You have countless options when it comes to choosing a shooting jacket from various brands. However, reviewing each one would be time-consuming and could risk becoming tedious for you. Therefore, in line with the theme of this blog titled ‘Which is the best,’ we'll concentrate solely on the top-tier brands that are widely recognised as the best choices.
When Schoffel shooting jackets entered the market a fraction over 30 years ago, they had a simple objective: to make the best shooting jacket there was.
They used the best fabrics (Gore-Tex), consulted with the most knowledgeable people (such as Purdey), created dozens of prototypes that were tested to the extreme, and then launched a shooting coat that was groundbreaking and a huge success.
The Ptarmigan men’s shooting jacket range continues to evolve and innovate, constantly adopting fabric technology advances, and blending them with the demands of the shooter that are driven by climate and fashion.
If you are looking for the best in shooting jackets, especially for a driven shooting day, Schoffel has to be a consideration. They tend to be the most waterproof, the most highly breathable, with outstanding fit and have all the features you need. Quite simply, there is a very good reason that so many serious shooters are seen wearing their kit.
A Danish brand that is slightly less well known in the UK, but they design exceptional quality garments specifically for the UK market. Like the other leading shooting coat manufacturers, they use quality materials, but like to offer a point of difference by often going in a different direction to the pack.
Where many use Gore-Tex, they currently favour Ventile (which, from an environmental point of view, is arguably better). Similarly, whilst most brands use Polartec fleece (or a similar copy), Laksen has gone with a natural wool blended alternative. If you want a shooting jacket and want the best, but also don’t want to be the same as everyone else, then Laksen could very well be the brand for you.
Including Barbour on this list may surprise a few people as their focus in recent years has been on fashion clothing. This year, however, they have produced a whole new wide range of shooting clothing, including a number of men’s shooting jackets and some ladies’ shooting jackets which are packed with great features, and, as always with Barbour, they are well-made, from quality fabrics.
In addition to the new Barbour jackets, they still have the Bransdale Shooting Jacket, and Dunmoor Shooting Fleece. Both have been in their range unchanged for many years, and it’s a testament to the design that they don’t need to change, as the fit and features are spot on for the job they do.
Barbour has undoubtedly made a comeback in the shooting field, and many will find their range attractive with a price point that is not quite as steep as other leaders in this field.
The final name on our list of contenders for making the very best shooing jackets isHarkila. The team at Harkila are completely uncompromising in their commitment to making quality garments. This does mean they come at a steep price point, but you get what you pay for, and they will last you years and years.
Harkila is a Danish brand, and one criticism that used to be valid was that many of the garments didn’t quite suit the UK style of shooting, but they now have a team based in the UK that designs products specifically for this country. They also used to be known as a brand more suited to stalking kits than driven games, but again the design has evolved, and they now make just about the best kit for any kind of hunting and shooting.
Harkila shooting jackets may not be cheap, but the fabrics, fit and function make it very difficult to resist.
Other Quality Shooting Coat Brands
If you’re looking at a new jacket, but can’t justify the price associated with the leading brands, the good news is there are a lot of other brands out there that make very good kit. Have a look at Seeland,Deerhunter,Alan Paine,Beretta, or Hoggs.
All of these names have years of experience creating shooting jackets, they all use good fabrics and they all stand the test of time. Often the price is kept down by not using Gore-Tex and Polartec, but in truth, there are plenty of quality breathable fabrics and hardwearing fleece jacket alternatives available now and not using the leading brand names doesn’t automatically mean a drop in quality.
A few names that no longer make shooting jackets...
Some of you may notice that there are three traditionally big shooting clothing names missing from the above review:
Le Chameau still makes about the best welly boots for the shooting field, but no longer makes any clothing because they leave this to their sister brand, Schoffel. The two brands combined cover just about everything you need to be dressed for every country occasion!
Aigle, much like Le Chameau, makes exceptional quality Wellington boots and is used to make some great country clothing (even David Beckham has been spotted in their fleece). However, their clothing range is now focused on urban fashion and skiing, which sadly means no more shooting clothing.
Musto shooting jackets and all other Musto country clothing are no longer made. For reasons Musto doesn’t seem too keen to discuss, they made the decision to pull away from shooting and country clothing, which is a huge shame because they always made great quality kits.