DuckSkinz Jacket by Sun Protection Zone

This UV-reflective, water-repellent jacket works as an outer layer on sunny days and a mid layer in foul weather. "Gear Up" from our September 24, 2008, /SW eNewsletter/

The DuckSkinz jacket, which also comes in brown and white, provides a light, flexible layer of protection against wind and spray.
The DuckSkinz jacket, which also comes in brown and white, provides a light, flexible layer of protection against wind and spray.Courtesy Duckskinz

It's getting easier and easier to be a huge nerd about what you wear sailing. If, like me, you strive to find the perfect fabric and/or layering combination for every condition, you might want to stock your quiver with a DuckSkinz jacket by Sun Protection Zone.

Made of a stretchy, proprietary fabric that sheds water and UV rays, says the company, "like water off a duck's back," this lightweight jacket is ideal for those liminal conditions when you want a layer of protection against the sun and spindrift, but you don't want to put on something that's going to restrict your movement or make you sweat. The DuckSkinz jacket has a moisture-guard coating that will resist a light spray, but make no mistake: this is not a spray top. Similarly, the jacket's tightly woven fibers will block a light breeze, but this garment is not meant to serve as an outer layer for truly foul weather. As a mid layer, however, the jacket is very well suited; it's made of a polyester/spandex blend that is quick-drying and unrestrictive.

What I like best about the DuckSkinz jacket is the full-length zipper. Nothing revolutionary here, just a zipper, but on this type of garment-- the type you're always taking on and off as conditions change-- it's essential. The high neckline is also key for warding off the dreaded monkey-collar sunburn.