Sailing jackets are an important layer of protection from the sun and wind for you as a sailor aboard your sailboat. Sunscreen is the first solution, but the sun is a formidable opponent on a sailboat. Further, it is intensified even more as its rays reflect off the surface of the water, so covering up your body by using a boating jacket will provide the best protection. Sunscreen can’t protect against the wind like a sailing jacket can and since sailboats use the power of the wind, you’ll be faced with a constant breeze. That breeze might feel nice at first, but soon you will feel chilly and really want to put more clothes on, even if it’s in the summer! Add rain to this situation and you will quickly begin to shiver from the cold making it unbearable to continue sailing. Sailing jackets keep you protected from the sun when it’s sunny, and they keep you warm and dry when it’s blowing and windy.

However, finding a quality boating jacket can be frustrating because there are so many options to choose from. The best waterproof sailing jacket will be durable, versatile, comfortable, and functional. You should be able to easily add it to your sailing attire and use it with sailing life jackets and harnesses for safe sailing.

To help you find the best quality sailing jacket, we’ve made a guide that will point out some important features that you should consider. Plus, to give you a head start we’ve picked the three best sailing jackets that will have you sailing in style.

How To Choose A Sailing Jacket – Buying Guide



The best waterproof sailing jackets will be made of synthetic materials because they are extremely durable, lightweight, and reliably resistant to water. The most common synthetic materials used for yachting jackets are Nylon, Polyester, Neoprene, and Polyurethane.

These types of synthetic materials are the best for repelling water, which will be essential for sailors who want to avoid getting ill or feeling cold. The material is also lightweight, which is important for comfort. The material, while protective, should still have breathability and flexibility. Nylon, Polyester, Neoprene, and Polyurethane are all materials that won’t restrict your movement, so you’re free to sail comfortably all the way up to the point where you drop your anchor. While most people wash their clothes after each use, these sailing jackets only need to be dried after use. They won’t need washing and will be ready to wear again at the first sign of bad weather.

But you must also consider the durability of your yachting jackets. The material used will determine how durable and comfortable your sail jacket will be against the salty air, salty wind, and harsh sun. The higher quality the material means the better your sail jacket will be in every aspect; durability and longevity. A top-rated waterproof sailing jacket should be made of the best quality synthetic materials, so look for well-known companies with good reputations to ensure you’re invested in the best materials. 


Waterproof is everything for sailing jackets because it’s the element that keeps you protected on board your boat. But the term waterproof is often used interchangeably with the word water-resistant, but they aren’t the same. In fact, it’s important to understand the difference between water-resistant and waterproof because they aren’t the same.

A water-resistant jacket may repel water, but it won’t resist a heavy wave or constant sea spray; for light spray, this works out fine, but one big heavy wave and you will be soaked to the bone. A waterproof jacket will give sailors the best protection and keep them warm. It will fully repel water, so even if you’re drenched by the waves or rain your other layers will stay dry and that means you will stay warm and comfortable.

Some waterproof jackets are made of waterproof material and others have a waterproof treatment. No matter, the best waterproof sailing jacket will have adjustments to seal out any leaks, especially around the neck, waist, and cuffs. The material should make water bead off, so it never penetrates to drench your other layers. With a waterproof sailing jacket, you’ll be the most comfortable and protected.

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Fit is important for a boating jacket so that a sailor isn’t stuck with a design that is too small or too large. A lightweight sailing jacket made for men or women will have specific measurements to ensure that each sailor is the most comfortable in their jacket. This will give them excellent range of motion as well as comfort while they wear it so they can focus on the task at hand and not their jacket.

A top-rated waterproof sailing jacket should also have a somewhat relaxed and comfortable fit. This will ensure that you are never restricted in your movement, which can be very important if you are working with sailing knives and rigging your boat. 

The fit of your yacht coat can also determine how warm it keeps you. An improper fit that is too large will leave spaces for the wind to blow into, which will make you colder. But on the other hand, one that is too tight can restrict your body and not allow the warmth to spread. For this reason, it is vital that you find the best fit for your body. Ideally, try the jacket on while wearing a very comfortable sweater, preferably one made out of wool as wool keeps you warm and dry under your jacket. If it is hot, you can shed the wool sweater and just wear your sailing jacket, but if you find yourself sailing in especially cold conditions, you have room in your sailing jacket to add a few layers of warmer clothes to keep you toasty and comfortable.


