Kokatat Bouyancy Aids^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Kokatat Bouyancy Aids^

Post by Zoe Newsam » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:57 am

Has anyone used them? I'm particularly interested in this.

I recently changed my WW BA, which I was also using for sea paddling, but my new one isn't so great for sea use.

I'd be interested to know if anyone other than Knoydart sells these in the UK- as it'd be good to try before buying.
Zoe Newsam
Sea Kayak Guide & Mountain Leader

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:19 pm

I'm using one (yes, I know they are marketed for women, but they work just fine for men too!) and like it.

Comfy, floats nicely, light and non-restrictive.

Anything else you need to know?

Mike

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Post by Zoe Newsam » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:03 pm

Thanks Mike. How big are the pockets? Is the one in the middle big enough for a VHF? And are the other two pockets 'easy access'? For camera, sweeties etc...

Cheers
Zoe Newsam
Sea Kayak Guide & Mountain Leader

User avatar
ChrisS
Posts: 1013
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2004 6:53 pm
Location: Warwickshire

Post by ChrisS » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:24 pm

A clip-on back pocket and a hydration pack are available as accessories for Kokatat BAs.

A back pocket seems like a good idea from the point of view of keeping flares etc. on your person; but I think I would find it difficult to gain access to the contents without taking the BA off. Are back pockets worth having on a sea bouoyancy aid?

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:29 pm

The electronics pocket easily carries my Garmin 725 - the side pockets are bellowed and expand nicely, but they are quite small it has to be said.

I carry a day/night handheld flare, whistle, mirror, repair tape, sweeties, Lendal key, choc bars in mine. The webs description doesn't mention the hidden pouch behind the zip, so worth checking if it's still in the spec.

If it is, it'll take something like a day/night flare easily enough although I found it bulged a bit too much for me. I now use it for a leatherman and my safety knife. With the stuff I've outlined in the previous paragraph in the side pockets, I could still include the l/man and knife in them if I wanted to.

Although my little Pentax usually either lives in my deck bag or on its lanyard round my neck, I guess it could go in a pocket easily. The one thing to note with the pockets is that the zip is on the side, so of course stuff will tend to fall out! There are lanyard tabs of course. I suspect Kokatat deliberalty restrict the pocket size to stop people adding too much heavy stuff.

I also bought the Tributory water bag which uses a Platypus bag branded to Kokatat - I'd looked at just getting the Rear Pocket but iirc it wasn't large enough to take my 1 ltr Platypus.

I really like the ba - it's comfy to wear, has plenty of room around the shoulders for a big guy like me and lots of adjustability. It's very light.

Downsides? Well, the zip is set for a woman - not an issue for you. (I see there is now something called a Bahia Tour which seems from the spec/pictures to be the same, although not specific to females (??) which would deal with that for blokes - it wasn't around when I got mine last year.

I think Cailean uses the MsFit Tour you linked to - and I'm sure Mr Cree does or did, and I think it was Roddy Macdowel from Bute who was the first person I saw with one - so lots of blokes use them. From an asthetic perspective I like the fact that the color is identical to my Kokatat cag, that nice bright yellow!

Does that help? Mike.

(Edit to reply to Chris)

I certainly couldn't get toanything in the rear pocket or within the Trib system - and the velcro is quite strong. That said, the Trib system has a bungee cord system under which could be retained flares maybe? Perhaps with some cunning leash to allow their removal?

Owen
Posts: 2106
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:42 pm
Location: Nr Stirling
Contact:

Post by Owen » Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:05 pm

I have one of those Kokatat rear pockets for my BA which is a Nookie V70. I use it to keep my VHF set in but once on I can't get at the pocket. I can pull the set out using the leash but then can't get it back in.

I've not tried putting my platypus bladder in there as I don't like having that much weight hanging off me all day long.

You could put a flare in there but that would need another leash which could get tangled with the radio leash. So all in all not the best solution, I would have been better off putting the money towards a better BA.

andreadawn
Posts: 614
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 8:34 pm

Post by andreadawn » Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:20 pm

Most comfy BA I've worn but like others I have reservations about the pockets.

An Icom IC-M31 will fit in the front centre pocket (although not if it's inside a waterproof case) but that leaves the antenna stuck up your nose or poking you in the eye every time you lean forward.

Like Owen I have the rear pocket and keep my VHF in there. I too can get it out by reaching over my shoulder and pulling on the antenna but would need to dislocate my shoulder to get it back in and do the flap up!

Andrea.

