Bluffworks Field Jacket Review: The Perfect Travel Jacket, from City to Adventure

As a constant traveler that lives his life just as much outdoors, through rain and adventure, just as much as in the city, the Bluffworks field jacket has easily proven to be the perfect travel jacket and the best M65 Field Jacket update I’ve ever tested.  Waterproof yet breathable, stylish, lightweight, and filled with pockets, this jacket does the job of a hardcore adventure rain jackets while looking as stylish as citywear.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

For frequent travelers, minimalists, and “one baggers”, clothes that perform well everywhere, from the city to the trail, and fulfill multiple functions in our wardrobe are exactly what we need, to keep our bags light, stay comfortable, and look good.  In this Bluffworks Field Jacket review, discover how this low-key jacket performs all of the above and has become my jacket of choice for my next year of adventurous travel.

Taking its design cues and function from a classic and proven design, the original M65 field jacket, and upgrading it with exactly what you might need to make it your only jacket (waterproofing, modern cut) make this jacket is nearly perfect.  Pair this with another test classic to stay warm, the M65 field jacket liner, and you’ll have a layering system ready for the wet and cold that travels with throw your way, while staying stylish every step of the way. 

Read on to discover my experience and see what has me so excited in this Bluffworks Field Jacket review


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CONTENTS OF THIS BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET REVIEW


QUICK REVIEW OF THE BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

 Click check the latest discounts on the Bluffworks Field Jacket

THE M-65 FIELD COAT AND BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET

AN UPDATE WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR

The M-65 field jacket is a modern classic.  Created in the military circa 1965 (hence the “M65” nomenclature), this stylish jacket has survived wars and decades of change, embedded as an inspiration of style in our culture. 

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
The M-65 Field Jacket.  Worn by Rambo, Robert Deniro, the Terminator, and countless other icons

From the four front pockets, to the high collar and simple, utilititarian look, one search on Ebay for men’s jackets and you’ll notice countless copies trying to recreate this style icon.  Some brands have done a decent job of recreating the original m65 field jacket, a few have nearly matched it, but none have outdone the original – not until Bluffworks came along with the Bluffworks Field Jacket. 

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
The Bluffworks Field Jacket: An excellent, functional recreation of a classic, perfect for travel

The original M65 military field jacket is naturally a hard jacket to top.  The style is simple, and lends itself to a lot of looks without looking too outdoorsy.  Its warm…extremely warm. My own field jacket (and the m65 field jacket liner) has gotten me through everything from sub-freezing camping to New England “snowpocalypses”. 

My grandpa, a hardworking mechanic that was a quintessential “man’s man”, rocked the same jacket for 20+ years. My brother wears it now. That’s a testament to how durable, functional, and timeless they are.  So, with style, warmth, and durability already in the original jacket’s favor, how could Bluffworks expect to successfully upgrade it in a way that no company did a good job of before?

How could Bluffworks make an already awesome jacket perfect for travel, adventure, and everything else?

By Waterproofing the M65 Field Jacket.

By making it lighter and easier to pack.

By adding a ton of pockets.

…and…

By maintaining the durability, warmth, and style cues of the original.  Bluffworks did a damn good job of achieving those goals.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
Breathable, waterproof lining and tons of travel friendly pockets are expert upgrades that Bluffworks added to the Bluffworks Field Jacket

That’s why the Bluffworks Field Jacket is the best M65 field jacket update, and the best jacket for travelers, that I’ve ever tested.

I understand that’s a pretty tall statement though, so let’s break it down like a fraction. We’ll examine what makes a great travel jacket, seeing how the Bluffworks Field jacket stands up to life and travel. Then, we’ll compare it to other travel jackets, outdoor jackets, and M-65 inspired field jackets on the market.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GOOD TRAVEL JACKET

Hunting for a good travel-worthy jacket can be tough, given all of the options.  To keep things simple, look for these 5 things in a travel worthy jacket:

  • Waterproofing and Windproofing
  • Lots of secure pockets: Lightweight & Packs down small:
  • Layers easily with warmer layers:
  • Stylish enough to be worn on most occasions:
  • Durability