If you’re picky about your style, the good news is that there are lots of different styles of waterproof sailing jackets. There are styles that have hoods, popped collars, and ¼ zip fronts. Some will look more sophisticated and others may resemble a fisherman’s jacket. You will have the ability to choose exactly what style you want to sport on the high seas.

Some styles are better for different types of weather. A style that is hoodless would be great for windy days of dinghy sailing when all you need to worry about is sea spray. But if you are planning on sailing in bad weather, like rain and high winds, a style that has a hood included with a tall popped collar would be best so that water can’t penetrate the jacket and so your head stays dry. However, the choice is entirely up to you and your preferences. A variety of colors is also available for those who want to color coordinate their gear with their boat, but it is important to remember that if you fall overboard, bright colors and reflective strips will make you easier to spot and more likely to be rescued. If your sailing jacket is stylishly “back in black” you will be very hard to find on the open ocean at night.


The size of boating jackets will likely range from pre-determined sizes like small, medium, large, and extra-large. There will be differences in size between sailing jacket men’s and sailing jackets women’s, plus a large change with adult and youth sizes.

Most brands will offer a traditional range of sizes from small to extra-large, but if you need specialty sizes that are plus-sized, you may have to look at a few different brands to get the size you need. Some brands like Helly Hansen have a full range of sizes available in most of their jacket designs with options from small to 5X-large.

If you are struggling to find your size, look for a brand specific size chart. Most brands will include a size chart on their website that will give the sizing equivalent with various measurements of the shoulder, chest, and waist. Lightweight sailing jacket reviews may also have information regarding how well certain sizes fit certain body types.


Just like style, there are a variety of sailing jacket designs. The best waterproof sailing jacket will have a smart design that is packed with great features like waterproofing, style, vents, straps, adjustments, pockets, and more. In general, the smarter the design the more you can adjust the jacket to fit you perfectly or to keep out the water.

You should look at yachting jackets that have a design you like. Whether it’s the overall look or the features that are packed into the jacket, you should want to use the same design for every trip.

Pockets and Zippers

For sailors, pockets and zippers can be one of the most important features for their boating jacket. Pockets are great for storing small items like sailing gloves and sailing sunglasses, while the zipper can ensure nothing falls out if your sailboat is rolled by a wave.

The best sailing jackets have a variety of exterior and interior pockets, so you never fall short of storage. Many boating jackets will have the two classic side pockets, but others may even have a breast or sleeve pocket too. Not all may have zippers, but we highly recommend that you find a design that does. Zippers are the best way to keep your things secure.

Lastly, the size of the pockets may vary. Some pockets may be large enough to fit sailing hats and others small enough to hold just a  very key or very important tool. A variety of pocket sizes can keep a sailor well organized, so look for a jacket with different options.



Q: Why do I need a special sailing jacket?


If you want to stay comfortable on the high seas, having a special sailing jacket can really benefit any sailor by providing protection from the water, sun, and wind. A top-rated waterproof sailing jacket will do it’s best to protect the sailor from any weather condition while aboard a sailboat.

Sailors who use sailing jackets stay dry, warm, and comfortable for the entire duration of their trip. It’s important that a sailor stays comfortable to avoid illness from being drenched or exposed to cold strong winds. A sailing jacket can ensure a sailor is in their best shape to continue their journey.

Q: How to clean a sailing jacket?


Different sailing jackets will require different methods to care for and wash the material. Some jackets can be machine washed and others would be better washed by hand. Normally, the jackets that provide less protection are washed more often, while the jackets that provide incredible protection from the elements won’t need washing for years. Machine washing is the most convenient way to care for your sail jacket, so if that’s what you prefer, check the label or product specifications for care instructions before you make a purchase; while other jackets simply need to be properly dried out before being stored away in the hanging locker.

The best way to determine how to care for your sailing jacket is to look for any brand-specific instructions that will outline how your yacht coat can be washed and with what detergent. After washing your sailing jacket, you will want to reapply a waterproofing spray to replenish and augment the jackets inherent waterproof design. You may also find tips from other buyers on how they care for their jackets in the sailing jacket reviews. 

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A top-rated waterproof sailing jacket is one of the best purchases a sailor can make and it would be an excellent gift for sailors too. The best sailing jacket will provide a vital layer of protection for any sailor and keep them dry on the high seas. With a lightweight sailing jacket, you can block out the sun, wind, and water so you are focused on the path ahead.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!