Best Golf Vests
For some golfers, a padded mid layer can feel bulky and cumbersome to swing in, so a vest provides a very good alternative. Whether you call them vests, gilets, body warmers or gaiters, they are one of the best golf tops you can go for because they free the arms, and provide the appropriate amount of warmth on milder days when a normal golf jumper might be too much.
There are a range of styles on offer, with some being thick and padded for extra warmth, while others are lighter and thinner to just take the edge off that winter chill. Think about what you would need the most and let that influence the type of golf vest you buy. Additionally there are lots of different designs out there as well with most brands looking to offer something that differentiates them from the competition.
We're confident you'll find what you're looking for in our showcase of the best golf vests below. Additionally, be sure to have a look at some of our other guides too if you want garments to keep you sheltered and warm - such as the best golf sweaters or best golf waterproofs.
Best Golf Vests - Best Golf Gilets
Why you can trust Golf Monthly
+ Provides superb warmth
+ Internal zipped pocket
- Only one color option
Staying warm on the course during the winter months without having to throw multiple layers on can be tricky, but the Storm Session golf vest allows you to do just that. This cleverly designed vest retains heat exceptionally well thanks to strategically placed synthetic insulation, without the bulk you would expect from a puffer-style vest. While it is water repellent, it is not waterproof and so you would need to look at some of the best rain jackets if you brave playing regardless of the weather. Two outer pockets are complemented by an internal chest pocket, which is ideal for easy access to your phone or scorecard. There really isn’t much negative to say about the Storm Session golf vest, other than that it is only available in one color and it would be great to see more!
+ Versatile design
- High collar design can distract during the swing
For golfers that want to swing completely unrestricted, the Lathan vest is an impressive option. Its thin material means you won’t overheat, but you get wind and water repellent protection should you get caught in a passing shower. The white zip and subtle Galvin Green logo on the chest really add to the style while the zipped, mesh-lined pocket and elasticated waist mean it’s also practical and comfortable.
The collar is arguably a little on the tall side at the front but the material is soft enough to limit distractions when standing over a crucial putt. In truth, this has become our go-to garment to sit on top of a polo shirt because of the protection and playability it provides. Is it the perfect golf gilet? It’s as close as we’ve experienced to date.
+ Extremely comfortable and flexible
+ Perfect to keep you warm with zero hindrance to your swing
- It could lead to jealousy among your playing partners!
Having played golf for decades, I find that the warmth and comfort offered by a gilet, combined with their no-sleeve freedom, have really enhanced my low-season golf. I was therefore delighted to try out the Fuse Elite Hybrid Gilet, a part of the excellent Peter Millar Crown Sport collection. At times when a thicker sweater or jacket is too much, it is simply ideal. I found the 4-way stretch construction to be soft and flexible, offering resistance to wind and water, and with just a touch of insulation to keep me warm. It also looks terrific, with the contrasting zipper matching the stitching at the top and bottom of the side pockets, the brand name on the right shoulder and logo on the back as well as at the top of the inner seam.
+ Good fit, adds warmth
+ Doesn’t add too much bulk
- Not as versatile as a sleeved midlayer
The FJ ThermoSeries Fleece Back is a sleeveless vest that could come in very handy through both autumn and winter. The first thing to say is that it offers a good, athletic fit. This means that it adds warmth without creating any annoying extra bulk. The beauty of this is that it can be worn as an outer layer on warmer days and under a thicker top when the temperatures really drop. I tested the brighter ‘seaglass’ coloured version (I would call it light green) and would be happy to wear this year-round. Another nice touch is that it has been given FJs DWR finish which resists water to provide some extra protection against the elements. All in all, this is a fashionable, golf-specific garment that is a very handy ‘extra’ for your autumn/winter wardrobe.
