When it comes to jackets that epitomize cool, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more effortless, functional, and easy-wearing option than the bomber jacket. With a veritable who’s who of men’s style icons from Brando and McQueen, to Cassavetes and DeNiro having donned the iconic men’s bomber in one form or another, it’s easy to see why the bomber jacket is a perennial hit that never seems to go out of style.
A History of Bomber Jackets
Long before the aforementioned style icons made it a fashionable accessory, the bomber jacket–aka “the flight jacket”–was just as much function as form.
During World War I, airplanes had open cockpits, so pilots, naturally, had to wear something that would keep them warm during flight. Leather construction, high wraparound collars, zipper closures, ribbed waists and cuffs, and an overall roomy chest and arm area were hallmarks of the original.
Bombers have evolved since the now obsolete MA-1 to incorporate an entire line of bomber, flight, and even letterman (yes, your high school football jacket is based on the same silhouette) jackets that retain the same vintage ideals and functionality while currently being made for style, comfort and to make a statement. Here are the best bomber jackets to add to your wardrobe.
The Best Bomber Jackets for Men
Alpha Industries MA-1 Bomber Jacket (Seasonal)
100% flight nylon shell. 100% nylon lining. 100% poly fill. Water-resistant. Reversible. Made with as close to classic military specs on the market. And it has the Alpha Industries signature red “Remove Before Flight” tag on the arm pocket (that makes a great keychain, for the record). Alpha Industries has been the best value bomber GOAT for more than half a century, and it shows in all their products.
Everlane Bomber Jacket
Like everything else they do, the Everlane Bomber doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, they focus on reinventing a classic–in this case a navy bomber jacket or black bomber jacket–with more attention to detail, higher-quality materials, and a slimmer-fitting silhouette than what you’d find in the military alternative.
Levi’s Bay Street Bomber Jacket
Does 100% cotton, non-stretch denim construction make the best bomber jacket for actual flight maneuvers? Probably not. But when paired with a faux-fur collar and built by Levi’s it makes one helluva stylish modern denim bomber jacket that pairs with almost everything. And, well, it’s Levi’s. Come on. You can’t go wrong with the Red Tab.
Scotch & Soda Lightweight Bomber Jacket
When it comes to the basics — and we absolutely consider a stylish, affordable and lightweight bomber jacket a basic — Scotch & Soda has had you covered for almost four decades. Their take on the nylon bomber jacket eschews the big flippy collar, wide-ribbed hem/cuffs, and bulky lining in favor of 87/13 poly/elastane construction that’s machine washable, built with a slimmer silhouette and easy to throw in your bag.
Lululemon Switch Over Bomber
When it comes to athletic wear, it’s hard to beat any of the offerings from Lululemon. That’s especially true when it comes to their men’s athletic bomber jacket, aka the Switch Over Bomber. Available in off-white, gray, or black options, this sleek and stylish men’s bomber jacket checks all the boxes you’ve come to expect from Lulu which means it’s stylish enough to wear with damn near everything else.
Brooks Brothers Reversible Black Bomber Jacket
Leave it to the every man’s preppy style go-to, Brooks Brothers, to update the bomber jacket in a way that retains its roots while also making it completely fresh. The Brooks Brothers Reversible Bomber Jacket is built for anyone with one side made from a water-resistant cotton-nylon blend with double patch and double side-entry pockets, while the reverse is from water-resistant and water-repellent polyester with two zip side-entry pockets. One stylish, preppy bomber jacket with two ways to wear it makes this one of the overall best bomber jackets out there.
Good Man Brand Mayhair Quilted Bomber Jacket
More “Bomber Cut” than it is “Bomber Construction” this Good Man Brand Mayhair Quilted Bomber Jacket is the combination of a sleek, quilted exterior with bomber features that will wear more like a blazer substitute for a night out than the jacket you’d want to be wearing if you had to jump into the cockpit of a fighter jet. Honestly, that’s not a bad thing. It’s well-made, well-cut, versatile, and available in five different colors (but we’re crazy partial to the white over a dark button-down, polo, or tee).
