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Riding in a "Riding Jacket" vs a regular coat?

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    Riding in a "Riding Jacket" vs a regular coat?

    The Smartpak sale has me eying a few of the jackets they have.

    Has anyone noticed a difference in riding in a coat specifically sold for riding, vs. North Face / etc

    In general the regular outdoor gear is better quality, goes on deeper discount, and has a better range of color and style.

    However equestrian specific jackets will generally be cut to clear the saddle or not bunch up as much in the saddle.


      I've been riding in 'regular' jackets and since they are also jackets I work in, they are rather bulky and a little too warm for riding, plus the hem is long enough that I end up sitting on it and eventually get choked by the collar. This year I finally planned ahead and got a riding jacket, and I've been layering it with a vest. So far this has been warm enough for -5C, so I'll see what happens when temps drop once real winter hits.
      Proud mother to Matt, a 18 year-old TB gelding.



        I love down jackets to stay warm without being bulky. I have a nice down jacket for regular life but it’s very long and the zipper was splitting while I was in saddle. I bought a $40 down jacket off Amazon last winter for my winter riding jacket because it was shorter. It’s been fantastic. I looked at some riding jackets but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that much when I had doubts about how warm they’d actually be.


          Originally posted by BrookdaleBay View Post
          I've been riding in 'regular' jackets and since they are also jackets I work in, they are rather bulky and a little too warm for riding, plus the hem is long enough that I end up sitting on it and eventually get choked by the collar. This year I finally planned ahead and got a riding jacket, and I've been layering it with a vest. So far this has been warm enough for -5C, so I'll see what happens when temps drop once real winter hits.
          The same thing happens to me...The jacket eventually either chokes me or gets hooked on the cantle of the saddle. Very annoying!

          I do prefer a "riding" jacket that either has snaps at my bum or a higher cut. I also find it gets too hot if its a really puffy "normal" jacket.

          I've ridden in a lighter jacket with a vest in -20C weather with no issues.


            Some of the regular jackets,like Colombia IIRC, maybe North Face (not where checking labels in my closet is possible), come in a slim or regular fit. A slim fit that has a shorter length, like at or just below your waist but well above the curve of your butt will ride pretty well.

            Try Dicks but wait until after Christmas when they start end of season reductions but still will have the size and cut you need. Honestly, with these, you need to try them on IRL.

            Also found some at Kohl’s. Some of their store brand puffy coats fit tight and hit just about at the waist. Not pricey even without extra discount. These are not real thick but layer really easy.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


              My favorite riding jacket for years was a parka length gore-tex from Land's End. I also got years of use out of a waterproof pullover shell that was not horse-specific.
              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                A good parka will sometimes have a zipper that unzips from the bottom as well as the top. My huge thigh length waterproof down Columbia jacket does that so i can ride in it ok. I also will put a down vest under it and wear it open.

                I wouldn't take a riding lesson this bulked up but it is great for trail riding in winter.


                  I prefer Patagonia and Columbia down and for mid-lighter weight Michael Kors packable down. I can't stand bulk and have always found that down coats provide me with a light solution that allows me to layer to retain heat. In GA we also show in black down coats when the weather is bad - again it's normally Columbia or Patagonia. I'm originally from Wisco and the heavier coats were fine there for me!


                    I love riding in a vest as it allows me to work intensely while keeping my core warm. I found this one and recently bought it. You can strip the faux fur hood off and even the collar if you want, but having them is nice on the really chilly days. There are also 2 snap vents in the back for ease in the saddle. Joules is a nice brand that lots of Brits like and when you get thus you'll see why. Plus the price is good...


                      Original Poster

                      Ohh I love vests! My question feels kinda silly, but I just got here after spending a decade on the southern west coast yall. I need this kind of help

                      I really did not consider length, for some reason I was more focused on things like vents and technical aspects of a coat meant to be worn during physical activity. Since I'll be riding occasionally western because of course that's the saddle that currently fits my HJ mare the best (yep, love putting that massively heavy thing on her) I can see myself getting all caught up in the horn with a jacket that isn't right.

                      Going to try to look at some of the slimmer cut brands, or the yoga brands that make coats. I have a Lole jacket that I adore that would be perfect if it were a bit heavier.


                        Some of the riding clothes folks used to have 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 jackets which were costly but great function - as you could zip out the lining if it was warmer or wet, and some had zip off sleeves so it became a vest and had the nice vents for saddle, and lots of pockets in the places where you needed for gloves etc. I think Mountain Horse still makes something like that. Some are definitely overpriced and for vests or shorter jackets any brand is fine with me, for something longer I prefer one designed for riding because of the snap vents


                          As a pro, I have to be dressed for the weather or I will be miserable. Having done both types, riding and "other", I prefer "other". Better quality, better selection, and better price. My current preferences are Eddie Bauer and TNF in down. I have different cuts and weights for different temp points. Vests to layer under regular down coats are great!


                            I will also mention that the heatable jackets are seriously amazing for winter shows. You can take your 2-3 trips in your hunt coat, then put on your pre-warmed coat to recover immediately from the chill. They are AMAZING!


                              I always have stuck by riding jackets because for me they are the only ones that stand up to the abuse. I have one soft shell jacket (which they don’t make anymore!!) and a quilted jacket (can be made into a vest) that I got 10 years ago and they have gotten me through more winters than any other coat I’ve dared to bring to the barn.

                              I believe they are both made by Ariat, but are so old the tag is long gone and are certainly no longer in production. I tried to find a soft shell jacket to replace mine this year, and found they don’t make them as water resistant any more, and the fabric is much noisier than my old one. It works, but I don’t love it as much!

                              I feel like rider apparel designers actually understand how soaked, cold, and dirty we get at the barn in the winter, and I haven’t found a normal coat that can stand up to the abuse. Plus, horse jackets are much more practical in terms of pocket placement, less frilly bits to get stuck or chewed on, and seem to not hold on to slobber smells like any other poor coat I’ve brought by the barn.

                              maybe this year I’ll venture out to a good sale from a normal apparel company and get a good enough deal to not mind the coat lasting one winter, or be happily surprised!