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 Tuesday, 19 April 2005
Toy Review - Kokatat Goretex Wave Drytop

So my getting back into whitewater kayaking has meant some serious splurging on new gear. Back when I was relativly good I was but a poor student I had to rely on the generosity of others for nice gear. Now I've got a little more of the disposable folding stuff so I can afford to get a few nice bits of kit. So herewith my run down of the Kokatat Gore Tex Drytop- picked it up @ www.nrsweb.com for US$279 which I thought was pretty good.

As a general rule I don't like wearing a drytop- I'm somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to outdoor body adornment and I'd generally much rather just wear a shorty cag or a rashtop. So this was a bit of an adventurous purchase for me. But, my intention is to paddle all winter this year and that'll mean paddling in snowy weather- a bit much for a 3 season top even with my hi tech sub dermal insulating keg pack midrift.

I've paddled the drytop for a few sessions now- all runs down rivers but with a bit of park n' playboating along the way. It is the first drytop I have owned that is actually dry. I suffered no leakage through the seals whatsoever. The Gore Tex really does work- I think that far more than say with a moutaineering jacket you really notice the breathable fabric- when you are hermtically sealed in latex you can't healp but sweat your ass off. The workmanship and materials on the Wave are top notch certainly up there in terms of paddling gear companies and equipment vendors in general. Seam sealing done well, no lose threads. Can't speak to the durability of the fabric and jacket yet but everything indicates that it will be durable.

So what are the downsides. I think that the design is a little long in the tooth. In particular the inner tube in the double tunnel is only a draw string. This means that even though the seals keep the jacket dry you end up with any water in ya boat running up through the inner tunnel and then wicking it's way through your polyprop undies. Others have commented on the outer seal on neck being somewhat tight- I have a BIG neck (like had to trip about 5 rings off the latex) But I didn't find it too bad- smaller than might be desirable but not the end of the world.

So would I get another one? Well, I think they may have discontinued this model, replacing it with the Rogue. But, next time around I think I'll probably look at an Immersion Research Entrant Competition LX. I have the Competition short sleeve and it's not too bad. I'm also dead keen to have a look at the 2005 Bomber Gear models as they too look pretty sweet. ALl in all a good bargain was had and I'll be happy t wear the Wave all winter long. I got some Polyester base layer stuff from Krapmandthu which is great as well. I've always been a fan of Polyester garments- never been sure what drives kiwi paddlers to keep wearing filthy smelly polyprop- and then leaving it in their wet gear box in my car!

Oh... only other downside was I couldn't get red- only mango yellow.

Adventure Sports|Tuesday, 19 April 2005 12:02:38 UTC|Comments [0]|