Monday, September 2, 2013

Barbour Beaufort vs. Bedale

Bedale in Sage
Many ask about the differences between the Barbour Beaufort and the Barbour Bedale.

Here are examples of each.  One of the best ways to organize the differences is to understand that the Bedale was designed (in 1980) for equestrian purposes while the Beaufort was designed (in 1983) for shooting,  both by Dame Helen Barbour.

As a result, the Beaufort feels a bit more protective, especially in the rain, and the longer length does cover more, obviously.  But it also feels somewhat heavier when wearing it.  The Bedale, as is appropriate for riding, is shorter.

Both the Bedale and Beaufort are made of the same 6 oz waxed cotton (as opposed to the Classic which is 6 oz Sylkoil), with the same front combination of Moleskin lined handwarmer pockets above the bellows pockets with drainage holes. They also both have the same style corduroy collar.

The Bedale (in Sage) has two snap studded gusseted side vents to accommodate a saddle.  

The Beaufort (in Navy) has a rear nylon-lined game pocket (aka poacher's pocket) with zippered access on both sides.
This can be used for game or simply to keep the post dry.

The Beaufort has Velcro fastening nylon inner cuffs, originally designed to break away when lifting your arms quickly to shoot.

The Bedale has woolen knitted inner storm cuffs, originally designed to keep the rain from running down your arms as you hold the reins. The knitted cuffs are warmer but fit less well over a thick cuff of a heavier sweater.
The Bedale has this inner pocket.

The Beaufort has this zipped pocket.

The longer Beaufort has the cotton tartan lining to the hem.  The shorter Bedale has nylon on the bottom third.  (Both of these jackets are a size 36.)

 Both have zip in liners (available separately).
The liners add a considerable amount of warmth, but also bulk.
Both have studs for optional hood (also bought separately).  The hoods are now manufactured outside of the UK.

(Beaufort in Navy)  All of these jackets were made in England.

The Navy Beaufort, in both photos above, (a size 36) is about 2 ½ inches longer than the Bedale.  This has led some to say that the Beaufort is for males and Bedale is for females.  Some women have sized up in the Beaufort as it fits somewhat more tightly around the hips as compared to the forgiving gusseted vents of the Bedale.  The sleeves however, will be concomitantly longer. 
  It may be wise to consider over what garments you will be wearing your jacket and what work you will be doing in it.  Some size up one or two sizes to accommodate the heaviest Aran jumpers or sweaters.

How often should you wax your Barbour?  Ideally, they should be waxed once a year, although new jackets may initially need it as early as four months old.  See this entry: Waxing the Barbour.

Barbour Beaufort Wax in Sage

Trying on the Barbour Beaufort in Sylkoil

Tartan Lining of the Sylkoil

Bedale in Sage at Royal Male, Newport....

...and one for the Norfolk.

  To learn more about the longer Barbour Border, see these entries on: The Barbour Border and Which Barbour Jacket for a Tall Man?
6th Avenue, New York City

An Old Gamefair

An original Liddesdale quilt (with knit cuffs and Made in England) under a 1980s Gamefair.

In Madison Square Park, New York City.

Links to US Barbour sources from Salt Water New England sponsors:

Etienne at Newport's Royal Male

Some UK sources:
Oil Portrait in Barbour Bedale by Clio Newton


Chris said...

Thanks for the enlightenment regarding the nylon cuffs on the Beaufort. I had always found it frustrating that they were (in my opinion) poorly designed so as to constantly pull apart. Little did I know!

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

I also like the longer ones that I think are called Border? For heavy rain and wind, they do well when walking in the country or city.

Mink80 said...

After 25 years of hard wear (lots of wing shooting ), I purchased a new Bedale a year ago. The old one will be just for shooting.

Being somewhat vertically challenged, the Bedale looks better on me. I had the storm cuffs removed and the sleeves shortened by the haberdasher's excellent tailor. I like the more open sleeve to accommodate sweaters and sport coats. I wore it all winter, even over suits to the office, as I found it easier to wear in the car than my wool topcoat...more freedom of movement.

