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Submitted: 05-16-2005 by TheBigYaker

Forget the rating as I have nothing to rate it against as this my first semi-dry top, paddling jacket. An 8 is what I would give it based on my first impressions using it.

Here are my thoughts and the jacket:

Positive:

  1. Good fit for me (XL). Not constricting in anyway. Decent room in the shoulders, armpits, arms for base layers with out being tight.
  2. Double skirt for use with sprayskirt, dry bibs or wetsuit.
  3. Latex wrist gaskets snug, but not too tight. Larger wristed people may have to trim gasket for optimal fit.
  4. Neck "gasket" is a lycra/neoprene collar with adjustable Velcro. Even so, I was able to get a pretty good seal around my neck that was pretty leak proof for short, full immersions. Probably more than sufficient for 95% of the time even in a roll.
  5. Latex gaskets are covered with a Velcro adjustable fabric enclosure.
Minus: (few)
  1. Urethane coated nylon. Mediocre "breathing". In summer or with high aerobic paddling, one could oversweat/overheat this garment. Probably fine for cool/cold weather air temps. I paddled it in high 60's air temps with not much issue, but anything warmer and with the neck gasket synched up, I am expecting to bake. That being said, I am not sure Gore-Tex would do much better on warm day.
  2. Nice little zippered mesh stow pocket built onto the front of the jacket, that becomes totally inaccessible with a PFD. Better to put the pockets on the high sleeve area, which I think Kokatat has done on the later models. Mine is a discontinued model from 2003 or 2004.
  3. No abrasion patches on elbows or lower back (back rand area), but this may or may not be an issue as I have no longer term durability data on this.
My last suggestion is that if you choose your jacket color wisely. I got the Mango/Yellow color, but a darker color such as cobalt or dark green, may increase the "heat index" of this jacket. Darker colors mean more heat absorption from the sun which translates into you getting warmer.

For what I paid $60 new plus ship, I think it is an excellent value.

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