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The Best Men’s Flannel Shirts of 2023

Flannel up this fall to hike, operate the tailgate grill, or tame the fall foliage. We've found the best classic wool, cotton, and technical flannel shirts for men.

Best Men's Flannels
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Ask the GearJunkie staff what their favorite season is, and it would undeniably be flannel season — doing fall chores, warming up by the fire, and simply working from home. As hot days give way to cool mornings, we’re all looking forward to flanneling up.

Today’s flannel is a far cry from the Seattle grunge scene or Paul Bunyan’s tack shop. More technical, less scratchy, and all-around comfortable, there are endless options for purveyors of plaid.

To find the best flannels for 2023, we combed through stores, scoured online, and spoke with brands to find the best options available. To test the flannels, we wore them at work, hammered through weekend chores, brought them camping, and occasionally shouldered them as we tossed the legs over the bike.

What makes the perfect flannel? We looked at materials, cut, and construction, excusing color and patterns. Color schemes are more personal, and we’ll let the buyer pick what looks best in their wardrobe. For this review, we want to arm you with what truly differentiates a quality flannel from the rest. These are flannels that will last for seasons to come.

To find the best flannels for men, scroll through to see all of our recommended buys or jump to the category you’re looking for. And once you’ve done that, check out our comprehensive buyer’s guide to unravel what makes a flannel a flannel, our chart to see how our choices stack up against one another, and our FAQ for any lingering questions.

The Best Men’s Flannel Shirts of 2023

Best Overall Flannel Shirt: Pladra Leon Workhorse Flannel

Pladra Leon Workhorse Flannel

To win the honor of best overall flannel, the shirt needs to hit all the marks — great fit, comfort, and durability, and it’s flexible enough to wear from fall to spring. We want something we’d reach for when getting coffee in the morning or throw on to warm up next to the campfire.

Last year we awarded Pladra’s Elli Every Day our top honors, and the lightweight brushed twill is still a fantastic choice to pull into your cool-weather rotation. But when we shouldered the Leon Workhorse ($99), we knew we had a winner.

Pladra lists the 196 g/m² brushed cotton as a heavyweight flannel. Compared to the flannels we typically see, in our opinion, the Leon trends more midweight. Regardless, the luxuriously soft, organic Portuguese cotton is plush and plump in the hand, giving it that feeling of “oh yeah — this is what a flannel should feel like.”

We should note that Pladra offers two different weight fabrics offered under the Leon Workhorse line. An unbrushed version uses 315 g/m² cotton and is definitively more heavy-duty and a true work shirt.

For more everyday wear, we prefer the brushed 196 g/m² version highlighted here. It’s softer and more approachable for everyday wear. The cut of this flannel is a bit long, which was our only ding, but a quick tuck has it sitting pretty.

Hitting every mark of materials, cut, and trim, the Leon exudes fall flannel and is a shirt we love to wear in the yard, as a spectator at fall waffle cross races, and even to the office. And at $99, we feel you get what you pay for.

Unlike most companies on the list, Pladra is dedicated to flannel. Brushed twill is the brand’s North Star, not an add-on thrown into the mix. Plus, Pladra’s shirts are backed with a lifetime warranty, and the company does all the heavy lifting to make sure you are getting a top-quality flannel.

  • Materials: 100% organic cotton
  • Fabric weight: 196 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 12.5 oz.
  • Fit: Fitted — semi-athletic
  • Best for: With its plush nap, the Leon Workhorse flannel is more oriented towards casual daily wear over workwear
  • Ideal weight and brush
  • Fantastic cut
  • Thoughtfully constructed for durability
  • Not many, cotton has its own inherent weaknesses
  • We feel the shirt runs a little long, worn better tucked in than untucked

Check Price at Pladra

Best Budget Flannel: Legendary Whitetails Buck Camp Flannel

Legendary Whitetails Buck Camp Flannel

We didn’t have high expectations for a bargain flannel, but the details on the Buck Camp blew our minds. Fit, construction, and materials — it’s tough to beat the $35 Buck Camp Flannel from Legendary Whitetails.

The 5-ounce cotton flannel is double pleated in the back for extra mobility. All seams are sewn flat and fell stitched, and even the pocket pattern aligns with the shirt pattern. These little details add up in price and are usually found in shirts twice the price.

The collar and cuffs are backed in corduroy, giving it a little rugged flare. Our ding on the otherwise fantastic shirt is we found the collar can get a little limp — something we see on all lighter-weight cotton flannels. You can probably iron it to right that otherwise minor flaw.

From spring to fall, the Buck Camp Flannel gives you the best bang for the … um … buck. Get ’em before they realize they’ve underpriced the shirt.

  • Materials: 100% cotton
  • Fabric weight: 144 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 14 oz.
  • Fit: Relaxed
  • Best for: Spring to fall everyday flannel for yard work and camping
  • Fantastic construction at this price
  • Double pleat on the back for extra flexibility
  • The collar loses form easily

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Walmart

Best Synthetic Flannel: Outdoor Research Feedback Flannel

Outdoor Research Feedback Flannel

There are a lot of great reasons to love this flannel. Engineered to be a cold-weather favorite, OR’s Feedback Flannel ($95) is a great option for fall or winter.

