Looking for thoughts & experiences about layering using either a Kokatat Polartec 100 Union Suit Liner or the NRS Wavelite Union Suit during the Fall & Winter Paddling season.
I would be using one of these union suits under a Kokatat Goretex Wave Drytop matched to a NRS Black Rock DRYPANTS (not the regular Black Rock Pants) which has latex ankle gaskets & an 8 inch high neoprene waist. Also with either latex or Goretex soxs over some type of warm socks.
Here are the questions I have:
- Even wearing one of the union suits under the Wave Drytop & NRS Drypants, do I still need to have a wicking base layer, or is the material that makes up the Poly/Spandex NRS Wavelite or the Kokatat Polartec 100 enough to wick away moisture AND keep me warm in Fall Winter weather of the Chesapeake Mid-Atlantic region?
- Has anyone out there ACTUALLY ever gone swimming in this combination under similar conditions geographic weather conditions?
The NRS Wavelite Union suit is a wicking layer (polypropeline mostly) but by itself it would be suitable for mostly early fall paddling. I used the Wavelite union suit yesterday paired with an NRS Revolution Dry Top and Kokatat dry bibs. It was a warm day and the water was a little chilly (55 degrees) and I was comfortable rolling and playing all day in the water (class 2-3 rapids). I even went for a quick swim at lunch time to test my seals and everything held up great. I did realize that if the water was much colder than 50 degrees and if the air was colder, I would need more than a simple base wicking layer. I would add some fleece over the union suit in colder temperatures.
“Matched to” vs “mated to”
“Mated to” to me means a rolled together bib and double skirted top ala the instructions on thkokatat web site. “Matched to” means???
I would not go sea kayaking in 45 degree water with a person whose gear would not keep them dry if they swam. I have serious doubts about the integrity of a neoprene waist seal in case of an extended swim.
I am no river kayaker and have never seen the black rock pants but I’d much rather have my top and pants mated than matched. I imagine that the neoprene waist cannot be rolled to mate as that would get pretty thick around the middle.