A neoprene vest is an absolute must if hunting your retriever in colder waters and temperatures. Don't kid yourself, your dog gets cold also and the right gear will prolong the hunt and desire in your dog and keep them warm. We don't need a dozen different brands, but zeroed in on Dokken's vest designed by renowned dog trainer Tom Dokken of Oakridge Kennels. It is not about how thick the material is, but how they fit. Dokken has shown that a stretchy, tight fitting vest performs much better than a thick, looser fitting vest. These are the vests you will ever need and we always carry 2 with us on our trips: one being worn and one being dried for the next day.