  • Waterproof and Windproof: You’ll get caught in the rain at some point, especially if you venture into the outdoors, so ensure the jacket is waterproof.  Windproofing keeps the heat in, ultimately keeping you warmer with less gear
  • Lots of secure pockets: Whether you’re transiting through an airport, on a walking tour, or on your way to work, pockets allow you to stay organized and ready without a backpack.  Secure pockets (zippered, on the inside) help you and your gear stay safe when you might not be paying attention
  • Lightweight & Packs down small: Bulky jackets take up valuable space in your bags, and heavy jackets can take up valuable weight on budget airlines.  Aim for a lightweight jacket that still does the job.
  • Layers easily with warmer layers: A great travel jacket does its job of keeping you dry and out of the wind, but allows you to add or remove insulative layers to stay warm enough, but not so warm that you sweat.
  • Is stylish enough to be worn on most occasions: Let’s be honest – everyone likes looking good.  If you’re living out of carry on sized backpack for a year (like I did) you don’t have room for a jacket that keeps you warm and dry plus a jacket that looks good.  Ideally, your jacket will work on those hikes through Patagonia** but still be stylish enough for a casual night in Rome, Italy
  • Is Durable: If a jacket is all around amazing but it fails on you during a trek to Everest Base Camp, it’s a fail.  If you have to replace the jacket every 6 months, it’s a fail.  A good travel jacket should do well, even with years of wear.

Now that we’ve pinned down exactly what makes the best travel jackets exactly that, let’s see how the Bluffworks Field Jacket stacks up – and why I think it is the best M65 field jacket update since the jacket’s inception…

WHY THE BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET IS THE BEST M65 FIELD JACKET UPDATE EVER, AND PERFECT FOR TRAVEL

PROS

Why is the Bluffworks Field Jacket so perfect for travel? And why is this jacket the best M65 field jacket update ever?  Simply put – because it ticks off all of our marks for a perfect travel jacket

Here’s how…

The Bluffworks Field Jacket is Waterproof and Windproof

The shell of the jacket is made of a waterproof ripstop nylon with all of the seems “sealed”.  This ensures that water and wind stay out. 

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
A waterproof, windproof, and techy looking inner lining combine with a durable and water repellent ripstop nylon shell to create an all around awesome, all weather, all adventure travel jacket

In the original M65 field jacket, the major weakness was the 50/50 nylon cotton blend, which stayed warm when dry, but eventually soaked up water, leaving the soldier cold and wet.  Bluffworks eliminated that problem with the seam sealed, waterproof ripstop nylon shell.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
That durable yet waterproof and DWR coated outer shell is a clutch upgrade by Bluffworks from the original M-65 Field Jacket

Additionally, the stowed hood more functional and outdoorsy than expected.  A strap on the rear accommodates  goggles (similar to ski and snowboarding jackets) while bearing a bill (for function) and being roomy enough for helmets – which means, this jacket is not only good enough for cold and wet weather, but snowsports as well, if that’s your thing.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
A fully functional hood stowed away in the collar.  The nearly unnoticeable bill and Velcro strap in the back (for goggle straps) make it perfect for pretty much anything.  One more cue of this jacket being functional and not just “pretty”

Lots of secure pockets: 10 in Total

On top of the original 4 front pockets, which come in super handy traveling and adventuring outdoors, Bluffworks added countless side zip pockets (for quick access and security) along with 4 zippered, mesh, internal pockets. 

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
Low profile and hidden pockets throughout the jacket make it easier to travel and keep things organized (without a backpack) and secure during travel – making airport security checkpoints, and crowded bus & train rides easier

This plethora of pockets gives you a space to tuck away nearly everything, while going nearly unnoticed when empty. 10 in total.


Lightweight & Packs down small

  • Compared to the original M65 Field jacket, this jacket is extremely light and packs down much smaller.
  • Compared to Gore Tex and “breathable waterproof material” lined outdoors jackets, this jacket packs down to just about the same size, if not slightly larger – due to the pockets and stowed hood.
Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
A comparison of the size, packability, and travel worthiness of the Bluffworks Field Coat — Left: My Patagonia Gore-Tex Lined Waterproof Park; Middle: Bluffworks Field Jacket; Right: Alpha Industries Original M-65 Field Jacket


It Layers easily with warmer layers to keep you comfortable in nearly any environment

This is another strength of the Bluffworks Field Jacket over the original M65 Field Jacket – its small footprint and thin material make it easy to slide a layer beneath this “shell” making for a perfect layering system.

I paired the Bluffworks Field Jacket with my trusty old Alpha Industries M65 Field Jacket Liner**, which I wore with my other field jacket, and it fit and worked perfectly in the 25 degree cold of Georgia’s surprise early winter. 

