There are options to choose from when looking at the best sailing clothing brands. People will have different tastes in fashion, and some want a specific use.
With so many brands to choose from, it allows sailors to find something that works for them. So what are the best sailing clothing brands?
Musto, Helly Hansen, Zhik, and Gill Marine are the best sailing clothing brands. In addition, Henri Lloyd, Dubarry, Sperry, and Saint James have a rich history of providing sailors with clothing around the globe. No matter where you sail, you will likely find a mix between these top brands.
What makes a sailing brand the best in clothing is its ability to withstand marine life but also provide fashion. Depending on your budget and location in the world, some brands will be more popular than others.
According to experts in sailing, having the right clothing and gear makes the experience much more enjoyable. Being prepared for anything is going to help you achieve optimal sailing.
12 Best Sailing Clothing Brands
The best sailing clothing brands are the best for a reason, as they have been able to master what it means to sail comfortably. Not only are these fashionable, but they provide the necessary quality that you need out on the water.
Every sailor understands the importance of the right clothing while sailing. If you have never experienced what it is like to not have the right clothing out on the water, you do not want to repeat that process in the event of a sunburn, soaked clothes, or potentially slipping with bad shoes.
Musto has been dominating the sailing clothing department for the last 50 years. They have consistently developed sailing apparel that has stood the test of time in terms of quality and performance.
While they have casual wear, their line of apparel is meant for the water. This was the purpose ever since Keith Musto, founder, decided he wanted sailing clothes after his appearance in the 1964 Olympics.
As he drew inspiration from his experiences, he has created one of the revolutionary lines of clothing brands for the occasion. Musto is geared towards anyone willing to sail in any condition, especially with quality materials that are waterproof and comfortable.
- Helly Hansen
Back in 1877, the Scandinavian brand Helly Hansen hit the sailing clothing scene. They were the first company to showcase a three layer concept, especially in times when the weather gets brutal.
The company has shown innovation over the years with quality products and coating them in linseed to obtain a waterproof product. These include shoes, shirts, hats, and even oilskin jackets.
Their life jackets rank among some of the best in the industry. In fact, they are the number one choice for fisherman or offshore sailors wanting to endure extreme conditions.
Looking at today’s style, Helly Hansen still markets one of the most recognizable sailing clothing brands out there. This is due to their comfort and style, in addition to the quality of materials.
Looking at Zhik, you know right away that you are in good hands with athletic apparel in sailing. The company is not that old, as they were founded in 2003.
The company originated in Australia and has its name essentially plastered all over the Olympics. The beauty of this brand is that they are able to cover every aspect of sailing and even innovative items like dinghy wetsuits that make them stand out to the competition.
They also have some of the most comfortable life jackets for a decent price. This allows you to get the best bang for your buck when sailing.
Their environmentally friendly approach earns them bonus points while also providing quality you can count on. If you are aiming to get out on the water, Zhik can make it comfortable.
- Gill Marine
Nick Gill founded Gill Marine back in 1975 when he was searching for a performance dinghy sailing gear. At the time, there were not a lot of options to choose when roughing it out on the water with a dinghy.
Gill spent a lot of time and money to help establish perfect designs for dinghy sailing. This also has to be good enough to handle harsh conditions and whatever the weather throws at you.
Gill Marine was a success and is still widely used today by the New Zealand's America’s Cup champions team. In addition, you can find comfortable apparel options such as shoes and hats to sport the brand off of your dinghy.
No sailing clothing list would be complete if you did not have Dubarry on the list. While known for their stylish and comfortable sailing boots, they also sport an apparel line to keep you comfortable no matter where you go.
The company originated in Ireland back in 1937 and is closely connected to Galway’s sailing heritage. Their line of sailing boots are the main attraction, as sailors across the globe love their comfort, grip, and water resistant properties.
In addition, they also have a line of sailing gear that you can trust. With quality materials throughout, you can rest assured when sailing that you have the right footwear for the job.
- Henri Lloyd
Henri Lloyd is another quality sailing clothing brand that has roots back in the 1960’s in Manchester. The company was co-founded by Henri Strzelecki who came up with the concept of a durable sailing jacket with Velcro fasteners.
For over 50 years, they have been providing excellent value for wanting to show off your sailing attire. From their quick drying tech materials to their ocean ready shorts, they have just about everything you could want to wear out on the water.
The company is handled by experienced sailors that know first hand what sailors want when sailing. This lets you know instantly that they understand what it takes to go sailing.
- Saint James
Saint James was inspired by French Navy uniforms back in 1889. As one one of the oldest sailing clothing brands out there, they have successfully remained in business with their classic style.
They have a huge following in France, where the company originally took off, and have established some footwork in the United States. Over the years, they have been able to adapt to changing consumer tastes but also remain true to their roots.
They even have the nickname, “nautical sweater specialist”, for having stylish attire for when you are sailing. No matter how old you are, they have different styles and sizes for all shapes and sizes.