For our tester, the polyester fabric is for hiking in. The quick-drying material wicks while working up a sweat. And thanks to its polyester material, it’ll dry much faster than cotton flannel.

We found that the Feedback’s 8-ounce fabric manages big temperature swings with ease, like ducking out of the cold and into warm buildings. The flannel is easy to layer either under a jacket or over a shirt.

There are a few shortcuts taken to hit the price point, such as double stitched overlock seams, but what this construction style gives up in low profile, it gains in strength.

The synthetic is loftier and feels more “flannelly” than many synthetic flannels, like KUIU’s HW Plaid Flannel Shirt. But the overall cut is wider in the shoulders. Choose this flannel for a more relaxed fit and a traditional flannel look. We liked KUIU’s material better for durability and overall presentation.

  • Materials: 100% polyester
  • Fabric weight: 220 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 16 oz.
  • Fit: Roomy
  • Best for: Casual, hiking, camping
  • Synthetic material breathes and wicks well
  • Relaxed fit
  • Double stitched overlock seams in high wear locations and pocket patterns are offset. Works, but is a shortcut on quality at this price.

Check Price at REICheck Price at Amazon

Best Lightweight Flannel: Roark Nordsman Light Flannel

Roark Nordsman Light Flannel

Not everyone needs a fat, burly flannel. For those that only need a touch of brushed nap, a lightweight flannel can add just enough insulation, allowing you to keep that puffy stored for another month.

Roark put a lot of nice details into its Nordsman Light Flannel ($85). One of the few shirts that close with snaps, the front placket is backed with a nylon strip. An extra patch of flannel is sewn under the elbows. The neck’s yoke is backed with nylon lining. These additions stack on some durability to the lightweight shirt.

A pair of chest pockets button up. More for looks than function, the shirt presents a sharp look, and the relaxed cut carries a worry-free California vibe.

But its Cali-roots are most appropriate for SoCal evenings. Hold it up to the light, and you can see through the weave. The Nordsman Light feels about right on cool summer evenings where the temps don’t dip too low. We also found early signs of pilling in the material.

  • Materials: 60% organic cotton, 40% recycled poly
  • Fabric weight: 144 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 10 oz.
  • Fit: Fitted — semi-athletic
  • Best for: Semi-formal journeys or simply some extra warmth in coach
  • Smart styling
  • Subtle color schemes
  • Lightweight material may have a short rotation in cooler regions
  • The material is prone to early pilling

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Backcountry

Best Heavyweight Cotton Flannel: Cotopaxi Muro Flannel

Cotopaxia Muro Flannel

Cotopaxi’s Muro Flannel ($85) is a heavyweight shirt that isn’t light on details.

Sewn from a thick, double-brushed 300 g/m² cotton twill, all high-stress seams are flat felled and double stitched. Cuffs have a double button to close snugly around the wrist, and the sleeves roll up high when you want to apply the elbow grease.

True to Cotopaxi flair, this flannel is offered in a variety of bright colors, adding some fun to your fall flannel wardrobe; the Amber Plaid pattern pairs well with that pumpkin spice latte. The drop-in chest pockets have a small nylon webbing tab that adds a nice subtle detail. Pocket patterns line up with the shirt. All stitches are sewn and tucked out of sight.

Overall, we were really impressed with what you get for $85. It’s the best heavyweight shirt we found at this price point, and rival shirts sold at nearly twice the price. In fact, this shirt almost made our top choice. The lack of gussets or any stretch cause it to bind behind the shoulders, which can hamper your mobility when doing tasks.

But for work, light chores, and crisp morning walks? The Cotopaxi Muro Flannel is near perfect.

  • Materials: 100% cotton
  • Fabric weight: 300 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 17 oz.
  • Fit: Spot-on and casual
  • Best for: Casual wear on cooler days, light labor
  • Great buy at $85
  • Fantastic construction
  • 100% cotton can (and likely will) shrink if dried. Cotopaxi recommends washing and drying sparingly or laying flat to dry
  • No stretch or gussets and the shirt feels restrictive

Check Price at REICheck Price at Cotopaxi

Best Work Shirt Flannel: Patagonia Farrier’s Shirt

Patagonia Farriers Shirt

Part blacksmith, part vet, part artisan, shoeing horses is hard, dirty work. Capable of suiting up as your daily driver to any job site, Patagonia appropriately named its flannel work shirt the Farrier’s shirt.

With deep chest pockets, an oversized fit, and a hearty weft, Patagonia’s Farrier’s Shirt ($99) exudes refined craftsmanship. Brass hardware buttons the oversized shirt down the chest. Gusseted chest pockets open a little extra storage space. A pair of pencil sleeves sit center of the pockets.

Even every seam is double stitched and flat felled, giving the shirt a clean finish from inside to out. And per usual Patagonia esthetic, the plaid pattern runs uninterrupted across the pockets.

Patagonia prizes functional durability, and the Farrier plants the flag on weekend chores. There’s a slight nap, but it’s on the far end toward unbrushed. The suede finish is ideal for “hoisting bale” type work. Like most chore shirts, the fit is roomy.

