Audrey, aka Skipper, has always wanted foulweather gear, but the most common foul weather we had along the Florida Gulf Coast was withering heat and humidity. That all changed when we moved from the Panhandle to the mid-Atlantic coast. Now, wind and cold spray have become part of our maritime weather, and this year she got her first set of foulweather gear, the Third Reef jacket and bibs from West Marine. They worked so well that I got a set, too.The jacket’s outer shell has two layers of nylon and a laminate of polyurethane. The combination is windproof, waterproof, and breathable. The nylon fabric has a soft feel and is very flexible. The jacket lining is polyester tricot mesh, which dries quickly and wicks moisture to aid in breathability. Inside the jacket, all the seams are taped to make them waterproof.The zippers are YKK Vislon marine-grade, with Delrin teeth for low friction, and resistance to wear, UV, and corrosion. Pull tabs provide easier operation with gloves or cold hands. The front opening and pocket zippers are waterproof. The two-way front zipper optimizes ventilation, and opening the bottom end a bit prevents restriction when sitting or bending at the waist. There are five conveniently placed front pockets; four are large enough to reach into with a gloved hand and one on the chest is sized for a small smart phone. The waterproof pocket zippers also have large storm flaps with Velcro fastenings that make the flaps easy to open. There are pieces of retroreflective tape on the hood, shoulders, and wrists, although the women’s jacket does not have the tape on the shoulders. The large tail of the jacket is made from ballistic nylon and provides excellent coverage when seated.

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