Features July 2008 Issue

Women’s Foul-Weather Gear

Testers find that how well foulies fit can affect how well they protect.

Practical Sailor tested seven sets of mid-level marine foul-weather gear, four sets of which were designed specifically for women. The other three were unisex jackets and bibs. The gear tested was: the Gill Key West, Gul Newport, Helly Hansen Fjord, Plastimo XM Coastal, Plastimo XM Offshore, Ronstan Inshore, and West Marine Third Reef. Each set (coat and trousers) was evaluated for fit, comfort, ease of doffing and donning, and breathability. Testers looked closely at the details including zippers, Velcro, snaps, pockets, hoods, and cuffs. One of the most significant findings was that fit can greatly affect foul-weather gear performance as far as water-proofing and wind-proofing are concerned.

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