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
The Bluffworks Field Coat paired perfectly with the same M-65 field jacket liner I used in my original M-65 Field Jacket

Read more about my recommendation to pair the Bluffworks Field Jacket with an old school M65 Field Jacket liner below.  It makes for an unexpectedly warm, trusty, durable, and stylish travel jacket setup that still packs down small.


It is stylish enough to be worn on most occasions

The original M65 field jacket was stylish in its own right.  It was good enough for Robert Deniro in the movie Taxi.  It was even good enough for Sylvester Stallone in the Rambo movies.  Honestly, its still good enough for me today, as my go to jacket for staying warm and stylish for most cold weather occasions.

Bluffworks didn’t need to do much in this area, but they did the one good thing that could possibly happen – opting for a slimmer, more modern cut while maintaining just enough  room for the jacket to fit comfortably during more active times – like hiking.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
The jackets updated, modern fit is slimmer and higher cut (compared to the original M-65 Field Jacket) meaning it looks just as good as the back as from the front

Its well made of durable materials

The durability of this jacket is still something in question that I won’t be able to definitively answer until some time and adventures pass.

However, the jacket is made of durable ripstop nylon coated for water resistance and durability.  Plus, given the durability of other Bluffworks gear I’ve tested, I trust the quality of their work

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
A ripstop nylon outer, reminiscent of old school military gear, lends as much durability as it lends style to the Bluffworks Field Jacket

CONS OF THE BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET

Lack of drawstrings at the waist and hem

A key point of the original M65 field jacket was the inclusion of drawstrings at the waist and bottom hem.  This not only allowed the wearer to adjust the fit, but also adjust airflow into the jacket, helping the wearer stay warmer or cooler.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
The original M-65 Field Jacket’s drawstring waist band, used for tailoring the jacket’s size and airflow/ventilation, is the only element of the original jacket I wish the Bluffworks version had

Without the bottom hem drawstring on the Bluffworks Field Jacket, you’ll feel a slight draft from under the jacket if you’re wearing it alone, but I haven’t noticed that breeze when I wear it with my field jacket liner**

Pricetag

This is more of a “warning” than a con, and addressing the point that I know will come up with most shoppers.  The Bluffworks Field Jacket isn’t cheap, but, it is worth it.  Here’s why…

At home I have two types of jackets: my outdoorsy jackets that are light, waterproof, and water resistant, and my jackets that look good, that are my go-to’s when going out on the town.  Normally when I travel, I opt for my Patagonia parka, which admittedly isn’t that stylish outside of Colorado and the backpacking circle…but that’s life.  I can only have one jacket.

With the Bluffworks Field Jacket, I can take both – my adventure ready waterproof “shell” while still having that perfect jacket for nights out in Lisbon without coming off as a backpacker (which I actually don’t mind)

In short, the Bluffworks field jacket is worth the price of two jackets because it does the job of two jackets, while keeping your bag light.  I’ve been waiting a long time for this.

WHO IS THE BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET FOR?

TRAVELERS, ADVENTURERS, AND MINIMALISTS

It’s probably clear by now that I love the Bluffworks Field Jacket, but that doesn’t mean I recommend it for everyone.  So, who do I recommend this jacket for?

  • TRAVELERS
  • ADVENTURERS
  • MINIMALISTS

In short, anyone who stays on the move and doesn’t have room for a very large wardrobe.  If you have the space for 10 different coats (and actually want 10 different coats) you may not be able to justify the pricetag on this jacket.

On the otherhand, if your space is limited and you need a multi-functional jacket that keeps you dry, warm, and looking good, this is potentially a great fit.  Travelers, minimalists, stylish digital nomads, and those that are prone to “impromptu adventures” are who I recommend this jacket for.

QUICK VERDICT ON THE BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET

Do I recommend the Bluffworks Field Jacket?

Absolutely.  This is probably the closest thing I’ve seen to the perfect travel jacket, in function, and in style. As this next year of travel goes on I’ll update on the durability, but if my last month of wear is any indicator of what to expect, I recommend this jacket as a great travel gear investment

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review
  • Style
  • Suitability for Travel
  • Function (Warm & Dry??)
  • Quality & (Expected) Durability
  • Size, Weight, and Packability
5

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review

The Bluffworks Field Jacket is a near perfect travel jacket, ready for everything from a night out, to an impromptu backcountry adventure.  It’s lightweight, has tons of pockets, and is waterproof and windproof pairing perfectly with the M65 field jacket liner making it the only jacket you’ll need over months of travel and countless countries.  Highly recommended.


