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Tested: Foul-Weather Gear - The Beast

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By Christopher White

West Marine Third Reef Jacket


West Marine Third Reef Jacket

Out of all the jackets we tested, West Marine’s Third Reef is the burliest of the bunch, with its Oxford nylon outer shell that features a durable water-repellent finish and a high brushed-mesh collar. Big front pockets will keep your personal cargo dry and safe, the bright-yellow safety hood is easy to spot, and, combined with the high, fleece-lined collar, it outfits you with your own personal dodger. Hand-warmer pockets on the chest are lined for comfort, though they could stand to be a little deeper. One thing we’d like to see changed is a little less hook-and-loop fastener strip on the storm flap covering the front zipper (if you take this jacket off in a restaurant, people will notice—it’s that loud). Perhaps smaller pieces of fastener would still do the job and be a little easier to handle. In any case, if you’re looking for a jacket that will take you offshore and keep you dry when the squalls roll through, the Third Reef is a good fit.