The Best Heavyweight T-Shirts, From Weighty to Downright Hulking

Add a bit of heft and durability to your T-shirts

A collage of heavyweight tees on a concrete background
The best heavyweight tees for men are a bona fide best.
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“Heavyweight” and “T-shirt” are two terms you wouldn’t typically associate with each other. The idea is to keep it light and cool, right? But given the current transitional weather, you actually don’t necessarily want something flimsy for a 40-to-60-to-40-degree day. Headed into spring, it’s better to have a hefty, stiff tee that’s gonna stave off some of that seasonal chill. And so that’s where the best heavyweight T-shirts for men come in.

Denser and broader than an everyday tee, heavyweight T-shirts provide a bit of extra warmth and are unmatched in their value for layering. Throw a chore coat or hoodie over one of these and you’ll be fine through most spring weather, all while having a bit more movement and freedom than if you were wearing a chunky sweatshirt. Plus, as trends lean big and boxy, there’s zero reason not to dabble.

What qualifies as a “heavyweight” T-shirt?

While the definition is fast and loose, in our experience, “heavy” shirts are classified roughly as shirts that weigh 6 ounces or more (the oz refers to the standard weight measurement for fabric, ounces-per-square-yard) or about 2oz and change above a regular tee. These tees, which can range from 6 to 13oz — anything over 14oz and you’re dipping into sweatshirt territory — often offer some serious structure and longer life than their lightweight counterparts. Heavyweight tees are the shirting equivalent to a V8, big-bodied truck: big, loud, and ready to get the job done.

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Below, we’ve shopped, tested and compiled a list of men’s heavyweight tees we swear by for spring and beyond. From ‘fit-enhancing The Bear deep cuts to Gap pocket tees, these are the hefty shirts we just can’t get enough of. Below are the best heavyweight T-shirts for men in 2024, from Buck Mason, Camber more.

Best Men’s Heavyweight T-Shirts

Weight: 9.14 oz. | Material: 100% jersey-cotton | Colors: 6 | Size: XS-XXL

Cut from heavy, army surplus cotton, this soft but hefty shirt from our friends over at Buck Mason is about three times heavier than your average tee, and more akin to a short-sleeve sweatshirt in terms of fit. Not that we’re complaining — the same heft makes it look killer with some selvedge jeans and a pair of sleek loafers.

Weight: 6.75 oz. | Material: 100% cotton | Colors: 28 | Size: XS-6XL

It doesn’t get much more classically sturdy than Carhartt. The heritage workwear brand’s rendition of the heavyweight tee is perfect as an undershirt or layer on a crisp (or frigid) day. Plus, they’re one of the few shirts you might actually see on the job site, given that they can take a beating and are easily replaceable.

Weight: 8.6 oz. | Material: 100% cotton | Colors: 1 | Size: S-XXL

Merz’s tees have developed a cult following in menswear circles, thanks to unparalleled construction. Blame it on the operation — the loopwheel weaving machines are authentic 1920 makes, meaning they literally don’t make ’em like this anymore. It’s probably while Carmy from The Bear swears by them too.

Weight: 8.0 oz. | Material: 53% upcycled cotton, 47% recycled polyester | Colors: 10 | Size: S-XXL

As we noted in a review a few years back, this standout (which you’ll want to size up) is “made using both upcycled and recycled yarns — a process which uses no water, as opposed to the 1,200 gallons a shirt would normally use — which combine to produce a beefy fabric that’ll last you at least twice as long as the typical T-shirt.” Pre-shrunk and tastefully slim, it’s a solid option that’ll last years.

Weight: 8.0 oz. | Material: 100% cotton | Colors: 11 | Size: S-6XL

“Built like a tank” is probably the selling point for this monochromatic 8 oz. tee, which is made in America and available in a whopping range of sizes. Yes, it’s stiffer than the competition, but isn’t that what American-made is all about?

Weight: 10.0 oz. | Material: 100% cotton | Colors: 4 | Size: S-XL

We tested a few tees heavier than Los Angeles-based Lady White Co.’s Rugby Heavyweight tee, but we found between an unflattering drape and funky shoulders, they didn’t quite work. LWC’s, on the other hand, has the perfect high neck-boxy shape for a heavyweight tee, and, despite 10 oz. of heavy cotton, fits like a down-comforter-esque glove.

Weight: 7.7 oz. | Material: 100% cotton | Colors: 4 | Size: S-XXL

Because of their unconventional heft, long-sleeved heavyweight tees can get…weird. No such problems with NYC’s Only NY, a tasty, pigment-dyed top that’s already pre-washed and completely grown, knit and sewn in the USA. Pair with some shorts and Birkenstocks or white sneakers for the ultimate spring ‘fit.

More heavyweight t-shirts we love

lululemon’s take on the heavyweight t-shirt isn’t just hefty, but relaxed, too. Call that a double-double.

These get softer the longer you wear ‘em, and they arrive with a 365-day guarantee. 

Another “Made in America” tee, Dehen’s Heavy Duty T-Shirt’s jersey knit clocks in just under standard weight at 5.6 oz. but feels a few pounds heavier.

Leave it to a denim brand to craft a very heavy (8.3 oz) minimalist tee. But like their jeans, it’s deceptively comfy while it feels durable.

Search for heavy tees online and this made-in-the-USA shirt will pop up repeatedly. Note: Arrives in a two-pack. And it’ll shrink a bit on first wash. 

If you miss the old American Apparel — made in the USA, fair wages, great prices, questionable marketing — Dov Charney’s follow-up brand is pretty much the same thing. Higher neckline, slightly more generous fit and a little more colorful with a “lived in” vibe. 

When CDLP says heavy, they mean it — their wicking tee is nearly 10 oz of pure cotton beefiness.

Any bootlegger worth his weight in ice-dying materials should know that Hanes makes the best cheap, durable tees around.

Sweater polos, giant chinos, now a hefty cotton t-shirt — the new J.Crew just can’t lose.

Recycled from reclaimed cotton, Snow Peak’s heavyweight t-shirt is still surprisingly breathable, making it ideal for outdoor pursuits.

Unlike most heavyweight t-shirts, Gap’s iteration boasts a pocket. Just think of the endless possibilities for things that you can carry in it — sunglasses, wallet, small mouse.

Your favorite sweats, heavy tee-ified.

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