Gear Guide Tried & Tested

Midlayer Jackets

Tried & Tested
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Buying Guides

Our testers have been trying out a selection of midlayer jackets

The products

Musto Action Primaloft midlayer jacket review

Musto Action Primaloft

Breathable and water-resistant, with elastane cuffs, technical insulation and an arched front hem.

Features zip pockets and water-repellent

I’ve hardly taken this jacket off during the test, and it’s seen me through hacking, lessons, yard work, walks and trips to town. It’s so lightweight and flexible that I often forgot I was wearing it, yet was still seriously warm. I never got sweaty, even if temperatures were mild, and it still looked pristine after some mucky yard jobs. It stood up well to wind and rain showers on its own, so I rarely needed anything over the top. At first I didn’t think I could justify the price, but it’s a practical and really versatile jacket. 

Stierna Aurora 2.0 midlayer jacket review

Stierna Aurora 2.0

Lightweight, water-resistant and windproof, this padded jacket has softshell panels and two pockets.

Features zip pockets, two-way zip and water-repellent

This is the best midlayer jacket I’ve owned. It’s windproof and breathable, and I didn’t get sweaty underneath. I was cosy without being too hot, and didn’t feel restricted at all. Nothing has stuck to it – not even dog hair. It’s smart enough to wear in town and, although designed with riding in mind, it’s very flattering, too. It has washed incredibly well and doesn’t take long to dry, which is very handy. I love this jacket and I wear it almost every day. I think it’s worth every penny and would definitely buy it again.

Horse Pilot Tempest midlayer jacket review

Horse Pilot Tempest

Breathable and made from water-repellent stretch fabric, it has an asymmetrical zip and thumb holes.  

Features zip pockets, thumb holes and water-repellent

This jacket was really comfortable and warm without being too heavy. It’s also effective against light rain. It felt a bit bulky with another layer over it, but I could still manage it. After a wash, it dried quickly and looked as good as new. The material didn’t seem to attract dirt and was easy to sponge down if needed, and I loved the thumb holes. I wore it lots and didn’t look out of place away from the yard. I feel it’s on the expensive side for a lightweight jacket, but not ridiculous and you get a lot of wear out of it.

PS of Sweden Zara midlayer jacket review

PS of Sweden Zara

A lightly padded body, with four-way stretch inserts and sleeves, and a double-button collar.

Features zip pockets and two-way zip

I absolutely love this jacket. It’s the smartest thing I’ve ever worn on a horse and looks super away from the yard, too. The style is flattering, comfy and kept me really warm, but still allowed me to move freely. I could wear a baselayer underneath, and it also fitted well under another jacket when it was raining. It didn’t pick up any hair or hay, and the pockets were big enough for gloves and a phone, although there was a bit of a bulge when the pockets were full. It looked like new out of the wash and was fast-drying, too.

Schockemöhle Steena midlayer jacket review

Schockemöhle Steena

A lightweight, quilted jacket with softshell sleeves, a fold-away hood and contrast details.

Features zip pockets, two-way zip and water-repellent

This is my new favourite yard jacket. It’s really flattering, but not restrictive when riding and doing yard work. The design is really stylish – the padded body kept me warm, while the flexible arms offered great freedom of movement. Nothing stuck to the material, but the arms could show the dust. It was great on its own, but also fitted under a waterproof without being too bulky. The foldaway hood is a great feature. It’s expensive, but I feel it’s worth the money because it’s so versatile.

Cavallo Ladina midlayer jacket review

Cavallo Ladina

An insulating, sporty-fit fleece with contrast piping, embroidered details and flat seams. 

Features zip pockets

I’ve worn this jacket daily, either as an outer layer or under a jacket. I’ve even worn it around the house because it’s so cosy. It’s warm but still very light, and it doesn’t feel bulky under layers. The contrasting zip and bindings are a stylish touch. It’s easy to wash and quick to dry, and a stubborn-looking stain even came out on a low-temperature wash. I like the soft elastic at the cuffs and neck, but these have bobbled slightly. The jacket is well made and good quality, but I think the price is high for a fleece.

Equetech Apollo midlayer jacket review

Equetech Apollo

A lightweight, breathable softshell jacket with quilted panels and snaffle details.

Features two-way zip and water-repellent

The jacket was really comfortable and not too bulky. I wore it in wet, cold, windy weather and on warmer days, and it coped admirably with both. The pockets are deep enough for a phone and keys, I had no issues with hair sticking to it, and it looked as good as new after a wash. The downside is that, as a layer, it appeared and felt as though I was wearing two main jackets. On the plus side, it looks really stylish, so is equally appropriate away from the yard, and I think the price is fair.

Aigle Polarfield midlayer jacket review

Aigle Polarfield

A robust, double-sided fleece with quilted panels and braided trim details.

Features zip pockets and two-way zip

This is really smart and fitted perfectly, and the high collar was amazing at keeping my neck warm. I happily used it on its own and as a layer, although I didn’t need much else on top as it kept me toasty. It was smart enough to wear away from the yard and the quilted sections on the front and back made it stand out. The zipped pockets were big enough for my valuables and kept them safe. Overall, I was really impressed with the performance and look of the jacket, and feel it’s worth the money.

