Working outdoors in the winter means one thing—staying warm. If you’re not warm, you’re not going to feel like working outdoors for a very long time. Or, you may even suffer from winter weather hazards such as hypothermia or frostbite. Plus, no one wants to swing a hammer or bust a lug nut when they’re freezing their baguettes off. So, staying warm, especially on the construction site, is very important.
We’ve selected the best overalls, coveralls and bibs for protecting yourself when working outdoors in cold weather. The top name brands shouldn’t be surprising. As always, Carhartt is high on the list ranking alongside RefrigiWear, Dickies and Roundhouse.
Roundhouse has been around a long time. Only lately though has it become more and more of a household name in quality workwear. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better pair of quality made in the USA work jeans. (If you wear Roundhouse work jeans you won’t want to go back to what you were wearing before—and hey, we warned you—they are really THAT good).
Okay, enough chatter… let’s get to the list.
Best Winter Coveralls, Overalls and Bibs for Winter Work
If your goal is to be protected from absolutely any condition Mother Nature can throw at you, and do not want to compromise whatsoever, RefrigiWear is tough to beat in the world of cold weather coveralls. These puppies will keep you warm all the way down to -50 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re called “Iron Tuff” for a reason.
With nearly 12 ounces of insulation, even in the most wicked of conditions these guys are going to keep you warm. Not only that, they are water-repellant and wind-resistant. Add in the fleece-lined hood for head protection and you have the perfect coveralls for those days when the snow is coming and wind is coming in every direction imaginable (we’ve all been there and know how much it sucks if you don’t have the right gear).
These coveralls run a bit on the pricey side but for good reason, they’re built very, very well. These guys are going to last you for years to come. With the outer shell made of denier nylon, they’re abrasion-resistant and tear-resistant as well. Not only that but the snaps are reinforced and all the seams are bound to keep out the wind. The heals are reinforced as well for extra durability and the zippers are heavy duty too.
Last, but not least, there are a few storage areas in these coveralls too. There are two pockets in the front which are both over-sized as well as insulated. There’s also a chest pocket for storing odds and ends (usually a cell phone or a wallet).
All in all, if you’re looking for a work coveralls that will keep you warm at the coldest temperatures, look no further. Keep in mind, clothes this warm do restrict movement somewhat and that is to be expected with all the insulation and extra reinforcement. However, without all those extras these wouldn’t keep you as warm and they wouldn’t last as long either.
The Carhartt Men’s Arctic Quilt-Lined coveralls are another excellent choice for extreme cold weather workwear. In fact, it’s the warmest coverall Carhartt makes, period. And while these coveralls don’t have a cold rating, workers routinely wear them in sub-zero temperatures.
The first thing you’ll notice about these coveralls is that they are heavy duty as they are made out of a denier nylon shell. This is a double-edged sword, however, since it not only means they’re well made but it also means they’re a bit stiff at first and do require some breaking in. That said, they’re extremely durable and are both abrasion-resistant and tear-resistant.
The insulation is described as “arctic weight polyester” and it certainly lives up to its name. The “Wind Fighter” technology that Carhartt employs here stands the test as well. They’re also able to withstand light rain as well. However, if it downpours, better throw on a raincoat. And while it doesn’t come with a hood you can buy a hood separately as there are snaps for attaching the matching hood.
The coveralls come with two chest pockets. There is a full front zip as well as a well zip and the zippers zip well, which work great for helping them to slide over your work boots. The size of the coveralls themselves will run a bit large so keep that in mind.
The Dickies Duck Insulated Coverall comes in at a much lower price point as compared to the Carhartt and the RefrigiWear, with only slightly lesser quality and warmth. If you’re not looking to work in the coldest of temperatures you really can’t beat these. In fact, you can easily work below freezing in these but don’t expect them to hold up below zero.
An easy way to tell a high quality piece of clothing, no matter what it is, is its zippers. The zipper on these is excellent and very heavy duty, and naturally, the rest of the outfit follows suit. While it only has half the insulation of the other two coveralls above, it still feels very warm in cold temperatures. It’s nice that it can be snapped up to the neck too to keep the cold off your neck. The only downside is that there is no hood and no attachments for a hood either. However, it does block the wind fairly well too even if it doesn’t boast of its “wind-resistant technology.”
One major plus of these is the amount of pockets available. There are large pockets, small pockets, pocket available for tools and even a tool loop on the side. The pass through pockets are also a plus to allow you to have access to your own pockets for even more storage, not to mention the convenience. There’s also an inside pocket as well.
