Shooting coats vary more than any other kind of shooting kit, but this pick of the best shooting coats span every level of requirement and budget
Shooting coats vary perhaps more than any other item of shoot clothing, both in terms of price and in terms of functionality. Here it’s vital to ask not just what you will do (pay) for your coat, but what you’ll want your coat to do for you. If you simply want to keep out the cold while standing still on a peg, it’s a relatively basic matter. However if you need more, you’ll probably have to spend more.
For a low-priced field coat that will keep you warm and dry, Rydale once again produces the goods. The British-made unisex Derby tweed shooting jacket (6) is made of 60 per cent wool tweed with a waterproof drop lining between its inner and outer layers. It has press-stud fastened cartridge pockets plus separate handwarmer pockets. The coat comes in a choice of three tweeds, with matching breeks, waistcoats and caps also available. Priced at £59.99 it is available in sizes XS to 3XL. Visit www.rydaleclothing.co.uk.
Bonties has sourced a higher-end French- designed shooting coat for lady Shots that combines European chic with comfort and function in the field:
Their Field Hunting Coat is wind and water repellent and features a detachable fleece-lined hood. It has external nubuck leather patches on the shoulders and internal pockets for anti-recoil pads. An adjustable waistband gives a stylish but flexible fit, with pockets for everything, from a button-down key and phone pocket, through magnetic cartridge pockets, to a large rear game pocket. Unusually, the coat also has zippers under the arms for additional ventilation when required. Priced at £440, it’s available in UK sizes 8 to 18. Visit http://bonties.co.uk.
Seeland’s Woodcock jacket won the IPC Shooting Industry Award for best new clothing product in 2013, and though it may no longer be new to the market, it’s still one of the best. It’s waterproof and windproof but still breathable thanks to its Seetex membrane and has spacious cartridge pockets with drain holes and quick load strap. It also has an inner Napoleon pocket, a mobile phone pocket, plus a game pocket at the rear. Both male and female versions of the Woodcock have an RRP of £148.99. Matching breeks, trousers, waistcoat and cap and children’s versions are also available. Visit http://seelanduk.co.uk for a list of stockists.
Higher up the budgetary scale, Harkila’s highly regarded Pro-Hunter jacket boasts so many technical features it’s almost surprising that it can’t hunt on its own. It has radio pockets with an antenna holder, signal bands in the sleeves, large cartridge pockets, extra pockets with cartridge holders for rifle ammunition, waist and hem drawstring, adjustable cuffs, a detachable, adjustable hood, fleece-lined pockets, a reversible PU-coated game pocket and various inner pockets. It’s light, breathable, silent and waterproof thanks to its integral Gore-Tex (R) membrane and soft woodland liner. Priced at £409 it’s available in sizes from XS to 6XL. Visit www.bushwear.co.uk.