How to Choose Fencing Equipment : Picking a Fencing Jacket

When you’re choosing a fencing jacket, there’s
a couple considerations you want to keep in mind. The first is probably what material
you’d like. They generally come in cotton and in synthetics. The choice is really up
to you. Cotton is usually a little cheaper. It’s also a bit hotter and heavier. The synthetics
might be a little more expensive, but are lighter and move a little bit more–breathe
a little bit more. So, I prefer the synthetics, personally. I like the light weight, I like
the mobility when I’m fencing. I’ve got a woman’s jacket here, and this is a synthetic.
It costs about fifty dollars. Men’s jackets and women’s jackets both go by chest circumference,
so that’s a size you want to keep in mind. And really important is that a lot of jackets
that you’ll buy–particularly when you’re buying online, but always–can come in European
sizes or in US sizes. So you want to make sure that you have the size that you want.
There’s not a whole lot of difference between the size, but it’s definitely enough to get
you the wrong jacket, and enough to mislead you and confuse you. So make sure you check
ahead of time. I would check a sizing chart. You can look one up online. You can go to You should ask whomever it is you’re buying for, or even, just to be safe–whoever
you’re buying from–specify what your size is when you make your order. Most places will
translate for you. So, if you want to let them know you’re a US size 34, then you can
be sure that’s what you’re going to get. Another choice you need to make is whether you want
a back zip or a side zip jacket. You can see this one’s a side zip. Back zip is a little
less convenient to put on. A lot of times that’s what you’ll find at a school, if you’re
borrowing, just because they’ll work for–they’re ambidextrous. They work for left-handed fencers
and right-handed fencers. I’m a right-handed fencer, so mine zips here on the left. Were
I a left-handed fencer, it would zip on this side. So, I find the side zipping jacket a
little more convenient. Women’s jackets are built a little bit differently than men’s,
both because of the pockets that they have here, where you can put in extra bits of protection
that we’ll talk about in a little bit, and also just because they’re generally sized
differently. So you want to make sure you have the–I would get a women’s jacket that
fits me in a US size 34. I would check a sizing chart online, and choose from those variables
for something that is going to work for you and last you a long time.

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