Shooting gilets and waistcoats, vests or half-jackets – whatever you might call them, they always seem to pop up on the shooting agenda. But just why are they so useful out in the field?
Which fabric is best for shooting?
The shooting gilet is classified as the technical gilet with specific modifications for a particular hobby. There are many different fabrics and styles of shooting gilets including tweed, fleece, polyester, wool and cotton for both genders.
Tweed waistcoats are usually worn for warmth and durability against wet weather. The most popular waistcoat style, in our opinion, is the fleece gilet which is mostly worn by the majority of younger generation Guns as it appears to be more fashionable and easy fitting than a coat. The fleece lining provides warmth as well, and it is comfortable without looking too scruffy. The only downside is it becomes pretty useless if you find yourself in a spot of bad weather!
Oakham fleece gilet by Schoffel
Schöffel and Musto lead the way in the high-end market for this particular item of clothing. Rydale are a useful brand to keep in mind for affordability.
There are certain times of the year that gilets come into their own. They can be used throughout the summer months as they keep you warm but also not too warm that you begin to feel uncomfortable. The winter months from September to February, they can be useful as an underlying layer and extra support. They are thin enough as to not obstruct your lift of the gun to your shoulder.
Padding is also a question that pops up when acquiring a gilet for shooting purposes. It is not a necessity to have padding on the waistcoat, however for a younger Gun learning to shoot, it may soften the kick of the gun on the shoulder or, alternatively, if you are firing at clays all day you may need some support and padding.
In summary, the gilet is an all-purpose piece of clothing that can be used for virtually any shooting occasion and is regarded as a highly fashionable shooting accessory in the modern age.
Fleeces will also keep a gundog warm on the way home from the field. (Credit Equafleece)