Henri Lloyd is a brand I’ve been using since I was about 15, when I started sailing with the Sea Cadets. It’s good, it lasts and in my opinion is better than a lot of the gear out there, short of the absolute professional sailing gear you can buy for upwards of £600. The company create their products based on the 50+ years of experience they have in the sailing industry.
This year my Henri Lloyd jacket I’d had since I was 16 needed an upgrade. The jacket itself is still in almost perfect condition (somehow) but the sleeves were a little too short! I bought the Henri Lloyd Freedom Jacket, after lots of review trawling, but also because my brother uses it as a professional yacht skipper, which is always a good recommendation!
Find out how I got on…
Made from the Henri Lloyd high performance TP2 fabric, this jacket was marketed as 100% waterproof, windproof and highly breathable… And it is.
TP2 is a coated fabric technology which is 20 x more waterproof than the British standard. This jacket also has taped seams, double, dartex staggered & adjustable cuffs and run off channels at the pockets and zip. Meaning that all the spray and water won’t make its way through the zips or down your sleeves when you’re adjusting the sails!
On a night watch, you stay dry even when the sea decides to make an appearance over your spray hood to the, now not so dry, cockpit.
Henri Lloyd are the only sailing jackets with the Optivision hoods and almost full face spume visor. These two features are taken from the Henri Lloyd transocean collection and they’re the only jackets I’ve found (again outside of the super professional kit) to offer this full facial protection and improved peripheral vision. With your hood up during bad weather, spray in your face at night or during the day, you can still see what’s going on around you. The spume visor lining is also toasty warm, without trapping condensation. A real must have on those chilly night watches!
The photo luminescent reflectors are placed on the shoulders, storm flap and hood of the Freedom Jacket. During the day they absorb UV light (sunlight or artificial) and in darkness they create a luminescence, improving visibility on those night sails.
Whilst Henri Lloyd entered administration earlier in 2018, none of their financial issues were related to quality of their kit and you can still buy certain items online, mostly from sailing kit websites and chandleries, but the brand is planning an exciting new relaunch under new ownership in 2019.
This jacket retails for around £279, and has well and truly earned its place in my offshore collection!