Barbour Bristol Vs. Ashby Jacket: Which Should You Choose?

Barbour jackets are synonymous with classic British style. With their waxed cotton exterior, corduroy collar, and tartan lining, they are instantly recognizable.

Two of Barbour’s most popular models for men are the Bristol and the Ashby. Though similar in overall look, there are some key differences between the two. This article will examine the Barbour Bristol and Ashby jackets in detail to help you decide which is the right choice for you.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureBarbour BristolBarbour Ashby
FitContemporary slim fitClassic straight fit
LengthHip lengthMid-thigh length
Outer fabric6oz Sylkoil waxed cotton6oz Sylkoil waxed cotton
Pockets2 bellows front, 2 inner zipped2 bellows front, 2 inner zipped
LiningTartan and quilted polyesterTartan and quilted polyester
ClosuresZip/snap front, snap cuffsZip/snap front, snap cuffs
VersatilityLeans fashionable/smartLeans functional/casual
Weather protectionGoodExcellent due to length
WarmthGood for milder climatesExcellent due to roomy fit
ComfortStreamlined fitRoomy fit allows easy movability
ValueExcellent at around $400Excellent at around $400

Overview of the Barbour Bristol Jacket

The Bristol is one of Barbour’s contemporary fits, meaning it has a trimmer silhouette compared to the brand’s heritage and classic fits. This makes it a great option if you prefer a more tailored look. Some key features of the Barbour Bristol include:

Barbour Bristol Jacket
  • Slim fit through the body and arms
  • Two lower bellows pockets with snap closures
  • Two inner zipped security pockets
  • Corduroy collar
  • Tartan lining
  • Barbour’s signature waxed cotton outer fabric
  • Zip and snap front placket for weather protection
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • Full polyester quilted lining for warmth

The Bristol hits at hip length on most men. While not as long as some other Barbour styles, it still provides good coverage from the elements.

The slim fit gives it a sharp, contemporary look whether layered over a button-down shirt and sweater or worn casually over a t-shirt. It’s a versatile jacket that transitions well from countryside walks to city life.

Overview of the Barbour Ashby Jacket

The Ashby is one of Barbour’s heritage fits, meaning it has a classic straight fit through the body. Some details of the Ashby include:

  • Straight fit through the body with room to layer underneath
  • Two large bellows pockets with snap closures
  • Two inner zipped security pockets
  • Corduroy collar
  • Tartan lining
  • Barbour’s signature waxed cotton outer fabric
  • Zip and snap front placket for weather protection
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • Full polyester quilted lining for warmth
Barbour Ashby Jacket
Barbour Ashby Jacket

The Ashby hits around mid-thigh on most men.

The straight fit gives it a relaxed look while still tapering slightly at the waist.

This roomier silhouette makes it easy to wear over heavier sweaters or multiple layers.

Like the Bristol, it provides good protection from wind and rain thanks to the waxed cotton exterior.

The Ashby is an ideal choice for casual country pursuits like hiking or walking the dog on a crisp fall day.

Its classic style also looks smart with trousers and a button-down for running errands around town.

Key Feature Comparison of Barbour Bristol And Ashby Jackets

Now that we’ve covered the basics of each jacket, let’s compare some of their key features:


  • Bristol: Contemporary slim fit
  • Ashby: Classic straight fit

The Bristol has a more tailored look, while the Ashby is roomy to accommodate layers underneath. Choose the Bristol if you prefer a trim silhouette or the Ashby if you want a relaxed fit.


  • Bristol: Hip length
  • Ashby: Mid-thigh length

The Ashby is longer, offering more coverage for equestrian activities or particularly cold days. The Bristol hits at the hip for a bit more mobility.

Outer Fabric

  • Both jackets use Barbour’s signature 6oz Sylkoil waxed cotton exterior fabric. This provides excellent water resistance while still allowing breathability. The wax finish needs to be re-treated occasionally to maintain its protective qualities.


  • Both jackets have two large bellows pockets with snap closures on the front and two inner zippered security pockets. The roomy bellow pockets are great for keeping hands warm or stashing small essentials.


  • Both jackets have a corduroy collar, which is soft and provides good neck comfort.


