The best bomber jackets for men are sartorial chameleons. More than any almost other type of outerwear, they can go from rugged to sleek to street in the blink of an eye, and will work with virtually any fit in virtually any wardrobe—which is why you absolutely need one in yours.
The Best Bomber Jackets Shopping Guide
The bomber jacket began life, as so many menswear staples do, in the military, originally designed to keep pilots warm in the cockpit during World War I. Eventually, those early flight jackets evolved into wide spectrum of civilian takes we know and love today—from slick nylon windbreakers to boxy leather varsities—but a handful of the most iconic details remain the same: ribbed hems and sleeve cuffs to keep the cold air out; fuller fits for easy layering; a cropped, above-the-waist length to make it easier to sit in a cramped fighter jet while wearing one. That cropped length goes beyond mere functionality. It’s also extremely flattering, perfect for lengthening your legs and showing off all the squat work you’ve been putting in at the gym. Whether you’re throwing your jacket over a pair of high-waisted pants or mid-rise jeans, the bomber flatters every body type out there.
And with so many versions on the market today, there’s absolutely a high-flying bomber jacket to fit your style and taste. Whether you’d prefer to keep things clean and classic, dip into something a little wilder and louder, or ball outrageous with a high-end designer interpretation, we’ve rounded up a 21 of the absolute best men’s bomber jackets to slip into over and over and over.
The Bomber Jacket
When you picture a bomber jacket, the Alpha Industries MA-1 is likely the first thing that comes to mind. It’s long been a staple in streetwear culture, showing up on the backs of Pharrell and Ye and countless other style icons. Alpha dabbles in modern interpretations and high fashion collaborations, but their MA-1 bomber remains a timeless icon for a reason: it’s made to the exact same specifications as the ones issued to Air Force pilots in the ‘60s, constructed from hardy, water-resistant nylon with a plethora of pockets inside, outside, and on the sleeve. It also happens to be reversible, with an extra swervy orange on the other side for those days you’re feeling extra. Whether you’re rocking a plain white T-shirt and faded jeans or a button-up shirt and slim-fit pants, there’s no outfit this classic bomber jacket can’t pilot.
The Extremely Designer Bomber Jacket
Just a reminder: minimalism does not equal boring. For proof, take this luxe Prada take on the bomber jacket, cut from the supplest of Napa leathers. Aside from the quintessential flap pockets and a zippered sleeve pocket, there’s nothing else added—and yet it’s far from a snoozefest. Demonstrating the brand’s dominance when it comes to top-shelf tailoring, the dropped shoulders and slightly oversized fit (cinched with ribbed knit cuffs and hem) feel both retro and incredibly modern. We could see this jacket seamlessly working with your swerviest going-out shirt (or a hoodie when you’ve recovering the morning after).
The Extremely Right Now Bomber Jacket
While black and brown jackets are sure hits, a steely gray jacket is versatile enough to wear to swankier events where you want to make an impression but still show off your edge. Entire Studios’ riff on the A-2 bomber is a statement-making piece thanks to its boxy cut that is generously cropped at the waist (it’ll keep the shoulder and chest nicely broad while slimming everything below). It features the traditional ribbed collar and flapped pockets at the front with subtle revisions like a zipper and velcro doubled-up closure.
The Extremely Affordable Bomber Jacket
Rothco has been supplying garments to the military since 1953 and continue to produce some of the hardest-wearing goods on the planet. Its CWU jacket—an updated riff on the brand’s MA-1—was introduced in 1977, and it differs from its predecessor in a few crucial ways. For one, it ditches the MA-1’s knit collar in favor of a fold-over alternative cut from the same fabric as its flame-resistant body. (Its pockets also sit higher on the body, exposing pilots’ hands to the elements). More important, though, is what didn’t change: the cropped silhouette, knit cuffs, and signature arm pocket are all gloriously accounted for.
The Big Man on Campus Bomber Jacket
Thanks to fellas like Tyler, the Creator, the varsity jacket is all kinds of cool again. Maybe you never earned a varsity letter in high school, but the prepped-up take on the bomber can still earn you plenty of style points on the streets. Stewart & Strauss’s classic varsity is affordable and well made, but it’s biggest selling point is the sheer number of color combinations (48!) to choose from.
The A-List Bomber Jacket
They just don’t make ‘em like they used to—until they do. Banana Republic’s archival leather jacket pays homage to a classic: hand-burnished leather cut to a standard fit that slims the waist while still allowing for easy movement. The thick knit wool cuffs and hem will trap in the heat while keeping you nice and toasty from fall to spring. This shade of rich brown will pair just as well with freshly-pressed trousers as it will your most beat-up jeans.
The Bomber Jacket That’s More Like a Puffer
Think the burly flight jacket doesn’t have a soft side? Think again. This quilted bomber jacket is made from sturdy, Italian nylon stuffed with 650 fill power down that’ll have you feeling like you’re encased in a cloud. Ribbed cuffs and collar give structure to an overall looser fit that layers well over your long sleeve T-shirts and beefier button-downs. Todd Snyder’s wind-resistant jacket comes in three colorways, but we’re especially partial to this shade of buttery camel, which feels very autumn—and very right now.