You need to look for something warm but not too hot. Comfortable without being scruffy. Oh, and preferably washable. You know what, we found it.
On some shoot days, you could be forgiven for thinking that fleece gilets were some sort of school uniform in the shooting world. That’s because they have so many advantages.
- 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
- They’re robust
- They come in all shapes and sizes
- They look quite smart
- They come in all different price ranges – from budget to blow-out
Our run-down of the best fleece gilets for shooting
The Jack Pyke Countryman fleece gilet is comfortably and very reasonably priced, with a smart pheasant embroidery and two lower zipped pockets. Available in dark olive and sizes S-3XL. Price £31.95.
Alternatively, check out the Seeland Bolton fleece waistcoat which works well as an extra layer in cold weather or as outwear on warmer days. Buy now: Seeland Bolton fleece waistcoat from Amazon for £48.
The Alan Paine Buxton fleece gilet is versatile, with a stand-up collar, two zipped pockets and adjustable waist. Available in a range of colours in men’s and women’s styles, in sizes S-5XL men and 8-20 women. Price £70-75.
The Musto Glemsford Polartec fleece gilet is warm and comfortable but still allows your arms to move freely. Available from Farlows in navy and moss colours for £125, in sizes S-XXL
Schoffel has cornered the high end of the gilet market. The simple Schoffel Oakham fleece is one of the most popular and is now available sixteen different colours, including Lincoln green, dark olive, burgundy and gunmetal. It has an adjustable drawstring at the hem to ensure a snug, draught-free fit, 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. Price £139.95.
Once you’ve started wearing a fleece for shooting, you’ll wonder how you ever did without one in your shooting wardrobe.
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Barbour Berwick Tweed shooting vest is an excellent fit for me (size L) and is the epitome of high-quality simplicty.
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. Make sure you sport one appropriate to the weather and go with a thinner material if you’re wearing it beneath another garment.