Submitted: 04-03-2009 by yetiman
I bought a new Kokatat Paclite Goretex top, and I have to say, it is incredibly breathable.
I have paddled with it 8 days now, typically about 7 miles each time, and I am like the guy in the H&R Block ad, "I just don't seem to sweat any more".
I have worn a Pnet wicking shirt under it in 65 degree weather, a silk long sleeve shirt and a heavy weight polypropelene top under it in colder weather (in weather between 32 and 50 degrees out) and on one day where there was a moderate rain all day, and I have yet to be even slightly damp underneath at the end of my paddling.
The fit is generous, and range of motion is beyond excellent.
I have a couple of older Kokatat TecTour jackets that always kept my dry, though I tended to sweat more under them. They no longer fit me so well which is why I bought the new jacket. It probably has everything to do with what I am wearing under it these days too though.
My only complaint is that the velcro on the neck closure didn't allow for a secure closure for me. I have a large neck, but not abnormally large. I only had about a half inch of overlap on the Velcro which wasn't secure enough to be acceptable. I had to sew on another 1.5" long piece of 'loop' Velcro, and now it works the way it should.
At first I was leery of how light weight the fabric is, but I am no longer concerned and I like the packability and versatility. I will wear this jacket far more often than the heavier TecTour which I used only when there was very cold water or substantial rain.
This is going to be a great summer/hot weather jacket for paddling on Lake Michigan and Superior where the cold water demands the safety of a paddling jacket, but it won't be like paddling in a sauna. Even the TecTour got pretty steamy on summer days on the big lakes.
I have the Salmon color fabric which I absolutely love the look of. Frankly I have to admit the color alone is what drew me to the jacket on the rack at REI. Their 20% off deal at the time sealed the deal.
I find that this jacket has substantially improved my early spring cold weather/water paddling experience by a wide margin. I would definitely recommend it.