+ Provides plenty of warmth
+ Comfortable to wear over other clothes
- Only the front is water resistant
The Frost Quilted Gilet is a great option for those that get cold but want freedom with their arms. It features Primaloft Gold filling in the front, and then in the back it is a CLOUDSPUN panel. These panels allow you to retain your body heat close to the body keeping it at the optimum temperature without overheating. With a full zip and comfortable fit, it allows for unrestricted movement. It is water resistant allowing you to survive light downpours should you get caught out. It has zip pockets should you need to keep valuables in them and the pockets are pretty warm should it be a colder round of golf. When we tested this Gilet we found it to be warm even on a colder day but never overheated, it was comfortable to wear with only a polo and also with a midlayer.
+ Outstanding warmth
+ Easy to swing in
- Perhaps a little bulky
If you want a vest to offer warmth and comfort you will find it hard to get a better option than this Frostguard model from adidas. With recycled materials used throughout the entire vest, the star of the show is the fleece lining though because it is soft and feels lovely.
There is enough stretch in the fabric to make it very easy to swing in, and I love the fact there is a durable water repellent coating for added weather protection from light rain. It is a reasonably bulky vest but you get more protection as a result so in the winter months that is vital. Finally the versatile style transitions easily to your post-round activities and we think this gilet looks as good off the course as it does on it.
+ Provides full protection from the elements
+ Magnetic pockets
- Collar can be a distraction when putting
This weather resistant gilet really impressed us during testing. Made from soft DRY-TEX with stretchy knit rib siding for enhanced flexibility, this is a versatile item that can be worn in the worst of weather or even on a nice day when there’s just a little bit of a breeze and you need something over your polo.
It features a 2-way full length zipper, dual side pockets with magnetic closure and a front pocket on the chest with heat bonded seams. Additionally, the stand collar design provides extra protection from the elements, although we did find it was occasionally a little distracting when addressing putts. The gilet is available in black, navy and cream.
Colors: 3 (Purple, White & Green)
+ Stylish design
+ Excellent fit and lightweight
- Color options won't suit all
The Nike Therma-FIT Victory Gilet is a comfortable and warming mid-layer that we felt could be worn just with a t-shirt or with a jumper underneath. It is made of a stretchy, lightweight material that expands with your body’s movements and we were impressed with how much mobility it offered. Unlike many of the best golf jackets, we enjoyed playing with our arms free in this vest, as it enabled us to twist and reach far back in our back swing.
On the shoulders, Nike has cleverly added a nylon layer of material which will help keep your shoulders dry if it starts to rain on the course. The gilet is also very versatile and would work well also as a general sports gilet too.
+ Water-resistant outer shell adds to versatility
+ Use of recycled fabrics
- Snug fit mean sizing up
Having tested several different Callaway autumn-winter garments over the same period, this one certainly fits much snugger than the majority, so you may need to consider going up a size depending on how many layers you intend to wear underneath. That’s not a major issue, and once on, it’s a cracking gilet that does its job of retaining core body warmth superbly while allowing the arms to swing freely. It achieves that warmth without the Primaloft padding material feeling too bulky and looks good. Although this kind of garment can be bulky to store, we were able to fold it down pretty compactly in our golf bag when the temperature had risen sufficiently for us to no longer need it.
Colors: 4 (Balsam, Bordeaux, Grey, Black)
+ Offers a lot of warmth
+ Two way zip allows more freedom in the swing
- Limited choice of colors
This versatile gilet is a genuine on and off course garment. It’s made with loose fill channel tube insulation that delivers what Peter Millar claims - warmth without weight. The gilet is water-resistant and windproof and features two decent sized side-zip pockets and a two-way zip front closure - a feature as undoing a little of the bottom zip can help give you a little more freedom in the swing.
One thing to highlight is that the fit is snug. For example if you are a medium in Classic Fit Peter Millar you may need to go up to a size large to make it comfortable and allow you to wear a polo and a mid layer underneath.