Slam was established back in 1979 and is a well regarded technical collection in sailing apparel. They have a wide range of clothing options for casual sailing, yachting, and professional sailing.
Being that it has roots in Italy, it is one of the most popular sailing clothing brands in Europe. In fact, they are one of the biggest clothing manufacturers.
Not only are their clothing options appealing to the eye, but it serves a practical purpose in combating the elements on the water. Their success has long been driven by Olympic stars, but anyone can feel like one once they purchase their gear.
Sperry has a reputation for being a top dog in boating shoes. In fact, they are given credit for being the first to develop a boating shoe.
Paul Sperry founded the company back in 1935 and put together a revolutionary design for his boating shoe concept. Today, they still rank as one of the best boating shoes on the market.
Sperry’s success stemmed from having a comfortable shoe that was reliable to walk on wet surfaces. No matter if you are a casual sailor or professional, Sperry’s are an excellent option.
- Navis Marine
It was not that long ago when Navis Marine entered the sailing apparel scene. Back in 1999, the company put out their line of sailing clothing that was affordable, comfortable, and practical.
Although they are located in China, they are serving markets all over the world for sailors. This gives them a slight edge when providing cheaper options.
They even have over 500 options to choose from when looking at performance styles and designs. No matter what your budget is, anyone can relate to Navis Marine.
- North Sails
In 1957, North Sails stumbled upon something big. Olympic Gold Medalist Lowell North founded the company that would eventually market to over 150 different regions across the world.
There are similarities when looking at other brands' beginnings, but North Sails managed to develop high quality sails at first. After that successful endeavor, they added a clothing line to the mix.
With a combination of the two, sailors can have excellent quality in their sails and have the clothes to experience life on the water. Depending on your tastes, you can even find clothes here to fit your budget.
The brand Nautica was named after the Latin term “nauticus”, which means ship. They rank among the top brands for sailing clothing, especially for the men’s side of the brand.
The brand had a primary focus on fashion, rather than appealing to life on the water. Sailors could look great on or off the boat and feel comfortable.
They might be the only brand that caters more to fashion than solving problems on the water. Nonetheless, they are still a revolutionary brand for sailing clothing.
How to Find the Right Sailing Clothing Brand
There are a lot of variables that come into play when trying to find the best sailing clothing brands. These factors are price, comfort, and practical use. You might also consider brands that change with consumer tastes and update designs.
Reading reviews of different sailing clothing brands is a good place to start if you find comparable clothes. No doubt, it would be a good idea to compare your options before deciding on what works best for you.
You also want to consider the type of sailing you are encountering. For example, there is no need to purchase a wetsuit if you only plan on gently cruising on the coast. A wetsuit would be ideal for dinghy sailing, or at least something a little more aggressive on the water.
Price makes a huge difference in anything you decide to purchase in life, so the comparisons make sense in sailing clothing brands. Just because a shirt costs a ton of money does not mean it is the absolute best on the market.
If you do your research, you should be able to find competing brands that can offer you good prices. If something is cheaper with a range of reasonable results, then one brand could have a better sailing shirt than another.
Price may also indicate the quality of what you intend to use it for. Looking at sailing life jackets in comparison to the ones you find at a cheaper sporting goods store, it makes sense to buy the more expensive one that you know is designed specifically for what you intend to do.
In addition, it would not hurt to have a budget set up before you decide to buy any clothing brand. This way you will be better prepared to what you can afford.
More often than not, comfort trumps everything else. No matter what the price is, most sailors will purchase their sailing clothing for what is most comfortable.
If you plan on wearing something for an entire day, you want to make sure it is comfortable. So not only do you want a fair price, you want it to be worth wearing for many hours at a time.
Whether it is a long sleeve shirt to keep the sun’s rays off of you or a sailing hat, you need it to work as described. This also takes into account how reliable the brand is. Being reliable is another aspect that usually goes hand in hand with comfort in clothing.
You want to be sure that whichever brand you choose is something that you can use for a long time. If you plan on purchasing a pair of sailing boots, you want them to last a while instead of wearing out a few times at sea.
If you are not sure what something is used for, then reading up on certain apparel items is worth your time. This way you can find out exactly what you need and avoid purchasing things you do not.
You might find yourself buying an extra layer of clothes for cold weather sailing that you did not think about the first time. Whichever sailing you intend to do, make sure you research exactly how the clothing plays a role.
Updated Designs and Functionality
Some brands have a product that they have promoted for 100 years, while others constantly change up their lineup. A popular clothing brand has to appeal to what consumers want to wear.
For sailing clothing brands, there are some comparisons to be made but mostly these brands have their own niche. You can find a handful that still sport the same shirts over the years while others update their look.
The best sailing clothing brands know how to adapt to consumers tastes and what they need on the water. Brands that can improve designs to fit customers needs are definitely going to make them more popular.