Tips for Buying a Paddle Jacket
Today we're going to be looking at paddle jackets. Specifically, how to choose your first paddle jacket for kayaking. Ok so when you're trying to choose your first paddle jacket there's quite a few things to consider, so for this video I've selected these three paddle jackets, all from the same brand, Palm Equipment, and that's going to make it really simple for us to understand the different features and make a decision about what so of paddle jacket you need for your type of kayaking. Ok so the first paddle jacket we're going to be looking at is the vector, from Pam Equipment. This is the cheapest of the three that I'm showing you today. You want to first look at the fabric, so the Palm Vector has a two layer fabric, and this is a lighter weight fabric, so it's going to be really packable, it's going to pack up into the back of your kayak really well if you're not wearing it. It's going to be a little bit more breathable because it's a thinner fabric. But with the lighter fabric you're going to loose a bit of durability that the other heavier fabrics have. Next we want to look at the neck of the jacket. This one is what we call an open neck. It opens right up, and that's going to allow for a lot of ventilation on a very hot day. This jacket allows you to close it up pretty tight if its cold. If you're going through a big wave you're still probably going to get quite a bit of water down the neck here, which is going to soak your underlayers, so you want to be careful about this if you're paddling in cold water, or in cold conditions, that's going to let some water in. The next thing we want to look at is the wrists, very similar to the neck on this jacket, just a velcro closure, water can come in here, you will find that the water will dribble in especially if you don't have this tightened all the way up around your wrist. Next you want to look at the waist of the jacket. On this particular model we have a velcro single layer, which goes over the top of the spray skirt and then you can tighten it up around your waist. Again if you're going through big whitewater or in the surf in the ocean you will find that water will find it's way up into the tunnel here. Other features you wanna look for in the jacket, does it have a pocket? This jacket here has the pocket kind of on the belly area, so the idea here is that you will be able to reach inside the life jacket and get into this pocket. You want to look at this zipper on the pocket, this is like a water resistant zipper, which is kinda handy, it's stops the pocket filling up with water. Reflective details. You wanna see does this jacket have reflective details? I don't this one does, correct me if I'm wrong in the comments, but, that's about it for the Palm Vector. Next up we have the Palm Vertigo, we'll go through the jacket in the same way as we did with the Vector. We'll look at the fabric first. So again this is a two layer fabric, same as the vector so it's going to be light weight, compressible, it's going to roll up and stow in the back of your kayak really well. Then we want tolook at the neck now the neck is different on the vertigo, it’s got what we call a semi-dryneck, which means that it's got a tighter neoprene gasket and that's going to stop most of the water coming in. You might get a little dribble coming in but you're not going to get soaked. Then looking at the wrists, these are different as well. Now looking two layers on the wrist, we have the same layer that we had before with the vector but the vertigo also has latex rubber so this creates a very very tight seal and will stop all the water coming up your arm and into the sleeve andthis goes a long way to keeping you a lot warmer it's something I definitely recommend some people have problems with allergies if you're allergic latex so you want to check that first, but most people are going to be fine the waist on this one is a double waist so that means it has two layers the first layer is this light weight waterproof fabric you're going to put your spray skirt on top of that and then on top of your spray skirt you're going to fold down this thicker Velcro closure to tighten up and with that three layer system jacket then spray skirt then jacket again it's going to create this watertight seal around your waist so that if you do a bunch of rolls or go through a bunch of white water you're not going to get water rushing up into the jacket from the underside this one here we call a semi-dry it is the Palm Vertigo next up we have the Palm Surge we're going to a heavier weight fabric now this is what we call a two point five layer fabric so it's a bit heavier than the first two jackets we looked at it's going to give you more durability it'll stay waterproof over time you're going to get more seasons out of this jacket than the other two we have now stepped it up in dryness again so this time we have a tight latex around our neck and that's going to create what we call a full-dry jacket it means that you can be under water for a long time or swimming in the jacket and no water should get in the neck you're going to get the same latex fabric around the wrists and that’s going to provide dryness throughout the top half around the waist we've got that double waist system in place here the difference now is that the inner waist tube is heavier fabric so we've got that same I think it's that same two and a half layer fabric around the waist and that's going to help the jacket last a lot longer and make this double waist system a lot dryer as well nice little features to look for on this jacket pockets yes we have a pocket up a little bit higher in one side and that's going to make it easier to get to with your PFD or life jacket on on the lower waist tube this is like a very sticky fabric and stops the jacket riding up which can happen quite often when you're sitting down in your boat looking for reflective detail it looks like we've got some reflective tubing here so if you're caught out at night you're going to be able to see those seams so that's really cool so we've got a splash jacket a semi-dry and then a full-dry and you to decide which one of these categories is right for you we're going to just go through how to choose one for yourself lets talk first about the just the splash jacket option is going to be great for warmer weather paddling if you are doing multisport racing such as the coast to coast you have to have a least a splash jacket this can be worn on race day or stowed in the back of your kayak I like to always wear a jacket in case conditions change down that river so the vector is something that I would use for a warm day on the river where I'm just wanting to keep the splashes off training or paddling really hard then I can open up the neck a ventilate or I can splash myself and cool off that way the next step up the vertigo that's your semi-dry option so you're still a pretty lightweight jacket if starting your paddling early in spring and you're doing coast to coast race or say just a entry level whitewater paddler this one is probably going to keep you dry enough for the money you're going to find that this is probably the best value in terms of what you spend for how how dry you stay I would recommend this as kind of a all round jacket for a multisport paddler if you're going to be doing your Grade 2 certificate course soon that's going put you in the water quite a lot unfortunately and so the vector really isn't going to cut it for that type of training you're going to want to be in a least a semi-dry so that you can practice your rolls you can go through lots of rapids during the day and practice and learn without getting as cold the surge is what your going to pay the most out of these three for and it's going to keep you fully dry underneath so if you're a white water paddler that spends a lot of time going though rapids playing in the surf practicing your roll a lot then you definitely need to be in a full dry jacket if you're a multisport paddler the surge is going to be fantastic for your grade two course when your learning to roll in cold water you're doing your first river trips early in spring in New Zealand when it's cold wet and windy however by the time you get to around Christmas time and you're starting to sort out your skills you're not in the water quite as much then you might find the surge to be a little bit kinda hot and stuffy and that's when the vertigo is much nicer because it has that thinner fabric so that hopefully should give you a pretty good idea on where you need to be a light weight race jacket a kind of a do it all racing or entry level whitewater or you're looking for something to keep you completely dry very nice and warm and then carry it in the back of your boat if you're going to be racing coz it might be a little warm for that if you've got any questions definitely put those in the comments below and I'd be happy to answer those I've probably forgotten something but we'll call it good for now and we'll let you check out the range of paddling jackets at canterburykayaking.co.nz where you can order online. Thanks.