Yachting Monthly - - GROUP TEST - With thanks to in­spi­ra­tion Marine for pro­vid­ing their hanse 388 as Yacht­ing Monthly’s test base for this ar­ti­cle.­spi­ra­tion­ma­

Even with a bud­get of £350, there are some re­mark­ably good sets of oil­skins on the mar­ket. Different brands have fo­cused on different kinds of wa­ter­proofs at this price point: Musto and Zhik have gone more light­weight; Henri Lloyd sit in the mid­dle with heav­ier con­struc­tion but min­i­mal­ist de­sign; Gill, Tri­bord, Helly Hansen and Gull have gone for pared­down ver­sions of their off­shore kit. It’s up to you to pick what’s im­por­tant to you, al­though for in­shore and coastal sail­ing, we liked the suits that had at least some cargo pock­ets and some hand­warmer pock­ets. On this score, the Helly Hansen, Gill, Gul and Tri­bord did very well.

All the suits used own­brand fabric, all made to be wa­ter­proof and breath­able, and all use fully taped seams. Have a look at the fab­rics wa­ter­proof rat­ing – this will have an im­pact on how pro­longed a soak­ing you can en­dure be­fore you feel damp.

The big sur­prise from our test was how well Decathlon did with its Tri­bord 500 jacket. If the brands were not marked on the clothes, it would be very dif­fi­cult to tell that this one is half the price of the oth­ers. We think this brand will be mak­ing waves in the sec­tor if it’s longevity is up to scratch.

We liked the Musto a lot and it would be a great set of wa­ter­proofs for the sum­mer, but for our money, Helly Hansen ticked the most boxes: light­weight and stylish, ro­bust wa­ter­proof­ing, ex­cel­lent pro­tec­tion, plenty of pock­ets and per­formed well in the wa­ter test. Its only weak spot was the rather ba­sic salopettes.

Fi­nally, it was a close call for the run­ner-up po­si­tion. The Gill, Gul, Henri Lloyd and Zhik suits were all in strong con­tention. In the end, the su­per comfy Zhik Kiama nar­rowly pipped the Gill OS3 Coastals to the post. Sur­pris­ingly ef­fec­tive seals and a few nice de­tails made them a plea­sure to wear. Gill were solid and had a good level of fea­tures that put it just ahead of Henri Lloyd.

need a shower? our hose­down test looked for any wa­ter­proof­ing weak spots

our wa­ter­proofs test­ing plat­form was a hanse 388

see YM dec 2017 for our full test of the hanse 388

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