I’m in the market for a splash jacket - went to order an NRS SeaTour only to discover that this year’s model is sold out in my size. So it’s back to the drawing board - what splash jackets would you recommend for flat water paddling?
Kokatat from LL Bean
I’ve had it for a while and worn it a few times. It’s comfy.
I roast in everything, so it’s a little warm for me. But, that’s more me than the jacket.
For me breathable is worth the extra money. I still get damp from the inside out, but not soggy.
This is a good time of year to find good prices on paddling gear, both locally and online. My “usual suspects” online include REI Outlet, NRS, and Sierra Trading Post.
Last year’s model?
NRS makes only minor tweaks each year - their prior years’ models are good clothes. Is there one of those in your size?
last years don’t fit
That’s the problem - they don’t have last year’s in my size and next year’s is twice the cost.
For flatwater paddling?
The NRS endurance jacket would work fine and is a good value. It’s breathable. Kokakat makes great stuff too.
I have a NRS Powerhouse jacket that I use in the winter surfing and sea kayaking. I have taken it on climbing trips in Scotland because it works better than rain wear. It’s not breathable but I usually only wear it when it’s cold and windy and I am getting soaked so breathable is not really needed. It lasted 4 years with heavy use.
Check REI and Sierra Trading Post (I think they still have Lotus Designs Skanorak jackets in stock.)
Level 6 makes nice gear as well.
I have a Skanorak, lightly used 2006 model, size L (it’s quite roomy, more like XL) in orange that I am looking to sell. It’s a nice splash jacket, but I tend to use a semi-dry top nowadays, email me if interested.
In general, Kokatat makes great stuff, and you won’t be dissatisfied with their products. It’s almost always worth it to pay a little extra for breathability, IMO.
These are all good suggestions. Another is to look at the Level Six gear (Rutabaga has it on-line if your local place does not carry it yet.) Great quality and quite inexpensive for what you get.
Kokatat Paclite Jacket
This is one of my favorite pieces of gear. Lightweight, flexible, breathable and keeps me dry and warm. Here’s the link:
I have a set. Not breathable but in this weather who cares. Or maybe its just me? I just don’t get that uncomfortable or the degree of comfort just doesn’t justify the jump in price. A good wicking underlayer or two and its a non issue.
Another thing. You have a pfd on. the amount of material that really has an opportunity to “breathe” is actually very small.
I have dry suits, semi dry tops and the NRS Rio. With the 58 to 65 degree weather we have been having in the morning, a long sleeve wicking t shirt and the rio jacket is just right. works great. Pants too.
Yet another option.
Tough to beat the Kokatat Full Zip Paddling Jacket mentioned by Cicumnavigator but it’s going to depend on the price you wish to pay. (the Full Zip is one of my favorite pieces of paddle/rain garb)
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
With Patagonia out of the paddling gear biz, there are a lot of bargains to be had on sites like Sierra Trading Post, Steep and Cheap (steepandcheap.com), etc. STP currently has the '06 Lotus (Patagonia) Skanorak (same as “current”, but w/Lotus logos) for $156 (almost out of XS and Medium), but they occasionally have extra discounts especially for email list subscribers. Think I also saw it on Steep and Cheap for about $130, but you have to catch an item there when it comes up in rotation (deals change throughout the day). Been seeing some other Patagonia paddling stuff (PFD’s, splash tops, etc.) at great prices popping up fairly frequently there too.
Oh, and I really like my Skanorak, too. Got it when Patagonia was clearing out the Lotus labeled version.
This is also my favorite paddling jacket. It’s very light but yet tough.
Knappster my fav
My absolute favorite piece is the Knappster - punch through neck, tunnel with neo waistband and thin punch through cuffs that are short sleeved and end above the elbow. Material is Gore-Tex Pac-Lite and it is thin and comfortable to wear.
My second favorite is the Gore-Tex Anorack also in paclite as it is more versatile and I can use it on and off the water.
Hands down though, the Knappster is my personal favorite and gets worn much more frequently than any other piece of gear.