There’s plenty of space to throw it over a mid-weight base, but we found it a lot of shirt to tuck it into pants and generally fit like an overshirt in our traditional shirt size. Patagonia acknowledges it builds its work line larger. For most people, we suggest you consider sizing down.

The Farrier is lightly brushed and doesn’t have that traditional fluffy flannel feel. This makes it more durable. Tied with its slightly oversized fit, it makes an ideal cool-weather work shirt that you can throw over a base layer for added warmth.

  • Materials: 55% hemp, 45% recycled polyester
  • Fabric weight: 255 g/m² (solids); 235 g/m² (plaids)
  • Garment weight: 22 oz.
  • Fit: Loose and oversized. Size down if you want a closer fit
  • Best for: Cool-weather work shirt
  • Exceptional attention to detail with best-of-class stitching
  • Good mobility
  • Not many. The oversized fit gives the Farrier a more casual vibe. If you prefer to tuck your shirts in, it can be too bulky
  • The 55% hemp, 45% recycled polyester blend has a cotton-like feel to the touch that doesn’t come off stiff or rigid. After a few washes, the material softens up

Check Price at Patagonia

Best Shirt Jac: Stio Hutkeeper Flannel

Stio Hutkeeper Flannel

The past few years have marked a spike in flannel’s expansion beyond the shirt and almost into the jacket territory. Meet the shirt jacket, also known as the “shacket,” an overshirt that has enough room to layer over a hoodie (or flannel) and yet is slim enough to wear under an overcoat.

“Let the outside in” is more than a motto at Stio. The company’s 300+ g/m² Hutkeeper ($145) is lightly brushed and durable enough to haul a season’s worth of wood from the stack and was easily the best shirt jac in our testing.

With deceptively shirt-like styling, the Hutkeeper is a fantastic heavyweight flannel to throw on as you head out the door. The burly organic cotton shirt is closed with five large tortoise buttons. The sleeves can be rolled up to the elbows. Two chest pockets close like a traditional work shirt. But the pocket details help launch this shirt to hero status.

A third chest pocket sleeve drops in behind the left chest button pocket and is perfect for sliding a phone into while your hands are full. Two hand pockets are hidden along the side seam and are paired with two additional pockets inside each side of the shirt–each deep enough to swallow a pair of gloves. We wore this shirt jac on a flight to Europe and loved how the pockets kept us organized.

With pockets aplenty, the Hutkeeper wears like a shirt but functions like a jacket, durable enough for outdoor tasks. There are warmer options for cooler weather, and being a cotton overshirt, it’s limited to drier conditions. The tails are tailored too short to tuck – but you wouldn’t want to tuck it in anyways. The Hutkeeper wears best as a true shirt jac and is the flannel we reach for most when we want an extra boost for fall.

  • Materials: 100% cotton
  • Fabric weight: 313 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 22 oz.
  • Fit: Loose and oversized
  • Best for: Smart-looking enough for afternoons at the pub, hard-wearing enough to keep the hut warm
  • Great pocket game
  • Nice and warm
  • Instructions read tumble dry low, but the shirt should be air dried
  • Interior pockets are deep and billow when filled
  • Cotton limits the shirt’s flexibility but is oversized enough that it doesn’t matter

Check Price at Stio

Best of the Rest

Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt

Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt

A close second to Patagonia’s Farrier’s Shirt, Filson’s Alaskan Guide Shirt ($125) is a well-built flannel constructed from 8-ounce brushed cotton twill.

The Alaskan Guide weighs a few grams per square meter less than Patagonia’s, and we’d give Patagonia’s Farrier a slight edge on the material weight. That said, the cotton on the Guide is brushed more and hence has more loft. It feels more like a traditional flannel than the Farrier. And if we can put a label on Filson, it’s tradition.

If I recall, the last time I was in Alaska, it rained. So it’s a little bit of a disconnect to use cotton on a shirt called the Alaskan Guide. Regardless, the 8-ounce flannel is very warm and oozes classic Filson style.

The shirt is probably better worn around town or in the shop. And with that use case in mind, Patagonia’s Farrier, with the lower brush, is slightly better positioned for longevity. But these are split hairs on otherwise fantastic shirts.

Construction-wise, the panels are double-stitched. Filson took a few shortcuts by double stitching overlocked seams. It’s just not as finished as Patagonia’s shirt. And the buttons are plastic, in contrast to Patagonia’s brass buttons. There’s just a next level of finishing with Patagonia that makes it feel higher quality.

Similar to Patagonia, the sizing is scaled for work. In general, we size down with both work-style shirts.

Lastly, there’s always a Filson tax to buy into the brand. At just short of $150, we question if you truly get what you pay for.

All this aside, the Alaska Guide is a fantastic, durable flannel that we love to pull out when the shoulder season dips into winter.