THE CLASSIC M65 FIELD JACKET LINER

AN UNEXPECTEDLY PERFECT ADDITION (INSTEAD OF YOUR FLEECE JACKET LINER)


During my test period I was caught in a cold flash in Georgia, wherein daytime temperatures dropped into the 30’s (Fahrenheit) between rainstorms and below freezing at night.  I still had my original M65 Field Jacket Liner made by Alpha Industries and decided to give it a shot with the Bluffworks field coat.  So, how’d it work out?

Perfectly.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
The button in liner on my beautifully black and old school M-65 Field Jacket

The Bluffworks field coat kept me dry and I could feel how the wind wasn’t getting through, but the M65 field jacket liner added just enough warmth to keep me comfortable, even as temperatures dropped into the 30’s.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
Proudly flaunting the Bluffworks field coat with my old school M-65 Field Jacket Liner

In terms of fit and style, the low cut around the collar and old school cut and styling (similar to a bomber jacket or old school sweater) makes it a piece of travel gear you could actually wear on its own.

Finally, its comparatively cheap.  You could grab one for $5 at an army surplus store, but I recommend the updated black field jacket liner from Alpha Industries complete with buttons and pockets.  Its just as warm as any synthetic filled jacket I’ve owned, packs down to nothing, weighs nearly nothing, and fits perfectly under the Bluffworks field jacket – because it was designed for the original.

To boot: the field jacket liner has just as much of a proven track record as the M65 field jacket.  Its loved by soldiers and Marines as being one of the most warm, comfortable, durable, and reliable pieces of their kit. 

Click to check availability of the M65 Field Jacket Liner on Amazon

FULL REVIEW OF BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET


THE STORY AND CREATION OF THE BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET
How Bluffworks created the modernized M65 Field Jacket

The Bluffworks team is a group of rockstars very experienced in taking wardrobe staples (jeans, t-shirts, chinos) and making them travel ready, comfortable, and functional enough to wear for days on end without noticing.  In one particular email the Bluffworks founder Stefan Loble was sporting an old school, black M65 field jacket and the jacket looked great – just like it always does.  Emails came back from customers and brand fans asking when this “new jacket” would be released.  Though Bluffworks didn’t have any plans on-deck for recreating the classic field jacket, the owner’s love his own, and the glaring need for the M65 field jacket to updated to be travel ready led to a full project and the current product – the Bluffworks Field Jacket.  More on that in a sec.

Ask anyone who owns the original field jacket and the first thing you’ll hear is that “they love it”.  Hands down.  For most people that have one, it’s a wardrobe staple of heirloom quality.   Ask a few more questions (especially aimed at the hi-tech outdoors and traveler crowd) and you’ll hear the same complaints for why the M65 field jacket isn’t great for travel – it’s not waterproof, and its relatively heavy for a jacket.

Luckily for us, “travelizing” gear is where Bluffworks shines.


The Bluffworks Field Jacket: What makes it so different?

Google “M65 Field Jacket” and you’ll found countless attempted remakes and replicas from Prana, Rothco, and others, along with made-to-spec originals from Alpha Industries and Propper.  But with so many attempts, how is the Bluffworks Field Jacket any better?

Dig through the Bluffworks line and you’ll quickly find some trends for how they improve on standard wardrobe staples:

  • Adding water resistance
  • Adding pockets
  • Improving fit for a “snappier” look
  • Using “higher-tech” fabrics that wick, stretch, feel better on the skin, and offer durability.

“Travelizing” the M65 Field jacket with this not-so-standard approach is exactly what they did, and the result is an outstanding piece of versatile “kit” that looks good and performs well by doing more so you can carry less and still be prepared.

Click here to jump down to the Bluffworks Field Jacket Competitors and Alternatives

THE BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET…IN BRIEF

We’ll get into the full review but here’s what you get with the Bluffworks Field Jacket

  • A completely waterproof and breathable shell with hood – meaning you can stay dry in a downpour
  • 10 versatile and secure pockets – making the backpack unnecessary and keeping your jacket theft resistant
  • Maintains the M65 look and styling – making this jacket great for a night out and still looking good
  • Lightweight and packs small – to the size of an average Gore-Tex styled parka

Based on the spec sheet, that’s what this jacket should deliver.  How does it actually perform?  Read on for my experience – or, jump to the category by category review of the Bluffworks Field Jacket covering Durability, Performance, Construction, etc…

Click here to read the full specs on the Bluffworks Field Coat

MY EXPERIENCE

Lots of products claim…well…a lot.  If you’re taking a jacket as your only jacket on long trips then how it performs matters.  For me, a good travel jacket needs to measure up in three days:

  • Waterproofing
  • Warmth
  • Style
  • Packability

Luckily for me, the weather was moody enough that I was able to test all three…

(Click here to skip my experience and jump right to a category by category assessment of the Field Jacket)


Waterproofing Test: Caught in the Rain in Georgia

I received the jacket in Georgia during October while I dropped in to visit family, and luckily for me the storms arrived right when I did so I stepped right outside and went for a walk.