  • Both jackets have an iconic Barbour tartan lining and full polyester quilted interior lining for warmth.


  • Both jackets have a two-way zip and snap placket front with storm flap for weather protection. Adjustable snap cuffs further seal out the elements.


  • With proper care, both jackets should provide years of wear. Focus washing and re-waxing when the fabric becomes faded, stiff, or loses its water resistance. Avoid the dryer.

Also Read: Differences Between Filson And Tom Beckbe Waxed Jackets.

How the Bristol and Ashby Compare in Use?

  • Versatility

The Bristol leans more fashionable and smart thanks to its slimmer cut. It looks great layered over button-downs and knits for weekend wear. The Ashby skews a bit more functional and casual with its roomy fit. Both can be dressed up or down depending on your personal style.

  • Weather Protection

The waxed cotton and plentiful closures make both jackets weatherproof. The longer length of the Ashby provides slightly better protection from the elements for activities like hunting or hiking. For city wear, the Bristol and Ashby are on par.

  • Warmth

Both jackets use quilted polyester linings for insulation against chilly temperatures. The Ashby’s roomier cut allows you to layer thicker sweaters underneath, making it the warmer choice if you live in a particularly cold climate. For milder weather, the two are comparable.

  • Comfort

The Bristol’s tailored cut gives it a more streamlined feel. The Ashby offers a bit more room through the torso and arms for easy movability. Corduroy collars enhance comfort for both models. Which feels best will come down to your individual fit preferences.

  • Value

With prices around $400, neither jacket is cheap. However, given Barbour quality, understated styling, and years of wear potential, they offer solid value for the cost. Both are made in England and built to handle everyday adventures.

Which Jacket is Right For You?

Choose the Barbour Bristol if you:

  • Prefer a contemporary, slimmer fit
  • Want a Barbour for city wear
  • Seek a versatile jacket that dresses up easily
  • Live in a milder climate
  • Like a jacket length that hits near your hips

Choose the Barbour Ashby if you:

  • Prefer a classic, straight fit with room to layer
  • Plan to wear your Barbour for outdoor pursuits like hunting or hiking
  • Need maximum weather protection from cold and rain
  • Want a bit more length for added coverage
  • Appreciate design details like snap-close storm cuffs

Also Read: Is Orvis Heritage Better Than Barbour Field Coat?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is the Barbour Ashby jacket warm?

Yes, the Ashby is designed to be a warm winter jacket. Its 6oz Sylkoil waxed cotton outer resists wind and rain, while the quilted polyester lining provides insulation. The straight fit allows room for layers underneath for additional warmth. Corduroy collar, storm cuffs, and other closures seal out cold air.

What is the difference between Barbour SL Bedale and Ashby?

The SL Bedale uses Barbour’s slim fit while the Ashby has a classic straight fit. The SL Bedale is also slightly shorter than the mid-thigh length Ashby. Both use the same 6oz Sylkoil waxed fabric but the SL Bedale has a more tailored look. They share details like the corduroy collar, tartan lining, and two-way zipper.

What is the difference between Barbour Hereford and Ashby?

The Hereford is one of Barbour’s heritage fits like the Ashby but is designed to be roomier to accommodate more layers. While both are classics, the Hereford provides even more space through the body and arms. The Hereford is also longer, hitting above the knee versus the Ashby’s mid-thigh length.

Which Barbour jacket does Kate Middleton wear?

Kate Middleton has frequently been photographed wearing the Barbour Defence jacket. The Defence is similar to the Ashby but even longer, hitting near the knee. It provides maximum protection from the elements while hunting and country walks. Kate pairs hers with jeans and boots for a casual countryside look.

Final Thoughts

Both jackets represent the quality and heritage Barbour is known for. The Bristol is tailored for fashion, while the Ashby prioritizes function. Shop around to find your best price, and invest in one of these wardrobe staples if you can swing the cost.

With proper care, your Barbour Bristol or Ashby will become a beloved item you reach for year after year.

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.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. K

    Didn’t you get these reversed? I thought the Bristol was longer? The Bristol has a thin throat strap whereas the Ashby has the triangle.

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