Shooting gilets have become a staple of any countryman's wardrobe. They offer huge versatility in our changeable climate, and a flexible friend in the field. We round up the best.
A gilet is essential kit and has become the staple of all countrymen’s wardrobe. The best shooting gilets are loved not just for their versatility and cosiness but also their technical features. Furthermore, gilets are smart over a shirt in the summer and an invaluable mid-layer for chilly days in the field.
“For me, there are two clear advantages of a gilet,” says John Sugden of Campbell’s of Beauly. “First and foremost, from a tailoring perspective, because they have no sleeves the freedom of movement is so much better than a jacket or coat, making it easier to swing through. Sleeves simply restrict the movement, even if the jacket has an action back (pleats in the shoulder). Tweeds can also be worn nicely over a lightweight waterproof gilet, ensuring that a full tweed suit can be worn on a wet day if necessary”.
Whether you fancy fleece or wool, cotton or tweed, there are plenty to choose from. Here is The Field‘s guide to the best shooting gilets. And once you’re up to speed with the very best gilets, check out our guide to the best shooting coats and the best gumboots, among many others.
The Investment Piece
This stylish gilet is made from wool with a waterproof lining. Wool wadding creates a further protective layer, while other features include a smart leather collar, elbow patches and pockets. Purdey Padded Barn Gilet £1,260
Best For Summer Sport
This lightweight cotton gilet is made in England and packed with technical features. For instance, two bellows cartridge pockets with Alcantara tipping on the entry points, external back button adjustment and Alcantara shoulder patches for protection while shooting. Farlows Cotton Moorland Shooting Vest, £395
A Ladies’ Staple
Although a relatively new addition to its collection, Holland Cooper’s Countryside Fleece Gilets (£99) have proved a big hit. Available in four colours and with a flattering cut, they’re the perfect layering piece for country girls.
The Trusty Favourite
Alan Paine’s Aylsham fleece gilet (£94.95) comes in a wide selection of colours, is excellent value and is one of the best shooting gilets around. It has zipped pockets, an adjustable waist and is machine washable.
A Classic Shooting Gilet
Campbell’s of Beauly’s field nehru gilet (£295) is made in the UK from British tweed. It is the ideal layering piece for the winter months or worn simply over a shirt when the temperature warms up. This shooting gilet has external bellows pockets and two internal zip pockets.
Best Shooting Gilet For In Town
The blue tweed in this Maude & Fox gilet hails from Yorkshire with suede trims, collar and shoulder pads for stylish contrast. While it is extremely wearable off the field, it still has plenty of technical features: large pockets; two-way zip; and two layers of fleece for comfort and warmth. Blue Peat Tweed Shooting Gilet, £375
The Flexible Friend
Pin Piuma’s reversible gilet (£195) is available in partridge green or pheasant brown. It has a leather-bound collar and orange cord zipper. Wear it tweed side around or show off the quilted side. Whatever you choose, we reckon this is one of the best shooting gilets around.
Sporting Gilet With A Hidden Surprise
Fera’s Poacher gilet (£160) has a hidden pocket running across the back. What will you stash there? This summer-weight gilet is made from hard-wearing soft canvas with a lightweight filling. Ideal for warmer months or for winter layering. Available in blue or green.
Best For Super-Soft Luxury
Those with a taste for the finer things in life should look no further than Troy’s suede gilet (£440). It is made from softest Italian suede with a checked cotton lining, finished with horn buttons. Troy also does a beautifully cut, belted version for women.
The Feel Good Gilet
Orvis’s Recycled Drift Gilet (£139) comes in a number of colour options and is treated to be water repellent, has hand-warmer pockets and is made from tough, recycled materials so you can look and feel good while shooting.
Want to learn more about style in the field?
If you’ve enjoyed this article, check out more of The Field’s first-class content. Want the latest looks for ladies in town or in the country? Look no further – click here. And read why the safari jacket is a classic that has never gone out fashion.