The stowaway hood was perfect and proved extremely functional, showing signs that this jacket is designed for more than looks.  The hood is made of the same waterproof and breathable fabric + lining as the jacket and is permanently connect to the jacket to prevent leaks

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

Additionally, the bib and cut of the hood (more like the rainshell’s designed for hiking and backpacking) is effective and keeps the wet out of your face (unless you’re in Forrest Gump + Bubba style rain)

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
The Bluffworks Field Jacket’s hood is ready for adventure – with a bill that extends over your face, and a velcro’ed fastener in back, to keep your ski goggles strap in place

The velcro strap on the back of the hood, designed for wearing goggles, is an awesome touch – hinting that this jacket can perform in snow and adventure sports.

As I walked around the block as it poured, waiting for the jacket to leak…it didn’t.  I was completely dry…dry in anywhere covered by the jacket anyways.  After about 15 minutes of getting my shoes wet (I didn’t plan that well) I decided to head inside, but keep testing the jacket by leaving it on my car and stuff paper into all of the pockets to simulate small valuables – like cell phones, passports, and mogwais.

Two hours the jacket was still dry on the inside, and the paper in all 10 pockets wasn’t even moist.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

Waterproofing Check: Passed


Getting caught in the winter of Georgia

Georgia weather really had my back during this trip, knowing that I really needed to test this jacket for warmth.  For the next 4 days, temperatures dropped to 30’s and 40’s during the day and 20’s and 30’s at night giving me a chance to test the field jacket’s performance as a layering item in cold weather.

In terms of wind, the jacket blocked everything with nothing slipping through the jacket.  Unfortunately, the single downfall of this jacket is that it doesn’t have the drawstrings, at the waist and bottom hem, that the original M65 field jacket has.  Normally, when the wind blows you can tighten these up and the wind stays out.  Unfortunately with the Bluffworks Field Jacket you can’t do this

However, this lack of a drawstring isn’t a deal breaker – just remember that you’ll have to wear a bit of insulation underneath the jacket to keep the wind out if you have a fairly narrow waist.  I still love the jacket, but if Bluffworks reads this a waist and hem drawstring would be an awesome addition.

But keep in mind, unlike the original M65 Field Jacket, this is more of a windshell, not a coat, so you’ll need a bit more than just this jacket.  Lucky for you, the original M65 Field Jacket Liner is actually a much more perfect, functional, and good looking fit than you’d expect.

The M65 field jacket liner was originally a standard issue item, meant to be worn under the M65 field jacket in cold weather.  Its an epic piece of gear known as being tough, warm, comfy, and functional.  Even after the original military field coat was fazed out, manufacturers continued to make the M65 Field jacket liner, updating its colors and features.

Today mine, which is just as warm and durable as the original, is black and button up with front pockets and look similar to a bomber jacket or classically styled sweater.  It fits perfectly under the field jacket and performed extremely well.

Combining the Bluffworks field jacket with the classic M65 Field Jacket, I was fine in 40 degree weather.  Even down into the 30’s I was fine if I kept moving, or until my legs got cold.  Mind you, I’d been in Southeast Asia for the last year and by no means was adjusted to the cold. This will definitely be my go to travel setup for staying dry and warm over the next year of travel


Bottom Line: The Bluffworks field jacket is great as a jacket blocking the wind.  Combined with the classic M65 field jacket liner, it’ll just fine well into the 40’s or even the 30’s


General Wear and (Attempts at) Looking Good

This test was an extremely easy one.  Yes, the Bluffworks Field Jacket was comfortable and warm…but does it look good?

If you ask me, the answer is “absolutely”

The look stays true to the M65 field jacket all of the way through, from the collar height, to the four front pockets.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

The only differences you’ll see are mostly welcomed updates with one update that you may or may note like.

The fit is slimmer and more modern than its predecessor.  A welcomed update.

