The perfect gilet is warm but not too hot. It's comfortable but smart-ish at the same time. Definitely needs to be washable.

If you aren’t already a convert to fleece gilets then what are you waiting for? They are ideal for layering. Wear them on their own over a shirt, or over a sweater, or if it’s really cold under a coat and over a sweater. As well as for shooting, the best fleece gilets are made for gardening, exercising the dog, sitting outside the pub having a beer…

Why you should own a fleece gilet

  • They keep you snug without feeling too hot
  • They are supremely comfortable and let your arms move freely
  • Most of them are easy to wash in a machine
  • They dry quickly after a downpour
  • They’re hardwearing and moths don’t appear keen on fleece
  • They come in all shapes, sizes and colours
  • They look quite smart
  • You can wear them under a jacket and with a tie
  • They come in all different price ranges – from budget to blow-out

While you’re at it, look at our suggestions for the best shooting wellies and the best waterproof shooting jackets. 

Our list of the best fleece gilets for shooting

1. JACK PYKE Countryman Fleece Gilet £31.50

JackPyke

Best for low price

+ Choice of colours

+ 300g thermal fleece

– Order a size up to wear over a sweater

The Jack Pyke Countryman fleece gilet makes a cosy extra layer and is very competitively priced. Soft nubuck piping along the edges and two lower pockets that are zipped to hold in essentials like handy baler twine.

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Laksens Mens Norfolk fleece gilet

Laksens Mens Norfolk fleece gilet

2. Laksen Mens Norfolk Fleece Gilet £64.95

Best for price

+ Robust

+ Lightweight

– Just two side pockets

This is a real working companion. You’ll find yourself wearing it all year round, on chilly summer mornings and nights as well as layered under coats and over sweaters in the winter. It’s lightweight, warm and robustly made.

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3. Aigle Mens Redulvesta Fleece Gilet £51.95 (reduced from £65)

Aigle Redulvesta

Best bargain

+ Polartec 200 weight fleece
+ Internal zipped pocket and two external pockets
The Aigle name shows smartly on a leather badge on this elegantly coloured fleece (bronze, but it’s also available in marine). You can move the hem around to adjust your warmth zones and if a muddy lab jumps up never fear, it’ll come up beautifully again in the washing machine.

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4. Musto Glemsford Polartec® fleece gilet £110.00

 

Musto Glemsford polartectfleece gilet

Musto Glemsford fleece gilet

Best for value

+ Warm yet highly breathable

+ Pill-resistant

Easy to wash and fast to dry, this gilet will make the difference between chill and comfort in all weather conditions. It’s an ideal mid-layer. Useful zipped pockets keep things safe and brass trims and detail add that extra smartness.

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5. Schöffel Mens Oakham Fleece Gilet £139.95

Schoffel oakham fleece gilet

Best for popularity

+ Classic

+ Hardwearing

– Price

Go to any type of country event and you’re likely to see somebody wearing one of these. The Schöffel Oakham fleece  might be at the more expensive end of the market but it is a classic and beautifully made. Think about cost per wear and it’s certainly seem worth it. The Oakham is available in a whole selection of  different colours,  including classic navy and dark olive.An adjustable drawstring at the hem ensures a snug, draught-free fit, it has two zipped security pockets, is machine washable and quick drying and can be zipped into Schoffel’s Ptarmigan coat.

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6. Schoffel Womens Lyndon Fleece Gilet £139.95

Schoffel Lyndon

Schoffel Lyndon

Best for female Guns

+ 12 shades available

+ Zippable pockets

-Price

This is the Schoffel fleece cut for women. Like the Oakham it’s available in a host of colours and created from fleece which is soft, warm and anti-bobble.

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7. Harkila Mens Polar Fleece Waistcoat £144.99

Harkila mens polar fleece

Best for stretch

+ Super-soft Polartec® Thermal Pro fleece

+ Fits under coat

-Price

When the wind bites, raise the collar on this fleece to keep out the cold. Or on milder day wear zipped further down over a shirt. Warm and practical, created from machine washable polyester.

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8. Schoffel Mens Gunnerside Shooting Vest £189.95

Schoffel mens gunnerside

Best for recoil

+ Reinforced shoulder patches
+ Removable recoil pad
-Price

When it’s too warm for a shooting jacket, the Gunnerside fleece shooting vest is a good alternative. Quick access to cartridges is given by the large, reinforced bellow pockets and there’s an internal zipped pocket for your wallet.

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Top tips for buying a shooting gilet

A gilet, waistcoat or vest is an essential part of a shooter’s wardrobe. They are highly versatile, coming in a variety of styles and materials, be that tweed, fleece or cotton. They can be used as effective layering – whether as an outer layer or a mid-layer worn under a jacket or coat – and always make you look smart. A fleece gilet will take you from the shoot breakfast out into the field to the shoot lunch and back again.