Protective foul weather gear from Zhik provides facial protection afloat for sailors and watersports instructors

When Zhik’s design team created their Hydrovision adaptive hood and detachable visor as part of its Isotak X Offshore range for the Dongfeng Race Team, which won the last Volvo Ocean Race, no-one could have predicted how this innovation in yachting garment design is now being adopted by sailors.

Sailing schools, charter organisations, instructors and coaches around the globe are now looking at adapting how they work as lockdown restrictions are starting to be eased in many countries. Finding facial protection and PPE to use afloat is an increasingly important part of this new vital equation.

Adaptive hood and visor

Originally designed to give facial protection from extreme ocean spray, the Hydrovison Adaptive Hood features a removable rigid face visor. Anti-fogging and made from a clear rigid plastic, the visor gives 110° vision and comes fitted to the Isotak X Offshore Jacket and Smock. When combined with the high cut, ergonomically-shaped face shield, the sailor is completely protected from spray, wind and unwelcome moisture droplets. The entire hood can be unzipped from the smock and interchanged with other headwear.

As well as the Isotak Smock, the Hydrovision Adaptive Hood and visor is available as an accessory and zips onto Zhik’s Aroshell Smock. This light top is optimised for breathability and high activity afloat. Fully taped, with adjustable ReziSeal neck and wrist seals for a comfortable watertight seal, the smock is designed with reduced seams to keep weight down and aid manoeurvability. The option to add the Adaptive Hood and visor means one garment can offer a wide range of protection across a variety of conditions. For this reason, it’s been selected by Alex Thomson to use in the Vendee Globe Race 2020.


Another accessory in the protective head wear range, is the zip-on Superwarm Balaclava. By simply unzipping the Hydrovision Hood and switching in this 3mm neoprene balaclava gives fully facial protection.

The protective nose cover and perforated mouth allows unrestricted breathing. The hood and peak of the Balaclava can be folded back to worn as a neck buff, in milder conditions. With waterproof, glued and blind-stitched seams it gives excellent insulation in cold conditions as well as providing facial protection from the elements.

Breathable neck gaitor

Also suitable for on-water personal protection is the new Zhik Neck Gaitor. A textured knit is used to increase airflow around the mouth and nose and the pleated hem construction provides an optimal fit when pulled up around the face.

This quick-drying, breathable, stretch, seamless tube is chafe free. It keeps water, sun and wind away and can be worn around the neck or over the mouth and nose when further protection is necessary.

Available from and leading Zhik dealers worldwide.

Isotak X jacket & smock £749.95, €527.22, US$659.99, AUS$1,449.95
Aroshell Smock £239.95, €155.37, US$178.17, AUS$399.95
Adaptive hood – accessory £139.95, €99.87, US$125.39, AUS$279.95
Superwarm balaclava £69.95, €41.57, US$49.59, AUS$119.95
Neck gaitor £39.95, €45.00, US$27.90, AUS$69.95

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JPK August 2023
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