Zyflex Clothing Revisited

Okay, I got to try the heavy tights and top today under my drysuit and fleece bib. I like the tights. There were no seams that would irritate. I was concerned about the top because it did have seams that were not flat stitched. Turned out to be not off concern. I like the silky smooth feel. Didn’t feel constricted. It did what it was supposed to – wick moisture away from me – I had a lot that since I was sprinting like crazy to get through the break zone. When I took the drysuit off, the outer layer was quite damp but the Zyflex felt dry.

For mid $20’s per, I thought it was a pretty good buy for performance base layer.

I wish Zyflex would make a big pull over jacket (like over drysuit and pfd) with a fleece lining and a quick drying outer layer (like the Cag). I think with would a nice warm outer layer for those shore breaks.

Anyway, I am impressed and will keep track of their productes.


Craft one-piece suit
Sierra Trading Post has a Craft one-piece suit on sale for $35. The material appears to be the same as what they use on their “crew” shirts–very soft, warm, quick to dry, and close-fitting/stretchy. (I can verify this in a few days, but mine is on its way right now.)

I consider it a lighter weight version of the pile union suit that Stohlquist makes for use under a drysuit. Both have long front zippers.

After Trying Different Combo’s…
I find I prefer layering light/medium base layers rather than go with something thick. Could be my imagination, but it seems the vapor passes away from the the layer next to the skin into the other layers and stay there much better. (shrug)

I actually think the NRS “wave light” one piece suit in the “Great Deal” section may be a good buy too.


Fear not…
Word in the Greenland paddling world is that they will be making a tuiliq sometime this year. One made of Zyflex would be much lighter and easier to wear & stow than neoprene.

I’ll be very interested in trying one myself.


What Would The Material Be?

– Last Updated: Feb-23-05 4:37 PM EST –

The base layer is basically a polyester/lycra blend.

I suspect the tuiliq would have to be something like Aquashell with a thin rubber outer and micro fleece interior. In which case, it would be like the USA version of the Chillcheater tuiliq. I hope they realize to make the cockpit sizing smaller than that on that Jacket/skirt they have now. I do like the idea of a white color. It would be better for spring/summer/fall practice.


Just got it
It’s very different from the pile suit. In fact, the material seems to be even lighter than the Craft crew shirt. It has the same rib knit and clingy fit as the crew, though, which wicks incredibly well. I’ve used the crew for hiking, biking, and paddling, and it is one of the fastest-drying knit fabrics I’ve ever tried. (Was probably designed for x-c ski racers.)

This union suit would definitely fit the bill for a thin, close-fitting base layer that never feels wet (unless you are immersed and not using a drysuit over it).

My only caveat is that the sizing seems to run small. The box for my suit indicates a Small is 31" inseam, 36-37" chest, 31" waist. I tried it on and would say it’s more like an Extra Small. The box does say it is meant to fit tight.

Definitely not for “supersized” people. Imagine that!

I have the NRS wavelight union suit…
It is soft, comfortable, and warm at a great price. However, the probably with the long zip union suits is that zipping them up kills the usefulness of a relief zipper. Although I love te suit, I leave the zipper down and add layers these days just so that I can use the relief zipper. Anyone have a better solution to this?

“Zyflex” material
The material is same as is on their skirt and paddle jacket/skirt combo - with and without sleeves.

It’s sort of hard to explain. Off white color, and reminds me of Tyvek (not sure why) - but with a large visible weave - not unlike a woven plastic grain or salt sack. The feel is something else entirely. Extremely stretchy, yet thin, very light, and soft on the inside.

Should work well for a warm weather tuiliq (and just layer up underneath for cooler) - but I’m not sure I could even stand that thin white layer down here.

Material is quite unique - and I think it’s the invention that spun off the company. I think a lot of the other clothing is Zyflex in name only (branded) - not in content. This stuff is not fleece or micro anything.

Change The Zipper…
The newer suit has I believe the two way zipper. I didn’t buy the old one for $40 because it didn’t mention a two way zipper, which I interpret to mean it’s one way and a pain when comes to relief. They have last year’s model also on sale for $80 and that has a 2 way zip.


Are You Using One Of Those Products?
eg. the skirt, drydeck, etc. How water proof? I would order but the coaming size is way bigger than I need on any of my boats. I figure if I have cinch up with a bungee, it ain’t going to be that good of a seal.


Two-way zipper
The Craft suit has a 2-way zipper. Don’t know what the Stohlquist pile suit has but I’d be surprised if weren’t a 2-way.

I have…
… the Yakjak Sleeveless. Haven’t used it yet - got it to try out for longer paddles on hot days. A closed black neo deck skirt can cook you alive here midday in Summer without frequent rotocooling (not that 88 degree water provides much relief).

I have same concerns about the one size fits all coaming seal. It fits my 16 x 30 QCC keyhole beautifully with no bunching and should seal pretty well. To get it on the much smaller ocean cockpit on the Pintail (more Greenland sized) I have to bunch it up a bit - but it can be made to fit. With the bungee cinched up it should stay on the smaller one but I’m not so sure the seal would be good for much more than spray. There is a strip of grippy black material around the inside edge that improves seal if it fits well - but probably of little use when bunched up.

This is definitely more of a light duty item - “Please Note: The Yakjaks are not designed for white water kayaking”.

Also suspect I’ll get a lot of leakage doing rolls through the arm holes. It’s comfortable - even over bare skin - but think I’ll need a rash guard underneath (with short sleeves) so I don’t chafe around the arm holes.

I’d probably be better off with the skirt. Actually, it would be an easy job to convert the sleeveless Yakjak into a skirt - which is actually more of an Akuilisaq - for a larger keyhole. Could be just what the doctor ordered…

The material has a lot of potential. Seems very waterproof. Exterior beads/rolls off. Softer interior does a bit then get damp but doesn’t hold much water - less than surface layer on my neo skirt.

If they come out with a well designed tuiliq I’ll be an early test dummy. All I need’s a suitable boat. Using a GP with a QCC is one thing - a Tuiliq might be pushing it.

Sounds Promising If They
they are willing to make lets say three coaming sizes: small (16x20" to 16.5x24"), medium (16.5x25" to 17x30") and large (17x31" to 17.5x35"). Of course, this would work better if there is some stretch to the material.

I am intrigued by a lighter material. I ran a river once with someone who was using a homemade Aquashell skirt. Obviously, it’s not going to be as bombproof as heavy duty Mountainsurf skirt, but for general touring I bet it would be fine.


Very stretchy - so 3 coaming sizes would do it x 4 body sizes = 12 SKUs. Wonder if the markets big enough to bother inventorying that or if they can handle custom orders. Given the current one size fits all strategy - who knows?

Thanks, Pikabike!
I ordered a Craft, too. But thanks to your input, I got a medium. I would have ordered a small, but it wouldn’t work if it fits like an extra small. And I really hate to send stuff back.