The cuffs exchanged the “envelope fold” of the M65 Field jacket (used for attaching over the top of cold weather gloves) for a more common, simple button cuff – a neutral upgrade that is neither better nor worse

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

Finally, the length of the coat has been shortened to be closer to the waist, to give a more modern and fashion forward look and make it more mobility friendly, allowing you to move unrestricted. I find this as being neutral – neither a positive or negative upgrade – but many wearers complained, saying they hoped for a full length coat.  If you don’t actually have an M65, you’ll have nothing to compare it to and will likely be satisfied, not knowing the difference.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

All in all though…this is a damn good looking jacket.


Travel Readiness

When I started testing this jacket, I was in Georgia, welcomed by the wet and cold that made this jacket so convenient.  Over the course of the test I traveled from Atlanta to Tampa back to Tampa, back to Dallas, and back to Bali just in time for the wet season.  Over that whirlwind of a trip the jacket continued to shine because of two reasons – pockets, and packability.


Pockets

There are 10 pockets on this jacket, of varying sizes and perfect for varying purposes.  When not in use, you won’t even notice that many pockets are on the jacket because the jacket isn’t bulky.

The front pockets are a good size and perfect for quickly stowing items – phone, cash, papers, etc.  Whether you’re stowing from the top down or the sides, they’re easy to access and use

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

The sneaky zippers on the top front pockets are perfect stowing small valuables that you don’t want pickpocketed – cash or a phone.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

The inner pockets line the inside, made of mesh to keep the jacket light and packable while letting you see what’s stowed inside.  The zippers on all the inner pockets add a layer of protection, keeping out sly-handed thieves.  On the road, I commonly stored headphones, passport, notepad, cash, documents, and more in all of these pockets.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

Ultimately, all of these pockets make the fanny pack or small backpack unnecessary if your load is light enough, and do a better job of keeping your gear dry if you get caught in the rain.


Packablility

With all of the function that this jacket delivers, it still stays minimalist, true to what travelers need.

Over the month of travel, the jacket easily fit in the bottom of my everyday carry backpack, a 26L GORUCK Rucker, leaving plenty of room for my laptop, water bottle, snacks, and countless notebooks that I really don’t need

Rolled up, the jacket fits easily at the bottom of my EDC bag (either a GORUCK Rucker** or an REI Ruckpack 28) while still allowing my laptop and water bottle to stack on top.

Compared to my trust old M65 field jacket, this jacket is about 1/2 to 1/3 the size when rolled up, making it much better for travel.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner
A comparison of the size, packability, and travel worthiness of the Bluffworks Field Coat — Left: My Patagonia Gore-Tex Lined Waterproof Park; Middle: Bluffworks Field Jacket; Right: Alpha Industries Original M-65 Field Jacket

Compared to other rain jackets – this jacket rolls up to about the same size as my Patagonia Gore-Tex Parka, which is about average for Gore-Tex lined rained jackets – but – don’t expect this to pack up nearly as small as your hard shell jackets like the patagonia Torrent Shell or the REI Groundbreaker Rain Jacket.

The Bottom Line: For how great this looks and all of the function this jacket delivers, the size is great.  Good enough for an Everyday Carry Backpack, great for one bag and minimalist travelers.

Packability Test Results: Great for EDC bags, minimalist travelers, and one-bag travelers.

Bottom Line on My Experience with the Bluffworks Field Jacket

My month of wear, getting wet and freezing in Georgia, going out in Florida, and exploring Uptown in Dallas, the Bluffworks Field jacket did everything it claimed – it kept me dry, it kept everything I carried on me organized and safe, and it looked good doing it.


Let’s go through a category by category review of what goes into this jacket and what makes it awesome, just to be thorough.

BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET REVIEW | CATEGORY BY CATEGORY


STYLE & AESTHETICS

For most travelers, style is what matters in good travel gear.  These days, it seems to be easy to make a jacket technical – keeping you dry and warm – but making it look so good that it doesn’t look like travel gear is where the art comes in, and where Bluffworks shines.

Bluffworks has done a great job of copying not only the function of the M65 field jacket, but also its iconic style.  Going for a near replica design, with the high collar and four front pockets design, Bluffworks does a great job of updating the fit, making it slightly slimmer and shortening the jacket slightly.

The result is a jacket that looks damn good not just in pictures, but on you.  It’ll work well for pretty much any occasion that a sport coat or slacks isn’t required.

Though the jacket is available in a very military olive green, I recommend Bluffworks black field jacket as it delivers a really sharp, timeless look.

