Barbour Beaufort Vs. Ashby: Which Iconic Waxed Jacket Is Best?

The Barbour waxed jacket is a wardrobe staple for any stylish gent. These jackets are designed for both fashion and function, making them the perfect choice for everything from weekend country walks to pairing with jeans for a night out.

Two of the most popular Barbour styles are the Beaufort and the Ashby. But with similar heritage designs and wax cotton fabric, how do you choose between them?

In this comparison guide, we’ll break down the key differences between the Barbour Beaufort and Ashby to help you decide which of these British icons best suits your needs.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureBarbour BeaufortBarbour Ashby
SilhouetteTailored, longer lengthSlim, cropped length
CollarLarge corduroy stand-up collarSmall corduroy lie-down collar
Pockets2 snap flap front pockets, 2 inner (1 zip), 1 sleeve2 open front pockets, 2 inner (1 zip), no sleeve
Cuffs & HemStorm cuffs, snap back adjusterOpen cuffs, no adjuster
Color/FinishClassic and Heritage optionsOnly waxed finish

A Brief History of Barbour Jackets

Barbour Beaufort Jacket
Barbour Beaufort Jacket

Before diving into the specifics, it helps to understand the background of these quintessentially British garments.

J. Barbour & Sons was founded in South Shields in 1894 as an importer of oilcloth.

The company soon pivoted into manufacturing weatherproof outerwear designed for sailors, motorcyclists, and country sportspeople.

These early waxed cotton coats established Barbour as a pioneering force in practical, protective attire.

The Bedale launched in the 1930s as Barbour’s first country sports jacket. Later, the Beaufort and Ashby emerged as reinterpretations of early motorcycle and sailing coasts.

Both styles pay homage to the brand’s roots while incorporating contemporary touches for modern wearers.

Now owned by the 5th generation of the Barbour family, these waxed jackets continue to be produced in Barbour’s original factory. Each one is made by hand, following decades old traditions that infuse durability, weather resistance, and style.

Also Read: Differences Between Barbour Bristol And Beaufort Jackets.

Comparing The Beaufort And Ashby Jackets

Though clearly cut from the same cloth, there are some distinct differences between the Beaufort and Ashby that influence their look and wearability. Here’s how the two jackets stack up:

Silhouette and Fit

  • Beaufort: A tailored fit through the body with a slightly longer length hitting around thigh level on most men. The combination of the sylized fit and longer length gives the Beaufort a more refined, formal appearance than most other Barbour waxed jackets.
  • Ashby: A contemporary slim fit that is trimmed through the chest and waist. The body length is shorter than the Beaufort, making it a great choice for wearing in more casual settings.

Both jackets come in Barbour’s classic 6oz Sylkoil waxed cotton outer shell. This fabric will feel stiff out of the box but softens up over time while maintaining its weatherproof quality. The Ashby may break in quicker thanks to its slimmer silhouette.

Collar Design

  • Beaufort: A corduroy collar stands up to provide protection from the elements. The collar is also designed to fit neatly when popped up around a scarf.
  • Ashby: A smaller corduroy collar that lies flat. Less substantial than the Beaufort collar, but sleeker looking when the jacket is fully unzipped.

If staying warm and dry is your priority, the Beaufort’s bigger collar may serve you better. But the Ashby’s collar lends itself to a cleaner, streamlined look suitable for wearing in the city.


Barbour Ashby Jacket
Barbour Ashby Jacket
  • Beaufort: Two large front pockets with snap closures and two inner pockets, including one zippered security pocket. There’s also a zippered sleeve pocket.
  • Ashby: Two slightly smaller set-in hand warmer pockets on the front with no flap closure. Two inner pockets, again with one zip closure. No sleeve pocket.

The Beaufort wins out for convenience and practicality with its secure outer snap pockets.

But the Ashby’s minimal, clean lines have an appeal of their own.

Cuffs and Hem

  • Beaufort: Storm cuffs on the sleeves adjust with snap buttons. The hem also has a snap adjuster and comes with a longer tail in back for weather protection.
  • Ashby: Simple open cuffs. No adjustable hem, but the jacket has a squared off back hem.

Adjustable storm cuffs and a tailored hem provide the Beaufort with enhanced weatherproofing. Though the Ashby will still block wind and rain, it prioritizes a streamlined look.

Color and Finish

Both jackets come in Barbour’s classic olive colorway as well as navy and black. The Ashby has an eye-catching black and brown tartan lining, while the Beaufort features Barbour’s signature printed cotton lining.

