Page 1 of 1

summer paddling gear

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:01 pm
by blueythe
Looking toward the summer with some optimism and I am considering changing my usual long john wetsuit and neoprene shirt for a short sleeved dry cag and neoprene shorts. Would be interested to hear any brand recommendations or other solutions to dress for immersion and not boil in the bag during summer paddles. I am of course assuming swims will be infrequent and the sun will be cracking the flagstones!

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:55 pm
by PlymouthDamo
A recommendation for a short-sleeved cag: the Peak Combi. I've been using it in summer and it's excellent. The material seems dry-but-breathable. The latex seal on your bicep works a treat and the neck seal is pretty good, despite it being one that is tightened up via a velcro strap.

I did a 5 hour crossing last summer, and on the outward leg, made a vague attempt to dress for immersion: a full-length dry cag mated up with full bib dry-trousers. I felt like I was going to die - it was ridiculously hot. On the way back, I wore a flimsy top and a pair of tracksuit bottoms and it was a much happier experience. I'm currently experimenting with lighter-weight full dry trousers, which (with my short-sleeved Peak combi cag) might be the closest I'll get to non-boil-in-the-bag dry gear. However, even if it's fully dry, it still wouldn't be warm enough for a lengthy sea-swim, so I'm accepting that a roll or re-entry roll might be critical to my safety. That's not ideal, but it's a compromise I'm forced to make.

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:49 am
by Owen
Fourth element thermocline shorts and tee shirt much more comfortable than neoprene, breaths in air acts like a wetsuit in the water. Forget dry tops just use a light cag to keep spray and wind off when you need it.

Fourth element do a farm John suit but no zip, as much use as a chocolate fire guard, if only they did three quarter length trouser's.

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:59 pm
by Douglas Wilcox
I agree with Owen on the 4th Element thermocline gear, it is really good. I use the farmer john just as long trousers so I can still take a pee break.

Douglas

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:16 pm
by Owen
Douglas have you cut them down or just not pull them all the way up?

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:03 pm
by blueythe
Thanks for the advice and comments so far. I'll look into the peak dry top, also seen a Reed short sleeve dry top that is also recommended for summer paddling -anyone got experience of the Reed cag?

I like the idea of fourth element gear and had a quick look on their website. How wet do the garments get and how do they perform wet in a breeze? They are neutral buoyancy and assume they are easy to swim in. What about their robustness for kayaking as they seem to have been developed as an under garment for sub aqua.


I realise there is no one garment that will meet all the criteria of safety and comfort just looking for the best compromise

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:54 am
by Owen
Fourth element gear is easy to swim in, about as warm as a 3mm wetsuit. The inner fleece tends to drain very quickly so feels dry against the skin the outer is slower to dry but is fairly windproof. I've had mine for about seven years and they haven't worn yet.

I've also used Reed gear but not the Dry tops, I have the touring cag. It's quite warm and tends to smell after time but is comfortable. The main disadvantage is the price.

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:37 pm
by Jim
I've fallen out with PeakUK - they don't make anything which really fits across my shoulders/chest and will no longer make a custom item in a larger size, so I have switched to Immersion Research and found all their gear so far to be top quality, and for a few $ extra they will customise it for you ($30 extra to have a drysuit made with shorter legs on account of me being too short for my chest size). Only the customisation is in $ because thats where their factory is, if you are buying from stock held in the UK you pay in £. The UK reps will try to arrange a demo if you need to try before you buy.

I'm still using PeakUK neoprene shorts, not sure where I will go for them when the ones I have are worn out - might not be too far away the amount of use they get. Not sure I would normally wear shorts in my sea boat, tracksuit or fleece bottoms with kokatat dry trousers is my usual setup, I might wear shorts when I'm racing though.