The big win with this jacket isn’t just that it looks good, its that it performance the job of a technical jacket (think of a hardshell jacket designed for the backcountry) and still looks good.


FUNCTION & PERFORMANCE

POCKETS
  • 10 different pockets, including the standard front 4, 2 front hidden zippered pockets, and 4 zippered elastic mesh, stretching internal pockets, make it easy to carry almost everything you have without a fanny pack/bum bag or backpack.
  • Additionally, this jacket makes getting through security checkpoints easy – just stow all of your pocket stuff securely in the zippered pockets to ditch the jacket, walk through the scanners, and put the jacket back on while you keep moving.
Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

This plethora of pockets gives you a space to tuck away nearly everything, while going nearly unnoticed when empty. 10 in total.


WATER PROOFING
  • The Bluffworks Field Jacket excels where other “good looking jackets” fail, by being completely waterproof.  Even after I left the jacket in the rain for 2 hours, paper scattered through the pockets was completely dry.
  • The stowaway hood is functional and comfortable, keeping you dry with the slightly extended bill and bearing a velcroed strap in back for securing goggles.
Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner


WIND RESISTANCE AND WARMTH
  • In the chilly winds of a cold flash that dropped into the 30’s, the field jacket stood up to it well not letting in any wind.  I do wish there was a drawstring that cinched around the waist to keep the air out.
  • Do keep in mind that this jacket is more of a shell – intended for rain and wind.  For warmth you’ll need to add another layer – and I highly recommend an updated (but still authentic) very of the M65 field jacket liner
Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

  • The M65 field jacket liner (combined with the Bluffworks Field Coat) was warm enough for 30 degree weather, fit perfectly underneath and with the field jacket, and surprisingly looks decent on its own for how functional it is.  The M65 field jacket liner is also super durable (think, trusted by Marines level tough) and packs down small.  I recommend the updated version of the M65 field jacket from Alpha Industries in black with front pockets

COMFORT
  • I love my old M65 field jacket – and wear it at home (in the US) whenever it get’s cold and I’m not traveling.  Its warm, comfortable, and functional.  When I put on the Bluffworks field jacket in its place, I barely took it off and didn’t even put on my old jacket.
  • The cut of the jacket is modern enough to look good, but roomy enough to allow for active movement – meaning you could hike or camp in this jacket and not feel restricted.

ADVENTURES AND GETTING OUTSIDE

I’ve decided to take the Bluffworks Field Jacket with me on my next year of traveling the world, replacing my Patagonia Gore-Tex Parka (which was awesome and performed well).  I expected it to well and look good doing it, but I’ll update on how adventure ready this jacket is as my travels continue.


DURABILITY

Time will tell, but the materials, construction, and first month of wear hint at this being a durable, travel ready piece of gear.

A ripstop nylon shell, with a similar look to 90’s era military fatigues, makes up the outtermost shell and hints a pretty respectable durability.  Sticking looks and feels heavy duty and high quality.  Buttons and hardware have a solid “feel” to them that hints they’ll last for quite a time to come – and the Bluffworks accents on the buttons also hint that the team put some heavy thoughts into the hardware.

Bottom Line on Durability: I expect the durability of this jacket to be on par with other Gore-Tex lined outdoors jackets.  With proper care, not too much abuse, this piece of gear should last quite a long time.  It may not taking the beating that my M65 field jacket can, but the Bluffworks variant is functional and good looking enough to make the sacrifice.

RECOMMENDATION: ADD THE M-65 FIELD JACKET LINER FOR THE BEST TRAVEL JACKET POSSIBLE

For a little over 4 decades, Marines and soldiers were issued the M65 liner as their combat issue, but more commonly worn during “field exercises” (aka camping with guns and really bad food) to stay warm.  Any piece of gear that is durable enough to survive Marines and keep them warm enough that they love it is beyond noteworthy.

Bluffworks Field Jacket Review Updated from the Original M-65 Field Jacket Black and including an M-65 Field Jacket Liner

So, if you think this all sounds like marketing bs here’s an FYI – I still have an M65 field jacket liner that I stole from Marine Combat Training (we call that “tactical acquisition”).  I used it in service a bit, I’ve used it hiking and rock climbing, and I still have (and cherish it) today…15 years after I gifted it to myself.  Note that I have abused this thing.  I’ve sweated in it, dragged it, nearly caught it on fire, and countless other things, and it aside from the occasional loose thread, my M65 field jacket liner is still warm, comfortable, and adventure ready.

