Clothing

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timboellis
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Clothing

Post by timboellis » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:45 pm

Okay new to this so need to get my kit together:

Going to be coastal / loch kayaking all year round, do not really want to fork out a fortune however suggetions on the kit needed just a bit overwhelmed with all the different kit.

I currently have a 5mm wetsuit i used for surfing and know this is not ideal so put that up for sale and swapping over to relevant Kayaking kit.

I really need to be told the very basics as well like "what do you wear under your Cag£ assuming i need one?

I am suspecting to fall out a few times so ?

Cheers

Tim

PlymouthDamo
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Re: Clothing

Post by PlymouthDamo » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:43 am

For my regular evening paddles, I use a very lightweight cag that I bought from a Decathlon in France. It isn't even a semi dry as the neck, waist and wrists are neoprene held tight by velcro. I only wear a tee-shirt under it, but keep a down jacket in a dry bag in the boat for when I stop for food. I've got separate dry trousers. Even on the coldest day last week, that was fine - anything more and I'd be too hot.

The above wouldn't be a clever idea if you're heading a long way from the shore - if you end up swimming, it wouldn't keep you warm for too long. I'm happy to take that risk as my regular route follows the shore, so I'm happy I could get out of the water quickly - plus my roll hasn't let me down in many years. I also carry bright lights and a VHF radio and I'm in a busy area for shipping, so it's unlikely I'd be treading water for that long.

I also have a drysuit - a non-breathable general watersports job . It's nowhere near as comfortable for paddling in, and I've only really felt the need to use it when I went on a proper sea-kayaking trip off Scotland.

If I were in your position, I'd start with a second-hand dry-cag and dry trousers (I bought mine new from an ebay trader in China - very cheap and pretty good.) I certainly wouldn't be shelling out on a kayaking dry-suit at this stage - they're mega expensive, and not necessarily the most comfortable thing to be wearing.

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MikeB
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Re: Clothing

Post by MikeB » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:03 am

It depends on your budget and how much you like staying alive - if you're going to be sea paddling all year round and like to be comfortable, you really will enjoy it far more if you have decent kit.

For the summer, that could be shorts and a cag - but in winter and spring, you need some decent thermals under a dry cag and dry trousers or sallopettes. If you can justify / afford a good dry suit, that really does up the ante considerably.

As with everything, there is cheap, decent, good and superb kit - but as with all things, buying cheap usually means buying twice I'm afraid. There is a school of thought which suggests "dressing for immersion" to take account of the fact that water temperature (even in summer) can be a killer - but having a full drysuit and thermals in the middle of summer will result in a boil in the bag feeling!

I wear a full drysuit in winter - or if I'm going to be doing a lot of "wet practise" - salopettes and touring cag for the rest of the year (with varying degrees of thermal layers depending on temp and conditions). The sallys / cag combination allows me sufficient flexibility I find. A cag with a double waist seal to mate with the trousers or sallys will give an almost watertight join.

At the budget end of the scale, Lomo gear is good value but some people have found it doesn't last that long before it leaks - mid range would be Yak, Palm etc - and top end (and pricey!) is Kokatat. Breathable is better - and there is breathable, and breathable. My experience with K/tat suggests Goretex is unbeatable - but others will comment that they are quite happy with other variants on the theme.

Dont forget footwear as well - the Lomo booties are superb, and with warm socks inside a dry suit or dry trousers you will still be warm even in the middle of winter. Some people use gloves or pogies in winter, again having warm hands makes a massive difference - personally, I prefer open-palm mitts in winter conditions. A hat of some form is essential in winter - and in summer something to keep the sun off would be a good idea too.

If you're using a PC, follow my sig link into the Almanac and check some of the previous discussions on the Equipment page. Mike.