The new one has the "new" finish....doesn't smell like an old pup tent!!!

Alex said...

I've never heard that the Beaufort is for male and the Bedale for females. They are both Unisex. Like Border, Northumbria and Gamefair.
Anyway, a good article.

Brian said...

Great post, Muffy. I have a Beaufort from 1988 and a Bedale from 1993. The Beaufort (my pride and joy) predates any liners and has neither zips nor studs. The Bedale has studs for a liner and no interior pocket like yours. I take mine to Orvis for reproofing/repairing as required and the employees always get a kick out of seeing such old garments still in use.

While I have and use both year-round, my vote goes to the Beaufort for utility/versatility. The rear game pocket and zippered inner pocket are essential for carrying stuff (especially if you have young children) and they go from the field to the city with ease. I wouldn't wear it with a suit, but definitely with chinos and a blazer or sport coat.

A note on fit for anyone not familiar with Barbours. They're cut boxy for layering underneath and the sleeves are short and will shrink even more with wear. However, Barbour has a full-service repair/reproofing facility in New Hampshire and they can alter the jackets to your liking, even adding leather cuffs, sleeve extensions and additional pockets.

Unfortunately, only the waxed cotton jackets are made in the UK anymore. Even the waxed cotton hoods have now been outsourced by Barbour. Still, from the new examples I've handled, they continue to be hard-wearing, good-looking garments that can last for decades.

Squeeze said...

Beaufort over a suit jacket has worked for years and it has become so ragged it's time to say goodbye and replacement. Please identify the name of your delicious Golden!

Bitsy said...

Like both jackets -- love the dogs!

Zenas313 said...


Excellent and timely post and comments - I was intending to order a Barbour this week and could not make up my mind between these two models. I was going to purchase from Orvis, but on further investigation Royal Male, which will ship orders over $150 free of charge, looks like the better option.

Thank you as always for your post and blog!

Bethany Hissong said...

You are so pretty Muffy! And the dogs are adorable! The puppy... mmmm. I am saving for my first Barbour purchase but didn't know until now which to choose. Thanks for the detailed info!

Anonymous said...

Beaufort over a suit is classic for NJ/NY/CT commuting.

Oxford Cloth Button Down said...

Both are very high up on my "grails of thrifting list." I am thoroughly jealous Muffy.

Greenfield said...

Try e-Bay!

Anonymous said...

Muffy - those are beautiful photographs!

Kionon said...


Are the children's versions the same as the adults? I think a boys Beaufort XL would probably fit me fine.

Bitsy said...

@Kionon - please let me know what you learn about the boys' version of the Beaufort. I've not see them in shops but they are available on-line and I've had my eye on the navy for some time.

Anonymous said...

My experience with "unisex sizing" is that there is no such thing. Items so labled are in fact men's clothes. The sleeves are too long, the hips too narrow, and the shoulders too wide. I refuse to buy unisex clothing.

j.mosby said...

Great Barbour video! Have a look!

Anonymous said...

Dear Muffy:

I have several of each model in a variety of colors and they do last... My first was bought on my first trip to Paris after college. This is back in 2000. Since then, unfortunately, Barbour has added the odious logo stitched to the bottom pockets and labels to their hood interior ( which, unlike the former location, I can easily remove) whereas older models had only a silly plastic pin attached on the collar that could without delay be shown its rightful place: the garbage bin.


Heidi T. said...

I just to thank you for your posts and photos. They are one of the things that makes it easier to live abroad. Some of your posting just make me stop and feel the warmth or cool of the sand beneath my feet. Love it!

BlueTrain said...

My only Barbour garment is a vest-liner purchased at a tiny shop adjacent to a garden shop on Sydney Street in London not far from the Kensington underground station. I have none of their waxed garments. I do have, however, a "oil finish" Filson cover cloth jacket that is quite similiar. This jacket seems to loose it's waxed (it really is wax) finish on the car seat. I was wondering if others have similiar wear experiences with other waxed jackets. Of course, it amounts to nothing more than "honest" wear with no damage to the cloth itself.