All in all, you cannot beat these for the price. And while they won’t keep you warm in Antartica-type conditions, you could still get away with wearing only jeans and a t-shirt in these below freezing—that’s nothing to sneeze at. And if you’re worried these might fit a bit snug after washing, these coveralls also come in a big & tall version.
If you’re worried about the warmth but are set on the Dickies, check out the Ororo heated fleece vest. This is great to pair with the Dickies and when you need a little extra heat just turn on the heated vest. When you don’t, turn it off. As simple as that.
Similar in style to Carhartt’s Arctic Coveralls above, the Carhartt Arctic Bibs are designed for extremely cold weather. The only difference with these is you’ll need to find a good winter jacket to throw over top of them.
These are also made of the denier nylon like the Carhartt coveralls and feature water-repellant technology as well. They’re heavy weight and are insulated using polyester insulation. The cold rating is the same as the coveralls as the insulation is exactly the same, and these will perform well in sub-zero temperatures.
The highlight on these overalls is the double knee with cleanup bottoms. This allows for knee pads to be inserted into the overalls. However, if you’re looking for an alternative to the Carhartt knee pads, try these instead. Another great feature is the double zipper on the chest. Not only do they help keep your belongings secure, they’re extremely convenient and easy to access. There’s also two zip hand pockets which are equally as nice.
The front of the bibs is zipped but there is also snaps and a flap that covers the zipper. The suspenders on these are adjustable so you can tweak the fit a little bit using it. That said, the size is pretty true to fit so not much adjustment will be needed. These overalls also feature a zipper that goes all the way to the waist for easy access and taking on and off your work boots. There’s also a zipper in the crotch for going to the bathroom.
Looking for a Carhartt quality overall at an affordable price? The Roundhouse overalls fit the bill to a tee. These overalls are high quality, heavy duty, and made in the USA. In fact, Roundhouse has been making quality workwear in America for 112 years. It’s amazing more people have not heard about this brand as it truly gives the Carhartt brand a run for its money.
While these bibs aren’t technically a winter overall, a good pair of long john’s will suffice underneath these to make them winter appropriate. They’re already heavy duty and they’re thick enough to block harsh wind from cutting into you. They even have an extended double knee which actually surpasses Carhartt. In fact, many workers who wore Carhartt overalls previously have switched to Roundhouse because the knees on their Carhartt bibs were wearing out more quickly. That’s a pretty strong testament for Roundhouse.
One of the other standout features on these bibs is the 5-in-1 pocket. This pocket is great if you’re constantly carrying around objects of different sizes and don’t usually have a place to put them. There is also a hammer loop which comes in handy, especially if you’re always climbing up on things or working from a ladder.
The only real complaint about these bibs is that they sometimes run small. They also last elastic straps and stick with the “old school” style straps. If you’re partial to the nostalgia of this style, that’s fine, but elastic straps are a bit more practical. That said, not much more can be said as far as anything negative about these bibs. In fact, they’re probably the best value and quality you’ll find in bibs, especially given the fact that they’re equally as good as Carhartt without the price tag.
Walls is one of those brands you either love or hate. It’s not the same as Carhartt, the brand that is universally loved by almost everyone. But, one thing is for sure, whereas Carhartt clothing is built for the everyman and every job, Walls is made specifically for workers. They’ve also been around since 1938 so they know what they’re doing.
These coveralls are definitely a shining example of Walls’ focus on the worker. With the diamond-quilted lining, the coveralls hold in heat well in the winter without allowing for overheating on those days the sun is beating down, where you can feel hot even when it’s cold. The lining is made of 100% polyester and the rest of the coveralls is made with a cotton-polyester blend.
There’s a lot of durability built into these coveralls as well. For one, the double knee with waterproofing is one of the best coverall knees ever created. It really adds a ton of protection from dirt, grime and a lot of resistance to scuffing. A back hem scuff guard is added to protect against wear and tear on the pant leg. There’s also triple-stitching throughout to add some extra peace of mind when you’re really pushing these coveralls to their limits, if they have any.
The pockets are pass-through pockets in the front, which are always nice and great for keeping your hands warm. There is also two zippered chest pockets for secure storage of your belongings. Two back patch pockets are on the back of the coveralls and the left pocket has a concealed zipper, for extra security. There’s also a utility pocket on the right leg as well as a hammer loop. And finally, a two-way zipper is equipped which helps for easier access.
The “Muscle Back” technology allows for ease of movement, without that usual feeling of being restricted, like with some coveralls, when using your upper body or your arms. There is sleeve articulation which adds a little extra movement as well. The elastic waste also leaves you feeling secure while not feeling restricted. Overall, very comfortable to wear and move around in.