  • Materials: 100% cotton
  • Fabric weight: 226 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 18 oz.
  • Fit: Oversized at the usual size. Casual and roomy if you size down.
  • Best for: Casual, outdoors, work wear
  • 100% cotton is lofted into a durable flannel
  • Expensive
  • Oversized
  • A touch less quality than other shirts in this price range

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Amazon

ANIAN Berlino Flannel

Anian Berlino Flannel

More than a shirt, less than a shacket — this over shirt straddles the seasons with the ease of fall weekend.

ANIAN has made our list a few times over the years. We feel the company’s best offerings come from its line of wool shirts, which have a clean, timeless appeal. Wool makes a lot of sense in an overshirt. It has an inherent warm-when-wet disposition. ANIAN weaves in nylon for extra durability.

Lighter weight than ANIAN’s Melton shirt, the Berlino ($141) is still a heavyweight flannel. The 500 g/m² fabric is trimmed with refined details, exuding heritage quality without feeling vintage. There’s just enough room to layer a base or lightweight flannel underneath, which you are going to want to do.

While merino wool has become ubiquitous with modern wool, the Berlino uses recycled traditional wool. With it comes that traditional itchy feeling. ANIAN sewed in a nylon band to protect the neck, but most will find the Berlino too rough to wear against the skin.

And while there’s some room to layer, the cut is a touch trim, and smaller chest pockets are more style and less task-friendly. We found them too small to do much more than lose that receipt from the hardware store.

To reduce its environmental footprint, ANIAN takes pride in using high-quality post-consumer recycled fabrics that are created in dye and chemical-free processing.

Made in Canada, the Berlino is stout and heavy and feels more felty than woven — like traditional peacoat wool used by the Navy. It sheds water and blocks wind, making it an ideal outer shirt and a bridge between flannel and shirt jac flannels.

  • Materials: 80% recycled wool, 20% nylon
  • Fabric weight: 500 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 20 oz.
  • Fit: Slim
  • Best for: This is a deconstructed work shirt that looks and wears great around town. While it’s up for the task, we find it too refined for hard labor
  • Quality craftsmanship
  • Environment-friendly process
  • Well-priced for what you get
  • Weather resistant
  • Itchy
  • Chest pockets are small
Check Price at Anian

California Cowboy High Sierra Flannel

California Cowboy High Sierra Flannel

There are more technical and durable options on this list, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a flannel comfier than California Cowboy’s High Sierra ($168). And there’s no way you’re going to find another flannel with as many hidden (and handy) doo-dads!

For starters, the High Sierra has a rear pocket perfect for holding a cold can or bottle, a loop to clip gloves onto, a sunglasses loop, and a zippered water-resistant stash pocket for your phone. Plus, every High Sierra ships with a beer koozie, bottle opener, and a stack of conversation-starter cards … because why not?

The lined Portuguese flannel feels super plush and soft, though it provides less defense against sticks, burrs, or tree sap than some other options. But for cruising around town, sitting around a campfire, or enjoying an après day, the High Sierra might be the coziest and certainly the most fun flannel out there.

That luxuriantly thick flannel fabric comes with a downside, however, and it’s that the buttons feel fairly tight against the flannel. A pivot to snaps would be an excellent choice, in our opinion.

And if California Cowboy is new to you, check out the Cowboy’s truly conversational poolside robes.

  • Materials: 100% cotton (outer), 50% cotton, 50% modal (liner)
  • Fabric weight: Unavailable
  • Garment weight: 22 oz.
  • Fit: Slim fit. Size up for a shacket fit
  • Best for: Everyday wear and weekends
  • Warm and lots of unique pocket details
  • Buttons are tight. Would like to see it with snaps.
Check Price at California Cowboy

Duluth Trading Co. Free Swingin’ Flannel Relaxed Fit Shirt

Duluth Trading Co Free-Swingin' Flannel

Easy on the wallet, Duluth’s Free Swinging Flannel ($55) is also one of the best-fitting flannels on the list. This mid-weight shirt has gussets under the arms and pleats behind the shoulders, giving it fantastic mobility. There’s zero binding or pulling when reaching, lifting, raking — and yes, swingin’ tools.

The 100% cotton shirt comes pre-washed and has a slight texture to it. It’s a work shirt, so we expect this kind of “rough around the edges” as a compromise for added durability. The cotton is brushed to give it a softer touch, but it’s never going to be velvety soft. And that’s unabashedly in Duluth’s DNA.

Duluth doesn’t skimp on construction, either. A true work shirt, the overlocked seams are sewn down with double stitching. While not as refined as Patagonia’s craftsmanship, It’s plenty durable for a shirt at this price.

The Free Swingin’ Flannel will typically run you around $55, which in itself is a reasonable price for a hardy work shirt you can put some miles on. But it’s regularly on sale for less, making it an indisputable bargain.

  • Materials: 100% cotton
  • Fabric weight: 158 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 14 oz.
  • Fit: Roomy
  • Best for: Hard labor work shirt for warmer fall days
  • More durable than more brushed flannels
  • Fantastic mobility
  • Great price
  • Material is rough and thin, a diversion from most flannels
Check Price at Duluth Trading Co.

Orvis Flat Creek Tech Flannel

Orvis Flat Creek Tech Flannel

Orvis isn’t all about the fish. The brand makes a great lifestyle line of clothes that can transition from water to more everyday wear. The Flat Creek Tech Flannel ($98) is lightweight, durable flannel that’s fantastic for getting an early jump on flannel season.

