The best mid-layer tops for any busy equestrian need to be comfortable and warm without causing you to sweat the instant you start riding or mucking out so breathability is important. Ideally the top would be reasonably close fitting to allow it to be worn comfortably with a coat or jacket over the top during inclement weather, but the best will be stylish enough to also work as a top layer when the weather is dry and not too cold. Fleece is a popular material for mid-layer equestrian tops. Mid layers can be jumpers, hoodies and jackets, so there is a wide range of choices available.
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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 tester
The tops in this group test were trialled by professional event rider Sam Jennings, who started her eventing career in 1999 as a young rider and was shortlisted for the British team that year. Sam successfully competes a range of event horses up to advanced level , from her friendly, professional yard in Kent. She also regularly holds clinics and teaches private lessons around Kent and Sussex.
Horse & Hound’s pick of the best mid-layer tops 2018
* BEST IN TEST *
“This top ticks all the boxes for me; it is warm while being not sweaty, cosy without being clingy. I like the funnel neck, the zip pocket and found the thumb loops very useful when riding.”
* BEST VALUE *
“I really love this top as it’s so cosy due to its loose risen turtle neck and super soft fleece material. It went through the wash well and the sizing is on the generous side, although it is a bit bulky to wear as a mid-layer it felt. It’s a great cosy top to come home to.”
“This top has been perfect in unpredictable weather. I have worn it under my coat and it has been warm but lightweight. It has also been great just on its own as it’s flattering and warm but breathable. It is also very smart and I have used it during clinics and teaching.”
“This top worked very well as a mid-layer it is warm and comfortable, but didn’t let you get too sweaty. It is well fitted, not too heavy and the zipped pockets are a real plus. The elastic cuffs are a stroke of genius, but the waistband doesn’t work so well as every time you lifted your arms, the top rode up and stayed up.”
“This top worked really well as a layer as it wasn’t too bulky and fitted well. It was warm enough while not being too thick and was breathable. I liked the simple design, although it would have been useful if the pockets were zipped and I did find that the collar on the left popped up, which was annoying.”
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
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