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January 13, 2023 3 min read

Zhik CST500 vs INS200 Sailing Jacket

In this article we cover what the differences are between these popular Zhik sailing jackets and what the best option might be for you and your sailing.

5 of the key differences between the INS200 and the CST500 Sailing Jackets.


The INS200 is built from a 3 layer Vecta Fabric that is light weight and is made for high-intensity inshore sailing. The jacket is made to look great and keep you dry when in the harbour and when you arrive at your destination. 

The CST500 Sailing Jacket is a step up from the INS200 in waterproofness and durability by being made from 3 layer Aroshell. This material has been tested and used on various legs on the Volvo Ocean race for a few years and this extensive test combined with Zhik's learning from previous sailing jackets makes this in our opinion the best Coastal Sailing Jacket around.

Hood Design

The CST500 has a hood packed with features that will keep you protected from the elements. Having the Bright Yellow and reflective hood design makes you stand out and therefore will be more visible when at sea. The added ability to stow the hood away when not needed keeps it out of the way on dry days. 

The INS200 hood is a continuation of the sleek low profile design of the sailing jacket. Whilst the hood is not as feature packaged as the CST500 hood, the hood is sculpted and shaped to give maximum protection and help water run off and away from your face.


Finding and getting a sailing jacket that fits your body shape is essential. You want to be comfortable whether you have multiple layers underneath or not.

Both sailing jackets are very light in weight for jackets of this class. This, therefore, helps with manoeuvrability as your crew is not weighed down by a heavy sailing jacket. 

The INS200 has an elasticated neck and hood adjustment along with velcro cuffs to seal around your wrist or gloves. 

However, if you prefer having waist adjustment the CST500 is the jacket for you. The elasticated adjustable waist is hidden away to avoid you from catching it on anything on board. The internal lining in the hood can be tightened to protect your ears and only have your eyes, nose and mouth exposed to the elements.

Reflective Stripes

Sailing overnight is not for the faint hearted and having the right kit for the job will keep you safe when on the water.

The CST500 Sailing Jacket has a reflective pinstripe across the hood and reflective patches on the shoulders and cuffs. This is a vital safety feature if you want to be sailing out at night and offshore.

Comparatively the INS200 has no reflective patches. However, they do have orange/pink highlights in high-traffic areas to see in low light.

Water Tight Internal Pocket

The INS200 jacket is a very good Sailing Jacket for inshore and short daytime passages. The jacket is very windproof without weighing a ton. However if you plan on spending any extended time a sea the CST500 features a watertight internal pocket for any valuables that you don't want to get wet and damp. This a feature you only normally see on offshore sailing jackets.

CST500 Range

INS200 Range


If you've got any questions about the Zhik INS200 or Zhik CST500 products get in touch with our friendly team, we are always happy to help and provide advice based on our experience of using these products.

You can drop us an email to or give us a call on 01268 222912.