The Beaufort is also available in two additional finishes:

  • Classic Beaufort: A polished polyester-viscose lining and corduroy collar make this finish suitable for wearing anywhere from country fields to dinner dates. Shiny metal hardware lends an authentic heritage look.
  • Heritage Beaufort: With a matte finish Sylkoil wax treatment, tartan lining, and tonal brown hardware and stitching, this version has a rugged, outdoorsy appeal. The perfect jacket for looking stylish while stomping through the woods or marshes.

The Ashby only comes in the standard waxed finish to maintain its sleek, contemporary appearance. But the rich black and brown tartan lining provides a pop of distinction.

Also Read: Differences Between Barbour Thornproof And Sylkoil Jackets.

When To Choose The Barbour Beaufort?

You want a refined, tailored fit:

With its equestrian-inspired longer length and sylized silhouette, the Beaufort flatters most body types. Its structure works equally well layered over a suit or trousers and sweater combo. The Ashby’s slimmer cut has a more casual, contemporary vibe.

Weather protection is a priority:

The Beaufort’s storm flaps, adjustable cuffs and hem, and generous corduroy collar provide superior coverage from the elements. While also water resistant and durable, the Ashby prioritizes streamlined style over hardcore weatherproofing.

You’ll use the pockets frequently:

Between the front snap pockets, inner zip pocket, and sleeve pocket, the Beaufort offers abundant secure storage. The Ashby’s minimal pockets work fine for keeping hands warm, but inside and sleeve pockets would be useful for safely stashing small essentials.

A polished look suits your lifestyle:

Whether you’re walking the dog through muddy fields or pairing it with trousers for a business casual office, the Beaufort’s tailored cut and Classic finish maintain an elevated look. The Ashby leans more casual and contemporary.

When To Choose The Barbour Ashby?

You prefer a slim, modern silhouette:

Barbour Beaufort Waxed Jacket
Barbour Beaufort Waxed Jacket

The Ashby’s cropped body and streamlined fit give off an urban vibe.

Less equestrian country than modern city gentleman.

Go for the Beaufort if you want a jacket with a bit more structure.

You’ll be wearing it casually most of the time:

From weekend errands to evenings out, the Ashby pairs as nicely with jeans as it does over button-downs or knits.

The shorter length looks particularly great unbuttoned and open over t-shirts and sweaters.

Keeping dry isn’t your biggest concern:

The Ashby will still keep wind and light rain at bay. But the Beaufort is engineered to withstand seriously wet weather. If you’re looking for performance and functionality or live in a stormy climate, the Beaufort is your best bet.

You prefer a minimalist, contemporary look:

With its cleaner lines, smaller collar, and lack of flap pockets, the Ashby has an uncluttered, sleek aesthetic. Choose the Beaufort for a slightly more old-school gentlemanly style.

Also Read: Differences Between Barbour And Northumbria Jackets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between Ashby and Bedale Barbour?

The Ashby has a trimmer, contemporary fit while the Bedale features a classic equestrian silhouette. The Bedale also has a bi-swing back for greater range of motion plus a game pocket in back for stashing birds and such. For a modern slim cut, go with the Ashby.

Is Barbour Ashby wax jacket warm?

Yes, the Sylkoil wax cotton used in the Ashby provides insulation against cold and wind. The looser Beaufort may be slightly warmer. But paired with layers, the Ashby will keep you toasty through fall and winter weather.

What is the difference between the Barbour Beaufort and Beaufort Classic?

The Classic Beaufort has a polished polyester-viscose lining, corduroy collar, and brass hardware for a refined look. The standard Beaufort uses Barbour’s signature printed cotton lining and matte hardware for a more casual, utilitarian finish.

What is the difference between Barbour Beaufort and Bristol?

The Beaufort has a longer body length and tailored fit while the Bristol is boxier and slightly shorter. The Bristol also lacks the Beaufort’s storm flap, adjustable cuffs and hem, and multiple pockets. The Beaufort provides better weather protection and versatility.

Final Thoughts

Barbour waxed jackets have been wardrobe staples for generations, and for good reason. With the optimal blend of fashion, function, and durability, it’s no wonder they remain popular today.

When choosing between the Beaufort and Ashby, consider your personal style, intended use, and just how weatherproof you need the jacket to be. The Beaufort offers a refined, protective fit perfect for gentlemen across countrysides and cities alike.

Meanwhile, the Ashby provides a contemporary slim silhouette ideal for casual wear.

But rest assured whichever model you choose, Barbour’s standards of quality ensure it will become a beloved staple you’ll wear for years to come. Just add it to your closet, break it in, and let the adventures begin!

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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