Well as it has been cold the last few weeks and on the water I have certainly had a few sessions where I have come off with ice all over me.... It was time for me to invest in some new thermals and cag! So I have searched for a number of weeks trying to find gear that is warm when wet, is tight to the skin, long enough in the back to be tucked in to my thermal bottoms, and last but not least comfy.
The sad matter of fact is that choice is limited. Many 'rash type' thermals just leave you cold when it is windy. Some I have seen have quite low cut necks which leaves your neck chilly ...
Then it comes to finding a cag!!! Yep so many dry cags have latex seals these are not so great when you are doing 2 to 3+ hrs in a boat ... It can leave marks on your neck and wrists and after a while chaffing is a problem! Then there is the aspect of the arms being too baggy.
I did start to wonder if there was a solution actually out there for both items.
So I read some reviews on the Palm vector cag which looked promising ... Saw my local canoe trader had some (Leam Boat Centre) .. So went off to try.
Within moments I put it on I knew it would work. :o) the arms were not baggy and were more like my racing cag decks I get from PeakUK. The neck and wrist seals were not latex but were adjustable and soft. So I took a gamble ...
Last weekend I took it out for its maiden voyage of a 15 mile paddle. One word ... perfect. The seams did not bother me, I was not restricted in rotation and was warm on a cold, wet and windy day!! My K2 partner tried it for the next session and she was sold on it too! So guess what we bought another!!!
Well now my K2 partner and I now both own one!
That left me with the thermal issue. It has been years since last buying some. Mainly as I have not bought something that is not fit for purpose.
Jenna at Leam Boat Centre suggested the Palm Koshi for me to try. She knew people liked it under their dey cags but wasn't sure how warm it might be when soaked. I tried it on, the fleece lining was warm to my skin. My initially tried the medium on but it was a little baggy, the Small on the other hand was great. I was a little suspicious of the pocket on the upper left arm but did not notice it once on. The extra long back would easily be tucked in and I knew my stomach would also not be a problem due to its snug fitting female fitting shape. What I would say is for a female with bigger cup size (I am not that big a cup size, I am not sure of the fit... But for me it's great.
So what was it like on the water ... Well after a 15 mile paddle I thought I was bone dry, it felt like it to touch, I was very toasty warm. I was only wearing this thermal and my cag. When I took it off, I could ring some of the water out of the arms and was shocked. All other thermals you knew when they were drenched this though :o) again some amazing kit.
I was so impressed I immediately sent an email to Jenna and said could I get another! Well infact I ordered 3 more. So now my K2 partner and I are like twins without thermals and cags.
A massive thank you to Jenna for the recommendation. I totally recommend the two above bits of kit. I am now one toasty, warm and comfy paddler.
For note, I was paddling when it was freezing conditions, temp about 0 to -2 degrees celcius. It was raining with high ish gusts ... For a few hours! So well tried and tested! For statistics, I'm around 5'8'' or 1.74cm.