The Zhik INS200 jacket is a great, lightweight jacket up to almost any task - though you will need something bigger and bulkier for very wet, cold passages
If you’re in the market for a lightweight performance sailing jacket, then the Zhik INS200 jacket might well be the right thing for you.
Fortunately the days in which fabric weight was a good proxy for the effectiveness of foul weather gear are long gone.
Massive advances in materials technology mean today a very lightweight jacket that’s comfortable and easy to move in can still be packed full of high-end features.
However, lightweight technical fabrics are expensive and typically Zhik’s kit is therefore not the cheapest on the market. Nevertheless, the state of the art fabrics it uses and the high level of attention to detail rarely fails to impress.
The streamlined and minimalist look of the INS-200 jacket conceals many neat features. For instance the hood has a soft Spandex gusset that sits comfortably on the forehead and performs several functions.
This improves protection against water ingress, while sealing the hood against wind, making it feel much warmer. It also automatically turns the hood as you turn your head.
The hood also has easy two-way adjustment for a perfect fit. However, there’s no pouch in the collar to pack it away when not in use.
Initially this felt odd to me, but by the end of a long late October day on the water off Barcelona it no longer felt like a problem and is in keeping with the pared down nature of this kit.
The three layer fabric doesn’t need a bulky lining that makes it difficult to slide the jacket on and off, while manufacturer’s lab tests show waterproof durability is of a higher level than the industry average.
Although this is primarily a piece of technical clothing it’s also intended to be suitable for use onshore, reducing the amount of kit that you need to travel with when sailing.
For offshore use, when extreme conditions may be encountered, you can use this as a comfortable option when under way in good weather and when going ashore, while reserving a cumbersome full-ocean spec jacket for use only in bad weather.
Zhik’s INS-200 jacket is a fairly slim fit so if you’re on the cusp of two sizes and not an athletic build it’s probably worth ordering the larger option.
Want to see what else is available? Take a look at our full guide to the best offshore jackets