Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

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wurly
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Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by wurly »

Hi folks
I'd like to hear your opinions on staying warm during summer paddling.
I bought a typhoon drysuit that i have been wearing on rolling sessions and a recent sea kayak trip. Although i can stay dry after many immersions i'm pretty damp from getting too hot. The drysuit is going to be great for the winter months ( the reason for buying it) but now i'm struggling to come up with a good summer option. For now, i've got a wetsuit but i remember getting cold last summer whether i'm dry or wet. So i'm wondering about getting a cag more as a windbreak or a decent thermal rash vest under the wetsuit. What do you experienced sea kayakers recommend?

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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by Mrstratos61 »

I too use the typhoon in winter. I've kept palm zenith top and dry trouser for summer.

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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by Owen »

Forth element thermocline top, very expensive but so much more comfortable than any wetsuit. I have their shorts as well. They also make salopettes but I don't like them as there's no fly hole or zip.

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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by mcgruff »

Do you think you could double up two layers of thermocline?

If it wasn't "summer use only" it looks like the ideal fabric. Easy to look after. Breathable.

Most importantly you can swim in it. My emergency planning is focussed on getting out of cold water as fast as possible. Wouldn't like to try swimming 1km or more in a drysuit.
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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by Owen »

Yes you could double it up no problem, it might be very warm thought. It's a summer /warm water substitute for a wetsuit for divers. As a surface wetsuit it's quite good on its own. I often use a simple cag over it to keep the wind off, no neck or wrist seals.

As it's made for divers there's no problem swimming in it, not sure why you want to swim a km thought.

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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by mcgruff »

I'm planning an extended tour of the West of Scotland, Outer Hebrides etc. There would be lots of times when I'm much further than that offshore. I think I need to have a plan for the worst case of losing the boat ie get out of the water before you die of hypothermia, one way or another. Swimming may be the only option although I also plan to experiment with a packraft as a "lifeboat". Should at least be possible to inflate a packraft in calm conditions. Maybe not in stormy weather.

Thermocline looks ideal for an extended trip. It can be washed, dried, packed up without much fuss. If two layers would be also be warm enough for Spring/Autumn (and Winter?) it sounds like the perfect solution.

Apart from the price..
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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by Owen »

Going quite a lot off topic here, I take it this will be a solo trip?

Have you read "Essentials of sea survival" by Frank Golden and Michael Tipton.?

How good is your roll?

How good are your re-entry skills?

I"be done a few moderately long crossings (20-25miles) but none solo. I would have to say swimming is not an option.

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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by mcgruff »

Apologies to the OP :) Maybe a mod could move this to a new topic? Thanks.

Yes a solo trip and, hopefully, the adventure of a lifetime.

My roll is very good for the first 180 degrees ;) However, I'm finding it hard to look beyond a surf-ski hybrid like the Epic V6 so that won't be an issue. There are other fast boats which fly downwind but launching/landing would be so much easier with an open cockpit. If I did end up with a closed cockpit the first thing I'd do would be to practice rolling all day every day for a couple of months until I could literally do it in my sleep.

Haven't read the book you mentioned (I'll maybe see if the local library can get it) but I know survival time in cold water is not great.

I'm assuming up to a couple of hours before swim failure in an appropriate wetsuit (or equivalent) for the time of year. I'd also be practising 1km swims regularly to build a basic level of stamina & technique so there should be a good chance of reaching shore up to a few km away - tides permitting.

Good swimming ability just seems like an obvious safety precaution. I've been at sea before in a boat which disappeared underneath me. It's the weirdest feeling to go from being sat in a boat on the water to sitting in the water with no boat. Luckily I'd managed to run the bows into a reef about the same moment the stern finally sank beneath the waves.

Next time there might not be a reef..
Last edited by mcgruff on Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by Billy g »

Another vote for Forthelement thermocline, I use the leggings, and for my top half tend to use a merino top under a touring cag, or short sleeve cag in hot weather. In winter I just put some dry trousers on over the thermocline leggings. For me I find this the most versatile combination for year round paddling, the only time I use a wetsuit is in the surf.

wurly
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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by wurly »

Thanks for the replies.

So Forth Element Thermocline is like a comfy wetsuit? From their website they say it is like wearing 2mm neoprene. Very pricey and i would still need a cag to keep away windchill.
Billy g wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:32 pm
Another vote for Forthelement thermocline, I use the leggings, and for my top half tend to use a merino top under a touring cag, or short sleeve cag in hot weather. In winter I just put some dry trousers on over the thermocline leggings. For me I find this the most versatile combination for year round paddling, the only time I use a wetsuit is in the surf.
Would a merino top not hold water if you were to roll? i'm presuming that the touring cag you mention wouldn't keep you totally dry?

