I've worn many different types of sailing jackets over the years and have constantly found it a struggle to find one that fits my petite shape, and let's be honest, style. (Hey - I can't help it. Just because you're sailing doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style.) Then came along the Crew Midlayer Jacket for women from Helly Hansen. My years of jacket seeking and testing have come to an end with this one; It quickly became my go to jacket for everyday life.
I love this jacket for a multitude of reasons but my top four have to be as follows:
1. It's not too long in the arms; which as a petite lady is something that's very hard to find.
2. It's the perfect layer for extra warmth without being bulky.
3. It's seriously lightweight, breathable and windproof.
4. IT'S PINK! Or Magenta according to the label.
Now I know that not everyone may want a pink colour sailing jacket, which is fine but - hey some of us do. Over the years at Fogh I've gotten quite a few customer inquiries about why there aren't more feminine colours (not the same old blue and red). I've long found it interesting that women's jackets in the marine world are mainly blue, white or red. Hello manufacturers, some of us want some colour in our lives! Keep things fun and vibrant without compromising functionality, quality or overall marine grade features. The Helly Hansen Crew Midlayer Jacket is the answer for a feminine but still high quality and functional marine jacket.
For those of you not a fan of pink, it is also available at Fogh in White or Navy.
Now I will say that I did have to go up a size in the jacket. But I have found over the years that I have had to do this for most of my Helly Hansen gear (fleece sweaters, base layer shirt & pants, etc...). Normally I wear a small but this time I went up to a medium for the jacket, same thing with the fleece sweaters I wear from Helly. With the more tailored fit, this is to be expected.
The little things on this jacket also add to the lovability of it. It has tons of pockets (amazing!) that are fleeced lined. Two hand warmer pockets, outside chest pocket on the left side and inside chest pocket.
Plus the collar is also lined with fleece. Now usually I dislike collar's on jackets or find that they get in the way. This time I found that the length was perfect. It wasn't too high that it got in the way or too low that it was kind of pointless. Nor was the fleece irritating or causing me to over-heat.
Another awesome feature of this jacket is the length, which for a petite person to find and not need adjusting is a bonus. It hits right at the hips without being too long or too short, which is great for moving around the boat or driving or running errands - you're mobility is not restricted. Additionally, it doesn't bunch up or get in the way when you're moving around; it moves with you so you can accomplish whatever you need to do. Plus it has an adjustable hem so you can tighten or loosen your fit depending on what you're doing.
Finally, the fact that this jacket is not bulky but still provides warmth and overall protection from the elements is absolutely amazing. Frankly, it's one of the main reasons I love this jacket. It works great as an outer shell on those milder days or as a midlayer for those colder days. I can wear it by itself or with a sweater & a base layer or throw my foul weather jacket over it for those colder days; but never do I lose mobility or comfort. You can layer it into your sailing gear for whatever conditions you encounter from beginning to end. Functionality, versatility and style without compromising necessary marine grade features? Yes please.
So let's recap:
Love: Fitted fit without being restrictive or tight fitting.
Sizing Guide: Go up a size.
Bonus: It's warm without making you overheat and does one heck of a job keeping the wind & water out.
End Result: Insanely awesome jacket that will keep you protected from the elements without compromising style, fit or quality.
Don't worry guys, there's one for you too! It is available in Navy, White and Orange for men.