A lot of thought went into enticing you to bring this shirt into your flannel rotation. For one, the chest pockets button shut and are sewn to match the shirt’s panel pattern. A deep third chest pocket vertically zips behind the left chest pocket and can hold a tin of flies. And for high-glare days on the water, a sunglasses chamois is sewn into the right hem.

We’ve been wearing a version of this flannel for several years now. The seams, the nap, the fit — the shirt has held up very well. But we found the original shirt ran a little longer than other flannels.

Last year, the Flat Creek had the fit modified, and it’s spot on. The updated MarinoWul+ material (made from oyster shells and recycled plastic) gives the shirt a slight stretch and soft feel, and it has better temperature-regulating qualities. It’s better on nearly every level than the original.

  • Materials: Cotton, MarinoWul+, spandex
  • Fabric weight: 154 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 12 oz.
  • Fit: Roomy
  • Best for: Casual, fishing
  • Synthetic material breathes and wicks well
  • Stretch
  • Light nap is durable and double-stitched on all seams
  • Gives off a slight “executive dad” vibe which may not appeal to some
Check Price at Orvis

Eddie Bauer Ultimate Expedition Flex Flannel

Eddie Bauer Ultimate Expedition Flex Flannel

Old man Bauer created his original woolen flannel — quiet in the bush and warm when wet — for hunting in Washington state. The materials may have changed, but the flannel has been in Eddie Bauer’s lineup since the very beginning.

Eddie Bauer’s Expedition Flex ($90) is a lightweight synthetic flannel that’s double-brushed to feel smooth to the touch.

Wearing slightly tailored to the torso, long tails help keep it tucked in the pants. A single pleat runs below the nape of the neck, so you have a reasonable range of motion. All high-stress seams are felled and double-stitched for supreme durability. The cuffs and neck yoke are backed with a nylon liner for extra durability.

The shirt lists between $90-100, but the brand runs its entire site at 40-50% off just about every other month. Given Eddie Bauer’s lifetime guarantee, matched with good presentation and a high level of construction, the Expedition Flex is an incredibly good value for customers looking for a lightweight flannel.

  • Materials: 73% hollow-core polyester, 26% polyester, 1% spandex
  • Fabric weight: 181 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 13 oz.
  • Fit: Appropriate length that feels fitted without binding
  • Best for: Casual daily wear
  • Synthetic material breathes well and has stretch
  • Great value
  • The list price has crept up in years by about $10, but the shirt is always on sale
Check Price at Eddie Bauer

KUIU HW Plaid Flannel Shirt

KUIU HW Plaid Flannel Shirt

KUIU took us by surprise with its form-fitting mid-weight HW Plaid Flannel Shirt ($99). The cut has an athletic fit that’s enhanced with a touch of Lycra, yielding a bit of two-way stretch in the material.

The shirt feels tailored and was one of the best-fitting flannels in our testing. Sleeves drop appropriately to the wrist, and the tails are long enough to tuck. Clean lines are trimmed with polyester buttons.

Looking at the inside, the overlocking seams remain exposed. Many flannels are joined this way, but it’s a disconnect with the level of refinement found on the rest of KUIU’s flannel — especially for a shirt that’s a penny shy of $100.

  • Materials: 98% polyester, 2% Lycra
  • Fabric weight: 254 g/m²
  • Garment weight: 13 oz.
  • Fit: Semi-athletic
  • Best for: The poly synthetic blend has a tight nap with low loft, compromising warmth, but wears durable and dries out quickly. It’s an easy shirt to bring into the woods and became our go-to flannel for camping trips this season.
  • Great cut
  • Durable material
  • Limited color schemes (offered in black and red plaid)
  • Low nap makes this flannel less warm than others
  • Shortcuts on seam stitching could compromise long-term durability.
Check Price at KUIU

Kitsbow Icon Shirt

Kitsbow Icon Flannel
The Kitsbow Icon Shirt ($289) is one bona fide flannel, all wool with water- and scuff-resistant panels on the shoulder and elbows. The only showy feature to speak of is articulating vents behind the shoulders — kind of clever in that you won’t see them unless you’re looking for them.

There’s no stretch on this sucker, but that’s OK because it has a cycling-first design, which allows more room for reach. In line with that bike-centric ideal are the added reflective hits and snap closures — making quick venting a breeze.

The Pendleton wool isn’t itchy, but it is coarse, so it’s definitely meant to be worn over a base layer. Wearing in the shirt will also work to make it more supple and fine over time. The Icon is made to order in the U.S. by hand, and the price reflects it. But it looks and feels like the kind of flannel that’ll last more than a few moves, significant others, and yes — bikes.

