Starting with the wetsuit, a Steamer or Long Johns have the advantage of keeping your torso warm as there are no midriff gaps. Whilst a great choice for winter warmth, they can require a lot of undressing for toilet breaks particularly if wearing a number of top layers.
Leggings are an alternative to the full wetsuit providing the option to mix and match clothing for different conditions. However, if you have ever experienced a nasty cold rush of water down your back or the slow undignified decent of the leggings with movement and hiking, you will appreciate the importance of a good fit!
Because most leggings are unisex, they don’t take into consideration female hip to waist ratios. The Gul Hydroshield leggings with a female cut and high waist band suit a range of water sport activities. Made from breathable and waterproof fabric, they don’t restrict movement but don't provide as much cushioning as thick neoprene against bumps.
Whether you prefer a wetsuit or leggings, additional layers are required to insulate your body against heat loss. Choose clothing that has thermal properties but still allows flexibility of movement. The Gul Evotherm Ladies top has thumb holes to hold the sleeves in place when putting another layer or a wetsuit over the top.
If wearing leggings consider a top with some length in body that fits tightly over the hips or tuck the thermal base layers in. This will reduce the risk of it riding up over time.
Gul Evotherm Ladies Top
Gul Hydrosheild Pro Ladies Top
Gul Balistic Spray top
LOOK AFTER YOUR EXTREMITIES
KEEP YOUR FEET WARM
If you suffer from cold feet your wet boots might not be enough. Wet socks can be worn with sailing boots and give an extra layer of insulation. If your sailing boots are already a snug fit, try thinner 0.5 mm titanium lined socks
KEEP YOUR HEAD WARM
At the other end there are several options. Perhaps not the most glamorous of headwear, the Surf cap made of neoprene works like a wetsuit to keep your head warm when wet. Strategically placed holes next to the ears mean you can still hear what is going on around you.
Water proof beanies help keep your head dry and if you really feel the cold, look for several layers in the cap as this will insulate more effectively.
THE ULTIMATE FOR WINTER SAILING
Popular in colder climates, the dry suit is designed to keep you dry even after a capsize. You will need thermal layers underneath though. Breathable, flexible, waterproof and windproof fabrics offer great protection against the cold without compromising comfort and movement.
Gul Taw Ladies Dry suit Gul Code Zero Ladies Dry Suit