Find the Perfect Riding Jacket

Looking for the perfect jacket to ride in this winter? Here are some expert tips from Kerry Scott of Narrow Gate Tack.
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Kerry Scott of Narrow Gate Tack feels that, when riding, it's your outer layer that matters the most. To that end, he offers the following tips on shopping for the "perfect riding jacket":

First, look for an outer layer that is both waterproof and breathable. (Hint: Water-resistant and shower-proof are not the same; you want waterproof.)

Try the jacket on and look for these features:

  • A hood big enough to go over your riding helmet, especially if your helmet is ventilated
  • The ability to roll the unused hood into a collar that can be folded flat against the shoulder of the garment
  • Sleeves long enough to cover the wrist while you are in the riding position
  • Snaps or hook-and-loop closures to snug up the cuff
  • A hem that extends past your waist and sports either one big vent (preferably gusseted) in the center or two smaller ones at the sides
  • If the jacket has one or more drawstrings, the tightener needs to be inside the garment

If you can't get an exact fit, go for something a little bigger rather than something that fits too tight and leaves no room for layers in winter. A jacket that's too tight will fail to ventilate properly, no matter how good the breathable membrane.

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