November 2013 Issue
Holiday Gifts Ideas for Sailors
Stylish, Sun-Smart Sailor
Sperry sailing mocs and Columbia Sportswear’s cooling, UV-protective neck buff are great gift options for the trendy, sun-smart, practical sailor.
Sperry Sea Kite: Released this year, the sporty and comfortable men’s Sea Kite Sport Mocs from Sperry offer a modern update to the classic sailing moc style. The new shoes combine a water-resistant, leather and mesh upper that fits like a tennis shoe with the classic stitching and laces of a boat shoe. We tested the grey model, which has splashy orange lining, trim, and accents; a more traditional brown model is also available.
Testers found the shoes comfortable and versatile: Their non-marking, grippy soles make them a good choice for onboard wear, and their modern styling means they’re attractive enough to wear out to dinner.
The Sea Kite sole features Sperry’s Adaptive Wave-Siping, which is designed to disperse water underfoot and assist in stability and slip-resistance in wet and dry conditions. Testers put the Sea Kite shoes through the inclined traction test we put all test shoes through to simulate heeling angle. The Sperrys showed good traction during tests, allowing testers to say put at 35-degree heel on wet and dry teak and a 30-degree heel on nonskid; this was on par with many sailing shoes we’ve tested in the past.
The leather-mesh combination allows some breathing in the shoe, but with quality tight seams and leather uppers, don’t count on the shoes to be quick draining. Removable insoles help with dry time, and a pull tab on the heel helps with quick donning and doffing.
The Sea Kites retail for $100 on Sperry’s website. (www.sperrytopsider.com)
Columbia Neck Gaiter: The Columbia Freezer Zero Neck Gaiter is a lightweight neck buff that offers UPF 50 sun protection and a cooling sensation for those who like to stick their neck out on the water. Columbia’s Omni-Freeze Zero fabric, which we tested during our review of Columbia Omni-Freeze Zero shirts (PS Recommended, May 2013), features a cooling technology that lowers the temperature of the fabric when it reacts with sweat.
The infinity-scarf-style gaiter can be worn pulled down around the base of the neck to protect the lower neck and décolletage from the sun’s rays, or pulled high, up over the ears, mouth and nose (bank-robber style), for partial facial protection. Testers found that the breathable and cooling fabric was comfortable, even when wearing the gaiter over the nose and mouth in South Florida’s blistering summer sun and heat. Our past tests have also shown that barrier protection like fabric is superior to sunscreens when it comes to battling harmful UV (PS, October 2010).
The neck gaiter costs $30 on the Columbia website and is an ideal gift for sailors, fishermen, and anyone who spends time outdoors in sunny climes. (www.columbia.com)