This stylish jacket can handle any weather you throw at it.
There is almost nothing worse than a rain jacket that doesn’t repel water. That dreaded feeling of water seeping into the cuffs and up the waist is enough to send me into a fury. “This jacket had one job!” I mutter or, more likely, yell.
If you’ve ever been there while cruising, you’ll appreciate the Gill Pilot Jacket ($179), a foul-weather piece designed for sailboat racing. When planning a winter cruise down the ICW in Florida, Capt. Bill called a half dozen times to remind us to pack layers. “Just because it’s Florida doesn’t mean it’s warm,” he warned. He was right. But the Pilot Jacket’s two-layer laminated nylon kept me dry and broke the wind without a hitch. It’s perfect for spring and fall, and if you order a size up, it fits over a base layer. I wore it all day, adjusting the layers underneath as the temperature changed.
The Pilot Jacket is just as handy for boat chores as it is underway. The nylon shell breathes well during mild activity, and the loose fit allows good range of motion. The soft material is quiet when you’re moving, so you can focus more on the task at hand and less on that awful crinkly sound that so many raincoats make.
The mesh lining makes this jacket feel a little dated, but the high neck makes it stylish enough to wear around town. The rollaway hood is too small for my liking, but who knows, maybe I just have a big head. The hood’s Velcro got stuck in my hair, which although less painful than getting soaked, was still not ideal.
The jacket rolls into its hood for easy storage on the boat or in a backpack while exploring your latest destination. The reflective pull cords, forearm details and back-of-neck hook are handy for low-visibility days, and the inner chest pocket is perfect for keeping valuables dry.
If you’re looking for a dependable foul-weather jacket, this might just be it. It’ll keep you dry when you need it most, letting you weather—and maybe even enjoy—the storm.