I will assume that whatever you intend to wear you will be carrying some extra/heavier layers in the day hatch or as last items into another hatch so you have a chance to change if conditions change or you have a swim and are struggling to warm up again afterwards. Even mid summer I will have spare fleece layers reasonably easily accessible, except perhaps if I'm racing - then the spares will be as light as possible :)

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:53 pm
by Phizz4
Another vote for 4th Element thermocline. Yes, the long john does lack a relief zip but half an hour with a sewing machine (or take it to a cleaning shop such as Johnson's that does zip replacements) and you are sorted. As stated, it is warm, wind proof, dries quickly, is nowhere near as sweaty as neoprene. Yes, it's expensive (you can sometimes pick up items on eBay, there are some shorts and a top on there at the moment) but it is very well made and lasts well.

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:36 am
by Douglas Wilcox
|I just leave the top of the 4th element farmer john found my waist.

In height of summer on short day trips I tend just to use fourth element shorts and short sleeve t shirt but on camping trips I like to keep my feet dry so will use Kokatat bib over either the shorts or farmer John and t shirt. The 4th element stuff does provide a significant amount of thermal protection if you go swimming. I also use it for wild swimming from easter to early summer in water which is 8C to 11C.

I have had my fourth element stuff for about 14 years and it is still fully functional but has delaminated and after spinning in the machine, the layers tend to stick together in wrinkles which then need pulled apart. I now just hand wash and never fast spin or tumble dry

Douglas

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:10 pm
by blueythe
Anybody try this 4th Element thermocline under a dry suit in the winter or would it way too hot for that. Great if it could be used winter and summer.

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:36 pm
by Owen
It's ok as an undersuit.

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:49 am
by Phizz4
I don't know about winter, I do that in summer! I tend to dress for the swim as I haven't mastered the art of rolling. I haven't tended to overheat.

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:51 pm
by Douglas Wilcox
I only use the 4th element thermocline stuff under a two piece in summer. Its advantage is it provides thermal protection if you go for a swim in a way that a fleece layer would not. If I am wearing a dry suit in winter/spring I wear 4th element double fleece Arctic suit if it is really cold or the thinner Xerotherm single fleece if it is a bit warmer.

Douglas

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:00 pm
by blueythe
Thanks everyone for your comments. Looks like I need to start building my 4th element wardrobe this summer. :-)

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:01 pm
by rockhopper
just a quick question for those that use the Thermocline shorts/trousers/one piece..... I have one of their long sleeve tops which is lovely but the outside is very smooth and slippy. Do you not find that the lack of traction (against overtrousers) when you are sitting in a kayak means that you tend to slide around in the seat on aggressive moves and rolling?

Rog.

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:39 pm
by Owen
I don't tend to wear over-trousers with mine and definitely don't slide around in the seat.

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:34 am
by michelin
I am like you and like to paddle with light gear in the warm summer months. I wear the peak U.K. Shorts not the ones with neoprene just normal shorts I really like them. As far as a light cag I used a Palm Vertigo cag which is long sleeve and very light with neoprene neck. This served me well for a couple of years. You will have a bit of water coming through if you do a few rolls but nothing much. Now I use a Kokatat tropos re action jacket which has long sleeves is very light but again if you do roll you will get a bit of water coming through also kokatat tropos blast short sleeve cag basically the short sleeve version of the one just mentioned. I usually take them both with me as they take up no space really and use whichever suits best the conditions very happy with them. Pete from summit to sea can sort you a good deal on the kokatat stuff if your interested. Hope this helps.

Re: summer paddling gear

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:59 pm
by blueythe
After the excellent advice I have received on this topic I thought it only right to report back on my solution. In the end I opted for the Peak Combi short sleeve gag with fourth element thermocline short sleeve top and shorts. Although labelled as semi dry, the Peak combo is for all intents and purpose a dry cag. During rolling practice I only got slightly damp around the neck fitting. It's an excellent bit of kit and I also purchased the sleeves which can be fitted to a velcro fastener in the sleeve. These are great if it gets a bit chilly and are easily stowed in the pockets. The fourth element thermocline garments were a great compliment to this top. Very comfortable and breathable, hardly notice you've got it on but for the odd swim keeps you warm-brilliant stuff. Thanks again all for the advice and comments- who knows what I would have ended up with without them!