How to choose the proper Foulweather jacket and pants
Good Foulweather clothing (or "Foulies") should at a minimum be breathable, waterproof, windproof and have reinforcement on heavy-wear areas such as knees, elbows and butt.
One thing foulweather jackets and pants do not provide is insulation against the cold. If they were insulated you would sweat very quickly while working onboard or during temperature fluctuations between day and night. Instead you achieve warmth from the elements by layering - wearing a base layer and mid-layer of clothing as required.
Base Layer - such as thermal underwear is deigned to wick moisture away from your skin so that you remain dry even while staying very active.
r - should be highly breathable and made from fabric that does not absorb moisture and therefore drys very quickly.
Outer Layer - Foulweather Jacket and bib Pants shield you from the elements because they are windproof and water proof and usually include a number of performance features.
What am I paying for in a good quality foulweather jacket? What is the difference between a $200 jacket and a $500 jacket?
The biggest difference is usually the fabric. The higher-end foulweather jackets will be made of fabric that is more breathable and tear/abrasion resistent. The fabric is typically made of lightweight layers which provide greater breathability, durability and flexibility. The higher-end gear will have more features such as high-vis hood, higher collar with face guard, better quality waterproof zippers, Solas grade reflective patches, sleeve cuffs with PU inner seals, abrasion resistent panels on heavy-wear areas.
Two of the best names in Foulweather Gear are Gill and Henri Lloyd.