Gearing Up for Foul Weather

Wondering what to pack for your sailing adventure? If a rain-soaked afternoon is in your future, you'll want these in your gear bag.
dress like a sailor
Photo by Brian Sager CRW

The Essentials:

Make sure zippers are either waterproof or covered by a flap of fabric. A high neck will keep you warm, and ample pockets give you places to stow a flashlight, knife or snack.

Instead of cotton, opt for wool or synthetics like fleece or polyester that will continue to insulate even when wet. A light jacket that can be worn alone or under your waterproof shell is a particularly useful item.

Protect legs from rain and spray and your rear from wet cockpit benches with waterproof trousers. They come in waist-high versions, as bibs with adjustable shoulder straps, or as salopettes that act as pants and a vest all in one.


Keep your feet dry in sea boots with grippy, nonmarking soles. Make sure to get a pair big enough to accommodate wool or synthetic socks.

Life jacket
An inflatable personal flotation device will keep you floating face up if you fall in the water. Make sure to read arming instructions carefully.

Our Picks:

1. Gill Inshore Lite Jacket
Collar pocket stows hood


2. Zhik Hydrophobic Fleece
Water beads up and rolls off

3. West Marine Coastal Automatic Inflatable PFD
Handy zipper stash pocket

4. Helly Hansen Newport Pants
Bib-style pants with drop seat


5. Xtratuf Deck Boots
Flexible neoprene for comfort

6. Musto BR1 Inshore Jacket
High-visibility hood and reflective patches for safety

7. Spinlock Deckvest Lite
Sleek, ergonomic fit


8. Gill Inshore Lite Trousers
Breathable waist-high pants

9. West Marine Short Cruising Boots
No-frills boots with great value