Has anyone hear paddled with a neoprene jacket?

I’m updating my shoulder season wardrobe. The water is a bit cool to be paddling in a bathing suit and loose short sleeve but it seems a bit early to be dawning a drysuit. In these conditions, I’ve previously used a farmer john either solo or with a dry top (prefer to not go that route though; if I have to have a latex ring around my neck I’ll just do the drysuit). I’ver ordered some neoprene bottoms to try and if I like them I was thinking about getting a zip up neoprene top (with sleeves). For recreational touring (e.g., 5-15 mile days), I am wondering if moving that neoprene around (at the shoulder) would be so tiring as to be impractical. If it’s noticeably tiring but still doable for a few hours I could just think of it as additional exercise that would perhaps keep me in better shape for the spring given that I get out less often and, with the shorter days, generally paddle shorter distances this time of year.

I wore a NRS Hydroskin 1.5 long sleeved neo jacket before buying my drysuit. I don’t like tight tops so normally buy a size medium, but got the jacket in a size large because I wanted shoulder room. Jacket went over Farmer Jane and rashguard. The neoprene stretches and the jacket didn’t hinder shoulder movement at all, thanks to the larger size.

Earlier this month I switched from the neoprene jacket to a Kokatat Tropos Otter Jacket, which I ordered from Marshall at The River Connection, to use with my surfskin pants The Otter is waterproof, breathable, and has a nice high pile-lined collar with a hood that fits inside the collar. Good wind blocker and I can do more layering than with the neo jacket.

While it’s definitely drysuit weather here now, I wear the Otter while walking, cleaning up the leaves, etc. Nice to have kayak gear that multi-tasks - especially as it was on sale at 50 percent off.

I picked up a touring top a few years ago, latex at the wrists but can vent at the neck. Good shoulder season and touring top. Layer it with an old hydroskin top for extra warmth.
https://www.levelsix.com/collections/paddling-tops/products/superior-2-0-long-sleeve-touring-top?variant=1151737816

In the winter I wear a full wet suit with only a pair of shorts and a wicking long sleeved undershirt and that’s all it takes to keep me nice and warm (no layering). Yes, it does take a bit more effort, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it. It also requires more water intake to keep from dehydration.

@magooch said:
In the winter I wear a full wet suit with only a pair of shorts and a wicking long sleeved undershirt and that’s all it takes to keep me nice and warm (no layering). Yes, it does take a bit more effort, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it. It also requires more water intake to keep from dehydration.

How cold is water and air by you in the winter? Thanks

I sometimes use a 4/3 wetsuit kayak surfing, hardest part about it is getting out of it after I’ve wrecked myself afterwards, but otherwise the new surf wetsuits are really nice. They’ve come a long way in materials, fit, and construction. They seal incredibly well, extra sticky materiel at the ankles and wrists help keep out water, to the point that they’re semi-dry. Great range of motion. The only real issue I have with them is finding a way to keep water from flushing down the top of the spray skirt, especially in bigger surf. Sometimes wear a short sleeve splash top, with a lifejacket over that, to help prevent water from flushing down the top of the spray skirt.
Not sure how much flatwater paddling I’d want to do with this setup, but it’s definitely doable. I’ve heard doing multi-day trips in neoprene can uncomfortable.
And again getting out through the neck of the suit after paddling a few hours can be challenging, but doable. Changing out of a drysuit is much easier.

I use two-piece zip vest and shorts. I have a zip long sleeve but vest with rash guard underneath and paddle jacket is enough. Winter here is mild, 50 degree water with freezing morning and 70 degrees afternoons.

Sometimes I cut wrists off sleeves if too tight.

I’ll second “Rookie’s” suggestion of the 1.5 mm Hydroskin jacket. I started with a 0.5 mm one but it was not all that warm and it was snug on me so I sold it and replaced it with the more substantial thicker one in the next size up. I like it a lot, and picked up the long bottoms to match. They are very comfortable and don’t bind like a lot of traditional neoprene does, The only drawback I have found is that they take FOREVER to dry so not the best choice for multi-day trips if it bugs you to put on damp gear. But if you mostly do day trips the 1.5 Hydroskin is great for Autumn trips in northern climes.

I have a hooded GoreTex Stohlquist paddle jacket (not a dry top) that fits comfortably over the Hydroskin top and adds a layer of warmth especially when the wind picks up. This combo, with NRS GoreTex paddle pants added with Kokatat Nomad high top boots, gets me well into the season before I have to think about the dry suit
.

@PaddleDog52 said:

@magooch said:
In the winter I wear a full wet suit with only a pair of shorts and a wicking long sleeved undershirt and that’s all it takes to keep me nice and warm (no layering). Yes, it does take a bit more effort, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it. It also requires more water intake to keep from dehydration.

How cold is water and air by you in the winter? Thanks

It’s cold enough to freeze the water around the edges once in awhile, but when it gets that cold, I probably won’t be on the water and certainly not in it.

Choose your misery. Personally I found the clamminess of the neoprene top to be worse than the discomfort of a latex ring around my neck in the dry jacket. (Trim it so it’s not so tight.)

My dry top is actually a semi-dry top. Latex at wrists, but neoprene neck. Keeps the vast majority of water out when I roll. After a couple of rolls, maybe a tablespoon drips down. You8 mention not liking latex neck, so maybe this would be an option.

My “not drysuit weather” layering uses some variation of a 0.5mm Mysteriouso short sleeve shirt, 2mm farmer john shorty (farmer john top, short legs), 3mm standard farmer john, and the semi-dry top.