vest pockets gives it a stylish look. The jacket boasts six pockets, two of which are lined with fleece for hand-warming while the two chest pockets have snap closures.

The jacket is certified “Fair Trade Sewn™”. Size from X-Small to X-Large, it is available in three colors: rust, tan, or olive green.

Pros

      • Recycled material used in manufacturing
      • 100% organic cotton outer shell
      • Thermolite insulation
      • 6 pockets
      • Removable vest can be worn separately

Cons

      • Sized only to X-large

Best Women’s Waterproof Work Jacket

3.) The North Face Arrowood Women’s Triclimate® Work Jacket

If you need rainproof in your work jacket formula, consider this jacket from the North Face. It can be worn as two separate shells or as one when zipped together. Both windproof and waterproof, it features sealed seams and Velcro adjustable cuffs.

The outer shell is breathable while the inner fleece lining is lightweight but warm. Available in white, black, mauve, and blue, it comes in sizes from x-small to 3X-Large.

Waterproofing is guaranteed thanks to a polyurethane coating that features a three-component formula for durability, waterproofing, and moisture permeability.

Features include a hem cord, an adjustable hood, a center front zipper with an inside draft flap, outer and inner zip pockets, and elastic cuffs and hem.

Pros

      • Waterproof
      • Windproof
      • Ample sizing choices
      • 4 colors
      • Insulated
      • Zip pockets
      • Adjustable hood

Cons

      • Somewhat expensive
      • Inner layer is slim fit, outer layer standard fit.
      • Sizing considerations
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Women’s Insulated Work Jacket

4.) Carhartt Yukon Extremes® Work Jacket

Sized from X-Small through XX-Large, this women’s work jacket by Carhartt is constructed for optimal performance in the harshest and coldest conditions.

Insulated with 390 grams of 3M Thinsulate™ insulation, you’ll be nice and cozy regardless of intemperate weather. A 500 denier Cordura ® nylon shell guarantees heavy-duty toughness and durability.

Reflective tape is integrated into the design on the back, cuffs backs, and front pockets for increased visibility. Main seams are triple stitched adding to wear and tear resistance.

A full two-way zipper closure increases convenience and is protected by a storm flap. The attached hood is adjustable thanks to a drawcord while the faux fur trim is removable.

Rib-knit cuffs impede cold from entering. A whopping 9 pockets, some with zip closures allow you to have accessories easily available. Comes in black and burnt olive.

Pros

      • 500 denier nylon outer shell
      • 390 gr. 3M Thinsulate insulation
      • Reflective tape for increased visibility
      • Two-way zipper
      • Adjustable attached hood
      • Lots of pockets
      • Rib-knit cuffs
      • Washable

Cons

      • Expensive
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Budget Women’s Work Jacket

5.) Carhartt Crawford Women’s Bomber Jacket

Carhartt is a powerhouse in the workwear industry with a well-earned reputation to match. This bomber jacket is midweight and integrates Carhartt’s rugged flex technology meaning that the canvas has some spandex incorporated for improved flexibility.

Carhartt includes a mesh lining to improve breathability as well as a number of pockets for accessories. Manufactured in 98% cotton and 2% spandex, this jacket features a zipper closure, and is conveniently machine washable.

Cuffs, collar, and waistband are rib-knit for fit. Sized from X-Small through 3X-large, it comes in black, Carhartt brown, natural, tarmac, and auburn.

Pros

      • 100% cotton with 2% spandex for increased flexibility
      • 5 colors to choose from
      • Ample size selection
      • Machine washable
      • Mesh lining for breathability
      • Budget-friendly

Cons

      • Not for winter
      • Sizing considerations
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

The Ladies’ Point of View

Women are known and appreciated for their pragmatism whether at home or on the job and looking for a functional work jacket was no exception.

When we asked how they would choose, the first response was always that the choice would depend on the type of work they needed the jacket for.