Even if you don’t pickup the Bluffworks field coat, if you need a durable, packable layer that’ll keep you warm, and an alternative to the pricey and delicate fleece jacket liners, pickup an updated version of the M65 field jacket liner.

I highly recommend this updated version of the M65 jacket liner, made by Alpha Industries in black.  Its up to the same mil-spec quality as the original jacket, delivered in a more fashionable black, updated with buttons (so it can be worn alone as a sweater), and updated with pockets on the front to make it more functional.

Button front and comfy pockets make this M-65 field jacket liner very useful and comfy

Its an awesome piece of travel friendly kit that I love and highly recommend.

Click here to see my black M65 Field Jacket liner from Alpha Industries

WHAT ARE OTHERS SAYING ABOUT THE BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET?

  • The jacket is being bought to replace technical rain shells (think Arcteryx, Northface, and Patagonia) and users are more than satisfied with the performance (including me)
  • Adjustable cuffs and the ability to roll up sleeves make it easy to adapt the jacket to warmer weather
  • “Perfect for EDC” (everyday carry)
  • “Great fit, rugged style, and wonderful pockets”
  • Trust the sizing chart as the jacket fits very accurately
  • “The attention to detail, versatility, and classic, tailored look are great”
  • Wish the jacket had pit zips for better insulation, but still satisfied
  • Overall it is highly recommend by users.
  • Exceeds expectations. Perfect blend of performance fabrics and old school looks
  • Blocks wind nicely and retains heat but breathes well enough that it doesn’t get clammy
  • …jacket isn’t out of place at the office, in the city, or on weekend nature outings

BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET SPECS AND TECHNICAL INFO

PRICE, WEIGHT, CONSTRUCTION, MATERIALS, ETC.
  • 100% Nylon – Breathable, 3 layer construction with DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • Waterproof and wind resistant
  • Machine Washable, Line Dryable – avoid using detergent, and use only mild soap if necessary
  • Bonded and sealed seems ensure full waterproofing
  • Weight: 1.8lbs / .8kg

BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET ALTERNATIVES

Original M65 Field Jacket Options

If you don’t need full waterproofing and don’t mind the weight of the original M65 field jacket, these Authentic m65 field jacket options will be great for you.  The Alpha Industries M65 Field Jacket and the Propper M65 field jacket are the best options.  Warm, bulletproof, and classic, these two jackets won’t disappoint.


Propper m65 field jacket prices

Click here to check Propper m65 field jacket prices


Alpha industries m65 field jacket

Click here to check prices on the Alpha Industries field jacket


Slim Cut Alpha industries m65 field jacket

I recommend first checking out the modern, slim cut Alpha Industries M65 Field jacket in black.  It is made to the same mil-spec standards of the original and tough enough for heavy abuse, but looks even better – easily the best m65 variant before the Bluffworks field jacket.

Click here to see prices and jackets for Slim Cut M-65 Field Jackets on Ebay


M65 jacket surplus (on Ebay)

Once upon a time, you could pick up an original M65 field jacket, surplus at your local Army Navy surplus store…those days are over.  Now, the best place to find a surplus M65 field jacket is eBay. 

Just be sure to avoid knockoffs by getting actual “government issued” field jacket – you can tell by the ubiquitous black and white , simple tag common to all military gear – or getting one from the original manufacturers – Alpha Industries or Propper.

Click here to the best surplus M65 jackets on ebay


Other Remakes of the M65 Field Jacket

There are countless other remakes of the M65 field jacket aiming to recreate the style, add light waterproofing, and generally appeal to civilians.  Check out these as the best other updated M65 field jacket options available

  • Rothco m65 field jacket
  • Brandit m65 jacket
  • Prana M65 Field Jacket

VERDICT ON THIS BLUFFWORKS FIELD JACKET REVIEW

The Bluffworks Field Jacket is a fantastic piece of gear – doing its predecessor (the M65 Field Jacket) justice in style, design, and function.  For travelers who want a waterproof jacket that works well in bad weather from the backcountry to the neighborhood, the Bluffworks Field Jacket is an excellent option that will perform as well as (if not better than) any other jacket while looking ruggedly stylish along the way.  Highly recommended.

Interested in seeing more of what the Bluffworks Field Jacket looks like? Click here to see more Bluffworks Field Jacket Images

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Aggregate Rating
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Brand Name
Bluffworks
Product Name
Field Jacket