I like two foul-weather jackets from Gill: the Atlantic OS4 (seen here), which has every bell and whistle, and the Key West. The former is made of a breathable waterproof fabric and is designed for freedom of movement under the harshest conditions. It features double storm flaps, close-fitting neoprene inner cuffs, and a wraparound faceguard to prevent water from getting inside. It retails for $399. The Key West is also lightweight and breathable, and its waterproof design features a two-layer nylon front, a high-visibility foldaway hood, and adjustable inner and outer cuffs that help keep water out, while its brushed-mesh lining and thermal collar offer protection from the cold. It comes in red, yellow, or navy and costs $239.
I've owned two Henri Lloyd jackets, and both have withstood the test of time. My current favorite is the TP Quest, which is 100-percent water- and windproof and features a multilayer fabric technology that the company says reduces condensation to keep you dry. The jacket has two fleece-lined, zip-fastened pockets to keep your hands toasty, but the real icing on the cake is the Quest's durable, water-repellent finish, which helps to both shed surface water and maintain the performance and comfort of the jacket. The $159 TP Quest is machine- washable and comes in sizes for men, women, and kids.
When the giant retailer West Marine debuted its new line of foul-weather gear at the Miami International Boat Show a couple of years ago, I was pretty impressed. I found the jackets offered everything I’d expected from the more well-known foul-weather-gear designers but at a lower price. Case in point is its fifth-generation Third Reef Series, which carries a list price of just $109. The jacket is waterproof and breathable, plus it features pockets with storm flaps, a fold-away hood, and even a pocket for a GPS or a handheld VHF.
The 3/4-length new Fjord jacket from Helly Hansen features the company’s HellyTech, a three-layer system that reportedly keeps the elements out while allowing moisture created by body heat to be released, thereby allowing you to remain dry at all times. Like any worthwhile foul-weather jacket, it's fully waterproof, features a highly visible yellow hood, and has double-cuff pockets. It costs $275.
This article originally appeared in the September 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.