Winter Jackets For People Who WORK

An Essential Guide to Picking the Right Winter Work Gear!

Hi-Vis Apparel Winter Jackets

ďWinter is coming!Ē is not just a line from a TV series a few years back, itís inevitable every year. From mildly cool to polar vortex freezing cold, depending on where you live and work, winter can present several challenges. We donít like to be cold- which can be not only uncomfortable but deadly- and we also donít like to be HOT, which can happen if youíre wearing the wrong kind of gear, especially if you move around a lot. Picking the right winter jackets can be tricky, especially online. Letís break it down and make it simple.

Winter Work Gear

Weíll start with a punch list of things you should consider when making your decision:

Visibility - Our blog post on ANSI Standards in Hi-Vis Winter Work Gear is a helpful place to start if you are working in traffic work zones or are otherwise required to meet visibility standards. Nearly all of our Hi-Vis jackets are ANSI 107-2015 Type R Class 3 compliant. These jackets and the matching Hi-Vis Class E Pants are available in the traditional lime green (yellow) and orange colors. Class 3 garments are made with enough fluorescent background material and reflective striping to provide maximum visibility in the fastest traffic. Be seen! If youíre not sure, always err on the side of more visibility.

Fit - Any PPE should fit the person wearing it. If itís too tight it will restrict your movement and if itís too loose it becomes a snag hazard, especially if youíre around machinery or vehicles. Letís take it a step further and consider the length of the jacket; a standard bomber jacket has elastic that seals around the waist. Some manufacturers offer tall sizes, such as the Portwest US365YBT 3-in-1 Bomber Jacket. Other options would be a parka style such as the GSS 8505 Class 3 Hi-Vis 3-in-1 Winter Parka or a traffic jacket such as the Portwest US466 Hi-Vis Traffic Jackets, both of which cover past the hips. The Portwest traffic jacket is also the roomiest option that will not be tight when worn over even the bulkiest sweatshirts, which leads us to the next consideration.

Layering - Dressing in layers is the best way to make sure youíre warm enough to avoid being chilled yet not too hot so that you sweat. Many jackets offer removeable liners instead of the traditional polyfiber insulation that is quilted in. Again, the Portwest US365 Class 3 Hi-Vis 3-in-1 Bomber Jackets are an option, as well as the GSS 8003 Bomber Jackets and the same in Orange style. GSS has a jacket that goes one step further- the GSS 8511 and GSS 8513 jackets have a quilted liner AND a removeable fleece lining, making them the warmest jackets on our site. They are also ruggedly constructed with double stitching and a durable zipper that will not fail, and the outer shell is Teflon treated to repel dirt and other stains.

Waterproofing - Most of our polyester jackets are water resistant or even waterproof, making them an ideal choice for working in all weather conditions. Look for the handy†WATERPROOF†icon to be sure!.

Colors - ANSI compliant jackets come in yellow (lime green) and orange, but if you donít need ANSI compliant visibility you can also think about our line of colorful hi vis/enhanced visibility that combines stylish hues with reflective striping. The most popular colors are blue and black. Black is especially popular with tow truck drivers, excavating and boring companies, anywhere where dirt, oil, and grime are present.

Modular Design - The Portwest US427 7-in-1 Traffic Jacket and the PIP 343-1756 7-in-1 Parka can be worn in seven unique combinations. The removeable liner can be worn with the hi-vis side out or the black side out, and the sleeves are removeable as well. You can wear just the outer shell as a rain coat or with everything zipped in for maximum warmth. These are true four-season jackets.

Rip Stop Fabric - Weíve all had it happen! Youíre wearing your spiffy new jacket and you walk past something that has a protrusion and it hooks on your coat and rips a big hole in it. While all of our jackets are well-made and should resist tearing, the Radians SJ320 3-in-1 Ripstop Durable Hi-Vis Bomber Jacket and the Onyx series 8511/8513 are made with a special fabric that will not rip.

Cotton Duck Fabric - A certain brand of cotton duck jackets has become standard winter wear for many people in construction. The Tough Duck line takes it one step further- the action back, brass rivet reinforced stress points, rib knit hidden cuffs, and integrated hood make the Tough Duck jackets the best choice.

Cold Weather Gear

Heated Jackets - There are a number of heated options on the market, but only one of them carries a name we all trust, DeWALT. The Radians DCHJ076A DeWalt Heated Work Coats use the same battery as your tools to power built-in heating elements to keep you warm for up to 9 hours on the low setting. They have a durable wind and water resistant duck cloth shell with a fleece lining. A generous, permanently attached hood and plenty of pockets seal the deal.

X-Back Options - We all know that Canadian bacon is just fried ham, but they were certainly on to something when it comes to the reflective X pattern on the back of their hi-vis jackets and vests. Itís now required on any rail lines that go into Canada, and more and more agencies are starting to spec it in as well. Why? Itís simple, when you are approaching a worker in a vehicle or train and you see the X, you know that they have their back to you and may not be aware you are coming. We were one of the first safety suppliers to carry X-Back hi-vis and our selection is comprehensive, from names you trust like PIP, Tough Duck, and Pyramex..

Our next blog post will narrow choices down to our Top 10 Winter Jackets, so be sure to bookmark our Blog Page and check back in. Weíll also be launching a Q&A feature for every product on our site where you can ask questions and our experts will share their knowledge. The Q&A should be live on our site in October, 2023.

In the meantime, thank you for reading and stay safe, please!