Toggi Clarisse midlayer jacket review

Toggi Clarisse

A lightweight padded body with stretchy ribbed panels, flattering stitch lines and gloss gold trims.

Features zip pockets

This jacket is the garment I never knew I needed. I normally ride in a fleece and gilet, as I hate the restriction of a normal jacket, but this kept my core warm and gave me enough flexibility though my shoulders to feel really comfortable in the saddle. It’s slim-fitting, so I could easily put a waterproof over the top, but also stands up as an outer layer when it’s milder. It doesn’t pick up hay or hair, dust is easily brushed off and it washes well. The zip pockets are big enough to carry my phone. Overall, it’s a really smart jacket that’s perfect for riding.

Ariat Freja midlayer jacket review

Ariat Freja

A poly/spandex blend fabric with body contour seams and full-zip styling. 

Features zip pockets

I was very impressed with the freedom of movement this jacket offered. The material is super-stretchy and offered no restrictions while riding or carrying out tasks around the yard, meaning it was comfortable to wear all day. It worked both under a heavier layer and on its own, so it’s perfect for year-round wear. The design is smart, stylish and flattering, although the pockets are a little on the small side. Hair, dust and hay brushed off easily, and it washed and dried very well. The price is a lot less than I was expecting, so I think it offers value for money. 

Felix Bühler Leni midlayer jacket review

Felix Bühler Leni

A soft, fitted fleece jacket with a lined collar and embroideries, plus a contrast zip and stitching. 

Features a two-way zip and zip pockets.

I found this fleece really comfortable. The sizing was true and it was very cosy. It was great to wear on its own as an outer layer and I was really surprised at how warm it was. As an underlayer, I didn’t need much on over it. The fleece dried quickly after washing and I found the zip pockets were handy to keep my valuables safe. Overall, I was very happy with the fleece – it’s a brilliant addition to my winter wardrobe and I think it offers great value for money. 

Decathlon 500 midlayer jacket review

Decathlon 500

Soft fleece with quilted panels on the chest, arms and collar. Includes elastane cuffs and a high collar. 

Features zip pockets

I love this jacket. It’s really comfortable and not restrictive at all, both in and out of the saddle. Because it’s not bulky, it’s great to wear under a heavier jacket as an extra layer, but was warm enough on its own, too. My favourite thing is the soft, high collar that goes up to just above your chin, really protecting you from a chilly wind. It’s quite smart, so not only did I live in it when I was at the yard, I also wore it out-and-about, too. I’d really recommend this fleece and I think it’s great value, too.

Noble Outfitters Explorer midlayer jacket review

Noble Outfitters Explorer

A fleece jacket with a flat-face exterior and soft, brushed lining. 

Features zip pockets, two-way zip and thumb holes

This fleece is a perfect weight for cooler days, worn on its own or with a gilet, and it works equally well under a jacket. I like the fitted style – it’s very smart, and a perfect length to ride in. The outer fabric doesn’t attract too much hair and it’s easy to sponge off if needed. Inside, the lining is cosy and soft, and I love the high neck that keeps the wind out. All the pockets are a useful size, with added security of zips on the outer ones. It’s a handy fleece that I’d buy again.

Mountain Horse Flow Tech midlayer jacket review

Mountain Horse Flow Tech

A technical, lightweight fleece with a contrast zip, high collar and fitted cuffs. 

Features zip pockets

I loved this jacket, it was so versatile and I’d happily wear it away from the yard. I found it comfortable and easy to move and ride in, and it worked well as a layer. The cut is flattering and meant it didn’t ride up under other jackets. It doesn’t pick up hay or hair, and any dust easily brushed off so it stayed looking smart. The pockets are the perfect size, and the zips gave me peace of mind. It was simple, quick and easy to wash and dry. All in all, it’s the perfect midlayer for me.

Dublin Joda Zip Thru midlayer jacket review

Dublin Joda Zip Thru

Made from wicking fabric, with contrast details on the chest and shoulders. 

Features zip pockets and thumb holes

The jacket was comfortable for riding and around the yard, and the shorter cut means it doesn’t bunch up when you’re in the saddle. The contrast panels and off-centre zip are stylish, so it doesn’t look out of place off the yard, either. I used it equally as a midlayer and on its own – it kept me super-warm on chillier mornings, but was great as a top layer on warmer evenings. The pockets were perfect for my phone or keys, and the thumb holes in the cuffs are a great feature for keeping warm.

Bridleway Rowan mid layer jacket review

Bridleway Rowan

Made from breathable, wicking fabric, it has zipped pockets, elasticated cuffs and flat-lock seams.

Features zip pockets

This jacket is perfect for spring and autumn. It makes a handy extra layer on winter days, too, thanks to its thin, lightweight material. It’s highly breathable, acting a bit like a full-zip base layer. It washed well and, because of its technical fabric, dried quickly. The pockets were perfect for my phone and keys while riding and running. For the price, I think it’s great value for money if you’re looking for a lightweight layer, but it’s not quite warm enough to be worn on its own on cooler days.

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