Powerboat & Rib Magazine Buyer’s Guide: Foulies
Powerboat & Rib magazine examines some of the best foul weather clothing options money can buy…
Foulie manufacturers love to conjure up all kinds of exotic, quasi-scientific buzzwords to help make their products sound special. But the truth is that the primary job of foul-weather gear is to keep you dry – and there are significant overlaps in the methods each manufacturer uses to achieve that.
A marine outer garment keeps you dry firstly by providing a barrier against the elements and secondly by enabling perspiration to escape. This essential combination of waterproofing and breathability is achieved by means of tiny holes (or micropores) which enable the small molecules of moisture vapour to pass through while blocking the larger molecules of liquid water. The result is that while sweat is able to escape from the body, external fluid (in the form of rain and seawater) is kept at bay. And this micropore system is often assistant by hydrophilic (water-loving) coatings, which help draw the moisture vapour through the holes and speed up the process.
These days, even entry-level foul-weather gear tends to offer a very decent level of waterproofing and breathability, so in order to narrow down your options, you should pay attention to which of the three general categories (coastal, offshore or ocean) best suits your lifestyle. The level of performance, the quality of the build and the price you pay all tend to be defined by the severity of the conditions the kit is expected to face, so you need to take the states purpose of a foul-weather garment seriously…
Buyers’ top tips
1 Get better value and performance by honestly assessing what kind of garment best suits your lifestyle.
2. A female cut (with wider hips, shorter arms and an easy-access drop panel in the seat of the trousers) is now widely available in most styles.
3. A waterproof see-through panel on the arm or leg is useful for the stowage of hands-free ‘at-a-glance’ navigation notes.
4. While good foulie gear will keep you dry, it rarely offers much thermal protection, so buy a set with enough room for additional layers.
5. If you want a matching two-piece set, try to buy it in one go, as ‘bundle’ packages often provide sizeable discounts.
These days, even entry-level foul-weather gear trends to offer a very decent level of waterproofing and breathability…
BASIC BUDGET: MUSTO BR1 Channel Jacket
MUSTO’s BR1 Jacket comes in various forms (dependent on your intended use), but all are relatively low in bulk and light in weight for active coastal boating. Built from polyurethane-coated polyamide, features include an adjustable roll-away fluorescent hood, a fleece-lined collar and a double cuff arrangement designed to offer what MUSTO call ‘virtual drysuit’ levels of protection. In addition, you get self-draining cargo pockets, a hem tensioner, life jacket attachment toggles, and even an internal pocket for your glasses (complete with microfibre cleaning cloth). It’s a well-considered choice.
HIGH END BUDGET: MUSTO MPX Offshore Jacket
The level of performance, the quality of build and the price you pay all tend to be defined by the severity of the conditions the kit is expected to face…
MUSTO’s GORE-TEX MPX is a fine product. Though it slots in beneath the more heavily built, range-topping HPX, its lighter, more versatile construction and £300 saving (for the two-piece set) make the MPX a better bet for most leisure boaters – and the features are excellent. The hood peak is transparent to improve visibility; the double storm flap and the cargo pockets both employ drainage channels; and the life jacket loops allow you to put on and remove your jacket and life jacket as one. The styliing is uninspired but the rest is spot on.
- Blog Categories
Tweets by @mustoclothing