This down jacket has become a staple of both editor Hugo’s and deputy editor Jack’s boating wardrobe because it’s such a warm, versatile and easy to wear item that looks just as good in town as it does on the boat, making it a shoe-in (or should that be jacket-in) for this year’s Editor’s Choice list.
It’s a rare occasion on a large motor boat that there’s a need for heavy-duty waterproof clothing.
Maybe if you were in heavy rain with reduced visibility and felt the need to steer from an outdoor helm; but largely a warm, light coat is more useful.
This is exactly what Gill has gone for with its Hydrophobe down range of jackets and gilets for men and women.
Traditional down is warm and light but loses its insulation if it becomes damp.
To combat this, Hydrophobe down is treated with a water-repellent finish that helps it to resist water and dry more quickly if it does get a soaking.
Additionally, the outer layer of fabric has its own water-repellant treatment to help keep the damp at bay.
What does this mean in practice? Well, it’s certainly warm enough, and in the various rain showers we’ve been caught out in during the our so-called spring, we can attest that.
The Gill Hydrophobe Down does a fine job of keeping you dry. It’s light and comfy and very easy to roll up and stuff into a bag, and it’s useful having zip pockets when you’re on the water too.
This jacket has two on the outside and one inside, ideal for ensuring something precious doesn’t disappear into the depths.
The main zip is a little bit small and fiddly and the thin soft shell outer layer looks vulnerable to tearing if snagged on anything sharp.
But that said our Gill Hydrophobe Down jackets are still going strong two years on and remain the default choice for both of us whenever an extra layer is needed.
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Read Yachting Monthly’s guide to the best coastal sailing waterproofs on the market.