Katy Stickland tests the Zhik CST500™ Coastal Sailing Smock during offshore voyages and on day sails

Product Overview


  • Good fit and comfortable to wear
  • Breathable
  • Excellent seals
  • Pockets


  • Expensive


Zhik CST500 Coastal Sailing Smock: tested offshore

The lightweight Zhik CST500 Coastal Sailing Smock is made from Aroshell 3-layer fabric, which is waterproof, windproof, breathable and designed for long-distance cruising or offshore racing.

I have tested it while coastal day sailing but really put it through its paces on a four-day delivery trip from Gosport to Germany, where we sailed through some pretty inclement weather along the bottom of the North Sea (tailwinds gusting 50 knots and squalls), rarely taking it off.

It was so comfortable to wear and never felt restrictive while I was grinding the winch or pulling lines; I also didn’t overheat.

The neoprene neck seal is flexible and did not cut in or leave red marks on my skin.

A close up on a neck seal on a sailing smock

The neoprene neck closure is a snug fit but doesn’t dig in. Credit: Katy Stickland

It was waterproof, letting no rain dribble down my neck.

There is also a zip, so when the weather improves, you can crack it open, although the fabric underneath the zip continues to provide you with some protection.

The smock has a neoprene adjustable skirt which means you can get a snug fit and provides some extra padding for your bottom when sitting down.

The elasticated cuff can be adjusted using the Velcro straps, and I found them intuitive to use; the fit also means no water seeps in.

Wrist seal on the Zhik CST500 Coastal Sailing Smock

The wrist closures work well, letting in no rain. Credit: Katy Stickland

I loved the large front pocket where I could shove my gloves or hat when I didn’t need them, and where my mobile phone was easy to access.

The Velcro middle strip inside the pocket means it can be divided too.

A Velcro arm pocket, with a heavy-duty D-ring, would be useful for wearing a Personal Locator Beacon, although mine is on my lifejacket.

The branding on the smock is also reflective.

A pocket on a sailing smock

The Velcro pocket in the arm is useful for stashing your Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Credit: Katy Stickland

Even though this is a unisex smock, I wore a medium which fitted me well (I am 5ft 8in tall and a size 12 with broad shoulders).

Price-wise, it is expensive, just £40 cheaper than Zhik’sOFS700™ Offshore Sailing Jacket (although the smock is much cheaper than the £429.95 CST500 coastal sailing jacket), which also includes more features like a one-hand deployed hood and windshield, hand warmer pockets and water-resistant zips.

However, the smock is triple-layered – nylon outer, a high-tech breathable membrane and an inner tricot mesh, and as a result, is much lighter to wear – while the offshore sailing jacket is just two-layered and is more heavy-duty.

The smock is available in sizes S-XXL.

Buy the Zhik CST500 Coastal Sailing Smock here.

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