Palm Stikine advice needed

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Erling
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Palm Stikine advice needed

Post by Erling » Thu Oct 27, 2005 11:55 am

I really want a drysuit, and the Palm Stikine seems like a good choice. The 'only' snag is the price tag, 975 UKP if bought over here. But as my eldest son who just left home to live in Ireland for a year will be coming home for Christmas (sniff), I have the chance to get it for 550 UKP at Great Outdoors in Dublin.

I have emailed Great Outdoors asking if their price includes socks and relief zipper as indicated by their web site picture. Is there anything else I should be aware of, like recent model/material changes? If my 19 year old non-paddling offspring marches in with his VISA card in hand and Stikine in mind, is there a reasonable chance he will come out with the suit I want? I am 188 cm tall and have an 86 cm waist (6'2" – 34"): Should size XL be all right?

Thanks,
Erling.
The older I get, the better I used to be.

Rep341
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Post by Rep341 » Thu Oct 27, 2005 10:17 pm

Erling
I enquired recently direct to Palm for sizing advice on a Stikine.
They sent me the following

Medium
Chest 39-41"
Waist 33-35"
Leg 30"

Large
Chest 42-44"
Waist 36-38"
Leg 32"

I tried on a Palm Torrent Sidewinder and I found it quite tight round my waist. If you wear layers it might get a bit uncomfortable there (could be my shape as I am a bit stocky!
The Torrent sidewinder looked very similar and felt as nice as the Stikine and is a good bit cheaper. It doesn't have as fancy a fabric as I think its only 2 layer and not 3 layer but it may well be worth looking at.
REP341
All the gear..no idea!

CaileanMac
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Post by CaileanMac » Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:27 am

Erling,

Had a close look at a Palm Sidewinder Torrent suit the other day and it certainly seemed to be 'up to the job'. The material is lighter but will cope with 'normal paddler abuse' but not wearing every single day and leaving it damp and dirty in the back of your fine Volvo paddling wagon.

As to sizing it seemed quite a generous cut but everyone is a different size / body shape. Finally the price tag on it made me do a double take. It's very good value for your hard earned cash you aren't getting much for your money by buying a Stikine suit.

CaileanMac

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Erling
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Post by Erling » Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:56 pm

Thanks for your comments, highly appreciated! Thanks also to Richard C- who PM'ed me directly. Perhaps I need to rethink regarding which Palm, as the Stikine might be a bit overkill for my use. In which case there is a lot of money to be saved.

Erling.
PS: I take my hat off for your memory, CaileanMac! (Volvo reference.)
The older I get, the better I used to be.

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Erling
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Post by Erling » Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:24 pm

Update:
As the photographic evidence shows, I listened to your good advice and got a Sidewinder Torrent. It arrived only just now, so I have yet to try it 'for real', but it certainly looks and feels like high quality stuff. I expect it to be as functional at sea as it'll be stylish at parties. A big thanks to Richard Cree for providing excellent service to a paddler in need, I recommend him with absolutely no reservations.

Image
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Rep341
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Post by Rep341 » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:10 am

Looking good and just in time for the Xmas party season!
Any updates on its performance much appreciated.
Richard
REP341
All the gear..no idea!

RichardCree
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Post by RichardCree » Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:09 pm

Kind words Erling, you could perhaps post a bit of a review, let us know how you get on with the new suit?

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Erling
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Post by Erling » Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:50 pm

I'll give it a try this weekend, and post to this thread. (If you don't hear from me, get a different suit!)
The older I get, the better I used to be.

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Erling
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Post by Erling » Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:49 pm

I have been asked to write a review of my new Palm Sidewinder Torrent drysuit. I will give it my best shot, but please keep in mind that this is the only drysuit I have ever tried, and that I write these words after using it only once. To top it off, I did not swim in it.

First, when examining the garment at home, I understand why a drysuit like this one comes at a price. It must have taken many hours to produce it, with its many sealed seams, intricate details and the use of different materials. As far as I can tell, the materials are of very high quality, whether it is the waterproof zippers, the three-layer breathable fabric, the neoprene parts or the latex neck and wrist seals. The seals, by the way, are safely hidden underneath velcro adjustable protectors. Cordura fabric is used on wear areas like the bum, knees, shoulders and elbows. The craftsmanship is simply outstanding.

