Dry Suits, Cags, PDFs and Decks

I’ve already written about the boats and blades we’re using. I’ve yet to write a review of our Tennr Nova Superlite Quasar tent. But here I thought I’d write a little about the clothing we have with us.

We’re carrying two on-the-water sets of clothing, almost all of which is by Palm, some of which we bought, some of which we were given. I’ll make that clear at the start so you know exactly the provenance of my comments.

Dry Suits: We each have bought a Palm dry suit that we use when it’s cold, tipping down with rain, or we’re facing rough conditions. When they’re in top condition they work superbly. Liz’s is a women’s Element suit, a replacement for a previous suit that leaked. Mine is a Sidewinder, which I have on loan from Palm, as they couldn’t fix my Stikine suit in time of the trip, after it developed a leak. I cannot fault their customer service, but in our experience their suits can develop a leak after about a year, It’s something I know they’re aware of and addressing.

Cags: For all other conditions we just use a light Palm cag from their Vapour series. They have no fancy seals, indeed, my Freestyle doesn’t even have a zip at the neck, just a long piece of Velcro. For this reason, Liz’s Venture is slightly superior. We use these on the water, around camp in an evening, and when we’re shuttling to get the car. Palm gave us these cags and they’ve completely lived up to our expectations.

PFDs: These were also given to us by Palm. I’d hoped for one of their fancy new designs, but have been completely satisfied with the Hydro Adventure. The big rear pocket holds our PLB in a dry bag on a sling, along with a small flare and other emergency odds and ends. The front two pockets take lots of bars, compass, knife – the usual stuff. They don’t look flash but they do the job well and are not at all restrictive. However, I think we should have bought a smaller size. They fit OK stood up, but ride on-top of the tow-rope belt and gape at the back.

Spraydecks: These Palm Roanoke which we bought and are not particularly impressed. They’re designed to fit waist size 24” to 54” and if you’re on the smaller size (or even if you’re not) there’s a heck of a lot of material to gather in and Velcro tight. All of that material sits around your stomach and gets in the way. Also, part of one of the Velcro tabs has separate from its cover and flaps, so that will be going back to the retailer.

All in all we’re happy with our clothing combination of dry-suit, alternating as needed with light cag and salopettes, these being the only waterproofs we use, on and off the water.

Wellingtons: Oh and we’ve been living in wellies from B&Q.


wideblueyonder said...

Interesting to hear about the dry suits. I've been using a Palm Aleutian XP150 cag for a few weeks and found it a superb piece of kit, but will watch the seams with interest!

Will said...

I presume the wellies are part of your glamourous sponsorship deal from B&Q (stand aside Dame Ellen!)