If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere in the U.S. that can experience three (even four) seasons in a single day, just getting dressing can prove challenging. Morning temperatures might be in the 20s when you leave for work, rise to the mid-70s at lunchtime, and dip back below freezing by dinner. Mastering your layering technique is key. But, having a handful of versatile articles of clothing can make all the difference.
Enter: The shacket. It’s not quite a shirt and not quite a jacket, but rather a deft blend of both. Most shackets look like a traditional button-up flannel shirt but are usually lined with fleece or something similar to provide the warmth of a light jacket. That versatility makes it the perfect addition to any outdoorsman’s closet. Here are our picks for the best men’s shackets (or “shirt-jackets”) to rock this winter.
Smartwool’s Anchor Line Shirt Jacket just might be our favorite shacket for 2022. Available in two plaid designs as well as solid Charcoal Heather, it boasts a versatile, lumberjack-chic aesthetic that works great on-trail and off. Snap closures make it easy to don and doff, and an 80% merino wool construction guarantees all-day warmth and comfort. Twin chest pockets add storage space for your smartphone, wallet, and EDC.
With its deep catalog of winter apparel, Helly Hansen is a staple for most skiers and snowboarders. So, it’s no surprise that it knows how to craft the perfect shacket. The Lifaloft Insulated Flannel Shirt Jacket blends a 100% organic cotton shell with a 100% polyester lining for a multifunctional layer that’s warm enough for three-season wear. The straight hem and snap-button closures all around provide a clean look, while a soft, cozy lining makes this one comfortable enough to wear even on the couch at home.
We’ve long been fans of Aether’s modern minimalist aesthetic. Its entry into the shacket game, the Paulson Insulated Overshirt, offers all the versatility of the others on this list but without the rugged lumberjack look. Available in Heather Gray and Total Eclipse (blue), it’s ideal for your morning commute and treks around the city. The premium Italian brushed-cotton exterior is buttery soft, while 40-gram PrimaLoft Eco insulation keeps you warm in all but the coldest weather. Twin interior pockets add a bit of extra functionality for keeping your essentials close to the vest.
When it comes to sustainable, eco-conscious clothing, Prana walks the walk. The Tri Thermal Threads Overshirt is no exception, featuring bluesign-certified Polartec Thermal Pro fabric made from 75% recycled content. The knitted yarn exterior features a timeless style, while the buttery soft lining promises three-season warmth.
Mission Workshop, a perennial favorite brand here at The Manual, offers The Nash. Like most of the brand’s bike-messenger-inspired aesthetic, this tailored wool overshirt is streamlined and minimalist. It’s a classic design that works well in any environment, from the boardroom to the trail to the pub. Plus, built-in Lyrca gives it a bit of stretch, so it conforms easily to you and your base layers.
Vollebak has built a brand on thinking far outside the box (Case in point: This 100% biodegradable t-shirt is made from algae and plants). For its entry into the shacket space, it leaned heavily on centuries-old lumberjack style and utility. The aptly named Lumberjacket is half shirt, half jacket, and designed to meet the demands of the hardest working outdoorsmen. Seriously, there’s even a heavy-duty ax-hanging loop sewn in. The three-layer construction includes a wool exterior, a compressed, lightweight insulated middle, and a durable Cordura-lined interior. Soft, warm, and versatile in almost any conditions.
Of course, you don’t need to spend close to $150 for a decent shacket. Like most workwear in its catalog, Carhartt keeps it simple (and affordable) with the Rugged Flex Fleece-Lined Snap-Front Shirt Jac. This no-nonsense shirt-jacket looks and wears like a traditional cotton work shirt. A touch of spandex stretch canvas offers more range of motion when you’re splitting wood or working around the campfire. Even more importantly, the printed fleece lining provides plenty of warmth when the temperature drops.
Don’t forget to pair your shacket with a few merino wool base layer essentials, and you’ll be ready to tackle just about any cool- to cold-weather climate.
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