Gill has long been a trusted name in sailing apparel, delivering products designed to endure the rigors of the marine environment.
The OS1 series is often celebrated for its robust construction and suitability for extreme conditions, as Louis Burton attested during the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe.
When selecting the top gear for offshore sailing, your choice between these lines should be informed by the type of sailing you’re planning to undertake.
But let’s be honest, the single biggest factor for most of us is price. The OS1 jacket and pants are almost double the OS2.
So I’ll dive deep into the pros and cons of each to help you decide whether or not that expense can be justified or not.
While the OS1 series represents Gill’s top-tier offering for serious offshore and ocean use, the OS2 collection is also a formidable contender. But how do they compare to other leading brands?
Gill OS1: Designed for severe ocean sailing, the OS1 provides maximum protection with its durable waterproof fabric and attention to detail like high-lined collars and reinforced stress points. It’s the choice for sailors who expect the toughest conditions.
Gill OS2: Favoured for versatility, the OS2 is suitable for a range of conditions from coastal to offshore. The OS2 series is praised for its balance of breathability, water resistance, and durability, making it a value for those who sail in varied environments but still require significant protection.
Gill’s ocean gear stacks up impressively against competitors:
- Helly Hansen: Known for the Ægir Race Jacket, which is tailored for professional ocean racers seeking lightweight and freedom of movement without compromising on protection.
- Musto MPX: Often recognized for balancing weight and resistance, its gear is stated to be 30% lighter and 20% more breathable without sacrificing waterproofing according to Sailing Today’s evaluations.
- Zhik: A brand associated with innovative designs, particularly favored for its high-performance racing gear.
- Mustang: Their collections are known for integrating survival features, appealing to those who prioritize safety.
The real test of any sailing gear is its performance under sail. I can personally attest that the Gill OS1 will stand up to withstand heavy weather.
And in my yachting career, I actually wore the OS2 more often than the OS1. It’s comfortable and probably more adaptable than other more expensive options from brands like Musto and Helly Hansen.
Material and Construction of the Gill OS Series
Now this is where I’m going to get nerdy and rack off all the technical details that statements made by Gill on their website.
My anecdotal take on each is in the final verdict section of this comparison.
My Verdict on Gill OS1 vs OS2
This ultimately boils down to how much rough weather you expect to encounter. If you are planning on doing some ocean-going rodeo then spend the cash and get the OS1 series.
I wrote a full review of the OS1 on a delivery I did from France to Croatia where I broke down how they performed (the tl;dr is that they smashed it).
If, however, you are sailing or boating more casually then the OS2 is the way to go. In my opinion, these are the best overall foulies for most mariners.