Best Sailing Pants for Women: 6 Styles for All Conditions
Durable outerwear can sometimes feel a little unisex, so when it comes to the best sailing pants for women, fit is just as important as construction. These 6 pants will serve any sailor well.
From racing dinghies to making offshore passages, sailors demand garments designed for both use and user.
But at the end of the day, the factors that separate quality gear from haphazard kit are the same for men and women.
All sailors need clothing that withstands the elements, is comfortable to wear and allows freedom of movement.
What to Look for in the Best Sailing Pants for Women
The first consideration is the browsing environment. If you are an occasional crew on a daysailer in sunny weather, comfort and style are as important as the choice of materials.
But you still need pants that will stand up to repeated abuse. Look for double-needle stitching at the seams, belt loops rather than elastic waistbands, and flat or gusseted cargo pockets. Four-way stretch fabric in a synthetic blend that dries quickly is optimal.
Pants are becoming more technical as sailing is more specialized. Running pants need the same attributes of stretch and durability, but with more sophisticated tailoring, like reinforced articulated knees and seat.
In contrast, a simple pair of streamlined tights might be just the ticket to dinghy racing or any boating that requires sitting down or involves constant exposure to water.
As we tackle larger boats and tougher conditions, a bib or bib combines ultimate protection with layering compatibility in pants that can be worn for extended periods of time without feeling suffocated.
6 of the best sailing pants for women
Tribord 500 Race women’s sailing pants
French sporting goods giant Decathlon offers solid value at a great price in their Tribord range of sailing apparel.
The Women’s 500 Sailing Pant is marketed as race gear, but it’s an appropriate choice for almost any day on the water that doesn’t involve a heat wave or freezing on deck.
Tribord’s modest price belies the technical details that make it a great bet for sailors on a budget. These include plenty of pockets, two of which are zippered, and roll-up cuffs with button closures.
The fabric is treated with a water-repellent coating to help keep you dry even when the cockpit doesn’t.
- Great price from a sail specific brand.
- Stretchy fabric for all-day comfort.
- Water resistant coating.
- Not all-weather pants.
- May not be as durable as a premium garment.
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Helly Hansen’s Women’s HP Foil Sailing Pants
Performance sailing calls for performance equipment. This is where Helly Hansen’s HP Foil Sailing Pants excel. They are waterproof and windproof yet breathable, with a sewn-in mesh lining to prevent chafing.
The fit is articulated through the knees and seat, with an adjustable low waistband featuring belt loops and a heavy-duty YKK zipper.
The seat and knees are reinforced to add durability in areas where a sailor needs it most. Additional touches, such as a hanging loop for storage and a cache of roomy pockets, make this a race-ready garment on any course.
- Good build quality from a leader in outerwear.
- Sailing pants designed for women.
- Articulated and reinforced knees and seat.
- An aerodynamic profile with adjustable cuffs.
- High price.
- Maybe too hot to sail in hot weather
Kühl Cabo Trousers
Kühl combines style and performance as well as any garment in the outdoor space. While the company is traditionally known as a backpacker brand, the athletic spirit of its Cabo pants might as well have been developed with sailors in mind.
The cotton/polyester/linen blend is another of the super comfortable fabrics that Kühl is known for. A UPF 50+ rating and breathability make it a great option for hot weather.
The Cabo comes in five discreet colors and sizes ranging from 0-16, so most sailors should be able to find a pair that works for them.
Flat pockets on the front and back, as well as a zipped pocket on the thigh, add cargo capacity to these fairly transparent pants.
- A fine and refined cut.
- Lightweight fabric best suited for casual boating
- Versatile pants for sailing, city or travel.
- Not much stretch in the fabric.
- Too sheer for colder days.
Buy from Kühl
Helly Hansen Women’s Waterwear Tights
A fitted pair of neoprene tights are often the best women’s sailing pants for dinghy racing or any other high-saturation sport, such as kayaking, kiteboarding or surfing.
Even at just 2 millimeters thick, the neoprene fabric has an insulating property that doubles as rash protection. It is essentially a wetsuit material, and as such will retain body heat otherwise lost through wind chill.
The tights have windproof panels at the thighs and are treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating for water resistance.
These pants are compatible with similar Helly Hansen products including the Waterwear top, jacket and vest.
- Aerodynamic cut for serious runners.
- Helps retain body heat in wet and windy conditions.
- Stretch fabric for freedom of movement.
- Light clothing.
- Only available in black.
- Neoprene is often too warm for hot conditions.
- Expensive for a pair of tights!
Grundens Women’s Weather Watch Overalls
When the weather turns sour, it’s time to cover up with something more substantial than regular pants. Overalls, sometimes called overalls, are the most versatile option in a wide range of conditions.
Wear them solo to ward off the chill, or zip them up and button them up with a waterproof jacket over them.
Gruden’s Weather Watch Bib is a solid value at a minimalist price. The DWR-treated 420 denier is both lightweight and windproof.
Sealed seams improve weather resistance and durability while adjustable straps let you find the right fit.
- Affordable bad weather gear.
- Wind and water resistant 420 denier nylon fabric with DWR coating.
- Designed for active cutting.
- Excellent base garment to build a complete weather system.
- Not a lifetime resistant garment.
- Built with anglers in mind as well as sailors.
- Some reviewers report that the sizes run large.
Buy from West Marine
Buy from Grunden
Musto Women’s MPX Gore-Tex Pro Offshore Pants
For the ultimate in offshore protection, a mud flap is again the answer, but with this increased performance comes a higher price.
Retailing for $750, Musto’s Women’s Gore-Tex Offshore Pants are a tough yet comfortable take on the classic overall or bib.
For the premium price, you get a host of technical touches including an articulated fit, hand warmer fleece in the chest pockets, gusseted cargo pockets, reinforced seat and knee panels and cuffs adjustable.
A full-zip front panel makes it easy to put on and take off the bib or ventilate in case of overheating. Hook and loop adjustments on the shoulder straps eliminate plastic buckles that can chafe or snag.
- Designed especially for sailors.
- Body-hugging garments with both men’s and women’s versions.
- Suitable for short offshore races or passages.
- Made of 3-layer Gore-Tex.
- Very expensive equipment.
- Available in just five women’s sizes (8-16).
Buy from Musto
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