Superb new technical fabrics have revolutionised shooting jackets. We've picked out some of the best around.
When you’re investigating the best shooting jackets for you you need to ask yourself what you want your fieldsports coat to do for you. Will you use it out beating? Will you spend a lot of time standing on the peg? Are you a keen stalker?
Shooting kit has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, whether it’s shooting boots or hunting trousers. Of course, tweed is always going to have a valued place – it is the original performance fabric – but new technology and advances in fabric give you options for just about any sort of weather and terrain you’re likely to encounter. (You can read our list of the best shooting wellies here.)
We put a selection of the best shooting jackets out to test with our reviewers. Here are our resulting top picks. We’ve looked for breathability, waterproof qualities, comfort, quietness, value for money, design and style. (If you’re looking for a tweed shooting coat you’ll find a list here.)
Best waterproof jacket
+ Windproof and waterproof
+ Easily hosed clean
– Pockets not that deep
Harkila call this a ‘traditional shooting coat’. It is shorter than other shooting jackets, with side vents that allow the wearer to sit down comfortably and remain fully zipped up.
The autumn-hued coat is lightweight and breathable, yet warm and windproof. A hood is tucked away under the collar. Our tester, Richard Negus, went for a wallow in a pond and found the coat was completely waterproof, thanks to the Härkila Weather System membrane.
After a hose down, it came up clean and remained waterproof. The pockets will hold a good handful of cartridges or a training dummy.
Harkila Men’s Retrieve Waterproof Shooting Jacket
Best for repelling briars and brambles
+ Long enough to sit down in
– No vents
A traditionally cut shooting coat treated with the Scotchgard Durable Water Repellent system. Our tester Richard Negus put this jacket to task by taking a five-minute shower wearing it and reported: “I came out of the deluge as dry a nut.”
The outer shell has a hint of tweed and Richard comments: “It is long enough to cover your backside; however, the tailored fit meant I needed to loosen the double zip at the bottom to facilitate sitting down with the coat done up.”
The cartridge pockets are cavernous, comfortably accommodating 25 in either side. The pocket interior is elasticated, stopping cartridges from bouncing around as you walk. The similarly generous hand-warmer pockets have zips going from top to bottom, which aids the waterproofing.
The Woodcock Advanced’s Seetex windproofing does what it is supposed to do… stops the wind and yet this shooting jacket is also breathable.
Seeland Mens Woodcock Advanced Jacket
– No fastening on hand-warmer pockets
This new version of the Ptarmigan Classic is claimed by Schoffel to be the best all-round shooting coat it has ever made.
The outer shell is as silent as the grave and the Cordura material is as soft as down to the touch. However it is robustly thornproof.
Despite being thicker than many other shooting jackets, it is breathable and does not feel bulky nor restrictive. The moment you slip it on, it seems to mould itself to your body. Richard Negus was hosed down by his wife whilst wearing the coat and reported that the jacket “shrugged off the dowsing with aplomb.”
The cuffs have three poppers to adjust to various wrist sizes and both the sleeve and coat length are sufficient to ensure it doesn’t ride up and expose you to the elements.
The bellow pockets accommodate a box of cartridges easily.
Best for stalking
+ Silent suede finish
+ Lightweight yet robust
+ Breathable fabric
This is best described as a ‘hunting’ coat in the European sense. The waterproof material is underneath the outer shell. The outer material is ‘dobby-faced’ and this suede finish makes it silent.
While stalkers do not need the massive pockets demanded by game shooters, they do need a few. The inner cuffs are superb, utilising Musto’s sailing know-how. They are made from a quick-drying Lycra, so neither wind nor rain creeps in at the sleeve.
Musto HTX Keepers Jacket
Best for all-round value
+ Windproof and waterproof
+ Zipped cartridge pockets
+ Robust yet silent fabric
This hunting jacket is generously cut, offering plenty of room for warm layers underneath. There are plenty of well-designed details, for example an easily accessed pocket with an ammunition holder on the left sleeve and an attachment for a two-way radio on the shoulder.
The pockets in particular stand out. Fleece-lined handwarmer pockets will stop fingers freezing up. Inside mesh pockets will store a hat or gloves and zipped pockets hold ammunition. A useful all-round jacket to have to hand, suitable for stalking, shooting, beating, picking-up and dog training.
Best for green credentials – a sapling is planted for every one sold
+ Rustle free
+ Strong and flexible
+ Foam insert strips in back give comfortable load carrying
A good one for stalkers, this one is rustle-free and flexible enough to follow your every movement. It’s strong, hardwearing, breathable with vents offering an extra ‘breeze’. The fully-adjustable, roll-away hood gives you an uninterrupted view in all weathers thanks to the wired peak. Nine pockets offer plenty of room for transporting items. The unique Analogy fabric and ventilation options ensure you can maintain your comfort without taking layers on and off.
Paramo Halcon Jacket