  • Materials: 100% Pendleton wool
  • Fabric weight: Unavailable
  • Garment weight: Unavailable
  • Fit: True-to-size
  • Best for: Cycling and daily wear
  • Bike-specific design
  • Made to order and sewn by artisans
  • Initially a bit coarse to the touch
  • Price
Check Price at Kitsbow

Faherty Legend Sweater Shirt

Faherty Legend Sweater Shirt

Faherty’s Legend Sweater ($178) is for the guy who swears he’d never wear flannel. A Turkish blend of three yarns, the material is woven to feel smooth against the skin and soft to the touch. The material is finished with a tailored fit that moves with your body in any activity.

Fitting more like a cardigan sweater, the mid-weight material is ideally worn alone for fall and spring and layers well under a jacket or thicker shacket in cooler winter. If you want something similar to wear by itself in winter, we’d recommend looking at California Cowboy’s High Sierra, which has a thick synthetic waffle liner for added warmth.

The Legend isn’t cheap. At $178, you’re dipping into some serious money for a woven shirt. And that’s ultimately why it sits below the fold of our top flannels this year. But it’s incredibly soft and plush, wearing more like your favorite sweater. We did find the Legend pills more than other flannels on the list. But the aged nap gives the Legend some charm.

Like 501’s to Levis, the Legend has become a staple at Faherty. With 11 color schemes to choose from, there’s something for everyone.

  • Materials: 65% polyester, 30% viscose, 5% spandex
  • Fabric weight: Unavailable
  • Garment weight: 17 oz.
  • Fit: Form-fitting
  • Best for: Lazy fall days that you’d otherwise grab a sweatshirt
  • The most comfortable shirt on the list
  • Lots of color schemes and patterns to choose from
  • Expensive
  • Loosely woven material pills and can feel breezy
  • Panels are sewn together with an overlock stitch
  • Prone to snagging

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Faherty

Comparison Chart

Flannel Shirt Materials Fabric Weight Garment Weight Fit Price
Pladra Leon Workhorse Flannel 100% organic cotton 196 g/m² 12.5 oz. Fitted, semi-athletic $99
Legendary Whitetails Buck Camp Flannel 100% cotton 144 g/m² 14 oz. Relaxed $35
Outdoor Research Feedback Flannel 100% polyester 220 g/m² 16 oz. Roomy $95
Roark Nordsman Light Flannel 60% organic cotton, 40% recycled poly 144 g/m² 10 oz. Fitted, semi-athletic $85
Cotopaxi Muro Flannel 100% cotton 300 g/m² 17 oz. Spot-on and casual $85
Patagonia Farrier’s Shirt 55% hemp, 45% recycled polyester 255 g/m² (solids); 235 g/m² (plaids) 22 oz. Loose and oversized $99
Stio Hutkeeper 100% cotton 313 g/m² 22 oz. Loose and oversized $145
Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt 100% cotton 226 g/m² 18 oz. Oversized $125
ANIAN Berlino 80% recycled wool, 20% nylon 500 g/m² 20 oz. Slim $141
California Cowboy High Sierra 100% cotton (outer); 50% cotton, 50% modal (liner) Unknown 22 oz. Slim fit $168
Duluth Trading Co. Free Swinging Flannel 100% cotton 158 g/m² 14 oz. Roomy $55
Orvis Flat Creek Tech Flannel Cotton, MarinoWul+, spandex 154 g/m² 12 oz. Roomy $98
Eddie Bauer Expedition Flex 73% hollow-core polyester, 26% polyester, 1% spandex 181 g/m² 13 oz. Appropriate length that feels fitted without binding $90
KUIU HW Plaid Flannel shirt 98% polyester, 2% Lycra 254 g/m² 13 oz. Semi-athletic $99
Kitsbow Icon Shirt 100% wool Unknown Unknown True-to-size $289
Faherty’s Legend Sweater 65% polyester, 30% viscose, 5% spandex Unknown 17 oz. Form-fitting $178

Why You Should Trust Us

Testing flannels at Oktoberfest in Munich; (photo/Steve Graepel)

The GearJunkie team has been testing men’s flannels since 2015, shouldering over 200 styles in locations all across the country (and even Europe) in order to better understand their worth, learn about materials and construction, and settle long-standing debates over snaps versus buttons.

We wore flannels daily around the office, during weekend chores, while camping and climbing, and even on runs and the occasional ride, taking note of what did and didn’t work. We took into account all facets of these flannels, from the minutiae of hems and collar length to the percentages of fabric blends and types of stitching used.

Because flannels can vary so widely, we also aimed to assemble shirts that could be used across different applications and styles, from hard-working and durable cuts to stylish duds worthy of a night out. And as the season turns, we keep our antenna up and apprised of the latest and greatest in flannels for our consideration.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Flannel Shirt

There are plenty on the market today, and we shouldered a number of them to find the best flannel of 2023; (photo/Steve Graepel)


Wool used to own the flannel scene, and it has a lot of merits. It retains warmth when exposed to moisture, resists odors and UV light, and can block the wind. We love ANIAN’s heavyweight Berlino overshirt, which delivers all of these qualities with its wool construction. But there are other materials worth considering.

Cotton can be buttery soft and an obvious choice to wear next to skin. Pladra uses high-end Portuguese cotton brushed into a luxuriously soft fabric. But not all cotton flannels are brushed to this extent. Duluth’s Free Swinging Flannel is lightly brushed and feels rougher. This makes it better for hardwearing activities in the yard or the shop.

