Navigating the Seas in Style: The Ultimate Guide to Helly Hansen and Musto Sailing Jackets

Discover the top sailing jackets from Helly Hansen and Musto, designed for performance and protection. This guide will help you choose the perfect jacket to enhance your sailing experience, no matter the weather conditions.

Sailing is a thrilling adventure, but without the right gear, it can quickly turn uncomfortable or even dangerous. A good sailing jacket is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment you can invest in. In this guide, we’ll delve into why sailing jackets are essential, explore two of the top brands in the market—Helly Hansen and Musto—and help you find the perfect sailing jacket to suit your needs.

Why You Need a Sailing Jacket

Sailing jackets aren’t just for show; they are engineered to protect you from harsh marine environments. The primary function of a sailing jacket is to shield you from wind, rain, and cold temperatures. These jackets are designed to be waterproof, windproof, and breathable, ensuring you stay dry and comfortable regardless of the weather. A well-designed sailing jacket enhances your performance by allowing freedom of movement. The right jacket will have ergonomic designs that don’t restrict your motion, enabling you to handle sails and navigate your boat efficiently. Modern sailing jackets come with several safety features such as high-visibility colours, reflective strips, and even built-in harness systems. These features can be lifesaving in emergencies, making you more visible to rescuers and helping you stay afloat.

Helly Hansen Sailing Jackets

Helly Hansen, founded in Norway in 1877, is renowned for producing high-quality sailing gear. Helly Hansen jackets are known for their superior waterproofing and breathability. They use Helly Tech® technology, which ensures the fabric remains waterproof while allowing moisture to escape. Other key features include adjustable hoods, cuffs, and a comfortable fit designed for active use. Popular Helly Hansen sailing jackets include the Helly Hansen Salt Jacket, which offers excellent protection and comfort with a classic marine stripe design. The Helly Hansen Skagen Offshore Jacket is designed for offshore sailing, providing robust protection against severe weather conditions. For mild weather, the Helly Hansen Crew Midlayer Jacket is versatile and stylish, perfect for both sailing and casual wear.

Musto Sailing Jackets

Musto, a British brand founded in 1964, is a leader in technical sailing apparel. Musto jackets are crafted with advanced fabrics like Gore-Tex®, ensuring they are waterproof, windproof, and breathable. They also incorporate features such as articulated elbows, adjustable hoods, and reinforced panels for extra durability. Popular Musto sailing jackets include the Musto BR2 Offshore Jacket, a top choice for offshore sailing that offers exceptional weather protection and comfort. The Musto MPX Gore-Tex® Pro Offshore Jacket is known for its durability and high-performance fabric, designed for the toughest conditions. The Musto Sardinia BR1 Jacket is lightweight and breathable, perfect for coastal sailing and everyday use.

Comparison: Helly Hansen vs. Musto

Both brands use high-quality materials designed to withstand harsh conditions. Helly Hansen’s Helly Tech® and Musto’s Gore-Tex® offer excellent waterproofing and breathability. Musto jackets often feature more technical designs with articulated elbows and reinforced panels, making them ideal for rigorous use. Helly Hansen jackets, while also comfortable and durable, are often noted for their stylish and practical designs. In terms of price range, Helly Hansen generally offers a broader range of prices, making their jackets accessible to a wider audience. Musto jackets tend to be on the higher end, reflecting their advanced materials and technical features.

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Sailing Jackets for Men

When choosing a men’s sailing jacket, consider factors like waterproofing, breathability, fit, and safety features. Top picks for men’s sailing jackets include the Helly Hansen Salt Jacket, Musto BR2 Offshore Jacket, Helly Hansen Crew Midlayer Jacket, and Musto MPX Gore-Tex® Pro Offshore Jacket. Sailing trousers are just as important as jackets. They protect your lower body from the elements, ensuring you stay dry and comfortable. Best sailing trousers from Helly Hansen include the Pier Pant, which is waterproof and breathable, perfect for coastal sailing. Musto’s BR2 Offshore Trousers are durable and comfortable, designed for serious sailors. For complete protection, pair your sailing jacket with trousers, gloves, and boots. This combination ensures you’re fully prepared for any weather conditions. Essential accessories for sailors include gloves to protect your hands from rope burns and cold, waterproof boots with non-slip soles, and hats and caps to keep your head protected from the sun and rain.

Sailing Jacket Care and Maintenance

To maintain your sailing jacket, follow the manufacturer’s cleaning and storage instructions. Regularly clean and reproof your jacket to maintain its waterproof properties. Store the jacket in a cool, dry place and avoid folding it to prevent creases and damage. Regularly clean and reproof your jacket to maintain its waterproof properties. Check for and repair any damages promptly to extend the life of your sailing jacket.

The Evolution of Sailing Jackets

Sailing jackets have come a long way from simple oilskins to high-tech gear. Modern jackets incorporate features like integrated life vests, electronic heating elements, and advanced breathable fabrics, pushing the boundaries of what sailing gear can do. Both Helly Hansen and Musto are committed to sustainability, using recycled materials and eco-friendly manufacturing processes. Helly Hansen has initiatives to reduce environmental impact, while Musto is focused on creating durable products that last longer. As technology advances, expect to see even more eco-friendly materials and practices in the production of sailing gear. Both brands are likely to continue leading the way in sustainable innovation.


Choosing the right sailing jacket is essential for comfort, performance, and safety on the water. Helly Hansen and Musto offer some of the best options available, each with its unique strengths. By understanding your needs and preferences, you can find the perfect jacket to enhance your sailing experience.

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