All superb suits in their own right, reasonably priced, and having read a few reviews seemed to be good value for money.
A lot of people know that I'm pretty hard on my gear. It gets used a lot so gets well tested and borderline abused....
But rather than potentially buying the wrong suit, I went and had a long chat with the team at Escape Watersports.
In the end the decision was made to go down the route of Kokatat, and the Kokatat Expedition was the suit of choice.
The reasons for this choice are as follows:
- Material of the suit is Gore-Tex shell, with reinforcing in high wear areas. Worthy of the most hardcore kayaker.
- It's a very light suit, weighing in at just 3.2oz.
- Latex neck and wrist seals.
I used to prefer neoprene for comfort but once you stretch the latex there is hardly any difference. However, the difference when you're in the water for any length of time is noticeable, and there is no leaks whatsoever. Kokatat deems neoprene not watertight enough for their suits, though you can have them fitted by special order at your expense if you really want to.
- You get lots of pockets, perfect for me as I like to carry a fair bit of gear.
- Quality zips - both main entry zip and relief zipper are metal toothed optiseal.
- One of the key features of this suit as a kayak angler in the UK is a built-in lightweight hood - you have to love the british weather!
- As with most quality suits you have the material socks which are considerably warmer than their latex counterparts. When cod fishing in deepest darkest winter these little things can keep you on the water for that extra hour to allow you to catch those cod.
- Gore-Tex breathes better than most if not all other materials - so comfortable enough when that burst of sunshine, rare as it is, does sometimes come through.
Kokatat suits are the only suits that are fill tested to check for imperfections. They also carry out this test out if you send the suit for servicing once a season, and this keeps your suit in tip top condition.
The aftersales from Kokatat is top notch as you would imagine when the suits cost as much as they do. It sounds a lot but if you work it out someone who launches as regularly as I do, say 80-90 trips a year - whether that's fishing, touring or white water paddling (something I can see me doing more of) it works out at around 10-12 pounds a trip for one year's use, half that over two years, and then you're looking at about £3 a trip in year three, reducing further year after year. So when you look at it from that perspective it's not so expensive - I dont think so anyway.
A superb suit in my opinion. Head over to www.escape-watersports.co.uk and get one now!