Racing: Outer Layer Jacket
Atlantis Weathergear’s versatile Aegis jacket can take you offshore, but is ideal for a wet day of in-shore racing. The Teflon-finished three-layer fabric is waterproof, windproof and breathable, with sleek waterproof taped seams. While the colors are subtle and aesthetic, reflective patches on the crown, cuffs and shoulders keep you visibile. Finishing touches include a bright and visible stowable hood, fleece-lined collar, under-arm vents and even a “watch window” in the sleeve, so you can time your start without getting any spray up your arm.
Racing: Outer Layer Bibs
The Shockwave Hi Fit lined bibs from Henri Lloyd will keep you dry with a cut just beneath the arms, stretch for movement and adjustable straps. They’re made with the company’s new TP2 Alpha fabric—a fresh take on the three-layer approach that sandwiches a hydrophilic waterproof/breathable membrane between a Durable Water Repellent outer fabric and an inner layer comprised of thousands of “microbeads,” for breathability. They feature Cordura seat and knee reinforcements and concealed zippers keep spray at bay. These bibs will go offshore too—slide in Deck Armour seat and knee impact protectors which will mold to your body to make longer races more comfortable.
Racing: Mid-Layer Salopettes
Its sleeping bag-like coziness is only one of the selling points of Gill’s i5 Crosswind Mid Layer Salopettes. The cushy synthetic insulation on the inside will keep you warm even when wet while the two-layer outer material is both waterproof and breathable. They’ll slide on easily over your base layers, and the upper back and shoulder material stretches so you’ll be able to move even after you throw on your outer layer. On less extreme days, they’ll keep you comfortable on their own.
Racing: Base Layers
Patagonia’s new Capilene 4 Expedition Weight base layers are the softest around, with a brushed fleece interior. They’re lighter weight than expected, wick moisture away from your skin and have odor control. Thumb loops help keep your hands insulated when you’re cruising without gloves. The best part is, their Polartec® fabric will keep you feeling toasty on the chilliest of days so you can give your full attention to the next mark rounding.
Gill’s Extreme Gloves are just that—heavy duty and durable. Most important for cold days, they’ll keep your hands warm even when wet. Made of neoprene, they have “Proton-Ultra”—a leathery material—on the palm and fingers, and a strip of fabric along the index finger for extra grip.
Helly Hansen’s Helly Welly is built for ocean racing, but will keep you warm and dry on a lengthy trip or long day of coastal racing, and priced reasonably for doing so. The boot’s Helly Tech lining is waterproof and breathable, the storm grip on the sole will keep you from sliding around on deck on a blustery day and the midsole C-Zone cushions will keep you on your feet for the duration. Premium leather details don’t skimp.
Cruising: Outer Layer Jacket
Helly Hansen’s Hydro Power Lite jacket is just that—lightweight—but without any loss of wind or water protection. Made of breathable two-layer fabric, it impressed us with touches like a fleece-lined collar, reflective strips on the upper back, substantial abrasion patches around the waist and wrist and soft lined pockets for warming up chapped hands. The bright lime will be seen from the water but is an improvement on your old duck-yellow foulies.
Cruising: Outer Layer Pants
Atlantis WeatherGear’s Resolute Waist Pant is great for lighter weather days when you want to stay dry without the bulk of heavy bibs. Three-layer construction means they’re waterproof and comfortable. Count on Atlantis for a stylish cut, without neglecting details like reinforced knees and seat and waterproof zippers.
Cruising: Mid Layer Top
The Navigator Sweater from Atlantis WeatherGear exceeds traditional mid layer expectations. The Navigator is not only flattering, but is as technical as they come. Like a good synthetic fleece, it is wicking, warm when wet, dries quickly and unlike your traditional sweater, it won’t smell like a dog when damp. A performance top that can be worn off the water, this was one of the most unique layers we tried.