Reader Jim recently wrote:
I think a vest roundup might be kind of a cool feature if you ever get a chance to do that, since I’ve had some trouble finding affordable, American-made vests.
Good idea Jim. That would be a cool feature…
From left: Snap ‘N’ Wear, Taiga
The most affordable US-made vests on the market are by a company called Snap ‘N’ Wear. Admittedly, they aren’t the most amazing looking, nor are the materials all that incredible. But, at $30 – $40 a pop, who’s complaining? Of all the styles the brand makes, the Poplin “Down Look” Vest is probably my favorite. Just remember they run large, so order accordingly. For $30 more, you can upgrade to actual down with the 725 fill power Cheakamus Down Vest from Taiga, which is made in Canada, has a matte nylon shell and, based on the measurements on the site, a fairly slim fit.
From left: Patagonia, Western Mountaineering, Crescent Down Works
In the $100 – $200 range, there’s the not US-made, but still ethical Slingshot Down Vest from Patagonia, which is insulated with 600 fill power goose down and has a great vintage-style western yoke. For around $50 more, you can get the Flight Vest from Western Mountaineering, which is made in Canada and boasts a whopping 850 fill power down insulation. And for $10 more than that, you can get yourself an Italian Vest from Crescent Down Works, which has a lower fill power (700), but a great 60/40 outer, and it’s made in Seattle.
Clockwise from left: Canada Goose, Archival Clothing, Ovadia & Sons, Unionmade x CDW
Lastly, even though you specifically requested affordable vests, here are a few lux ones, which, at the very least, are worth an ogle. First up, there’s the Canadian-made Granby Vest from Canada Goose, which has a cotton / poly outer and is insulated with 625 fill power goose down (the label’s Freestyle Vest is a hair cheaper and great as well). The 700 fill power Waxed Down Vests from Archival Clothing are also fantastic. They’re made in collaboration with the previously mentioned Crescent Down Works, and feature a waxed 60/40 shell, worsted wool collar and fire engine red nylon liner. Speaking of Crescent Down Works, the UNIONMADE Harris Tweed CDW Vest is also stunning, thanks to its beautiful Scottish-made wool outer. And finally, there’s the Highlands Black Watch Shooting Vest from Ovadia & Sons, which is made in NYC and has drool-inducing details for days, including a waxed cotton outer, suede trim, horn buttons and lots more.
From left: Bleu de Paname, Engineered Garments
And just in case none of the above are doing it for you, here are two more to check out. The Corduroy Detail Gilet from Bleu de Paname is made in France, has a cotton outer, corduroy padding on the shoulders, wood buttons and a wool lined collar. Unfortunately, it’s sold out at most places, but End Clothing still has a few of them and they’re on sale. And then there’s the Canadian-made Hooded Padded Vest from Engineered Garments, which is beautiful, but also pretty much sold out everywhere, although you might be able to score one from Arrow & Arrow, Context or Nepenthes. Good luck.
Got a question you want answered? Send an email to brad[at]well-spent[dot]com.