Barbour Quilted Merchant Jacket
No list of quality men’s outerwear–bomber jackets or otherwise–would be complete without something from Barbour. Their updated take on the classic bomber jacket includes all kinds of updates you’d expect from Barbour–four-inch box quilts, two-way front zip, two lower welt pockets, and a Barbour International Steve McQueen embroidered patch on the left chest.
Todd Snyder Japanese Down Quilted Snap Bomber
America’s most winningest menswear designer Todd Snyder has a unique take on the bomber that is equal parts camo with contrasting orange details–despite the fact that, from afar, it looks like an all-black men’s bomber jacket–and is made as a puffer with bomber styling. As with all things Todd Snyder, this all-weather men’s bomber jacket checks multiple boxes and blurs the lines between traditional and modern.
Alpha Industries x Imogene & Willie Heritage MA-1 Bomber Jacket
Yes, Alpha Industries is on this list twice. As one of the original manufacturers of the bomber/flight jacket, the almost half-century of production the brand has behind them would warrant multiple inclusions regardless. But this Alpha x Imogene & Willie collaboration bomber jacket is something truly special because it looks, feels, and wears like what you’d expect if you asked the most preeminent bomber jacket manufacturer to build a jacket with one of the most stylish modern brands.
Buck Mason Bruiser Leather Bomber Jacket
Don’t let the fact that the Buck Mason Bruiser Leather Bomber Jacket looks like it got pulled straight from an FX motorcycle show fool you. This is quite possibly the most affordable, stylish and dare we say, best men’s leather bomber jacket on the market. Buck Mason’s attention to detail, construction, and cut is paired with a veg-tanned lambskin hide that is pre-softened and formed so it fits like a second skin right away.
Allsaints Bergen Suede Bomber Jacket
If you’ve spent any amount of time in an Allsaints retail store, you know they don’t mess around when it comes to leather. The Bergen Bomber Jacket is unlike all of the other options on this list because, in addition to having unique Allsaints touches like additional zippers and a two-tone finish, this is a suede bomber jacket. The Bergen is definitely an investment piece, but seeing as how it’s the best suede bomber jacket on the market when it comes to quality and the name behind it, it’s worth the investment.
Mission Workshop “The Mission” Bomber Jacket
We could go on for what feels like weeks when it comes to our love of everything that comes out of Mission Workshop. This time around, instead of a backpack that’s capable of holding an entire case of beer, we’re talking about their “The Mission” Bomber Jacket. Designed to be layered with as much or as little as you want, the Mission Bomber–part of their Advanced Projects series–combines multiple advanced technologies (like Primaloft insulation, Mectex M.I.S. textiles, and DWR finishing) to create a clean, elevated silhouette with everything you need and nothing you don’t.
Schott Classic B-3 Sheepskin Leather Bomber Jacket
Founded more than a century ago in the Lower East Side of NYC, Schott has been a favorite for the likes of Marlon Brando, James Dean, and guys like you since they started. We’ll always consider them the maker of the best men’s leather bomber because we were wearing a Schott Classic B-3 Sheepskin Leather Bomber Jacket the first time we ever kick-started a bike. But the quality, style, and versatility of this jacket speaks for itself. It’s a worthy investment if you plan on riding for the rest of your life.
Givenchy Oversized Reversible Faux Fur and Shell Hooded Bomber Jacket
We wouldn’t be having any fun if we didn’t throw at least one bomber jacket on the list that’s so ridiculous it checks all the boxes from fleece men’s bomber to reversible men’s bomber and everything in between. This Made in Italy statement piece is most valuable because of the esteemed Givenchy name–and associated price tag–but it really is wearable as a year-round bomber because of the reversible one-side fluffy, one-side water repellent nature.