+ Scores well on a warmth-for-weight basis
- Flap over hip pocket zip can get caught in zip
The Starling Padded Gilet keeps your torso warm yet allows you to swing a club freely. It provides a good amount of warmth considering the gilet’s thinness and is comfortable to wear and swing a club in whether worn only a shirt or over a mid layer as well. Unlike a previous versions by Stuburt, this has armhole sizes which will not ever impede ease of movement yet are also small enough for warmth. There are two waterproof zipped hip pockets of a depth easily able to accommodate a course planner or scorecard. However the flap which covers the zip can easily get caught in the zip.
+ Extremely light
+ Suitable for off course wear
- Thinner padding provides minimal warmth
Made from a seamless quilted and windproof fabric, this vest/gilet has become a favorite on and off the course. It’s not a top I’d turn to in really cold conditions because the padding isn’t as thick and bulky compared to a number of other golf vests, but I love how light it is. It’s a top that looks good over a polo shirt, perfect for cool autumn days. The side panels and shoulders are made of a very stretchable fleece, so you don’t get any interference whatsoever when you swing. The waffle design is also very on trend and, just like a lot of garments in the Swedish brand’s range, it’s a sporty and athletic design. There is a full sleeve version, the Grove Hybrid jacket, but I much prefer the vest.
Colors: 2 (Navy, Grey)
+ Lightweight yet warm
+ Good, modern fit
- Only two, quite simple color options
The FootJoy ThermoSeries Hybrid vest is an ideal garment for those golfers in search of winter warmth without any restrictions to the golf swing. We were surprised by how light it was, especially given the amount of protection from the cold you get. The insulated body fabric creates a comfortable, cosy feel.
This has a very smart, classic look which is available in two basic color options. We thought it was well fitted without being too athletic and preventing you from wearing multiple layers underneath. It has two pockets at the front and a stretch panel on the back that should work with your body as you move.
Colors: 2 (Navy & Black)
+ Stylish on and off course
+ Duck down padding keeps you extra warm
- Quite bulky
For chilly days on the course, layer up in this adidas Frostguard Vest. Down insulation warms you on the front and back of the garment where you need it the most, while your arms stay free to follow through on your swing. The stretchy fabric features bonded seams to keep the heat in and a water-repellent finish for added weather protection from light rain. The versatile style transitions easily to your post-round activities and we think this gilet looks as good off the course as it does on it. The lack of color choice is slightly limiting and it is quite a bulky vest compared to other models, but our tester loved it, especially when pairing it up with a hoodie.
Colors: 4 (Navy, Grey, Black, Blue)
+ Very comfortable
+ Water repellent
- No pockets
The Storm Daytona Vest gives you a water repellent vest for when it’s slightly chilly out on the golf course and maybe a bit drizzly too. It looks fantastic and smart, especially in the navy we tested and adds that extra bit of warmth you might need on top of your golf shirt or quarter zip.
It’s a little tricky to get on and off due to a reflective, elasticated cuff at the bottom so it’s probably not a garment you want to be taking on and off again in changing weathers. The Storm Daytona vest is unfortunately without pockets - not even a breast pocket - which is another thing it lacks versus its competitors, with many golf vests boasting at least two hand pockets.
Colors: 3 (Black, Grey & Red)
+ Flattering fit
+ Snug without being restricting
- Limited range of colors
Our first reaction on putting on this gilet was just how comfortable and snug it feels. And while the obvious side-effect of this would tend to be some restriction in movement, especially during the swing, this is certainly not the case here. It takes full advantage of Mizuno’s Breath Thermo technology, also used in their running apparel, to keep you warm but not sweaty. According to Mizuno, this turns your perspiration into body warming heat, ideal for golf in the winter or a cool wind. The downy interior traps air for additional warmth, and the whole thing is remarkably light making it no bother to store in your bag when it’s not required. A winner both on functionality and looks.
