The perfect gilet is warm but not too hot. It's comfortable but smart-ish at the same time. Definitely needs to be washable.
It’s been a chilly spring and 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 they’re made for gardening, exercising the dog, sitting outside the pub having a beer…
The advantages of fleece gilets
- They keep you snug without feeling too hot
- They are supremely comfortable
- 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
Five of the best fleece gilets for shooting
The Jack Pyke Countryman fleece gilet makes a cosy extra layer and is very competitively priced. Available in navy, olive and charcoal. Soft nubuck piping along the edges and two lower pockets that are zipped to hold in essentials like handy baler twine.
In green or navy in sizes small to extra large, 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.
Warm, comfortable and you can still move your arms freely. Available in carbon, dark moss or true navy, from small to XXXL.
There’s everywhere and with good reason. They might be at the more expensive end of the market but they are a classic and beautifully made. Think about cost per wear and they certainly seem worth it. It is available in a whole selection of different colours, including the new claret, cobalt blue and cedar green shades. 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. The Oakham is available in sizes from 38” to 54” chest.
This is the Schoffel fleece cut for women. Like the Oakham it’s available in a host of different shades and created from fleece which is soft, warm and anti-bobble.
A luxury fleece waistcoat for men which has an inner fleece that looks like sheepskin. Plenty of pockets and an adjustable hem to keep you warm. Available in bronze or marron.
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.