The suit has rear entry and is very easy to get into, and the leaflet contained some useful hints about how to pass the seal over the head without ripping it. The only worrying bit was that when opening the zipper for the first time, it was very, very tight. Greasing it with the enclosed silicone grease made it a lot easier to pull, but I still have problems closing it by myself. I will have to apply some more grease and see how it goes.

As the air temperature was only 2 above freezing on the day of the test, and the water temperature not significantly higher, I wore two woollen longjohns, an HH Lifa base layer sweater and two woollen sweaters.

I am quite pleased with the fit (I am 6'2" with a 34" waist and got an XL size). Before getting in the kayak I did feel that the suit did not have to be so generously sized around the legs though, but once aboard it did not matter.

The suit comes with sewn-on socks or booties, and I have split feelings about these. They have a written warning on them, cautioning the user to wear protective footwear. I improvised by using an old pair of sandals, but I still feel the socks are the suit’s Achilles' heel. If I ever wear or tear a hole in my suit, this is where it will happen. And even if I tighten the suit around the ankles with the velcro adjuster, it will not be watertight as a latex seal. On the other hand, with thick woollen socks underneath, it was nice being able to walk into the freezing cold water and still feel warm and dry.

One of the details I appreciated when stepping into the sprayskirt, was the wide neoprene waist belt that fitted over the sprayskirt's tube. My thoughts went to the eskimos who had their jackets sewn into the skins of their kayaks.

Once on the sea, I felt very secure. The suit was really a self-confidence booster. Like mentioned, my feet had not felt cold at all when wading, yet when my cotton gloved hands got wet my fingers numbed almost instantly. With proper gloves, I should be able to stay operative for quite some time after a capsize. When starting to paddle I could feel the stiff zipper on my back, but quickly forgot about it. There are no underarm seams, again a proof of great care about details. What I did not so easily forget, was that I was overheating even when paddling below my normal speed. I had kind of expected that – I am used to dressing for winter activities like cross-country skiing and will normally wear considerably less than I did now. But you are supposed to dress for the sea temperature, not the air temperature, right? Another thing was the BA I was wearing over the suit, which effectively sabotaged the suit’s breathing capability, resulting in a very sweaty back. Perhaps I can safely rely on the suit alone, but I really feel better when wearing the BA as well, so I guess I just have to live with it. My arms felt dry though.

When rinsing the suit in the bathtub après-paddling, the socks again made me think. Without them I would just have flushed the inside of the suit and hang it to dry. As it is, I will have to turn the legs inside out to make sure no water is hiding in the socks after the outside is dry.

To sum it up at long last; I am very happy with the Palm Sidewinder, and I am sure it will serve me well for years to come. The wife already wants one.

Oh, one last thing: I had planned on storing it hanging in a cupboard in the laundry room. This will not happen though, as I was reminded that rubber should not be stored in the same room as electric motors. They generate ozone that will age rubber quite efficiently, ask any tyre guy. Consider yourself warned, the leaflet does not mention this.

Some pictures:

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The older I get, the better I used to be.

pete thorn
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Stikine Drisuit

Post by pete thorn » Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:52 pm

Perversely, you may be better to get a suit mail order from USA. The price quoted this time last year was 450 dollars plus shipping, which came out at £360. Try guy@sierraoutdoorcenter.com
Pete Thorn

Chris Bolton
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Latex boots

Post by Chris Bolton » Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:03 pm

Erling wrote:The suit comes with sewn-on socks or booties, and I have split feelings about these.
When I bought my drysuit, I also had doubts; I bought my suit with ankle seals. I wore the suit on a day when I spent a lot of time wading and swimming, in winter, and I was happy and warm, except for my feet. My feet were so cold that that they developed very painfull lumps (may have been gout?) for a week. I bought and fitted some booties, and have never regretted it.

I wear wet suit boots over the booties, and have had no problems. The booties lasted the life of the suit (about 12 years, I think - but that wasn't with intensive use)

Regards

Chris

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