Gill Verso Lite Jacket is a really handy bit of kit, particularly for those with limited bag space, as it offers the option of packing down into a tiny package
There’s much to be said for the advantages of a smock style top, without a full front zip, as they usually offer better protection than a jacket of similar specification. The Gill Verso Lite Jacket is a slimline and impressively lightweight garment – the medium size version I tested weighs only 420 grammes.
It also packs small, so takes very little space in your kitbag. In fact, a really neat feature is the central zipped chest pouch that’s sized so that the entire garment can be stuffed inside and zipped up into a package that fits in the palm of your hand.
It’s also comfortable to wear and much easier than many smocks to get on and off.
Despite the slimline styling there are pockets for your hands. These fall short of full fleece-lined handwarmers, but will keep them dry and out of the wind.
The hood has two-way adjustment but, like the Zhik INS-200, lacks its own storage pouch. Instead a shock cord retaining loop keeps it out of the way when not in use.
The jacket is made of Gill’s Explore fabric, a two-layer system without a separate lining that balances outright performance against weight and breathability. All seams are fully taped.
Cuffs are lined with PU, which makes an effective seal using the Velcro tabs, but without the extra bulk and complication of an inner cuff.
Elastic drawstrings for the hood and waist can be operated single-handed and will help keep water where it should be.
In the past the default was to select foul weather gear for the worst conditions that might be encountered on a particular trip. However, that often leads to wearing expensive and bulky kit that restricts movement in every day, conditions.
While this isn’t the only jacket I’d take for a long offshore passage in serious weather, it’s ideal for use in more moderate conditions and packs so small it’s feasible to carry in addition to full ocean gear.
Want to see what else is available? Take a look at our full guide to the best offshore jackets