I have a fleece top i've worn under a dry top that soaked up the water when i once capsized and swam. Not too much of a problem if i'm on a trip as i can change into a spare top, but i'm after a combination of clothing that would keep me warm if i were to get wet or was in the process of drying out on a trip.

The more i think about it, the wetsuit with a wind beating cag might be the answer.........or stick with the drysuit...if i get hot...roll....change out of sweaty top into nice dry one when we stop for a break.

I've only been kayaking for about a year btw but really enjoying.

Oh! no worries about going off topic, i like to read digressions :0)

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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by SJD »

Wurly, I have been very happy with the Kokatat Knappster. The Knappster is a short sleeve paddle jacket made of Gore Tex and light weight neoprene neck and bicep cuffs. This is the only jacket of its type I have owned that is not like wearing a plastic bag.

I also, at times, wear a short sleeve shirt from a company called ProMotion Wetsuits. The shirt is called Exoskin. It is a type of fuzzy rubber made of very thin flexible rubber outer with an equally very thin layer of a fleece type material inner. Reed Chilcheater may have a similar product.

Both pieces work well, but the Knappster excels and a bonus for me is I can put it on and take it off with easy while seated in the boat. The Exoskin is very comfortable, however, being form fitting is more difficult to put on and take off. I have also experienced mild overheating on warmer, windless outings while wearing the Exoskin.
SJD

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Ceegee
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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by Ceegee »

@mcgruff. Rule #1 don't get seperated from the boat! Swimming is never an option. Certainly not in some of the west coast tidal streams. With a deckless ski reentry should be practiced until bombproof. If you doubt your ability to maibtain contact then get a leash and start to use it before things get gnarly. If you can't hang on to your paddle, get a leash for that too, and carry a spare. Remember you will be swimming in the conditions that capsized you in the first place, so the biggest part of starting a trip is weather/tidal understanding, risk analysis and sound decision making.

Golder & Tipton is a great read. It is not just about swim failure! Lots of things out there to kill you.

@OP. Ripcurl rashie top and shorts for me, always with a cag. to hand, regardless of how warm it is (and my definition of "warm water" is influenced by my current paddling location 😎). Kokatat Exped for the other 6 months, with/without layers, depending.

Dress for the water temperature and dress for immersion!
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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by Beryl »

Wetsuits are a remarkably cheap and efficient way of keeping warm. When I used to surf, a 5/3 suit would suffice the whole year in sunny cornwall. Despite the many available alternatives now. I would still keep some sort of wetsuit as a base layer, even if just 0.5mm and in a two-piece. I use plain vanilla neoprene but the ones like Palm Neoflex with built-in micro fleece are ideal for those times, between paddling, when you can chill I would imagine.

Out of interest, my old swimming wetsuit has been hanging in the loft for 18yrs and has been pressed back into service after some serious dieting. It’s like I’d never been away! So long lasting too.
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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by mcgruff »

Ceegee wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:20 pm
@mcgruff. Rule #1 don't get seperated from the boat! Swimming is never an option. Certainly not in some of the west coast tidal streams. With a deckless ski reentry should be practiced until bombproof. If you doubt your ability to maibtain contact then get a leash and start to use it before things get gnarly. If you can't hang on to your paddle, get a leash for that too, and carry a spare. Remember you will be swimming in the conditions that capsized you in the first place, so the biggest part of starting a trip is weather/tidal understanding, risk analysis and sound decision making.
Sure I'd always be tied on with a leg leash. I'd certainly practice re-entry. Good skills are really important. I'd never set off on a long, committed sea journey without a good safety margin in terms of weather, sea states, tidal planning etc.

But things can go wrong. Boats can sink (mine might even be home-made so that can't be ruled out..). Maybe a leash gets torn off the deck. I think I should be prepared for that. It just seems to make sense to build up some basic swimming skill & stamina. As half-man half-otter the odds of survival have to be better than as a piece of flotsam flapping ineffectively in a dry suit :)

If you're in a group no doubt there are much better options.
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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by Pitchpole »

I have used fourth element for years, they are warm and comfortable. One downside is that if you get wet they absorb a large amount of water so if you had to get up into your boat there is a lot of extra weight.

wurly
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Re: Thermal rash vests vs windproof cag

Post by wurly »

To return to this topic. Having discussed this with many people i have determined there is no one stop solution for everyone.
So..with the warm weather we are having my drysuit is wayyyy to hot. My last paddle i was just wearing a cheap rash vest. My club coach suggests a storm cag over lighter thermal tops.
So i've ordered a typhoon thermofleece for 26quid for this coming saturdays paddle and next week i'm getting a ripstop coverall cag from reedchillcheaters.


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