I'm always on the look out for high quality, high performance womens kit and was delighted to spot the new Henri Lloyd Elite Hi-fit available in this bright orange. Eager to put them through their paces, I took them on a wet and wild Atlantic crossing.

Product Overview

Henri Lloyd Elite Hi-Fit salopette for women


  • Bright colour for offshore use, good quality materials, true to size cut, excellent pockets


  • A bit overkill of you're a coastal or inshore sailor


Henri Lloyd Womens Elite Hi-fit Salopette tested

Henri Lloyd Womens Elite Hi-fit Salopette

The choice of women’s specific offshore salopettes from the big brands are generally available only in one colour, two at a pinch and those are usually black/ grey or red.

When I spotted these orange beauties though, my heart skipped a little. Finally they’re taking us women seriously and offering proper kit in proper colours for gnarly offshore sailing.

These Henri Lloyd Elite Hi-fit salopettes are women specific, in that they have that dropseat function, that up until a race around the Island of Ireland a couple of years ago,  I’d never quite mastered.

The wrap over and cross over straps make them feel secure but are elasticated at the back giving them a great range of adjustment and movement. The elastication in the straps help to make them fit snugly but not tight.

The first thing I did after putting these Hi-fits on for the first time was to adopt the sumo pose, squat and then move about to see if there was enough movement in the leg and crotch to allow full articulation. Yes, despite the true to size fitting of the salopettes, there’s plenty of movement in them without them feeling baggy.

I had a bit of negotiation and compromise with my Musto Ocean Boots, as they have a gator and inner boot. I couldn’t quite squeeze the hi-fit leg inside the boot gator as the bottom of the orange leg, there’s a tough black (same stuff as the reinforced seat and knees) stiffened hem area to help avoid hem chafe or floppy snagging risks. I think most people probably aren’t using boots with gators, as the majority of boots on the market come without. So I don’t think that this will be a problem for most people.

There’s a lot of other details within these salopettes that show that some thought and consideration has been put into the design.
The fit, for a start actually fits. That might seem an obvious thing to state, but very often women’s fit kit is just a modified mens version and still can be too tight on the hips or long in the body or leg.

The pocket details have been nicely designed to make access easy, but so far in my test have managed to keep the weather out.

The pocket flaps have smoothed edges which make opening with wet or gloves hands much easier. On the leg pockets, there’s additional capacity gusseting but it’s hidden so that they pockets don’t stand proud of the leg unless you put something in them. This a smart detail, which I like very much. I do wish though that these had a knife pocket. I tend to carry my sailing knife lower down on my thigh, away from my lifejacket. As there’s no knife pocket, then I’d be putting my knife in the main thigh pocket which it falls to the bottom of and forms a lump where I don’t want it.

The chest pocket/handwarmer is a nice touch, though most of the time this is covered with a lifejacket, windcheater or both. It is nicely styled into the hi-fits so when not in use it just adds a bit of shape to the front.

The cordura seat and knee patches makes sliding around on the deck either on hands and knees or bum shuffling an easy effort and doesn’t snag.

The bit that makes them for women…

I have practiced the unzipping to reveal the bum for toilet business, and while it is a bit of a fiddle, it is doable. It would be a struggle with a jacket on though. I find once I’ve had to take my lifejacket, jacket and other top layers off, I may as well drop the flipping lot and go the standard way. Which is perhaps where my only minor niggle with these comes in.

The shoulders have sturdy wide straps, elasticated to give a decent fit, and they fasten through narrow adjusters. They’re not really designed to be undone every time you wear these. They’re fiddly to feed back through those adjusters. You’d wear the velcro out too quickly if you kept undoing them and doing them up every single time.

Donning these Hi-fits requires a slight adjustment to how we’ve been (or at least how I’ve been) accustomed to putting waterproof legs on.

Leaving the straps fastened, you enter via the back of the salopette, with the seat flap dropped. Then put the straps over your head and your arms through the sides. Stand up and then zip up the back. I still find myself wanting to undo the straps though, especially if I have to put these on whilst standing. When they’re on though, they are really very comfortable.

For a size guide, I usually wear a British size 10 or 12 or US size 8 salopette/waterproof pant. These from Henri Lloyd are a size medium and feel generously sized. There’s definitely room for a bigger bust at the top.

They’re a big thumbs up from me.

Buy it now