Smart, stylish and entirely practical, gilets are the perfect defence against the vagaries of the British climate – no jacket required

Whatever the weather, a gilet is essential kit. Smart over a shirt in the summer and an invaluable mid-layer for chilly days in the field, gilets are both practical and timelessly stylish. And there are plenty to choose from. Schöffel are thoroughly popular, but have you considered a quilted, tweed or even padded option? Here are The Field’s top 12 best shooting gilets.

Need some style inspiration for the season? Take a sartorial lesson from David Beckham, who looks effortlessly stylish in the line. Find out which gilet Mr Beckham opts for, read dress like David Beckham in the field.

BEST SHOOTING GILETS

There was a time when the heady hues of scarlet, cherry, ruby and claret coloured the countryside, when red strides strode around the Game Fair, Burghley, point-to-points and race meetings. But as vermillion lost out to lime green and sky blue, the Schöffel gilet slipped into the vacuum. Ruddy faces gave up matching slacks and zipped up their fleeces.

In a swift online poll, voters opted for the Schöffel by a furlong (its design, quality, colours and style make it thoroughly popular both on and off the field). But the field boasts a number of great alternatives, too. From quilting (most of us of a certain vintage will have owned a Puffa jacket during our formative years) to fleece and tweed, the gilet acts as an essential sporting underlayer, a useful counterbalance to the British weather and is, therefore, a crucial piece of kit.

Here is The Field’s pick of the best shooting gilets to wear this season.

Best shooting gilets

The Aylsham is available in a variety of colours.

Alan Paine, Aylsham Fleece Waistcoat
With a robust front zipper, handy zipped pockets and smart contrast piping, the Alan Paine Aylsham Fleece Waistcoast comes in a variety of colours at a very reasonable price.
Price £80
Tel 01623 415760
www.alanpaine.co.uk

Best shooting gilets

Purdey offer high quality, non-pilling Italian fleece.

Purdey, Fleece Shooting Vest
Made from highly durable, non-pilling Italian fleece, the Purdey Fleece Shooting Vest is soft, warm and comfortable.
Price £275
Tel 020 7499 1801
www.purdey.com

Best shooting gilets

Soft to touch but extremely durable, the Darzi is made from 100% Shetland tweed.

Darzi, Tweed Darzi
Made from 100% mid-weight Shetland tweed, the Original Darzi is soft to touch but extremely durable. Interior made from British fleece for an extra layer of warmth.
Price £165
Tel 07808 204900
www.darziclothingcompany.com

Best shooting gilets

Lavenham’s quilted Mickfield is water-resistant and comes with a fun lining.

Lavenham, Mickfield Quilted Gilet
Slim-fit quilted gilet which is usefully water resistant and comes with a fun, bright interior.
Price £120
Tel 01787 379535
www.lavenhamjackets.com

Best shooting gilets

The Schoffel Oakham is a thoroughly popular choice both on and off the field.

Schöffel, Oakham Fleece Gilet
Fast drying, durable and timelessly stylish, the Schöffel Oakham is a hugely popular option for sporting sorts both on and off the field.
Price £140
Tel 01572 772480
www.schoffel.co.uk

Best shooting gilets

Get two gilets for the price of one with this fully reversible gilet from Illann.

Illann Cashmere, Reversible Gilet
Get two gilets for the price of one with this fully reversible cashmere gilet. Comes with pockets on both sides, a funnel neck and contrasting suede trim.
Price £295
Tel 0121 227 2950
www.illann.com

Best shooting gilets

Musto’s gilet has anti-pilling fleece and locks in the body heat for those extra chilly days.

Musto, Melford Fleece Gilet
This anti-pilling fleece gilet has a drawcord hem to lock in body heat. A fantastic mid-layer for those extra chilly days in the field.
Price £100
Tel 01268 495824
www.musto.com

Best shooting gilets

Consider a quilted number, such as the Finn gilet from Barbour.

Barbour, Finn Quilted Gilet
This quilted gilet features two handy pockets and cord to the inner collar with a stylish extra-large tartan lining.
Price £70
Tel 0800 9173000
www.barbour.com

Best shooting gilets

The Jack Pyke Countryman is a fantastic bargain.

Jack Pyke, Countryman Fleece Gilet
This thermal fleece gilet is the bargain of the bunch, and comes in a variety of colours with a smart trim.
Price £30
Tel 01234 740327 (for stockists)
www.jackpyke.co.uk

Best shooting gilets

Has a fitted feel and also available in navy blue tartan.

John Field, Tweed Body Warmer
This padded gilet has a fitted feel, with a durable tweed outer layer and warm and breathable lining. Comes in static grey or navy blue tartan.
Price £149
Tel 01886 822079 (for stockists)
www.johnfield.eu

Best shooting gilets

Comes in a fun checked lining with a handy inside pocket.

Harkila, Sandhem Fleece Vest
This fleece vest is warm and wind resistant, with a fun check lining and extremely useful inside zip pocket.
Price £99.99
Tel 01844 237944
www.harkila.com

Best shooting gilets

The Argali gilet is fleece-lined for extra warmth.

Blaser, Argali Quilted Vest
This noiseless and light gilet comes with a two-way zipper and handy pockets, and is fleece-lined for extra warmth.
Price £175
Tel 01483 917412
www.blaser-sporting.com