I second the vote for Gore-tex foulies -- they're more expensive, but they breathe. Expensive foulies are worth it IF you have to spend time in them. Ten years ago I swallowed hard and bought Henri Lloyd ocean racer gear -- paid more for them than I would for a business suit (I know that's a sign of my age -- who wears suits anymore?) -- but and have never regreted it. On offshore passages I've lived in foulies for a week or more and they've kept me warm and dry. If you only sailed weekends, I believe top-of-the-line gear is probably an extravagance you can avoid. The question is -- what's it worth to be comfortable? Are you likely to be in situations where being cold and damp for hours on end will degrade your performance so as to put the boat at risk? If so, buy the best gear. A helmsman/skipper who isn't exhausted by the cold is certainly worth as much or more than a good chart plotter.
Last edited by billyruffn; 03-22-2009 at 11:18 PM.