I’ve tried a bunch of different coats to keep me warm when I’m out in the wilds, and a bunch of different layering strategies as well. Some lighter coats work great when I’m walking a field, trying to kick up pheasants, and heavier gear keeps me toasty when I’m sitting in a goose blind with 40-mile-per-hour winds howling at my back.
But my go-to coat for all activities is my old Filson Tin Cloth Field Jacket. I have two different liners I can zip into it, depending on the expected temperature for the time I’m going to be out in the elements. The lightweight liner is the one I use when the weather’s supposed to be a little milder, and the heavyweight liner goes into that coat when it’s going to be cold, or when I plan to be sitting more than moving.
The lightweight liner is a moleskin coat, that works great as a jacket on its own on slightly cold days, and the heavyweight liner is thick wool. It also works fine by itself, if I don’t need a waterproof outer layer.
But the outer jacket is a heavy wax- and oil-treated canvas, and it does a great job of blocking wind and shedding water. I’ve been caught in torrential downpours in that coat, and it’s kept me dry through the whole storm.
It took a while to break it in and get it flexible, because that canvas was stiff when it was new. But the more I use it, the softer it gets, and now it moves easily with me.
I got it big enough to wear a few other layers under it when it’s brutally cold. If you have someone on your Christmas list who spends any time out in the cold, look into a Filson Tin Cloth Field Jacket. Or get one for yourself. And don’t forget the liners to go along with it.