Paddling jackets....

-- Last Updated: Sep-10-07 8:48 AM EST --

What's special about paddeling jackets? I've always worn a rain shell with layers underneath.

Suggest you do a search on this …
… topic. Someone not too long ago asked the exact same question.

Summary of what I recall: a paddle jacket is cut for active wear … and designed for someone sitting down. A rain coat is cut for someone standing up. A semi-dry paddling jacket will have some type of seal at the neck, wrists and waist… won’t keep you dry like a dry-top when you’re in the water, but will keep most if not all rain and spray out.

paddling jackets
The idea starts with the concept that the PFD should be worn over all other garments. This is a very good idea. Most rain parkas are loose fitting with high necks and often hoods. Most paddling jackets are more form fitting with neoprene cuffs and neck. They keep a paddler drier and warmer, but also do not bunch up under a PFD and are easier to swim in. So, there’s nothing inherently better about specific jackets as long as they satisfy these criteria. They are easier to roll in as well. I’ve seen people don large loose parkas with hood over their PFD and image them being swept into a strainer. Chances are fair that they would become entangled. When this happens ya will get swept under water and trapped. Maybe this is too cautious, but people do get caught in strainers so why gamble?

Paddling jackets are made for paddlers, particularly WW paddlers and work better, that’s all. Most rain parkas are not specifically designed for paddling.

thanks! nt