A riding gilet offers warmth with added freedom of movement. When moving, such as when riding, working in the stable or working with and around the horse, one's arms do not get cold. In fact, if you wear a jacket, you will often try to roll up the sleeves. This is not necessary with riding gilets, as they keep your torso warm while your arms stay free. The material the riding gilet is made of offers the desired properties of a jacket, such as breathability, wind proofing or a water-repellent surface. Riding gilets for women are usually also equipped with numerous pockets so that your car keys, mobile phone or wallet can be easily stored. The quilted riding gilet can be worn on its own, and also under a riding jacket in cold weather. A riding gilet is usually cheaper than a riding jacket.
A riding gilet should comfortably enclose the rider's upper body without restricting movement. Some riding gilets are cut shorter at the front to guarantee a comfortable fit in the saddle. A two-way zip also serves this purpose. The gilet should be long enough to protect the kidneys from draughts or wind. On the other hand, it should not be so long that it interferes with sitting in the saddle. Riding gilets are usually cut relatively snugly. They should also have enough closable pockets so that you can safely store important things such as your car keys or wallet. There should also be a pocket for your mobile phone. Reflective material or hi-vis components increase safety when riding.
A riding gilet should fit well, but not restrict movement. The fabric the riding gilet is made of should be durable and machine-washable. Since you will certainly want to ride outside, the gilet should at the very least be wind and water repellent, if not outright wind and waterproof. It is also important that the material is breathable, to prevent sweating and overheating. Reflective elements on the gilet or a fully hi-vis gilet material increases your safety when riding or working outside at dusk. The riding gilet should also have several large, closable pockets so that you can safely store important items.
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