Profession

Depending on your profession, your needs will be different when searching for the best work jacket. If you are in agriculture, managing, or working on a farm with crops or animals, you’ll want a durable jacket that can stand up to the wear and tear of heavy-duty use.

If it’s easily washable that’s an added plus. Construction site work will have similar needs, and you may want to consider weatherproofing and insulation if you work outdoors most of the day.

If, on the other hand, you work indoors in an industrial setting such as on a manufacturing line, you may prefer a chore coat that will basically protect your clothing underneath with a few pockets for phones or small accessories, but you may not require more.

Lady truckers who drive cross country will have still other priorities when searching for the best work jacket. Not every work jacket will be identical in what it offers.

If you need one to work with farm or ranch livestock rather than repairing plumbing or electrical systems, your choice will be governed initially by the type of work you are generally engaged in on a daily basis.

Where You Work and the Climate

Once you have determined the kind of jacket that is most appropriate and functional for the type of work you do, the second most important factor when selecting will be what type of weather do you normally work in if you are required to do quite a bit outdoors.

“Cold” will have a varied significance to different parts of the country. The cold in California will be much different than the cold in Michigan, or the cold in Texas. And it will be this difference that determines the amount of jacket insulation you feel comfortable with.

You may prefer lighter insulation but a roomier design that allows for layering clothing underneath. In this manner, you may be able to use your jacket for three of the four seasons: fall, winter, and spring.

Consider the amount and type of insulation so you don’t end up with a jacket that is either too warm or not warm enough.

All Things Considered

Inevitably when evaluating which work jacket will best serve your purposes, there are some basic details to factor into your choice.

1.) Material. What kind of material is the outer shell made of as well as the lining or insulation? Does this material offer resistance to abrasion, wear, and tear, or other types of work considerations?

Durability will be influenced by both the materials used in manufacturing the jacket as well as by its construction.

2.) Construction. Is the jacket well made? This also includes the cut of the jacket, together with seams, and the quality of details like hoods, zippers, buttons, drawcords, or others.

If you are involved in heavy-duty work, you may need double or triple stitching of seams, or if you are often outside in wet weather, taped seams that contribute to waterproofing may be the ideal choice.

3.) Cleaning. Is the jacket machine washable? Can it be dried in a dryer, or should it be air dried? Will machine washing require waterproofing treatments if necessary for your type of work after every wash?

4.) Design and Fit. Women have a different body type than men, so often men’s jackets will not fit well, resulting to be too big in one area and too small in another.

Or a man’s jacket may just seem bulky and uncomfortable limiting the range of movement. Better to try on a jacket before purchasing. If not, pay close attention to the manufacturer’s sizing measurements and indications to get the jacket that fits you best.

Also consider adjustable features like cuff closings, attachable hoods, and drawcords at the waist or hemline to achieve a more customized fit.

5.) Weatherproofing. Depending on where you work, you may require waterproofing or at least a jacket that is water repellent, as well as a jacket that has insulation.

How much insulation do you require? Is the jacket basically for harsh cold climate weather or are you looking for a three-season work jacket?

6.) Features. Do you need a hood, and should it be attachable or permanent? How many pockets do you need and what type of closure should they have: Velcro, zipper, snap, or button? Do pockets need to be waterproof or lined with hand-warming material?

7.) Budget. You need to find the best jacket for your professional needs but at a cost that your budget can handle.

If the difference between a good jacket and a premium quality jacket is slight, better to invest a little bit more and get the best possible quality for your investment.

Once you have an idea of what you want and need in a work jacket, the final question will be, all things considered, is it functional for your daily professional needs?

See also: Best Winter Safety Jacket for Workers

Conclusion

Not all work jackets are created equally, and often the price will reflect exactly what you are paying for.

Materials, design, details, and features will all vary from one work jacket to the next, so it is vital that you determine the characteristics necessary for your professional needs together with the environmental conditions you work in.

Fortunately, the work gear industry continues to increase the number of women’s work jackets and their quality, providing you with an ample selection to choose from.