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Tempest170
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Re: Clothing

Post by Tempest170 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:34 pm

MikeB wrote: I wear a full drysuit in winter - or if I'm going to be doing a lot of "wet practise" - salopettes and touring cag for the rest of the year (with varying degrees of thermal layers depending on temp and conditions). The sallys / cag combination allows me sufficient flexibility I find. A cag with a double waist seal to mate with the trousers or sallys will give an almost watertight join.
What are salopettes and a touring cag? Not common terminology here in the states. :-)

What does everyone wear under their drysuit? I recently bought one but am not sure how to layer clothing underneath or even what types of materials would be good to wear under it. I see many materials are now breathable and moisture wicking but would that then make you less warm?

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Re: Clothing

Post by pathbrae » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:51 pm

For cold days, wool is hard to beat under a dry-suit (Merino wool as a base layer is about as good as it gets, either as a one -piece suit or a shirt and long-johns.) Go for long sleeves as your arms will be getting wet and can quickly get chilly.
If you stay in the boat, the bottom half isn't too important but as soon as you get out you'll start to chill if there's any sort of wind. And if you end up in the water, the same applies.
I pack a windproof jacket / fleece to put on for lunch stops etc. as it's difficult to wear enough to stay warm when your not paddling and not over-heat as soon as you get into the boat.
Don't forget a hat. or a selection of hats, to cope with wet days, sunny days, wet practice days etc.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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MikeB
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Re: Clothing

Post by MikeB » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:01 pm

Tempest170 wrote:
MikeB wrote: I wear a full drysuit in winter - or if I'm going to be doing a lot of "wet practise" - salopettes and touring cag for the rest of the year (with varying degrees of thermal layers depending on temp and conditions). The sallys / cag combination allows me sufficient flexibility I find. A cag with a double waist seal to mate with the trousers or sallys will give an almost watertight join.
What are salopettes and a touring cag? Not common terminology here in the states. :-)
Sallys - from the Palm US site - http://www.palmequipmenteurope.com/gear/ion-bib.html

Touring Cag - again, as per the Palm US site - http://www.palmequipmenteurope.com/gear ... ackets.php

What does everyone wear under their drysuit? I recently bought one but am not sure how to layer clothing underneath or even what types of materials would be good to wear under it.
I just use Arcteryx - http://www.arcteryx.com/ProductFind.asp ... Base_Layer - base layers - light or heavy, depending on season. It's great kit and I went for it as (being a big chap) it was the only kit of it's type which I could find which fitted me. If it has got wet / damp, it doesn't hold water so it doesn't become waterlogged - something which is a real consideration with ordinary / cheaper fleece.

With a Goretex cag It's grand and I'm dry and cosy. In summer, I sometimes wear a lighter, short sleeve wicking fabric t shirt under the cag (its the Kokatat one) and for 90% of the time its grand and I don't overheat. I prefer not to paddle without a cag, if only for the sun protection. I would add that I also have a Palm Alaska which I find is way too heavy to wear in summer, and doesn't breath all that well.

In winter, I wear the heavier weight ones with a one piece fleece suit under my drysuit. Mine is a not especially expensive Typhoon fleece suit - my partner has just got the Palm W's Trisuli Suit http://www.palmequipmenteurope.com/gear/core.php which she is wearing (again with a thermal baselayer) under her drysuit and it saying nice things about it. And, as she feels the cold, if she's warm, it must be good.

As pathbrae comments, wool (merino ideally) is also excellent - they didn't make any merino kit in a size I could wear, otherwise I'd have gone that route. I also echo his suggestion of having an extra cag or jacket to put on when stopping. It makes a massive difference.The other thing I meant to mention earlier is the benefit of having a buff - if you are wearing a full drysuit, an amazing amount of heat gets lost around the neck as the latex seal provides no insulation. A buff is a great way to add insulation in winter.
I see many materials are now breathable and moisture wicking but would that then make you less warm?
By wicking away moisture, you stay drier and warmer. Assuming of course that your outer layers are breathable - if not, then that moisture is just going to condense on the inside - and you'll get wet eventually as it soaks your base layers.

Mike.

