I’m been obsessed with timelessness. Things that will last a lifetime. Whether they’re cook wear, boots, or various other clothing items - there is a lot to be said about something that lasts more than a few seasons or washes. There’s nothing worse than when you buy something and are very excited about it, only having to donate or trash it after a few washes due to shrinking or other issues.
That brings me to my favorite winter coat - my Alpha Industries M65 field coat. These coats go by a few names - which we’ll get into in a bit. However it’s much more than a name - it’s a jacket with an iconic silhouette that’ll last you a lifetime.
As I alluded to before, the M65 jacket is a timeless piece of mens military/workwear. Short for M-1965 which was the year it was first used by U.S. troops, the M65 replaced it’s predecessors the M51 and M43 respectively. Today, you’ll find the M65 jacket has in vintage clothing stores across the world due to its resurgence in menswear. But why? Why is this piece of clothing so timeless?
But why the M65 Jacket?
John Rambo wearing the hell out of an M65 field coat
As I alluded to earlier, countless trends, concepts, brands, etc. rise and fall within the span of a fews months or seasons. In spite of this common pitfall, the M65 jacket has seemingly managed to carve out it’s own position and hold strong for decades.
The unrivaled value offered by this garment can be boiled down to several core qualities, including: enduring construction, timeless aesthetic, and pure versatility.
1. Built to Last
Because of when and the purposes for which it was built, it should come as no surprise that the M65 jacket is built to last. Keep in mind, the brands and models that are built today may not be built to the same standard as the original versions. That said, you’re going to find something very similar - in fact, a few brands and models give the jacket owner the ability to modify and improve the jacket to their liking.
2. Forever Cool
The M65 jacket pulls no punches when it comes to function, form, and simplicity. In most cases it has large pockets on the front in which you can put, well, whatever you’d like. The form of the jacket provides a clean, timeless look to it as there aren’t a ton of “bells and whistles” - only essentials. Which leads into the simplicity of the jacket itself. It protects the owner from the elements while keeping everything necessary right within arms reach.
Whether you prefer a more loose and relaxed fit or slim fit, it’s pretty simple to find a well-fitting M65 jacket. It can fit even more to your liking, too, should you decide to customize it at all.
Because the M65 jacket can be worn for both cold and warmer, fall weather, it’s perfect for layering. Be it a long-sleeve t-shirt, a light hoodie, or a professional button-up and cardigan - anything will look great with an M65 jacket. Plus, it protects you well enough from various weather conditions to make it a perfect Fall and Winter coat.
3. Pure Versatility
Due to its original design for military personnel who were subject to all sorts of various weather conditions and environments, the M65 jacket is perfect for any environmental setting.
As touched on above, the M65 jacket was an extension of two legendary jackets. The first, the World War II-issued M-43 – which featured an innovative layering principle, and a olive drab cotton outer shell with inside layers for added warmth.
After retiring the M-43 from combat, the M-51 became the next jacket to be warns by service people. Upgrades of the M-51 included a 9-oz, water-resistant, windproof cotton sateen, snap buttons instead of buttons or zippers, a pointed collar, and had a separate detachable and re-atachable hood.
By utilizing key past field jacket attributes, multiple chest pockets, and an olive green color palette suitable for jungle combat, the military was confident that they had a suitable predecessor to their previous field coat iterations.
The Vietnamese climate – which was as unforgiving to soldiers as imaginable with elements including radiating heat, relentless rain and whipping wind – made comfort and function of the utmost importance. In order to achieve this, the M65 field coat features a hood that can be rolled into the collar, a removable warming liner for hot or cold temps, and Velcro-secured sleeves that can be adjusted when needed.
Alpha Industries M65 Jacket
The M65 field coat was initially created by Alpha Industries – a Knoxville, Tennessee company. By December 1959, Alpha Industries secured a contract with the DoD – in large part because of their efforts producing the MA-1 flight jacket.
Prior to creating the industry standard for an M65 field coat, Alpha Industries created the N-3B parka featuring a green nylon shell, heavy wool interlining, and coyote fur trim on the hood which - to this day - proves to be one of the most perfect cold-weather garments on the market today.
Simply put Alpha Industries is your go-to if you’re in the market for an M65 jacket. Having been around for over 50 years, they definitely know what they’re doing. Aside from strictly M65 field coats, they make all sorts of well-built coats perfect for any and all weather conditions.
However, their M65 jacket is one of the best M65 jackets I’ve tried our and have seen on the market. Get yours here - Alpha Industries for $150