Gear

Rain? Check. Hu­mid­ity? Yes, the Water­tight II from Columbia can han­dle that, too.

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Si­mon Mur­ray

Columbia’s Water­tight II jacket is en­gi­neered to han­dle all the weather you can throw at it, but can it han­dle Florida’s ICW?

Florida’s ICW is the per­fect place to test a jacket that can do it all, be­cause, well, it’ll need to. As any­one who has boated in the “sun­shine” state can at­test, Florida’s weather is down­right un­pre­dictable: per­fectly sunny one minute, squalls on the hori­zon the next—some­times both at the same time. Such in­con­sis­tent pat­terns make pre­dict­ing the weather an un­en­vi­able job, and good luck try­ing to fig­ure out what to pack for a cruise here. You might as well take a dart and throw it at a wall of sug­ges­tions.

With the weather in mind while pack­ing for a cruise along the ICW, I brought along the Water­tight II Jacket ($60) from Columbia. Sure enough, the jacket got used al­most im­me­di­ately upon my ar­rival. That squall in the picture above isn’t CGI or green screen; that’s real Florida weather for you.

Made from a 100-per­cent ny­lon weave, the Water­tight II fea­tures fullseam seal­ing and a mi­cro­p­orous fab­ri­ca­tion called Omni-Tech; it’s guar­an­teed by the com­pany to be wa­ter­proof and breath­able. Sum­mer squall on the hori­zon? The Wa­ter- tight II shields you from spon­ta­neous down­pours. Hot, sticky hu­mid­ity? The jacket al­lows ex­cess heat and va­por built up from dy­namic ac­tiv­ity—scur­ry­ing up and down the fly­bridge lad­der, toss­ing lines, fish­ing, etc.—to es­cape, keep­ing you cool as a cu­cum­ber on the in­side.

Com­plete with an ad­justable hood, two zip­pered hand pock­ets, an abra­sion-re­sis­tant chin guard and draw­cor­dad­justable hem, the Water­tight II also is in­fin­itely pack­able and a nice ad­di­tion to any cruise. With a bevy of fit op­tions to choose from—in­clud­ing stan­dard, big­ger and taller, with a slew of dif­fer­ent sizes within those cat­e­gories—the jacket has been en­gi­neered to con­form to al­most ev­ery body type. You won’t have to shimmy into some­thing too small or drown in ex­cess fab­ric.

The Water­tight II is use­ful for the ICW, or any place with a hot clime and the chance for rain at a mo­ment’s no­tice. When the weather is spon­ta­neous (no, not the fun kind), it’s nice to know you can wear some­thing con­sis­tently pre­dictable.

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