Selecting an Antarctic Jacket
One of the key pieces of clothing you will need for your Antarctic expedition is the outer shell.
Jackets in several different styles and materials are available from outdoor clothing stores. To ensure a comfortable and safe experience, the jacket you select must have two key features, at a minimum:
1) it must be completely waterproof. This is very important as the jacket needs to keep you dry in case of rain or in case you get splashed during Zodiac excursions. Getting wet in cold temperature is very uncomfortable. In an emergency situation, it can quickly become unsafe.
2) It must wear comfortably so as not to impede your movement while you embark and disembark the Zodiacs.
We have set off in search of the best expedition jacket we could find, a jacket that we would feel confident recommending and putting our name on it. After an extensive review of the options available, we have settled on the Musto BR2 Offshore Jacket.
The BR2 Offshore Jacket is used primarily by sailors who take their yachts onto the open sea. It is meant to be used as part of a layering system. The jacket is constructed from supremely breathable, waterproof and windproof fabric that is proprietary to Musto. It features super-engineered double cuffs, adjustable hem, double storm flap with a drainage channel over the zip and roll-away fluorescent hood for a superior level of dryness. A technical fleece-lined collar and hand-warmer pockets enhance warmth while advanced prismatic reflectors provide visibility for safety in low light.
Musto determines the waterproofness of its fabric using a hydrostatic waterhead. This is measured by pulling the fabric tightly over a tube. The tube is then filled with water until water begins to leak through the fabric after a 24 hour period. The height of the water column, in millimetres, is the hydrostatic waterhead measurement. Even after the fabric has been washed five times, BR2 has a minimum hydrostatic waterhead of 10,000mm and up to 15,000mm. This is a significantly higher waterproof rating than the industry minimum of 1,500mm.
As for breathability, BR2 fabrics allow 7,000g of moisture to pass through it, giving it a breathability rating of 7,000g/24hrs.
The BR2 Offshore Jacket is a product made to exacting technical standards, best used as the top layer in a four-layer system. Under the shell you can use a base layer made of merino wool or similar breathable and wicking fabric; a mid layer such as a warm zipped fleece or zipped wool sweater; and finally an insulating layer, such as a zipped light puffy jacket.
The BR2 Offshore Jacket is available in a surf blue/dark grey combination in men’s sizes, and in a Platinum/Dark Grey combination in women’s sizes. Normally priced at $349, for a limited time you can purchase the jacket from our Gear Shop with a $70 price reduction and free delivery in Punta Arenas or Ushuaia.