Sartre said...

Muffy -- based on your pics I was emboldened to choose navy for a purchase (yesterday) of a new Border model for the fall. My current Beaufort is green. Plan to wear the new one into the office with my daily uniform which is normally sportcoat sans tie.

Anonymous said...

Bluetrain - When my jackets are newly waxed, I have to be careful about residue and do not wear them in the car.

Thornproof said...

Right on point, as always! While I'm enjoying this summer, I'm also looking forward to fall and facing the question each morning of which Barbour to wear each day. Cheers!

Myk Ynion said...

Hello Muffy - Fantastic article, indeed! What's more important for me is that you are a regular at the Royal Male. I have bought all my Barbour jackets (six in all) from there. If time permits en route to my fall foliage drive to Boston, I take a detour to RI to visit Etienne at the Spring St. store, which is true prep hallowed ground IMHO. Anyway, I just thought I share my thoughts. More power to you and Godspeed with your blog!

Anonymous said...

Wish Barbour still made the Burghley. Mine is getting a little ratty. Too many rainy race meets.

Sherri said...

You may find the Burghley, still, by checking out retailers in Europe. or even on eBay.

Paul Connors said...

Although unrelated to Barbour jackets, I just received an email from CASTAWAY CLOTHING announcing Thanksgiving embroidered theme pants (corduroys). Everyone has seen these in both long and short versions for both summer and winter, especially in winter around Christmas time, but would anyone really consider walking around in cors embroidered with "Turkeys" on them?

I know I wouldn't.........

Anonymous said...

Hi Muffy,
the hidden pocket on the chest of the beaufort is for shotgun shells

Seraph Cynosure said...

Muffy, could you weigh in on the debate Beaufort vs Classic Beaufort? I know that the difference between the two is that the Beaufort comes in Sage and has thornproof wax coating while the Classic Beaufort comes in Olive and uses Sylkoil wax. However which do you prefer? Debbie Broadley from Barbour claims, "The Beaufort Jacket (MWX0017) has been in the line longer than the Classic Beaufort (MWX0002). Having said this, the Classic Beaufort has the older (and more traditional) finish to it (the sylkoil finish). Otherwise the two coats are exactly the same featurewise." This still leaves me in a rut in my decision on which jacket to purchase so I thought I would ask your opinion (and others on this site if it pleases them) on the matter.

Chris Wilkinson said...

@Seraph - I always had thornproof wax jackets as a kid. I recently purchased a Classic Beaufort with sylkoil. I have to say a prefer the sylkoil. It has a softer, more cotton-y, less waxy, feel to it. You can almost feel the brushed fibres. That being said, I am unsure that it will develop the same patina as the thornproof wax, which has the shiny, almost hard, waxy finish.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:39 - I am pretty sure the hidden pocket in the Beaufort is too small and not well positioned for shotgun shells. I don't know where one would keep a wallet if not in that chest pocket.

Electric Gates said...

I'm with anon, The bellows pockets are clearly for cartridges - most shooting jackets have the same type of pockets as the design makes it easy to access the cartridges when reloading. I often have 20 or 30+ 12 bore cartridges in mine and would struggle to fit more than a half dozen in the wallet pocket.

Sultan Mehmed said...

Barbour fans will undoubtedly enjoy the video "Jacket for Life".

Anonymous said...

I just got my Beaufort back from re-waxing, looks great. This is only my second year with it, but I still don't think I've figured out the little snap piece of fabric on the collar. It appears that it may be to close the collar tight but that seems like a snug fit for me, any ideas/comments? Also, I think I would have preferred a zip on hood as it tends to break away easily if I'm carrying a bag over my shoulder but really love the coat.

Rachael Ramsey said...

Hello Muffy! I love your blog as I'm an East Coaster (was a NY'er & now my whole family is in CT) living in California. Love Cali but will always love the East Coast!