In addition to cotton, there are a growing number of synthetic and synthetic blends on the market. Some of our testers wear flannels while hitting the trails high in the Rockies.

If you break a sweat in flannel — say mountain biking, skiing, or running — we recommend considering a synthetic flannel. They are easy to care for and can be thrown in the washer and tumbled in the drier. Outdoor Research’s synthetic Feedback Flannel wicks moisture away from the body and is our top pick for synthetic.


Like any shirt, flannels are offered in a variety of fits, from athletic and tailored to grandpa-style. If you prefer a tidy look or wear your flannel while active, a slimmer athletic fit, like Pladra’s Leon or KUIU’s HW Plaid, can be a good choice. But it can be a tradeoff with mobility. Without Lycra woven into the fabric, gussets, or mechanical weave, a tight, form-fitting flannel can bind behind the shoulders.

On the other end of the spectrum, Patagonia’s Farrier is oversized and pleated, allowing supreme mobility to reach and work, but it feels a bit baggy.

When making a purchase, let your use case guide you to the right flannel fit. And if it’s a work shirt, consider sizing down for everyday wear. Filson and Patagonia’s work shirts are oversized. Note that this review covers the best flannel shirts for men. Looking for a women’s flannel? We have another flannel buyer’s guide specifically for women.

Fabric Weights

Short for grams per meter squared meter, g/m² is the weight of one square meter of fabric. The heavier the weight, the thicker the material will be, and hence, warmer. We generally follow the same ratings as we use in base layers.

  • Lightweight flannels fall under 150-190 g/m²
  • Midnight flannels sit between 200-250 g/m²
  • Heavyweight flannels weigh over 250 g/m²

Roark’s Nordsman Light uses 144 g/m² fabric and sits at the far end of lightweight. As you might guess, it is best for mild climates. On the other end sits ANIAN’s Berlino, which uses a stout 500 g/m² wool blend and is supremely warm.

A heavier fabric doesn’t imply the material will be softer — which the Berlino is not. That soft, velvety feel comes from brushing the material, giving it that lofty plush nap. A fabric with more nap can also be warmer than a fabric without it. The raised fibers can trap warm air and works best as an insulator when worn under a jacket that can keep that warm air from flushing away.

Ranging from 150 to >250 g/m², the fabric weight of flannel can vary widely, and along with it the use profile; (photo/Steve Graepel)

Closure Style

Flannel closure is a contentious debate at GearJunkie, and a lot of the team has a soft spot for snaps. Often seen on western style shirts, they hold well and are quick and easy to get in and out of. Granted, we are an active crew of reviewers that wear our flannels on runs and rides. Two flannels on our list use snaps: the Kitsbow Icon Shirt and the Roark Nordsman Light.

While we love the usability of snaps, they can be problematic. They disrupt the material by punching holes through the placket — that strip of material that runs dead center down the shirt. In rare cases, snaps can pull through, which we’ve experienced more than once on a snap-style shirt.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” — the button has been tried and true for some 5,000 years. Most buttons are constructed from hard plastics and are larger on heavier material. We prefer metal buttons for heavier materials, which are more durable and less prone to cracking. One more reason to consider Patagonia’s Farrier’s shirt is it closes with brass buttons.

Buttons never go out of style, but there’s a difference between a cheap plastic button and a brass button. Some flannels, like the Flylow Handlebar, use snaps in place of buttons; (photo/Steve Graepel)


You can get into a flannel for as low as $35 from Legendary Whitetails, which is our bargain pick. Duluth Trading Co. offers a solid work shirt at an incredible value at $55.

But the midline of flannels seems to fall in around $75, which creeps into a lot of money territory. And there can be a lot of uninspiring shirts in this range that lean on their brand recognition, bright patterns, and color schemes to open your wallet.

Here too, you get what you pay for, and it’s a good place to start to look at materials and construction to ensure you are indeed getting good value. Premium materials and construction, like hand-sewn, double or triple stitching, and eco-conscious product development, start to tack onto the bottom line.

Unless there’s a backstory to support the extra cost, shirts priced over $150 leave you wondering if you are paying for someone’s mortgage.


While quality materials matter, the construction of the shirt is what often defines a quality shirt. The best will have flat-felled seams that roll the opposing material together and tack the seam down with a double stitch. The result hides all the cut edges, leaving a clean-looking, durable shirt inside and out.

These shirts will often be double- or triple-stitched in high-stress zones, like the shoulders and sides. While more durable, this technique can make a shirt bulkier, and not every mill can pull off this level of construction. Flannels sewn flat-felled tend to be more expensive.

ANIAN, Pladra, Patagonia, and yes, even Legendary Whitetails use a flat-fell seam and vary the stitch count for extra durability where you need it most.

Most shirts use a more common overlock or surge stitch, where the two opposing panels are butted together and stitched, leaving the seam’s edge exposed on the inside. Using an overlock stitch is a much easier way process, and since most sew houses can do it, the cost is (usually) reflected in the affordable price.

