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The best men’s gilets for horse riding need to be suitable for wear while in the saddle, while teaching or spectating, and when busy around the yard, keeping the individual warm in all weathers. If they are also suitable to be worn with jeans away from the stables, that is an added bonus. There are a range of different styles available from traditional quilted waistcoats through to more heavily padded styles with stand-up collars designed to keep the wind off the individual’s neck, while some have heated panels built-in to help deal with the coldest winter weather. Two-way zips and secure pockets of a good size are useful features to look out for.


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Horse & Hound has been working with a number of professional riders, trainers and yards to put a range of products to the test in a busy yard environment. And here are the results…

Meet the product testers

The men’s gilets in this group test were trialled by the Wild Farm Equestrian team. Wild Farm Equestrian is run by dressage trainer and competitor Keith Robertson, along with a dedicated team of grooms that produces young dressage horses right through to grand prix, alongside running a successful livery business.

Horse & Hound’s pick of the best men’s gilets for riders 2019


* BEST IN TEST *

Blaze Wear Traveller Gilet

RRP: £199.98

Best men's gilets for horse riders: Blaze Wear Traveller Gilet review“An absolutely fantastic piece of kit for those of us that spend hours on end outside working, riding and teaching. It was warm enough to use without using the battery heating facility while riding. The very controllable heat source in the gilet meant I was so warm while standing around for hours teaching — it made a phenomenal difference. I loved the fact that the heat was completely controllable from a button on the inside of the jacket. The removable battery is very easy to use, charge and can also serve as a backup battery supply for your mobile phone . The battery is on the big side, but the trade-off is more than worth it when you spend as many hours outside as I do. The sizing of the gilet was quite snug for me, so it’s probably well worth trying one on before purchase to make sure get the right size. It’s a fantastic product and while it is a lot of money, I personally think it’s well worth it.”

9/10

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* BEST VALUE *

Felix Bühler David Quilted Gilet

RRP: £54.90

Felix Bühler David Quilted Gilet review“This is a really well made classic bodywarmer-style jacket, that is ideal to wear over a jumper in cool weather. Despite its more classic design, it was actually quite fitted and that made it much more flattering and more functional as a riding garment, so you do benefit from less added bulk than you might expect. The pockets have long tags on making them easy to open even with gloves on. This is a great value for money item if you’re looking an all round gilet. It’s smart enough to wear all the time, but not so expensive that you mind it getting dirty or doing its job around the horses.”

8/10

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Baleno York

RRP: £109.95

Baleno York review“This gilet was really nice to wear: comfortable, stylish and very practical. This gilet surprised me by ending up being a real favourite. I don’t normally go for the classic ‘country’ look but I really loved this gilet. To be honest, it almost felt too smart to wear around the yard and the horses — I felt guilty I might spoil it. That said, it meant it was equally suitable to be worn with jeans to go out and about in any non-horsey environment. The magnetic closures on the pockets are a nice touch and it really is smart enough to wear out and about away from the yard.”

8/10

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Pikeur Alexus Waistcoat

RRP: £89.95

Pikeur Alexus Waistcoat review“This gilet performed brilliantly; it is incredibly lightweight and yet warm enough to wear over a thin jumper in cooler weather, or as an under layer beneath a jacket when the temperatures drop further. I really liked the quality and styling of this gilet, which is something Pikeur does very well. As a personal preference I would have liked zip pockets as opposed to popper closures, especially as when riding with anything in your pockets it is so easy to lose it. The stuff-bag is a nice touch and I can see lots of people finding this useful, although having mild OCD I don’t think I could ever settle for just crushing this gilet in without folding it tidily. A small is still quite generous, so it may be worth double checking sizings before purchase.”

9/10

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Stierna M Gale Vest

RRP: £110

Stierna M Gale Vest review“This gilet performed extremely well. It functioned brilliantly as an under layer, being lightweight and slim-fitting enough to be worn under a jacket while breathable enough that you didn’t feel you were overheating when riding. I really liked the stretch of the fabric, but I did feel that sizing was a little snug. The two-way zip and drawstring hem were very helpful as a riding garment, and it is a benefit to have the pockets — as equestrians we always have multiple things to carry around. I would definitely recommend this gilet for its performance and functionality, but I have to question the price in relation to other products in the market.”

7/10

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Noble Outfitters Stable Insulated Vest

RRP: £89.95

Noble Outfitters Stable Insulated Vest review“This gilet was great worn over a jumper on cooler mornings — lightweight enough to not get in the way, but kept you warm while working or riding without a full coat. It is very classic in design, so possibly isn’t the most stylish garment, but it certainly does do its job. It features long tags on all its pockets, making them easy to use even with gloves on. It is, however, slightly longer in design than I personally like and has no drawstring to adjust it. As an all-round bodywarmer for the yard it really does do its job; what it lacks in style it makes up for in functionality.”

7/10

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Helly Hansen Lifaloft Insulator Vest

RRP: £130

Helly Hansen Lifaloft Insulator Vest review“This gilet really comes into its own when it’s viewed as a ‘layer’. On its own it’s not incredibly warm, but is brilliantly thin to function as one of many layers. It’s also great for riding because of the lack of bulk. I really liked the lightweight design, helpful drawstring and pockets. The sizing however was very generous, especially when considering this as an under layer; a small was on the large side for me. It is such an easy item of clothing to throw in a bag or in the car as it takes up no space at all.”

7/10

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Horse & Hound is in the process of testing a wide range of equestrian kit, clothing and equipment, the results of which will be published on HorseandHound.co.uk

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