Colors: 2 (Blue & Black)
+ Quilted warmth
+ Can keep you dry in a light rain shower
- Too large to wear something over the top
We are big fans of Puma apparel and this vest is no exception. The Cloudspun fabric on the side of this gilet is incredibly soft and has a real premium feel to it. As for it's main task - keeping you warm - the quilted front and back are excellent.
The front and back of the vest utilizes Puma's Primaloft Gold Quilting and it is both warm and windproof - ideal for autumn or winter golf days. It's a great layering piece, but we found it slightly too large to put a further jacket over the top of it. Admittedly the shiny aesthetic may also put some off but some will love it.
Colors: 2 (Black, Mood Indigo)
+ Highly versatile garment
+ Great thermal qualities
- Zips up on wrong side
Like everything TravisMathew makes, this Puffer Vest offers subtle and casual style and is highly wearable off course as well as on. The black and indigo colors work with a lot of outfits whether that be golf pants, jeans and so on. It’s extremely lightweight and provides excellent warmth thanks to the quilted finish. The side pockets are a useful addition to keep your hands warm, as well as to store accessories.
It zips up the other way round to most manufacturers which takes a bit of getting used to but, the fastening is sturdy as is the garment overall thanks to the use of a rip-stop fabric. 4-way stretch technology allows for excellent freedom of movement and enhanced comfort.
Colors: 3 (Lunar Grey, Black, Navy)
+ Can be worn on and off course
+ Spacious pockets
- Styling may be a little too understated for some
Being used for the school run, watching football and going to the pub, it's the highly attractive padded design, monster side pockets for your hands and necessities that make this is a great option.
What's more, it has an excellent outer layer that can be placed over anything from a simple polo to several layers including a hoodie. The subtle use of the logo and Oscar Jacobson wording makes this look a superb contemporary garment, but it is also practical as it is warm, while also being water repellent. This is an attractive and very handy gilet, one that we will continue to use for the next year.
Colors: 2 (Blue, Black)
+ Wind and water resistant
- No pockets once reversed
The Norse S4 vest is fairly unique in the sense that it is fully reversible, meaning you get a gilet that comes in two separate colors. You either get a black or blue option, or a grey or yellow one. It is a nice feature but unfortunately once reversed there is only one small chest pocket with a cheap-feeling zip and no hand pockets. The main hand pockets also feel quite cheap and want to come out when you take your hands out. The vest is supremely comfortable and it does a great job of keeping you warm and dry as it is wind and water resistant. It feels lovely around the neck when fully zipped up, which really helps to store warm air. It’s also extremely lightweight and can be packed down into the inside pocket to be stored very easily.
Colors: 2 (Caviar, Malibu Blue)
+ Great thermal properties
+ Useful side pockets
- Limited stretch properties
A warm vest or gilet is an essential for all winter golf wardrobes. This excellent Premium Puffer offering from Callaway does a great job of keeping the vital organs warm whilst the arms are free to swing with no restrictions.
It’s made from recycled materials and the Primaloft insulation delivers a great combination of warmth and softness whilst also repelling water. It’s a robust garment with a sturdy zipper. It’s comfortable to wear and the snug finish around hem and sleeves helps to keep the elements at bay. We also like the zip pockets and eye-catching design too. An ideal garment in colder, drier conditions.
Colors: 2 (Black, Blue)
+ Clean styling
+ Good value
- Only water repellent, not waterproof
The Hebron full zip gilet is a really classy garment highlighted by the subtly Farah ‘F’. The fit is just as you’d expect so we’d recommend going for your usual size, and a nice elasticated waist ensures a good fit. Overall there’s a nice amount of stretch to it, not too much and certainly enough for a very comfortable wear.
There’s decent warmth to it so it’s a very good extra layer to have on during those chilly mornings or as the sun begins to go down at the end of a summer’s day. You get two pockets for your hands and we really like that they come with zips in, so you can keep your items secure and dry if needed. The gilet is water repellent too, so you’ve got added peace of mind if a rain shower comes in.