Part wetsuit, part winter coat, the ‘Ocean Jacket’ by 22 Degrees keeps you warm and comfortable whether it’s wet or windy. This is our review.
An ensconcing neoprene experience, the Ocean Jacket from San Francisco-based 22 Degrees is made fully of 2.3mm neoprene and a zipper. Basically the same ingredients as a wetsuit, the jacket has two pouch-pockets inside, and there’s a hood. That’s it.
But the singular focus — it’s designed to keep wet people warm — has proved effective for me as I fish, SUP, paddle, and stay active around water, no matter the air temp that day.
The Ocean Jacket wears like a relaxed-fit wetsuit — think high-performance, technical mom jeans.
As a scuba diver and paddler, I’ve had many opportunities to endure the bone-chilling transition from a wetsuit to towel-dried and wind-frozen, pulling on normal clothes before hypothermia sets in.
The thick, spongey skin of a wet-wetsuit is simultaneously slick and clingy, tugging at any under-layers you may have been timid enough to don.
A dry wetsuit, however, is tight but comfortable, like a hug or your perfectly formed butt-dent in a leather couch.
Cold Weather ‘Water Jacket’
I first tested mine on a river SUP trip. It was an overcast and windy March day. The temperature dropped to about 50 degrees and the water was colder than I wanted to wade in.
Wearing a pair of shorts, a quick-dry T-shirt, and the neoprene jacket, I was comfortable and could have easily handled more inclement paddling weather that day.
Along the way, I may have caught a few (read: all) of the river’s overhanging branches, but the jacket came through without a scrape. It kept me drier than normal, scratch-free, and warm on the windy, wet paddle — easily worth the $149 asking price.
Neoprene Jacket For Cold And Wet
Compared to the permeability of a puffy jacket or fleece midlayer, the Ocean Jacket is a hard barrier, holding in warmth and bringing you back to life in frigid weather—even high winds—quicker than any other jacket I’ve found for this use.
Its shape is slightly “fitted” for arms, tailored for an athletic body but comfortable (unlike wet wetsuits) regardless of your shape.
You won’t want to sub this in for your everyday jacket or parka, but it’s a great addition to the closet of anyone playing or working in the cold and wet.
The hood and waistline have drawstrings to tighten fit. Its main closure, a YKK Aquaseal Vislon zipper with an internal flap, is bomber.
The company touts the jacket will hold up to longterm sun and saltwater exposure.
Ocean Jacket: Designed By A Diver
The cold, wet experience of life working on dive boats lead 22 Degrees’ owner Rick Miskiv to look for a warm and dry solution — until he gave up and made his own.
Writes Miskiv, “Working on the high-speed dive boats every day, you and your gear are exposed to harsh sun, salt water, strong winds and pelting down pouring rain. In 2010, while heading to Palau to start my adventure as a dive guide and instructor I purchased an expensive leading brand rain jacket to use on the boats. Within two weeks this jacket started to fall apart, leak, and it would also cling to the skin, providing very little warmth.”
Miskiv said it became clear that neoprene was a “more suitable material for a jacket that was going to survive the elements and hard rains of Palau.”
Compared to normal outdoor jackets, this one is heavy; my XL model weighs about 4 pounds. It’s also just as bulky as a wetsuit, so it’s not going on any backpacking trips.
But, if you’re in a boat or already jugging around a couple tanks, a BCD, and all the other stuff you need for a dive, this jacket’s solidly on the essentials list. Look at the 22 Degrees option if you find yourself often on the water, in the wind, wet, cold, and in search of a solution.
–Learn more, or buy the Ocean Jacket ($149) at www.22degrees.co