There are skiff suits, and then there are skiff suits. Gill Marine’s new cold-weather FireCell Skiff Suit and FireCell top are in the latter category, as they’re well beyond your basic neoprene sailing gear. Both have been put through their paces on the SailGP circuit with the U.S. and UK teams. We got our hands on a set, and every time we examined a different part of the kit, we saw yet another cool innovation. Let’s start with the construction.
In the front of the skiff suit, running from the neck down to just above the knees, and inside the back of the race top, is Gill’s new “FireCell” material, which traps air in its thermal pockets. It’s constructed of a three-layer sandwich of nylon, foam and liner, and feels like tightly woven fleece on the inside, warm and comfortable. Opposite the FireCell layer—on the back of the skiff suit and the front of the race top—are thermal panels constructed of high-stretch, water-repellent material that dries quickly and provides additional warmth. Both pieces are rated for use from 39 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
Other details include glued, taped and blind-stitched seams, pre-bent knees, hems in limb openings that are lined with grippy silicone to prevent ride-up and, for the guys, a relief opening. Four-way stretch material in shoulders, sides and arms improves mobility. The neck opening in the top is made of a soft, stretchy “Glideskin” to prevent chafe and make the top easier to get on and off. Abrasion-resistant panels are on the seat, running well down the back of the upper legs, and on the knees.
Both are available in sizes JL through XXL. FireCell Skiff Suit: $269. FireCell Race Top: $169. For more, www.gillmarine.com