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Post by Zoe Newsam » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:15 pm

Ah, the old 'Antenna-oscopy' problem! I'm looking at buying an icom M-71eventually, so hopefully the shorter antenna will sort that out.

I have a Palm hydration pocket which fits on the back of most BA's, and I find it indispensable. I didn't use it a couple of weeks ago (symptom of a new Astral BA- it doesn't fit), and was lost- and dehydrated- without it.

It's sounding good so far- maybe I'll take the plunge, and return it if it's no good, as I can't get to Knoydart (from Portsmouth!) for a try-on.

Thanks for the advice.
Zoe Newsam
Sea Kayak Guide & Mountain Leader

CaileanMac
Posts: 582
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:49 pm

Post by CaileanMac » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:24 pm

MikeB,

I'm a Peak SeaZip user and fan! Richard is Palm man sporting either a Fusion or soon their new style B/A?

Back pockets - never seemed to use them apart from somewhere to store hydration pouch. Getting flares/radios out them when you actually floating in the water is a really pain and possibly very trickly if you were really cold and tired.

CaileanMac

User avatar
Neilgr
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:24 pm
Location: North of Scotland

Post by Neilgr » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:37 pm

You might want to look at the BA that Chillcheater sell.

The pockets are not the biggest but you can get a VHF in (just).

It's very comfortable and has a hydration pocket on the back.

Cheers.

Neil.

Tim Maud
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 3:11 pm
Location: Nuremberg

Post by Tim Maud » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:50 pm

Zoe, if you can hold on for a bit as I think Palm may have a few surprises in the offing for the touring and ocean market.
When I left they were on final sample stage and looking good, so they should be out any time in the next couple of months.
Have the Kokatat PFD's passed the EN393 now?
Tim Maud

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Post by Zoe Newsam » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:10 pm

Tim Maud wrote: Have the Kokatat PFD's passed the EN393 now?
Erm...no idea. Pardon my ignorance???

As you know Tim, I've tested the current Palm sea BA's- nice, but the pockets were too small imho- and for me that's one of the crucial elements. Any idea if the new ones will rectify that? Do you know when Palm are planning to release the new designs?
Zoe Newsam
Sea Kayak Guide & Mountain Leader

Tim Maud
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 3:11 pm
Location: Nuremberg

Post by Tim Maud » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:20 pm

We did extensive tests with using all manner of flares and strobes and hydration bladders. The pockets are massive but when not in use were slim line.
There are three PFD's in the range. The low end PFD did not have a rear pocket but was able to accept the Hydration Pouch, with the high end one having a full 50N self inflating bladder plus 70N of foam!
I think they were due for release in the spring! That is a large window I know but as I am no longer there I can't be any more accurate.
Sorry.
Tim Maud

RichardCree
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 7:05 pm
Contact:

Post by RichardCree » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:21 pm

Zoe, having seen the new Palm BA's i would wait a bit,

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Post by Zoe Newsam » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:25 pm

Thanks Tim- perhaps I'll hang on a couple of months.
Zoe Newsam
Sea Kayak Guide & Mountain Leader

User avatar
nickcrowhurst
Posts: 1013
Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:07 pm
Location: Cornwall, between swims.
Contact:

Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:01 pm

Zoe, my wife wears a Kokatat BA, ladies model. (While kayaking!)
The shape and fit is excellent. The one drawback is that, on her model, two of the front pockets are made of a mesh material, presumably for fast drainage. She keeps small items like lip salve in these pockets. After about 300 miles of paddling, both mesh pockets have worn holes through the mesh material, presumably from friction with the items in the pockets. This material is challenging to repair effectively. We would not purchase another BA with these mesh pockets in these positions. My BA, purchased on the same day, and with more mileage, shows no wear. Its pockets are of the same material as the main body of the BA.
Nick.

CaileanMac
Posts: 582
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:49 pm

Post by CaileanMac » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:39 pm

Zoe,

Scroll right down to the bottom of this webpage for look at Palm's new 2007 sea / touring buoyancy aids or get a copy of Brookbank's big catalogue for proper photos (mine arrived today).


CaileanMac

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24087
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Contact:

Post by Mark R » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:51 pm

The palm Taupo Tour is a little out of my price range...
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

CaileanMac
Posts: 582
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:49 pm

Post by CaileanMac » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:56 pm

MarkR,

Indeed but when did kayaking kit ever get cheaper? ;-)

CaileanMac

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Post by Zoe Newsam » Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:34 pm

Hmm, looks quite good. The pockets are still stubbornly small, though.

