Thanks Geary126... But, I'd still go with the better quality marine gear. The harness integration can be nice when it is really blowing like stink—as keeping your people on the boat beats trying to do a COB rescue in heavy weather.
Also, the non-marine foul weather gear is often colors I'd not recommend for marine use. Blues, blacks, greens are all fine for non-marine use, but have you ever tried to spot someone who fell overboard in the rain, when they're wearing a coat that blends into the water??? And with out the retroreflective patches, early or late in the day, or in bad weather, you don't even have a chance at finding them. Red, orange, chartreuse or yellow are really the way to go. Pink is also good, but not something most guys would be caught dead in.
The double cuffs and high collar are really nice. Earlier this spring, I was out daysailing on an Olsen 25 on a day that was blowing 20-25 with gusts to 30, and we were having a blast. But if I didn't have the high collar and the double cuffs, I would have been pretty wet, and probably pretty miserable... instead, I was dry, and having a blast.
One of the other people on the boat was in "consumer" foul weather gear, and she was pretty much soaked after the first two or three waves broke into the cockpit. She spent much of the afternoon huddled in the cabin with my spare polarfleece on. All I needed to stay warm was a t-shirt, since I was dry.
I always looked at my foul weather gear, like my ski gear, as a long term investment. A high quality foul weather coat, like my Musto MPX, is about two-to-three times the price of a cheap one, but it will perform better, leave me more comfortable and last much longer. I would probably go through two or three sets of cheaper, less well-made gear in the time it takes me to wear out my Musto.
I have one ski jacket that is over 14 years old.... it was expensive at the time...but over the 14 years I've had it...it's less than $20 a year. For children, it probably doesn't make sense to go with the really good stuff, as they're going to out grow it long before they wear it out, but for adults, it really isn't that bad an idea to go high-end.
BTW, West Marine has a new line of foul weather gear that seems to be pretty reasonable priced and fairly good quality. http://tinyurl.com/quxyk