Anyway, if you're not busy, I'd love your opinion...

I'm going to London and Paris w/ my family for 10 days on 12/22. Bringing a wool coat, LLBean long rain coat (goretex) and should I bring my motorcyle style Barbour too? Of course I'm trying to go light... Hunter boots are also at the top of my list--you never post on those? You should, they're fabulous!!

Be well,
Rachael Ramsey

Steffan Marley said...

Hi Muffy,

I really enjoy your blog!

Can you comment on the
Barbour waxed cotton regarding propensity to shrink?

Filson makes some great jackets as well, but their waxed cotton shrinks to the point that garments no longer fit (especially the sleeves). This is even if you line dry them in a cool location. The cotton is just like a sponge and latches on to any amount of moisture and shrinks away! I have often wondered why Filson can't pre-shrink the fabric prior to manufacture.

Do you think that Barbour has the same issue?

Thanks again,

S. Marley

Thet said...

Hi Muffy,

I have been thinking about ordering a Beaufort from the Orvis website. Would you recommend ordering a size smaller since Barbour jackets are known to run large?

Best Regards,

Paul Connors said...


I just bought a Barbour Bedale jacket sans the lining in a Man's Size 48 for two reasons: a) that was the closest to what the store had in my size in stock and b) because a 46 was too small (sepite the fact that I wear a size 46 suit.

It seems to me that men will need to choose the next size up from their normal suit size if they plan to wear a heavy sweater, purchase the optional lining or wear other layers such as a lightweight down or fleece type vest.

Also, as many others here have said, the reverse zipper does take some getting used to. :-)

Anonymous said...

You just have to forgive the British. They not only put zipper pulls on the wrong side of the zipper. Look at which side of the road on which they drive.

Paul Connors said...

@Anonymous: Ahh, but the British claim that they do drive on the correct side of the road and those claims date back to the days of knights when opposing knights traveling down roads would give way to the left and lift their helmet visors with their right hands (the sword or lance hand) to show that they were unarmed and thus, posed no threat.

This is also considered to be the basis for the origin of the military salute.

brianbarbour said...

Hello Muffy and followers,

How do I know when its time to rewax my barbour?

Do you do this at home or do you send it back to them?



darkirishtweedboy said...

Love your articles on Barbour. Although the brand has become fashionable and targets a wider demographic I am glad they continue to produce their core range such as the Beaufort and Bedale. At school we opted for navy beaufort jackets as the longer length covered our blazers. The pockets were large enough to be practical and the wax finish helped keep the wet Irish weather from ruining our uniforms. I have just ordered my first Bedale jacket in navy and look forward to wearing it in over the winter.

mary said...

Love your the the dogs the most! what kind is the little one?

Anonymous said...

Please kindly answer the inquiry from Seraph Cynosure @ 4:50 p.m. Which Beaufort is the real McCoy the "Classic Beaufort" or the "Beaufort" ? Slykoil wax vs. Thornproof wax? Which will age/weather better? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I bought the wrong jacket then. (And I don't believe that it may be exchanged.) Why does Barbour advertise the jacket treated with Sylkoil wax as "Classic" ? Don't you find that this will mislead the customer in their decision making process?

Furthermore, various web sites state that the "Classic Beaufort" is made in England while the "Beaufort" is imported!

Anonymous said...

The Barbour Beaufort (original non-classic) with Thornproof wax in Sage is currently made in Lithuania. This is per Barbour Inc.

Will you still purchase this jacket, Muffy?

John Rosevear said...

Hmm... it might be time to call O'Connell's and ask if they have an English-made Border in my siize, and perhaps a Beadnell in my significant other's. I expect my Beaufort to last a long time, but it never hurts to have a backup plan.

Marc said...

My compliments to Clio for the excellant portrait.

Bradley Sant said...

Have you ever washed your Liddesdale Jacket? Mine is quite stiff and I thought that washing it may help it become more relaxed. What were your thoughts? Thank you