comparison zipped nylon sprayskirt

I would like to buy a zipped nylon sprayskirt for touring paddling in hot climate.

I have seen this two:

Seals Sneak

Wildwasser Convertible Zip

I think the Seals has a better tunnel enclosure but a too short zip.

My idea is to paddle most of the time with the zip opened and close it only in rough water, but I have no idea what happen if I have to roll with a sprayskirt like these.

any opinion?

thank you!

My guess is that if you roll your boat with either of these skirts, you are likely going to take on a little water–probably a little less with the Seals.

I probably break some unwritten law, but I seldom even wear a skirt unless the water gets lumpy, but I do have one along almost all the time. My practical experience is that it has to get pretty rough, before there is much chance of getting water slopped into the cockpit. The chance of getting rolled is so slight that I don’t worry about it.


– Last Updated: Jan-28-15 11:20 AM EST –

Iam an avid roller and roll quite a bit. A zip nylon skirt will leak no doubt if you roll. Do you ever roll, can you roll? If you did tip over would you just wet exit? if so then these nylon skirts will keep most water out in rough conditions on most kayaks. BUT it depends on the kayak too. Some kayaks the coaming is real close to the water and they are a much wetter ride. My Valley Avocet RM is pretty low in the water so its a much wetter ride than my NDK Greenlander pro is. I used to have a Wilderness systems Tsunami 140 which was a very dry ride. Water would rarely ever make it over the coaming.

Which one of these would be better is hard to say. I doubt anyone has had both to compare against each other. If you roll to cool off I wouldn't get any of those unless you don't mind a wet butt.

I have the Seals
I cant roll, but it works pretty well to zip it up before hitting a rough patch. If you get and keep it wet, some water will leach through. So if you get a hundred yards of chop that you are cutting through, you will get a LITTLE water. I went through something like that last spring and the guy with me didnt have a skirt and he was bailing pretty hard when we were through. The tunnel is pretty adjustable and the little pockets work well for a bag of trail mix or granola bar.

Also, if its pretty hot and you have it unzipped, and you round the corner and see a playfull rapid with a 2’ hump and decide to cut through it in a sea kayak like a torpedo, the skirt will channel that cold water to a area that is normally warmer on most men, ALL of the cold water. Not real refreshing, yet somewhat exhilarating. After that, you learn to zip it up pretty fast.

Top down zip
I’m familiar with the Wildwasser model and it appears that the Seals unzips from the top of the tunnel. This isn’t too practical if your wearing your PFD over it. Wear the skirt over the pfd and it’ll be a funnel anytime a wave breaks high enough to splash over the top of the tunnel.

Try the Seals Stretch Nylon. Function of a neoprene skirt, lightness of a fabric one.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

I do the same

– Last Updated: Jan-30-15 8:10 AM EST –

Only time I wear a spray skirt is in lumpy water or cold weather paddling. Always have one with me, but I can't stand the confining nature of it. Chances of me spilling is very slight, and am a master at wet exits if needed.

The Seals Sneak was my first skirt. Not bad for dorking around on flat water, but it will pop off easily with even light hip snaps. I had one rolling lesson with that thing and immediately went out and bought a full neo skirt (or two). I also find the nylon skirts harder to hook on the rear coaming when putting it on because they’re so floppy.

Anyway, totally fine if you just want to stay dry on flat water. Anything more dynamic and you might as well go full neo. (IR has some great deals on their old 2014 models right now.)

Don’t know about rolling
Seals is great on flat water. I use it and like it very much. It can ventillate you when open, can leak a little when closed. But overall it does the job quite well.

The only zip one we have goes on our
OT Loon 111 which was purchased (the skirt) about 14 years ago when a local shop relocated. It the boat goes over you will fall out even with the skirt on as the cockpit is 55" long. I only use it in the winter as the ‘111’ is my boat of choice during the winter and as the zipper is really long, I can unzip it when I land and hop up and over the side of the boat. During the summer, no one uses the skirt as the Loon is usually used for fishing out of at that time of year.