Lloyd Pattison picks his favourite clothing to keep shooting in comfort as winter tightens its grip.
As autumn draws in and the nights darken, we start thinking about layering up to stay warm on the shooting ground over winter. Doing anything outdoors in the winter is way more fun if you are warm and dry, so this month we are looking at a range of clothing we think will keep you shooting longer when the lesser attired will retire to the clubhouse.
A good stout jacket is often enough to see you right on anything but the coldest days, but all of the jackets shown here will work well in a layering system.
I’ve also selected some mid-layer items; these versatile pieces can be worn under your wind-and-waterproof layer to keep you warm on cold days. When choosing warm clothing for winter shooting, remember you’ll need to swing the gun with as little restriction as possible, and bulky collars can get in the way of getting the stock nicely against your cheek.
Seeland Winster Softshell Jacket
This is a classically styled shooting jacket with large cartridge pockets and suede shoulder reinforcing. The jacket is constructed from their Seetex R material, which is water resistant, breathable and stretchy for freedom of movement. Fleece lined and with Velcro adjustable cuffs, this jacket is designed for a snug fit to keep the weather at bay.
Beretta Sporting Teal Jacket
Sitting between the price points of the first two jackets mentioned, the Beretta Sporting Teal Jacket shares many of the same features, and with a touch of Beretta flair. Like the Musto, the Teal is better suited to layering on colder days, but is water and windproof, with Alcantara panels reinforcing the front of the jacket up from the large cartridge pockets. There are Velcro adjustable cuffs and internal security pockets to boot.
Musto BR2 Clay Shooting Jacket
The BR2 fabric is comfortable, stretchy, quiet, and fully wind and waterproof. The jacket features cartridge pockets to the front and full length suede panels, along with the option to add the Musto D30 recoil pad for additional protection from recoil. There’s a drawstring waist and velcro adjustable cuffs, along with a mini S-Biner for clipping a towel or other accessories, and a small inner pocket for anything to keep dry. The lining is brushed mesh, perfect for milder days, or layered when it’s really cold.
Ridgeline Pintail Explorer Smock
For shooters like myself who prefer a shorter jacket and who do not habitually wear a skeet vest , but instead use a pannier for carrying cartridges, I have found the Ridgeline Pintail Explorer to be an ideal piece of kit, both on and off the clay ground. Wind and waterproof, and made from their Quiet-Tex 5K fabric, this smock is hard to beat. It is light and surprisingly warm and tough, with reinforced elbows and a wired hood for when the weather gets really rough. Mine is permanently in my car or my go bag during the winter months.
Schoffel Aerobloc Gilet
Moving on to insulating mid-layers, newly released this year from Schoffel is the Aerobloc gilet. Lambswool means the gilet is light and doesn’t add bulk, while the windproof lining means your core is insulated from the prying fingers of the wind. The Alcantara trim around the zip, arms and collar looks smart, is soft to the touch and is very hard wearing.
Schoffel Oakham Gilet
No roundup of this sort would be complete without mentioning the Schoffel Oakham Gilet. This is pretty much a staple of the countryside clothing market and most people who own one find themselves wearing it most of the winter due to the comfort, warmth and versatility of the Oakham.
Harkila Nite Pullover
If you like to have sleeves on your mid layer, you can do a lot worse than the Harkila Nite Pullover. I picked one of these up last year and I love it. The Actiwool is warm and moisture wicking, and the deep biased zip closure means getting it on and off is a snap, even without removing hat and glasses if you are wearing them. When closed the tall neck nicely insulates your collar too. A really comfy and convenient package all together.
Harkila have been shortlisted at next year’s second annual Great British Shooting Awards. For more information, click here: http://bit.ly/gbsa156
Musto Shooting V-Neck Sweater
The Musto Shooting V-Neck Sweater RRP £90 is a classic look that you can wear with pretty much anything. In lambswool with ribbed cuffs and coloured detail at the collar and cuffs this is a classic easy wearing pullover that looks a little smarter than the technical wear stuff, if that’s your preference.
Best clay cartridges from budget to blow-out – read more on essential kit here