Unless you know you will be spending a considerable amount of time in severe weather conditions, then the coastal style range of sailing jacket will be more than sufficient. Let's look at the best costal sailing jackets.


The best coastal sailing jackets are more than able to deal with almost all conditions and races which the majority of us will ever experience.

For this comparison we will look at sailing jackets which can deal with overnight races and short passages – but importantly they must be able to qualify for safety regulations of mid distance races with a built in hood and reflective patches.

All manufacturers have a different labelling system but for all intense purposes this gear is a level down from the “all singing” full noise style of extreme offshore sailing jackets.

Fastnets, Hobart’s, Bermuda races to less extreme trade wind ocean passages – the jackets are more than tough enough to keep you operating at 100%, and are a step up from the entry-level lightweight sailing jackets.

These jackets always share the technology and lessons learnt from their slightly tougher ocean stablemates – but in a slightly lighter form. More than able to keep the elements at bay these jackets will serve you well, and if you are anything like me, they must essentially be up to those really wet dog walks. Let’s look at the best buys.

Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence.

6 of the best coastal sailing jackets

Helly Hansen Skagen Offshore jacket

Good all-round coastal sailing jacket

Reasons to buy

– Shares knowledge gained from front line racing experience
– Good hood and storm face shield
– Good price

Reasons to avoid

– Not the levels of Gore-Tex for protection – but not far off

Helly Hansen have been involved with sailing for many years, from singlehanded to multi crew round the world racing they really have learned a lot about what is needed for the longer races.

The Skagen jacket borrows a lot of what has worked well from their ocean range and ocean experiences and put into this more coastal offering. Made from their very own produced Helly-Tech performance system for maximum water resistance combined with a good level of breathability to ensure maximum comfort.

Sharing a decent hood, which can fold away in the large fleece lined collar which also has more than adequate storm coverage for the face – so you can fully close down to protect from the elements.

There’s plenty of pocket space and all the safety boxes are ticked.

Buy at Amazon

North Sails Offshore jacket

Simply the best coastal sailing jacket

Reasons to buy

– Built to be the best
– Vast experience gained in yacht racing
– Gore-Tex construction

Reason to avoid

– At top of budget – but for a reason

As with their whole range, the North Sails Offshore Jacket benefits from the vast experience of pro yachtsmen in all conditions in every race available. All performance gear was made with the brief of being the very best, and it certainly looks like they achieved.

As with the Ocean range the Offshore jacket benefits by being lighter and less bulky than its competitors, which makes tasks and manoeuvres easier for the wearer in all weather conditions.

Small details combine to make this possible, a big difference is the use of North’s very own 4DL reinforced seat and elbow pads which are bonded to the Gore-Tex pro material as opposed to being sewn into the panel joins, so less bulky seams which are significantly easier to waterproof.

The Gore-Tex pro cloth used is the best available and this offshore jacket is only slightly lighter weight than the all singing and dancing Southern Ocean Jacket.

This jacket really is the next step in development in the overnight coastal jacket category, and also available as a smock or Women’s specific.

Buy mens version at North Sails

Buy women’s at North Sails


Gill OS2 Offshore jacket

Best coastal sailing jacket on a budget

Reasons to buy

– Great price point
– Available globally

Reasons to avoid

– Breathability not as good as more expensive Gore-Tex clothing

Gill are better know for their kit for smaller yachts and dinghies and don’t seem to fully compete for a slice of the “round the world” level of kit, but with that in mind the Gill OS2 offshore Jacket is great for this category.

The shape and comfort of the jacket is really good and waterproofing seems good (although not quite at the levels of Gore-Tex).

Has the usual attention to detail in an easily adaptable hood, and decent adjustable seals on the cuffs for the waves that love to shoot up the arm. Also has the nice touch of fleece lined pockets for those chilly fingers.

As far as price goes the jacket is very competitive at around 50% of some others in this category and with that in mind will be a fantastic option for many people.

Readily available worldwide and comes in a varied range of colours.

Buy at West Marine


Zhik CST 500 Jacket

Worth a look

Reasons to buy

– Lighter weight
– Not bulky

Reasons to avoid

– Not ideal for longer trips

Zhik have really made a push in all areas in sailing kit in the past few years, and their kits can be seen at almost every event and in high street stores of popular sailing centres.

One of the lighter weight jackets around, this meets the requiremnets on test with fluorescent hood and reflective tape.

Due to it being closer to an inshore oreiented kit it is less bulky than some of the others on test, so it may be a case of being an ideal coastal option but maybe a little light for extended periods of “fire hydrant” ocean action.

Buy at Zhik


Musto BR2 Offshore Jacket

Mid range offering

Reasons to buy

– Musto are a sailing powerhouse
– Years of experience and lessons learned

Reasons to avoid

– Surprisingly not Gore-Tex
– Can be bulky

Musto are one of the best known manufacturers in the industry and have put their experience in to the BR2 Offshore jacket and it shares a lot of details seen in the HPX range.

Hood and storm face shield are good and easy to snug around the head. Large pockets allow for carrying lots of essential items, maybe a little to much as to make this bulky when laden.

Surprisingly not Gore-Tex, but is Musto’s BR2 fabric, which they claim is up to the job. Also available as a women jacket.

Buy men’s at Musto

Buy women’s at Musto


Henri Lloyd O-Race Jacket 3L

A good alternative coastal sailing jacket

Reasons to buy

– Decent storm protection
– Good sizing range

Reasons to avoid

– Quite bulky
– Limited colours

Henri Lloyd seem to be concentrating on their general clothing and less on the performance related gear theses days. They still do the odd bit of performance kit and this  Coastal Offshore Jacket is one of them.

Made from their own DRI PRO system for maximum waterproof and breathable properties, the seams are taped well and it seems a good jacket.

An ample collar which houses a decent and adjustable hood, which includes a couple of clear windows to help peripheral vision. It also has a good storm shield for the face to really close yourself away from the elements.

Buy men’s at Henri Lloyd

Buy women’s at Henri Lloyd

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Head to Amazon’s dedicated sailing page for more marine products.

If you enjoyed this….

Yachting World is the world’s leading magazine for bluewater cruisers and offshore sailors. Every month we have inspirational adventures and practical features to help you realise your sailing dreams.
Build your knowledge with a subscription delivered to your door. See our latest offers and save at least 30% off the cover price.