You can guess that when I walked into an ice rink with the Gill Marine Men’s Coastal Jacket, I got a few looks from the parents along the glass. Testing out a sailing jacket means a lot of things to me, but functionality is essential. On this day, walking into an ice rink to watch a hockey practice was high on the list. On this particular day, taking a walk in a downpour was also very important. Ultimately, testing this jacket in multiple conditions is important because how often do you find yourself wearing your favorite jacket just for sailing?
I spend a lot of time in ice rinks and a lot of time on a sailboat so a jacket that can perform more than one function is vital. The people at Gill Marine sent over their Coastal Jacket for me to give it a test sail. I wore the jacket so much over the course of the week that it felt broken in and battle-tested. By the third day of sailing, it felt like an extension of my skin. They also sent over some very nice gloves that I will be reviewing soon on the ASA website.
While I tested this jacket while sailing on Santa Monica Bay I also wore it during three days of rain in Southern California. Yes, I also wore it in an ice rink. I wore it while driving in a convertible and I sat on my porch with the jacket fully zipped up to test its breathability. ( I should note that when wine is spilled on the jacket it glides off just as easy as water and there is no noticeable stain)
What I Like About the GIll Marine Men’s Coastal Jacket:
Waterproof – If I am being honest I was not able to create an ample setting to test its performance while sailing. While the wind was up so was the sun. Three days of perfect weather for sailing did not afford me the opportunity to see if the jacket would keep me dry. Naturally, when the rain finally appeared I took a walk around the neighborhood and learned a lot about how well a jacket should perform in a downpour. 2 hours in heavy rain with wicked wind and I was dry. The hood is capable but I found it worked better for me with a hat on. I wonder if I have a small head or do they make rain hoods with bigger than average heads in mind?
Warm Enough for Rain, Not for Ice – You don’t really test a sailing jacket for warmth as your base layers will do the trick but it should be noted that while sailing in about 60 degrees and 15-knot winds the Coastal Jacket didn’t need any aggressive base layers to stay warm. A t-shirt worked fine and the jacket was still breathable. While out on my 2-hour walkabout testing rain performance the jacket did not get overly stuffy. Inside an ice rink, the jacket was less than warm, however, this jacket was not designed to cheer from the front row of a hockey arena. This is a sailing jacket and it delivers warmth and comfort while sailing.
Agility Test – the features that work best for a jacket are those that you do not notice. While working the winch or hauling in a sheet you have the freedom to move. The jacket is constructed with sailor’s motions in mind so you will not be hammered by a tight underarm or pinching elbows. The adjustable cuffs while working to keep you dry also work to keep the sleeves in place when working on the boat. The high cut thermal collar keeps you warm in the wind but does not impede your vision or your mobility.
Pockets – Upfront there are two spacious lined pockets with velcro closures and inside there is one small zippered pocket. If there is a weak spot in this jacket it is the lack of places to store things inside the jacket. I would have liked an additional zippered pocket outside and at least one more on the inside.
The Features That Gill Marine Boast About:
- YKK Aquaguard front zip with internal storm guard
- XPLORE 2-layer fabric construction for a waterproof and breathable finish
- XPEL fabric technology to offer incredible levels of water repellency, stain resistance, and odor control
- Fully taped seams for a waterproof seal
- High Cut Thermal Collar
- Adjustable cuffs with PU inner seals for watertight comfort
The Men’s Coastal Jacket from Gill Marine is ideal for day cruises and inshore cruising. I tested an extra-large jacket that fit my 6-foot frame well. I also had a female sailor wear it and test for warmth, she didn’t want to give it back.
Gill Marine Coastal Jacket $240.00