It’s springtime, and the weather on the water can be as unpredictable as Gary Busey in front of an open bar. Even on the sunniest days, your best bet is a lightweight jacket that can handle a stiff breeze, a little soaking and a healthy dose of fish slime. Here are three to check out.
Our Take: Best for cold to moderately windy days. Gill uses what it calls “Thermal Gate” technology that helps regulate the fibers so you’re not too cool or too hot. It held true in conditions ranging from 35 degrees F to 60 degrees F, with light to moderate winds.
The Chill: Not meant to be rainproof; best used as a middle layer under a true waterproof slicker.
West Marine Men’s Typhoon
Our Take: Best for donning in a light rain, in moderate to warmer temps. The Typhoon is a breathable, 100 percent nylon shell with a water-repellent finish that held up to a few hours in a chilly rain, and the elastic cuffs kept water out during a few hand dunkings.
The Chill: Offers no real chill protection; without a few base layers underneath you’ll quickly grow some goose bumps.
Grundens Weather Watch
Our Take: Best for fishing. This lightweight rain gear proved no lightweight when it came to keeping us dry, even in driven spray. It’s also durable, resisting tears and rips every time we’ve snagged it. Big, deep pockets keep hands free. Easily rinses clean.
The Chill: The side and front pockets both empty into one big sack across the midriff, making staying organized tough.