Friday, 24 October 2014

It's All About Layers

Choosing the appropriate under layer can often leave us feeling hot under the collar.

Full thermals are always a smart idea in the winter time, providing you are wearing suitable waterproof outer layering to keep it dry (i.e. A dry suit). 

The Palm Men's Tsangpo and Ladies Trisuli one piece under suits are designed for coping with the cold. And they look pretty stylish too. These under suits are made of Palm's Core 4 material, which is essentially a fleece layer with quick drying properties.
They are super comfortable, which makes it easy to just stick it on in the house and wear during the journey to and from the water, with a jacket or hoody over the top.
Both have a zipped pocket, which is big enough to hold a set of keys and loose change, but you would struggle to get a phone in there too.

For a cheaper alternative, the Typhoon Lightweight Undersuit works well to keep you warm and feels comfortable and a bit more fleece like on the inside.
The suit is made using thermofiber fabric, which keeps is lightweight without risking any heat loss.

The Autumn months can make it a bit harder to judge what layering is appropriate. Ideally we would carry one or two different options with us, but this takes up room and can be a hassle when you're on the water.

Palm's Core 3 Seti top breaches the gap between warm and cold, offering an adaptable layer that is perfect for mild conditions whether you are on the water or just chilling out on a mild evening.

The Palm Seti's 'waffle' style fabric is beyond comfortable, and boasts quick drying properties making a fantastic active lifetstyle top.
I've worn my own down the pub after a day on the water, and it doesn't look out of place or like you're wearing a thermal top at all.
The Palm Seti will be good underneath a drysuit on milder Autumn/Winter paddling days, or as an extra under layer on really cold days in the middle of Winter.

Some variance of neoprene is always a good shout for keeping in warmth, and now we have much more comfortable options that don't hinder your freedom of movement like a standard wetsuit.

Palm's Kaituna tops are made using Neoflex material, which is a much softer and more flexible version of neoprene. This doesn't mean it wont keep you as warm though. On it's own on a warm day the Palm Kaituna feels just right on the water, and dries quite quickly too.
This does come in a women's version as well. Check out the Palm Wairoa for a female specific cut.

If you want something a bit thinner, check out the Palm Itunda top. This feels really lightweight, and is ideal for Summers spent on the water, but will also work really well as a rash vest under a wetsuit, or as a base layer under a cag in mild weather where overheating is still possible.

The Palm Itunda also has its own female counterpart, the Palm Malalu, which offers a better fit for women paddlers. Both come in a long and short sleeve version, but it's quite easy to roll the sleeves up on the long top if needed.

Similar to this is the Crewsaver Toki top. A long standing favourite, the Crewsaver Toki is quick drying and designed for maximum comfort.

Having the right layering for varying weather conditions really is a crucial part of water sport activities. Although your top layer will keep the water away, you will still feel the cold without a good thermal underneath.

So don't fail to prepare this winter season. View our range of thermals and under layers online, or contact our sales team for more information.
01656 745774

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Astral Sea Wolf Review

After careful thought and a few cups of tea, Chicky from the South Wales Kayak Anglers selected the Astral Sea Wolf as his buoyancy aid of choice for this coming season.

Astral are regarded as a fairly solid choice when it comes to white water and touring PFDs, so after a bit of testing here's what he had to say about it:

At first glance, I liked the non garish colour of the Astral Sea Wolf, so sun glasses are not a mandatory whilst wearing this unlike some vests. Although, there is a "look at me" version if you like that sort of thing!

Next thing I think is a great idea is the side entry fit with no zip, meaning no corrosion issues later in its life. I know a few have had issues with this problem on the sea, but the buckles prevent this from happening full stop.

It has a few pockets which have ample storage, and there's a little waist pocket that has zipped section and an unzipped section. It also has a pocket that is designed for a hydration pack for the longer trips where you don't want to stop paddling to take fluids on board.

Then there's my personal highlight, a cavernous chest pocket (or clamshell pocket as they like to call it)  which has separate compartments and a zipped internal section so the guys who like to take minimal tackle, ready made rigs, and other bits, its the perfect vest. However, there's another little trick this clamshell has when you open both zips all the way the pocket opens to form a work table just in front of you, and because its on your chest you can turn away from the wind so the bits\rigs you are working on don't blow away.

More features I like; It has enough hi-vis reflective tape and I like the positioning of the VHF loops and safety knife attachment ,the clamshell pocket is detached from the main floatation band only connected by two straps which allows the vest to move and articulate as you paddle and move around which gives the feeling of great freedom .

Friday, 3 October 2014

A Slower Pace of Life

We enjoy receiving photos of customers and friends having good times on the water.

A big thanks to Joe and Alyson for representing Team Escape on their canal trip this week.
It has definitely got us thinking about the joys of taking it easy, and how watersports don't always have to be at 100mph.

The trip started in Devises, making their way up the canal systems towards Bath over the course of 2 days.
Opening and closing the lock gates meant a bit of manual labour was required, but this was of course followed by a well earned, celebratory drink.

Joe -
 "The trip went well, apart from one slight hiccup where Alyson tried to do a 3 point turn!"