What are the best jackets for construction work?

What are the best jackets for construction work?

PRODUCTS| 10.02.2023

Hard labour is sewn into every stitch of Dickies®’ clothing. Even though skate culture unexpectedly made us fashion icons in the 80s, the hard-working folks of Southwest America in the 1920s inspired our earliest ranges of overalls. The reason we became a trusted brand the first time around was that we make those overalls so well. We understood the needs of labouring people, whether they were on the farm, in the factory or on the front.

How important is warmth in a construction jacket? 

Construction never stops around the year. With something like a massive concrete pour in a bridge foundation, it simply can’t stop once it has started, and it can take weeks to complete. So if it’s sub-zero and the job must go on, working jackets need to be warm.

The main factor is insulation. Anything that slows down your body’s heat loss has to be an essential component of a construction worker’s winter jacket. You’ll find our most rugged outdoor jackets come with ample insulation to keep you protected in blizzard conditions. 

What jackets keep you the warmest?

The best cold weather jacket is a purpose-designed winter jacket. These thermal work jackets tend to be hooded with extra insulation above that of a general work jacket. A jacket designed for winters should also have a degree of waterproofing as it’s probably going to get pretty wet out there.

Do construction jackets always need to be warm?

Of course, as outdoor labour goes on all year round, that also means summer, spring and autumn too. When you’re working hard on the building site under the sun, you clearly don’t need a winter work jacket. But on changeable days in the cooler months, particularly if you’re high up and exposed, a medium weight jacket, with a bit of layering underneath, is probably the best option.

What other considerations are there?

An important part of insulation is waterproofing. The best waterproof work jackets are those that don’t let rain in but are breathable, i.e. they allow your sweat to escape. That’s how you keep your body, underclothing and insulating fabric dry, which are all vital for staying warm.

Wind chill can also be a factor when you’re out there, especially if you’re building towers in the city or roads in the mountains. Windproofing can be designed into the outer layer of a builder’s jacket and also in the construction, for example, by having close-fitting cuffs, lower hems and an adjustable waist. A hood can help, too, because if you can turn your back on the wind, it won’t get in around the collar. It is possible to throw a thin windproof layer over a normal jacket, too, which might be more appropriate if it’s windy but not too cold or wet.

Flexibility is essential for winter work coats. You could be reaching up, twisting, hammering, operating machinery – you know the score. You don’t want a jacket that rides up over the waist when you reach up or one that stops you twisting your body and arms around because it’s too thick or tight. Sometimes a gilet might be the best option if you’re particularly active – they provide core warmth for your torso but leave your arms free to get the job done.

Finally, there could also be a need for safety measures like high visibility stripes or reflective panels. That’s important on roads, railways, construction sites, factories and warehouses. And with night drawing in at 5pm, it becomes ever more essential in the winter. However, sometimes it’s best to throw a high-vis bib over the top of a normal jacket, as dirt can cover the safety panels when you wear a jacket day after day on the construction site.

What’s the best winter jacket for extreme cold?

The best coats for men and women braving the most extreme elements need to go the extra mile when it comes to insulation, waterproofing and windproofing. However, a regular warm work jacket might suffice with a bit of under-layering and a light waterproof overlayer. Extreme weather is often extremely changeable.

Some days, the sun emerging from behind a cloud can radically shift the temperature and make a worker overheat if they are too insulated. Similarly, rain and snow can stop and start without warning, so it’s often handy to have a waterproof layer to hand rather than always on. If temperatures are truly severe, such as in polar or alpine conditions, and you’re constructing something, it’s probably best to check out specialist extreme weather clothing, and that might influence the way you have to work and the tools you can use.

How do Dickies® work jackets fit?

Dickies® women’s and men’s work coats are designed with mobility in mind. There’s a balance to strike here – too loose, and insulation suffers, and flapping fabric can get in the way. But too close-fitting and you can’t move your arms – plus it’s impossible to under-layer. We get it right.

The best winter jackets for men and women who are out there working hard meet these strict criteria. And whether this matters to you or not, when the fit is just right to allow mobility while staying warm, you happen to look amazing too. Just so you know.

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