Before I get thrown overboard for being a man doing a review of a woman’s sailing jacket it should be known that I am simply being a man who is doing what his wife is asking him to do. The sailing jacket review is really me taking dictation from my wife who is doing the heavy lifting on this review. My wife has been sailing for over 20 years. She can do anything I can do on a sailboat and she typically does. The only difference between her as a female and me as a male is that she sails with more patience, she never screams and she always looks good while doing it. Hence, when the sailors at Sømand asked me to look at their jacket as a female-specific brand I naturally asked my significant other.
This jacket was tested while sailing in Santa Monica Bay on days with varying conditions from a cool overcast day of 52 degrees to a sunny but cooler afternoon at 64 degrees. My wife also used the Sømand Farallon Sailing Jacket for a spring skiing trip on Mammoth Mountain, on a rainy hike around a few lakes in Minnesota, and for an outdoor dinner in between sessions in some very cold ice rinks.
What We Like About The Sømand Farallon Sailing Jacket
It doesn’t bunch up in the armpits. This feature is of the utmost importance and typically jackets cut for men and worn by a woman have a lot of excess fabric. While working the lines this extra fabric tends to get in the way. The Sømand Farallon Jacket has solved that problem by cutting the jacket for women. The seams follow the natural curves of a woman allowing for greater performance. Crank a winch, pull a line, or trim a sail and the jacket moves with your body and not against it.
Ample space for layering but not bulky. If there is anything that is super important is staying warm but not being stuffy. While sailing on a very cool morning two layers felt comfortable. Initially, the fit felt too snug but the fabric stretches and allows for ample body movement while not compromising mobility. Again, there were two layers underneath as I tend to get cold. These features really were evident while skiing. Yes, it is a sailing jacket but when you spend money on a nice jacket you want to wear it as often as you can. My movements on the slope while different from sailing were just as fluid in the morning with multiple layers underneath as they were later in the day when the jacket served as a shell.
Pockets! Pockets are important for tissues, a phone, a snack, or for warm gloves. This jacket has four easily accessible pockets.
Overall the jacket is very slimming as it is cut for a woman. Yes, wearing a jacket that is flattering is important to me. I don’t need to wear a jacket that is designed for a man to feel like a sailor. I sail to feel like a sailor, my jacket should make me feel comfortable, warm, and effective for anything that I may need it for. In this case, I also want to look good in it. The jacket slims my waist and it gives me some hips! Thanks, Sømand.
The jacket keeps you dry and warm. While the jacket kept me dry and warm while sailing I was impressed by how it handled sideways rain during a freak shower in some very cold weather while out on a hike. Versatility is important and the Sømand Farallon Jacket proved to be up to the task of a hockey mom. The temperature dipped into the 40’s and the rain started so not only did it keep me dry but as I attempted to make it back to the trailhead in time for a hockey game it did not get swampy. The breathable mesh lining helps to keep your body from overheating while the outer layer keeps you dry.
A Gaiter! This is a feature that seems appropriate now but realistically I would use it under typical cool sailing conditions. This built-in feature is a lifesaver when you are the type of person who does get cold while out on a sunset sail. The gaiter also happens to work well during these strange times when face coverings are required.
Features of the Sømand Farallon Sailing Jacket
- The Farallon Sailing Jacket was designed by women sailors from the experience and perspective of women sailors. They strive for better options when it comes to sailing gear. Both women have design backgrounds and a self-funded dream of disrupting the sailing clothing status quo and giving women a voice in sailing or as they put it, to “sail boldly without compromise.”
- Superior Style & Fit – A jacket designed to not compromise performance for aesthetics. The jacket fits and flatters a woman’s body without sacrificing functionality. The jacket is unique in it is not a men’s style that is shrunken or just comes in a smaller size for women and it also wasn’t cut perfectly straight – rather the seams follow the natural curves of the body. The textiles are high-quality and not stamped with giant, flashy logos or swirly patterns. The overall design incorporates chromatic color-matching zippers and sleeve logo and gives off an overall sophisticated and feminine, yet minimal look.
- Freedom of Movement: Sailors’ arms are the one part of the body constantly in motion and a lot of women’s jackets allow for this movement by being box cut and having excess fabric in the elbows. The Farallon uses a technical, 4-way, highly abrasion-resistant, stretch fabric with articulated elbows for enhanced freedom of movement without the excess fabric. The stretch allows for layering while still being flattering and functional.
- Waterproof & Breathable: The Farallon Sailing Jacket is made from a 3-layer, a performance fabric that has a high waterproofness rating of between 10000 to < 20000 mmH2O (which means it is rainproof and waterproof even under pressure) is also windproof and highly breathable. Internally it features a hybrid lining with mesh in the areas your body needs to breathe and a stretch fabric around the core for added warmth. The lining is pleasant to the touch and lends a luxury note to the garment while also making certain the technical membrane of the outer fabric doesn’t become damaged from abrasion. The Farallon Sailing Jacket features the latest, YKK® AquaGuard® water-resistant zippers and also has an internal fabric water guard behind the center front zipper. It is fully seam-sealed to ensure you stay dry and comfortable while sailing on cold days, near the coast, or on the San Francisco Bay and only requires light layering underneath.
- Modular Hood Design: The hood is very interesting in that it is fully adjustable with three adjustment points (two on the side and one at the back) and is designed to zip completely off or roll away based on the sailor’s preference. The jacket comes with a hood in a matching color to the body of the jacket for a streamlined look (ready for the docks or the yacht club), but Sømand also offers a high-vis yellow hood that can be purchased separately and is interchangeable if the sailor prefers additional visibility on the water.
- Low Velcro Design: Long hair getting stuck in velcro is a real problem for women sailors that no other sailing brand has yet addressed. Sømand features a minimal amount of velcro, with the only expectation being in the internal water guard cuff at the wrists. The external cuff features a unique proprietary Japanese technology that they call “snap tape” to avoid the hair in velcro issue. The snap tape does take some getting used to and works best when the snaps are properly aligned.
- Thoughtful features: The Farallon Sailing Jacket comes with an attached neck gaiter. They have an antimicrobial, UV-resistant buff coming soon that can be switched out for the fleece gaiter. They have also designed a built-in hat cord, for those moments when you are kicking yourself for forgetting to bring a hat retainer along. They have also included four pockets total, two outer easily accessible hand pockets, and two interior pockets; a zippered chest pocket for valuables and a mesh pocket for gloves or sunglasses.
Overall this jacket is now a mainstay on our weekly sails. From a man’s perspective, my wife looks good in it, however, she clearly enjoys its features as she wears it often even when not sailing. From a women’s perspective, “This sailing jacket feels like it was made for me.”
That says it all.