Patagonia (left) has fully flat-felled, double-stitched seams, while Outdoor Research’s Feedback Flannel (right) uses a combination of exposed overstitched and flat-sewn overstitched seams; (photo/Steve Graepel)

The downside is an overlock stitch can rub against the body, snag, and fray, which eventually will pull on the surrounding stitching. It’s also a way brands can cut costs and clear a higher margin using their brand recognition and trendy color.

Both KUIU and Faherty’s flannels are entirely constructed with overstitched seams. We feel these shirts both have merits in comfort, styling, and materials that help compensate for the seam construction.

A good compromise is to flatlock the overstitching. It doesn’t hide the seams, but at least it’s tacked down out of the way. It’s also a little less bulky than felled seams and costs less to sew. OR, Stio, and even Filson flatlock their overstitched seams in the arms.

When buying a shirt, look at the construction details. A well-constructed shirt will cost more in the short term but will last for years.


What is flannel?

Traditionally a brushed twill made from wool, the original flannel was woven to keep Welsh sheep herders warm while tending the flock on temperamental winter days. Nowadays, the term flannel has expanded into cotton, synthetic, hemp, and blends with stretchy fibers. What unequivocally defines flannel is the brushed surface that lofts the yarns into a heat-trapping nap that gives it that super soft feel to the touch.

True flannels start from twill — a diagonal pattern like you find in jeans. Either the front or back can be brushed, giving it a soft insulating nap. To give a flannel that lofty fluffy feeling, a metal brush works the material’s surface, mechanically teasing the fibers until lofted into that fuzzy surface that traps air.

What flannels are most durable?

While lofted fibers act like an insulator, they can compromise durability. In short, the fibers are broken and become more prone to catching dust and grime, which can continue to break down the fibers. Contrastingly, lightly brushed flannels tend to be more durable. They don’t collect as much grime or catch as easily on wood splinters or metal edges.

Flannel comes in all forms these days. It’s unfair to box a shirt in or out of the flannel club. It might help to think of the base material sitting on a brush scale. At the far end is a smooth-faced, durable shirt. On the other is a soft and plush shirt.

Our top pick from Pladra is a buttery soft flannel made from 196 g/m² organic cotton. The shirt is brushed on both sides and exudes flannel. Lightly brushed flannels, like Patagonia’s Farrier’s or KUIU’s Plaid, serve as better work shirts over Pladra’s Leon or Faherty’s Legend.

What is the difference between flannel and plaid?

As you now know, flannel is a lofted fabric. That fabric can come in a variety of solids and patterns, including cross-hatched patterns, originally dating back to the Scottish culture to distinguish families and clans.

How do I choose a flannel?

Start with how and where you want to use it. If you intend to wear your flannel outside or as a jacket, consider a wool or insulated flannel. ANIAN’s wool Berlino is great at blocking wind and light rain. But it lacks pockets. We liked Stio’s pocket layout, and the low nap is very durable, but the cotton flannel is best worn on cool, dry days. Patagonia’s insulated flannel is great for around town but lacks durability for hardwearing tasks.

For daily wear, we loved Pladra’s soft Leon. For more active pursuits, we liked how OR’s Feedback flannel wicked moisture while maintaining that soft, plush feeling. But neither is as durable as Patagonia’s Farrier’s Flannel.

Work flannels, like Patagonia and Filson, are oversized. You will be happier if you try them on before you buy. If you can’t, it’s worth sizing down for a more tailored fit — especially when buying anything from Filson, which generally runs one size larger.

The best flannel will be the flannel that meets your needs. Take stock of how you want to use it, and then use our guide to find the best option for you.

What's the warmest flannel?

The warmest shirt is the Pladra Leon Workhorse Flannel. The organic cotton fibers are fat and durable, with a low nap. It’s not as thick (or durable) as ANION’s Berlino wool, but the fit is more streamlined, and we feel it is a true shirt, whereas the Berlino fits more like an overshirt.

What's the most durable flannel?

Hands down, Patagonia’s Farrier’s Flannel. Low nap, synthetic blend, and superior construction make this one helluva workhorse.

What's the most comfortable flannel?

A deviation from true brushed twill flannel, we liked the woven Legend Sweater from Faherty. While the seams are overstitched, the material is super comfortable against the skin.

How long do flannels last?

How long a shirt lasts is a combination of materials, construction, and use.

Quality materials sewn together with flat seams will last for years if taken care of. Patagonia, Filson, and Duluth shirts are all highly durable shirts, with Filson and Patagonia taking the edge on material. They both use a heavier-weight flannel that’s lightly brushed and will last forever.

Patagonia takes the edge on construction quality.

How often should I wash my flannel shirt?

How often you wash it depends on how you wear it. If you wear it daily over a shirt, where you aren’t sweating, you can get by with a few wears before you wash it. If you work out in it or do hard labor in it, you should wash your shirt.

Follow the instructions on the garment. While synthetics can be washed and dried on low, we recommend air-drying cotton shirts. They can shrink.

Wool shirts might need special care, like dry-cleaning. Never dry a wool shirt in the drier. The fibers can shrink significantly.

woman wearing Topo Designs Mountain Flannel walking through field

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