I'm going to university starting this September and studying marine biology. I have to spend a large amount of time on boats and near the coast which I know will get cold and wet. I've been advised to get a good rainproof all weather jacket. Personally I hate being too hot so I think the multilayer type ones would be good. I don't know anything about them and would rather not spend a couple hundred quid on a jacket right now. I figured of all places to ask people here would probably know. Anyone got any good options or just advice to find one?
Don’t know how physically active you’re going to need to be in bad weather. I love my Mountain Equipment goretex for the hills but I know that on a boat, a yachtie’s jacket is soooo much better. On the boat you’re not producing much heat through movement so the integral insulation, big cuffs and big hood are really beneficial.
Maybe it’s two jackets you need….
You haven’t mentioned mid or base layers but don’t forget to get the right layers (I.e. not cotton) regardless of your outer-layer choices.
I'd say you would be best off with a layering set, good base layer made from merino or merino-polyester, good fleece, good synthetic puffy and a good rain jacket. This prevents overheating as you can mix and match depending on circumstances and activity.
The rain jacket is going to be a challenge. Saltwater tends to eat technical gear for breakfast so I would have a look at the sailing jacket market, as those tend to be a bit more built for that particular use case than technical outdoor sports wear.
The tricky thing with anything garment and technical is that the more you are willing to spend on it, the better it will be able to dump your heat. Cheap membranes generally have a poor moisture vapour permeability rating (and also don't last as long generally speaking, buy once cry once).
You might be better asking on a sailing forum or observing what your tutors wear.
Your work doesn't sound very active so breathability may be less of an issue compared with warmth and waterproofing. Cheap neoprene waterproofs over wooly jumpers may suffice.
I'd look at yacht chandlers for wet weather gear at sea.
As both a former mountaineer and a former sailor I can say that the wet weather gear for each sport is not really compatible with the other. Sea spray salt quickly reduces both the waterproofness and warmth in climbing wet weather protection gear, and sailing waterproof gear is too heavy, bulky and hot for mountaineering.
Another sailor and mountain walker here, as others have said any time near salt water will destroy any jacket you could use to walk up a mountain in very quickly, so 2 jackets is the way. You'll also want water proof bottoms as well, there's a lot of sitting on boats. No need to worry too much about breathability for boat waterproofs, notice the fishermen just go for big yellow PVC stuff. Decathlon stuff is decent for the money. I've had one of these for years
You'll probably find all the other students on your course will be dressed like this:
Available here for £45:
From another thread...
I'd have a look at Gill or Musto, they do loads of different ranges from Ocean to dinghy sailing and everything in-between. Other options would be Henri Lloyd, Helly Hansen etc!
I personally wouldn't go for a walking/Mountaineering jacket. Probably wouldn't survive being on a boat as it will take a beating!