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Buying Guide: Howler Brothers Jackets

Buying Guide: Howler Brothers Jackets

Posted by Michael Espo & Derek Newman on 16th Aug 2023

Related less by blood and more by moon-yelling, Howler Brothers boast a selection of jackets as vibrant, diverse, and creative as their hometown Austin, Texas.

A vast array of insulators, rain jackets, and fleeces – each with their own original, distinctive flair – complement the everyday outdoorsy regardless of the day’s agenda. Whether you’re packing for a weekend camping trip in the cold or you’re spending a day off at the local fishing hole, Howler Brothers has a jacket for you.

Here are some helpful considerations to help you finish shopping online and get back outside.

Intended Purpose

Are you going to need a light jacket for days spent fishing along the coast? Or do you want a jacket to wear as a midlayer on winter trips? Are you just looking for a light, packable everyday jacket to keep in your car for those unexpectedly brisk evenings? You need to be sure the jacket you choose is warm enough for the conditions.

Hiker wearing the Howler Bros Merlin Jacket while walking in the forest


All three Howler Brothers insulators feature Primaloft’s premium Gold insulation. It’s far more resilient than down insulation while also feeling lighter and loftier than standard synthetic insulation.

Be sure to check out the Voltage Full Zip if you’re looking for a touch of extra warmth in autumn and spring. For more frigid conditions, consider the Merlin Jacket and Spellbinder Parka. They both have the same amount of Primaloft Gold (100g) insulation, but the Spellbinder is your warmest option for winter weather since it’s a parka. The Merlin Jacket is the most versatile insulator as well as the original Howler Brothers Jacket.

Buy on Campman

Water Resistance

Apart from fleeces, Howler Brothers Jackets all feature fully water-resistant exteriors. It might not rain too often in Austin, Texas, but when it does the Howler Brothers like to be prepared, and water-resistant fabric offers the perfect level of protection for all of us around the world to enjoy under the right conditions.

Unlike waterproof shells, which aren’t breathable enough for everyday Texan heat, water-resistant protectors provide a comfier feel in warmer conditions. Summer showers and breezy autumn weather are no problem for the Seabreacher Jacket, Howler Brothers’ one-and-only, non-insulated shell.

Fisherman sitting in a boat wearing the Howler Bros Spellbinder Parka


For backpackers, campers, and even travelers, packability is absolutely paramount. Sure we want our insulators to warm and our windbreakers to block breezes, but if they can also pack down so small we can fit a few more creature comforts in our backpacks, then we’re happy campers.

The Merlin is the most packable jacket from Howler Brothers. In fact, it’s the only option that packs into its own pocket for the most compact storage space. It’s even more packable than the non-insulated Seabreacher, but not by much. If packability is on your priority list, then you’d be happier with the Merlin and Seabreacher.

Two beachgoers leaving the beach, one of them wearing the Howler Bros Merlin Jacket

General Utility

After you’ve squared away intended use, insulation, and water-resistance requirements, you might also consider general utility and other features that are nice to have but not essential.

For instance, some Howler Brothers jackets feature lined hoods and drop-tail hems that help keep the cold out when the temperatures drop, as well as knitted cuffs that prevent the sleeves from riding up.

Others, like the Merlin, are made with tough shoulder patches that resist pilling - making them perfect for carrying a light day pack.

Man in a camper wearing the Howler Bros Merlin Jacket

Even if you’re only carrying a day pack (or not hiking at all) you need to consider the space you have for your daily essentials. Some Howler Brothers jackets have two zippered hand pockets and internal chest pockets for extra storage space for cell phones, wallets, keys, knives, lighters, multi-tools and other daily items you might want to have on hand.

Size & Fit

Howler Brothers jackets run true to size, which makes it relatively easy to get one that will fit you. Another thing to consider while choosing a size is whether or not you want to be able to add layers underneath. Especially in cold weather, layering can be a quick and easy way to stay warm, without having to change into a big, bulky puffy.

To size yourself for one of their jackets, check out the official Howler Brothers Sizing Guide.

Please note that sizes are in inches unless otherwise stated, and that all sizes refer to body part measurements, not to garment size.

Top Picks

While there are a wide range of Howler Brothers jackets available to choose from, here are a few top picks, along with some of their key selling points.

Woman taking a picture of a man with a starfish on his face wearing the Howler Bros Merlin Jacket


The Howler Brothers Merlin Jacket is a great coat for everyday use year-round. It features PrimaLoft Gold insulation and a 100% water-resistant polyester ripstop shell.

It’s lightweight, which makes it great for year-round use, and also features a standup collar, knitted, ribbed cuffs, and two zippered hand pockets plus an internal chest pocket.

Model wearing the Howler Bros Merlin Jacket

It also packs up into one of its own pockets, making it great for stashing in a pack for those short trips where you need another layer, just in case.

Perfect for chilly to cold-weather conditions, the Merlin is also ideal for short hikes since it has durable, nylon-cotton shoulder patches that resist pilling.

Buy on Campman

Spellbinder Parka

The Howler Brothers Spellbinder Parka is a step-up that brings a little extra insulation for those extra-cold days.

Like the Merlin, the Spellbinder Parka is made with a water-resistant polyester ripstop fabric, and 100g of Primaloft Gold insulation. It’s made with heavy-duty materials, and beefed up a bit for colder weather, with a lined hood for colder days.

Model wearing the Howler Bros Spellbinder Parka

It features knitted cuffs to keep your sleeves from riding up and three zippered pockets for your valuables and daily essentials.

Like the Merlin, this one also packs into its own pocket for easy storage. It packs down small, making it perfect for stashing in a pack, bag, or just in your trunk for those unexpectedly cold outings.

Buy on Campman

Voltage Full-Zip

The Howler Brothers Voltage Full-Zip Jacket is a great pick for a lightweight jacket for year-round comfort. Great for chilly evenings and mornings, the Voltage full-zip features 60g of Primaloft Gold for high-efficiency warmth with a lightweight design.

Model wearing the Howler Bros Voltage Full-Zip Jacket

It has a kangaroo-style front pocket which is just as good as a hand warmer as it is for stashing gear, a drop-tail hem to keep your back covered, and a wind cuff in the hood to keep cold air out.

Buy on Campman


Whether for fishing, hiking, or general everyday wear, Howler Bros has a jacket for you. With dependable Primaloft Gold synthetic insulation, versatile options, and one-of-a-kind designs, you’re sure to find exactly what you need. And if you don’t, reach out directly to us and we’ll help you find what you’re looking for.

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