Inshore vs Offshore Sailing Jackets

This season’s latest sailing jackets continue to surprise and delight our boating enthusiasts who have tried and tested the huge range of jackets from dinghy sailing, in-shore sailing right through to ocean racing kit.

The key to success is the new generation of technical durable fabrics which are becoming lighter, drier and more breathable than ever – keeping you comfortable for longer. It can be hard to know where to begin when buying a new sailing jacket when the choice seems endless and the myriad of colours makes the decision even harder.

To choose the correct jacket you need to be sure about the type of sailing you are embarking on – from inshore or coastal sailing in warm conditions where keeping cool and dry is the main challenge, to ocean sailing where the conditions will be at their most challenging.

Our sailing experts have put together their favourite inshore/coastal jackets, and the best high-performance offshore jackets.

Inshore/Coastal Sailing Jackets

Inshore jackets are a fantastic & versatile option; offering fully waterproof fabric for total protection, they tend to have a more stylish finish than their ocean-going counterparts so will blend in when in town too.

As with any sailing jacket, all seams should be fully taped and the lining should be comfortable, quick-drying and breathable. This will prevent any water getting in and, vitally, that the sweat you work up during periods of intense activity is able to escape. The warmer the climate you’re sailing in, the more important breathability will be.

It’s also important to ensure your jacket allows total freedom of movement so you are not restricted while performing tasks on deck. An adjustable high collar with hood offers invaluable protection around the face and head, while adjustable cuffs will prevent water from streaming up your sleeves. Large pockets with flap closures and storm flaps over the zips act as an extra barrier again the elements, and handwarmer pockets are a great touch to help keep your hands warm & dexterous in all weathers.

Inshore jackets also tend to be much more lightweight than their offshore counterparts, so can be stowed away easily when not needed.

Gill – OS3 Coastal Jacket

  • Fully-featured, lightweight design
  • Large pockets for added convenience
  • Subtle hi-vis features for added safety


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Henri Lloyd – Sail Jacket 2.0

  • Extremely breathable TP1 fabric
  • Handwarmer pockets
  • Stylish Henri Lloyd accents


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Musto – BR2 Coastal Jacket

  • Total freedom of movement
  • Excellent waterproofing & breathability
  • Handwarmer pockets & fluorescent hood lining


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Ocean & Off-shore Sailing Jackets

Planning your first ocean sail can be a daunting prospect, so having confidence in your kit is key. Offshore jackets need to be able to stand up to the harshest conditions – as a result, they do tend to cost more than their inshore counterparts but you are getting a lot more functionality. Taped seams, high collars, and adjustable hems are a must, and preserved freedom of movement is imperative.

An adjustable peaked hood preserves your peripheral vision while keeping water off your face, while articulated arms ensure your movement is never prohibited. When moving offshore, handwarmer pockets turn from a luxury to a necessity.

With the conditions becoming more extreme, hi-vis or fluorescent safety features also become essential.

Gill – OS1 Jacket

  • Extremely waterproof & breathable 4-layer material
  • Abrasion-resistant finish
  • Ocean-height collar & zip-away hood


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Henri Lloyd – Elite Offshore Jacket

  • GORE-TEX PRO material
  • Double storm flaps with drainage channels
  • Once wet, returns to dry weight extremely quickly


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Musto – BR2 Offshore Jacket

  • Double-cuffed sleeves, double storm flap
  • 3-way adjustable peaked roll-away hood
  • Internal sunglasses pocket


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Once you have chosen a jacket that suits your needs then you can team it up with the trousers to complete the suit. For the ultimate sailing protection you will need a layering system starting with a base layer, mid-layers as well boots and gloves to protect your hands and feet warm and protected. We have plenty of choices available in our Sailing section.

For any further questions or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our team who will be delighted to help.

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