I spent 3 months paddling SE Alaska, I carried no rain jacket to save space, and used the Kokatat Gore Tex Paclite Storm Cag as my primary Raingear, in conjunction with a drysuit.
Having spent a substantial piece of time watching how the Gore Tex paclite responds to rain and sun I can now encourage everyone to save money and buy the Tropos version.
Basically, Paclite Gore Tex is worthless. I encourage Kokatat to use the good stuff. The movement away from XCR or the top end Goretex may be cost effective for the company, but worthless in the field. Paclite responds exactly the same way that old gore tex from the nineties did. It just didn't work for long. The Storm Cag is a great design, great idea, but for expeditions involving -Rain- Paclite just gets soaked.
Kokatat, use better material, raise the price, and we will all thank you.The Kokatat brand is well known for outstanding products, and the Gore-Tex storm cagoule is no exception. I agree with spysky's review, and having purchased it sight unseen upon only the universally applauded recommendation of other Paddling.netters, I can now attest to the exceptional build quality of this product. Certainly not the least expensive cag on the market, the Gore-Tex breathability plus the other features noted in the review below make this storm cag a must have on the water. It fits comfortably over my PFD, and it is a constant companion on every paddling trip now, always in handy reach under my deck lines. It packs down to the size of a softball, yet does not have a chincy, thin feel like nylon.
A cold wind comes over the water? Rain? Capsize and get chilled? Cagoule. I even use it off the water for sitting lakeside and keeping full coverage over legs, and being one-size-fits-all, it is very easy to loan to other paddlers in a rescue situation. It is warm without being overheating. The hood and Velcro wrist gaskets are reminiscent of top quality Kokatat drysuits, but without rubber gaskets.
The benefits of a the cag and its simple and sturdy attachment over the coaming or sprayskirt raise it head and shoulders above a dry top, which is harder to put on, must be placed under PFD, does not seal the cockpit, and must be properly size. I find dry tops/splash tops to also be fairly restrictive and sometimes chaffing on the arms with paddling; this is not true of the cag.
I never leave home without this storm cag, and although pricey, it is the best single piece of paddle clothing that I own.Took my Kokatat Storm Cag out for the first time last weekend on a chilly Seattle Sunday and I must say - this thing is ingenious! First I must add that I was paddling my wife's NDk Explorer LV while she was out of town and her Snapdragon sprayskirt didn't fit me but it wasn't a problem.
The storm cag has an adjustable shock-corded skirt that fits over the cockpit coaming so it fit this small cockpit with ease. The Cag is intended to fit over everything you would wear on the water and prevent heat loss in wet marine environments. Also, it is one size fits all so you can give to a friend in dire situations. The Cag is meant to fit over your drysuit and PFD and is sized to that for anyone be you small or large. I have the Gore-Tex version not the nylon one. I haven't seen the nylon one so I can't comment.
The G-Tex Cag is well thought out. It has a convenient fleece lined hand warmer in front and a huge pocket that swallowed up some snacks and essentials. Also, behind the hand warmer is a velcro opening that allows you to access the pockets of the PFD with it on. There is even a zippered- pocket on the left sleeve with a D-ring to tether something important. Visibility is great in this Cag as it is safety orange and has some reflectors strategically placed on the sleeves and hood.
Also, I must comment on how well this Cag kept the water out. Since I wasn't wearing a sprayskirt I relied on the Cag to keep the sea out of my cockpit and that it did. After a long day on the water practicing all kinds of sculls and braces it didn't allow a drop in through the side. I will not be on the water without this Cag, it has become one of my essentials.