Available June '07... I might not last that long!
Zoe Newsam
Sea Kayak Guide & Mountain Leader

rockhopper
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:55 pm
Location: Essex

Post by rockhopper » Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:49 pm

The palm Taupo Tour is a little out of my price range...
Blimey....nearly choked on my cornflakes.
Still if it comes with a colour co-ordinated Ducati, 4 weeks use of Kate Moss, a fold out fully stocked bar and a 42" plazma telly I'd say it was money well spent....

User avatar
Teachers Pet
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:14 pm
Location: Yorkshire

Reed Chill Cheater BA

Post by Teachers Pet » Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:23 pm

I am also looking at buying a new BA and have recently been looking at the one on the Reed website. This looks good and is priced at only £79! The site is at:

http://www.chillcheater.com/products/shop.asp?cid=15996

Has anyone used or seen these BAs?

Andy

User avatar
Ceegee
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:32 pm
Location: Mizen Head, Ireland (see above)

Post by Ceegee » Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:17 pm

Are we being ripped off...?

Knoydart - £96
Image

Mountain Co Op (Vancouver) C$140 - thats £60 in the old money!
Image

I'm ordering a bunch of stuff for delivery to a friend's address, and will bring it back (slightly used - does this mean it escapes the customs man?) later in the year.

Bummer is I now see BA are only allowing ONE piece of luggage and its around £80 for a second piece!

Tim Maud
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 3:11 pm
Location: Nuremberg

Post by Tim Maud » Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:06 am

Zoe Newsam wrote:Hmm, looks quite good. The pockets are still stubbornly small, though.
HI Zoe,
It's impossible to tell the size of the pockets from those drawings, but I can assure you they are massive!
Tim Maud

User avatar
active4seasons
Posts: 517
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:19 pm
Location: Berwick, North Northumberland
Contact:

Post by active4seasons » Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:42 am

Ceegee,
It is a bit hit and miss, you may get away with import taxes or you may not. You can claim back one of the canadian taxes, not sure which one as it was a whiloe ago but you have to do that back in the UK.
You could always take a holiday out there and come back wearing all your new paddling kit?
Developing Desire for Adventure!

User avatar
Helen M
Posts: 1717
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:40 am
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland

Post by Helen M » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:08 am

Ceegee wrote: Bummer is I now see BA are only allowing ONE piece of luggage and its around £80 for a second piece!
If security wasn't heightened around airports I would have suggested wearing it back! lol However, I think if you tried that you'd probably be arrested and the BA confiscated!

H - x

User avatar
Ceegee
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:32 pm
Location: Mizen Head, Ireland (see above)

Post by Ceegee » Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:24 pm

Thats the general idea - use the opportunity of a trip (business unfortunately) to stock up on kit. Shame I won't be paddling this time, but planning to get a tent, camping gear etc. too. Lots of little knick-knacks (dry bags etc.) at great prices. Might just pitch the tent in the garden for few days to get the "used" look!

Anyone heading over to BC it's great! Inside Passage, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island etc. Anyhow, a good source of gear is http://www.mec.ca

If I claimed the PFD was a parachute would they let me wear it then?

Cheers,

Steve

Mary Butler
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:19 pm

Post by Mary Butler » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:16 pm

I use the Kokotat Ms Fit Tour and it is perfect. In one of the zipped pockets I carry small day and night waterproof flare, few chocolate bars and lip saver! In the other, sun glasses and pentax camera and in the front clip closed pocket Standard Horizon VHF.

This bouyancy aid is not bulky .. and I was use to wearing a very unbulky life jacket with the Co2 bottle until I got this one.
(When I bought mine last June, it did not have the EU rating)
Mary

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Post by Zoe Newsam » Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:33 am

I'm still comparing the two... specifically the Kokatat MsFit Tour vs the Palm Kaikoura Tour. Having just called Knoydart to ask for more info on the Kokatat BA, the Palm one is currently winning- mainly because of the crappy attitude of Dave Felton at Knoydart, giving me a judgement on what I carry in my BA pockets rather than the information I asked for...

I really wonder what companies like Kokatat think UK customer service is like, having Knoydart & Mr Felton as their only UK dealer.

Well, for an almost entirely irrational reason, I may have to wait for the Palm BA's to be released after all...
Zoe Newsam
Sea Kayak Guide & Mountain Leader

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:59 am

Of course, REAL customer service is all about advising the customer properly, taking all factors into account. And then giving informed advice based on that.

Kokatat actually give their own advice about excessive loading of pockets on BA', but I guess you must make your own decision on what constitutes load!

Mike.

Post Reply