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Re: Clothing

Post by pathbrae » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:22 pm

they didn't make any merino kit in a size I could wear, otherwise I'd have gone that route.
Need to find a bigger sheep Mike.... :-)
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Tempest170
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Re: Clothing

Post by Tempest170 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:36 pm

So I have this Drysuit currently.... http://www.nrs.com/product/22532/kokata ... 7AodDEQAEw

Under this type of suit where the outside is not breathable you would suggest the Merino wool two piece, Typhoon suit, or this Tsangpo suit... http://www.palmequipmenteurope.com/gear/tsangpo.html
... and I will be ok? I know alot of this is trial and error but I would rather make the error on dry land and not in a cold lake.

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MikeB
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Re: Clothing

Post by MikeB » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:46 pm

Well, that K/tat suit is described as being Tropos - which, while not as breathable as G/tex is supposed to be a lot better than a non-breathable suit. The Palm one piece is, according to my partner, very good. I can't compare it with my Typhoon one as it doesn't fit me - and the Typhoon is too big for her - - (no jokes please - - - ). I suspect it is probably better, it certainly cost more. As I mentioned earlier, we both use lightish thermal layers as well, but I suppose it could be worn "as is".

Either way, you're looking at decent kit. Mike.

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Tempest170
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Re: Clothing

Post by Tempest170 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:55 pm

Thanks for the insight MikeB and Pathbrae! This will be my first year using the drysuit so I want to make sure I am well prepared.

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PeterG
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Re: Clothing

Post by PeterG » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:49 pm

Charity shops offer merino jumpers in various weights at about £5 which are ideal under a drysuit, drytop or even summer spray top. I wear a couple of thin ones. The machine washable wool, often with 10% nylon can be mistreated in every way and just comes back for more. Pure merino tends to shrink with the first warm machine wash, but if you buy a size larger no worries. At £5 if they only last a year...but some go on and on.

If you get too hot a quick roll is sufficient to bring your temperature down at any time of year. Dress for immersion.

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MikeB
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Re: Clothing

Post by MikeB » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:19 pm

PeterG wrote: Dress for immersion.
Yes - but it's horses for courses - I recall meeting some folk one hot summer weekend who were doing just this - they had full drysuits and full one piece fleece suits underneath. Had they been in the water, they would have been fine of course. However, they were so overheated that they were paddling with the drysuits rolled down to their waists - - -

So - if they had gone swimming, not only would the drysuit lower have filled up, making rescue significantly more challenging, but those heavy fleece suits would have rapidly turned into a water trap as well, adding to the difficulty.

Mike.

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Ceegee
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Re: Clothing

Post by Ceegee » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:06 pm

For the benefit of the OP

Summer/warm: I wear a semi-dry Yak cag if windy (£120) (or just a chill-cheater short-sleeve top if fine) and a pair of Lomo neo shorts or a ripcurl rashie/shorts combo (around £30).

Cool and Spring/Autumn: Cag over a thin fleece and a pair of cheap (£25) Lidl sailing dungarees, OR, my drysuit with a thin fleece top and rashie shorts.

Winter: Kokotat dry-suit (bought in US at half UK price) and a Lomo one-piece fleece, and an additional Aquatherm top/pants if really cold.

Hands: Winter only, thin 1.5 mm neoprene gloves with friction palm and Kokotat pogies if really cold.

Boots: beach shoes summer, Lomo ankle boots or cheap(ish) £35 generic Muklucks if really cold or rocky.

My daughter has a Kokotat cag for summer or just a rashie top, and a Lomo Drysuit (lasted well so far - £250) for winter, and uses a similar set-up to me re. seasons.

Only our "winter" set-up is really proof against a long immersion. If paddling solo or if the weather is iffy (F4>) I usually wear the drysuit regardless, and we can both roll, solo and assisted rescue in under 30 seconds and don't intend spending any time in the water.

I don't believe in 2-pieces, (cag & salloppettes) hence rather the cheap sailing dungarees with a cag. IMHO if you bail, you are either in the water above 15 deg. <1 minute and prepared to get wet so a cag is fine in its own right, or it is cold and you are swimming for some time in which case you had better be wearing a drysuit and insulation.
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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