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Do you often get yourself drenched inside your sailing jacket after sailing in the ocean? You are probably just like me when I was a beginner sailor until I found out the most important factors that helped me make the right sailing jacket choices.
I have been traveling the world for years now and I am familiar with most of the sailing conditions in different countries. I have learned to choose the warm jackets to keep me warm in the extremely cold climates, and I have also learned to choose the waterproof jackets when the waves begin to strengthen during sailing.
Whether you wear a coat or cotton fabric, you will get wet and that can make sailing uncomfortable. Aside from the fact that choosing a waterproof jacket has made me more comfortable, confident and wet-proof, having a waterproof jacket also helped me withstand extreme sailing conditions. Please keep in mind that having a waterproof jacket is not the only option you must consider, there are a lot of other factors that will solve your sailing problems
The Best Jacket for Ocean Sailing- A Buyer’s Guide to Solving Your Sailing Problem
Your problem might be different from mine, this is the reason why this guide will help you make the right choice. There are several things to consider when making your ocean sailing jacket choices, these are;
When are you sailing or under what conditions are you sailing?
The most important factor you should consider when choosing a sailing jacket is whether you are sailing in the day, offshore or in coastal conditions. The day sailing gear may protect you from the rain but it will not keep you warm, neither will it keep you dry. Day-sailing jackets will make you sweat, and clammy and you may end up getting cold. The minimum you should go for is the coastal gear which is ideal for estuary, bay and day sailing.
If you are sailing in coastal conditions then you should go for the offshore sailing jacket – this jacket will keep you warm even if you are far from the shore.
The material and color
The major sailing jackets are breathable and waterproof but you should consider buying a jacket with a reflective color or component so that people will notice you when your life is in danger. You should consider the bright red or bright yellow, that comes with reflector tape on the hood, arms or shoulder. Bright colors also help you see better when sailing at night.
Make sure you go for the durable and water repellent sailing jacket- a water repellent finishing will ensure that water rolls off the outside and does not penetrate. Make sure you go for breathable fabric on the inside, because saturated fabrics will keep sweat inside making you uncomfortable during dry seasons.
The sailing pants
The sailing pant is as important as the jacket. I used to find my sailing pants uncomfortable until I decide to use pants with bibs and suspenders- these pants are much easier to put on and off.
Comfort and fitting
You need to ensure that your sailing jacket is roomy enough to accommodate your under-layers. Make sure the jacket extends to your chin, to protect your neck. Make sure there is an inner closure such as the drawstring that will seal out the wind. You need to ensure that the jacket has a zipper closure or outer Velcro plus an internal neoprene, to keep off the water that may escape the outer closure of the jacket. Choose jackets with pockets that come with Velcro closure or cargo. You should lookout for an inner liner of mesh that will promote the flow of air within the jacket.
My under-layers are very important when I choose a sailing jacket. I always ensure that my first under-layer has thermal features, and then I do wear a synthetic sweater on top of the thermal under-layer. Sometimes I also wear synthetic suit pants. The benefits of this under-layer are that the thermal layer conducts heat away quickly and makes me feel comfortable. Do not wear cotton underlayers such as jeans because they can absorb moisture quickly and make you wet and uncomfortable.
Review of the top Sailing Jackets
Musto Sardinia BR1 Jacket (Black/Fire-orange)
This sailing jacket is rated high because it is feature-packed and cost less when compared to other similar to range brands. The shell of the jacket is made from Polyamide, and Polyurethane lining, while the lining is 100% polyester.
– Very lightweight and comfortable, yet durable and long-lasting.
– It comes with a zipped side where you can keep your small possessions such as a smartphone.
– It is water-proof and wind-proof, likewise, it comes with a mesh-lined inner construction that makes it conform to your figure.
– You will need an underlayer, especially when you are in extreme freezing conditions.
Henri Lloyd Sail Jacket Marine (Y00356)
Henri Lloyd is a top brand name in the sailing jacket. This option comes with two cargo pockets, to keep your vital items safe and secured while sailing under different conditions. It is waterproof and breathable, likewise, it is of utmost durability just like any other top sail jacket brand.
– Made from the patented Henri Lloyd TP fabric that is one of its kind, especially in providing utmost comfort and protection.
– It is available for both men and women and it comes in a wide range of colors.
– The hood pod comes with light fleece collar lining for extra protection to your neck and head.
– The external wrist adjusters come with reflective liners that increase vision, in the evening or night time.
– It is mostly available for medium to extra large individuals.
The Gill’s Men Coast Jacket (Navy/Graphite color)
With an average rating of 4.5/5, this is one of the best sailing jackets in the world. It is 100% waterproof, wind-proof and also breathable. This sailing jacket is quite convenient and it provides maximum protection for the user.
– It comes with a shining fluorescent hood to increase visibility in the dark.
– It comes with 2 layers of coated fabric plus 2 Dots.
– It is quite pricey; hence it may not be affordable for low-budget buyers.
The Helly Hansen Women’s Salt Sailing Jacket
This is one of the most comfortable sailing jackets for women. It comes with a 2-ply fabric design that keeps the body warm in extreme conditions and also eliminates sweat internally as soon as possible.
– It is fully seam and sealed to make water impenetrable.
– Treated with a durable water repellency technology (DWR).
– Lined effectively to increase comfort.
– Much more expensive than many other similar brands of sailing jackets.
Just because a sailing jacket is visually appealing and packed with all the amazing features you desire in it, does not make it the most suitable for you. You need to consider the fitness of the jacket, otherwise, you may end up wearing some extra under clothing, just to make the jacket snapped to your body.
On a sunny and less windy season, you may want to choose something very light just to reduce sweating, however, extremely lightweight jackets must not be used in extremely cold conditions, except they are multi-dimensional. Some jackets are well insulated to protect the user in both summer and freezing conditions; however, you may not find them comfortable in hot weather.
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