The Best Gilet Guide – Our Top Picks
With so much choice available, finding the best gilet for your needs can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help.
A gilet is almost an essential part of the ArdMoor team’s wardrobe, both in and out of work. To help you to find your perfect fit, some of the ArdMoor team have picked out their current favourites and explained why they deserve the ‘best gilet’ title.
To learn more about which key features to look for, see our guide on how to choose the perfect fleece gilet.
Abie – Harkila Sandhem Lady
I’ve been searching for a gilet for a few seasons now, looking for an easy layer which I could wear with various jackets at the weekend and smart enough for wearing to the office during the week. I chose the Sandhem because I’ve been impressed with quality of Harkila clothing in the past. I also preferred the fit compared to other gilets I tried on, and the price seemed reasonable for a Polartec fleece gilet.
The high collar stops the wind blowing against your face, whilst the generous length on the back also means you won’t find that annoying draught in the gap between jeans and a jumper. I love the navy colour as it’s so flattering and versatile for layering, while the tan leather piping adds a nice accent colour. The branding on the chest and back of the collar is subtle whilst still recognisable to those familiar with Harkila.
The plaid lining makes for a fun pop of colour when I wear it open, and there’s also a handy zipped inside pocket, and two roomy zipped front pockets which easily hold my keys, a pair of gloves, purse, polos, sunglasses and whatever else I need.
I find I get cold easily, so the Polartec Thermal Pro fleece really helps me to stay warm and cosy throughout the day, especially in the early mornings. I went for the dark navy, but the port colour is also lovely. The leather piping means they look especially great with leather belts and boots or shoes.
This gilet has already become a staple in my wardrobe, being worn to the Fringe, Blair Horse Trials, into the office, and even down to my parents’ farm which kept me warm when checking calving cattle. The only negative is that my family are already dropping hints about what a great present one would be for Christmas.
Ash – Musto Glemsford
The Glemsford is a close competitor to the Sandhem, also using PolarTec fleece. While this high-tech material does push the price up compared to standard fleece, you really can feel the difference from the very first moment you put it on. It also offers some water resistance, so getting caught in a shower while out walking the dog isn’t a problem.
With two zipped pockets on the front and two further inside pockets, the Glemsford offers plenty of storage space. The fit, however, is what really earns it the title of ‘best gilet’ for me. I found it more flattering than the Harkila, and the slight scoop to the back keeps it looking neat. Toggles at the hips allow you to adjust the hem – a key feature for keeping the warmth in.
The wind-stop collar is also nice & high in classic Musto fashion, but with slightly rounded corners. This keeps the collar from feeling ‘in the way’ during usual wear – a minor feature to be sure, but one that neatly solves a particular bugbear of mine.
After almost a year with the Glemsford, mine has seen service over a shirt while out on summer evenings, atop jumpers as an everyday outer on colder days in the office, and as a crucial midlayer during the harsh snows in February. If I were to lose it, I’d definitely be buying another.
Stods – Harkila Sandhem
From September through to April, my Harkila Sandhem fleece gilet is my go to item of clothing. It’s either on me or close at hand for the chilly start or end of the day when taking the dog for a walk in the autumn or spring. It’s then a permanent fixture during the winter months going over a jumper or fleece or under a jacket as that extra layer of warmth.
With a warm core I’m a happy man. The combination of the Polartec fleece and the longer body means that I can be bending over without the gilet riding up my back keeping my lower back nice and warm. There’s also a draw cord at the waist which helps to keep draughts out and to alter the height of the hem as needed.
My Sandhem also has two zipped side pockets and a zipped inner chest pocket so, if I am out and about, there’s masses of space for all the bits and pieces one has when doing stuff around the farm or garden. They are also perfect for storing a wallet and car keys when I’m watching a son or daughter playing sport or am in town for a meeting. Likewise, the two-way zip is a must have for me, particularly with the longer body shape of the Sandhem, allowing me to get easier access to my trouser pockets, cartridge belt or making for a more comfortable drive home.
As the ad person at Amex once said “Don’t leave home without it”.
Gordon – Baleno Harvey
This time of year, I tend to keep one in the car as a midlayer on call. Whether out with the dogs or in town, they offer a quick fix for cold snaps and can be worn over a jumper for a smart-casual look or under a jacket for extra warmth.
It is made from a high-quality Sherpa fleece, which is moisture wicking and anti-pilling. This is also lighter weight and faster drying than wool, without compromising on the warmth. It’s finished with a nice Alcantara (suede-like) trim
There is a high wind-stopper collar, which is not too intrusive and a nice feature. Pockets are also nice and deep for plenty of storage, being able to get pretty much the whole forearm in when cold enough (and I’ve forgotten my gloves!) and certainly up for sporting use. Another nice feature is the Baleno Interchangeable Lining System. This allows the Harvey, as well as its long-sleeved brother, to the zipped into certain Baleno jackets.
In terms of the sizing, may be worth going one up from your usual. They are designed to be relatively streamlined, so sizing up ensures you’ve enough space if you like to add more layers underneath. It’s a smart looking piece which is great value for money. If you not a navy kind of chap like me, there are a few colours to chose from. Also available in a ladies’ and kids’ model, making them a great gift idea for the whole family.