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Old 02-25-2004   #1
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
layering question...need opinions

I am helping a guy start kayaking and we were talking about clothing options and I told him that I wear a drytop with layers underneath and depending on temp's I wear fleece underneath. I had pointed out that he could use hydroskin or some sort of wetsuit fabric underneath but that I did not. He brought up that it seemed like fleece would absorb some water and weigh you down if you swam and hydroskin/wet suits would not. I had never really thought about that and wondered what everybody else wears to insulate and their thoughts....

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Old 02-25-2004   #2
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Systems & Process Design, Colorado
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I wear fleece under my dry top and have never had a problem.

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Old 02-25-2004   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
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fleeces' place in paddling gear history was replacing the old wool sweaters we used to wear back in the 70s.....yes, they both absorb water but retain some warming factor even when wet if worn under a paddle jacket. Fleece came along with the bonus of dryer much quicker and if added under a dry-top (versus old-school paddle jackets)....very comfortable, flexible (non restictive like neoprene) and plenty warm in CO summer conditions (if you don't swim too much )

I still like to wear neoprene shorts with drytop with fleece under layer for CO summer paddling.......and use a neoprene farmer john wetsuit for my Arkansas winters and long cold days like the Upper A in the summer. I'm not very familiar with the newer hydroskins but they appear to be a cross between thin neopene and fleece. I'll probable add some to my gear as I replace stuff.

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Old 02-25-2004   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I like to use the IR thin or thick skin under my drytop. When I started, I had a farmer john wetsuit underneath it all for my swims. It worked OK but I did not like the restricted feeling of the wetsuit.

I wear some paddler's fleece pants that are smooth on the outside kind of like polarstretch fabric used for soft shell garments for skiing.

I tried a thicker fleece top under the drytop but it got too hot. If you sweat a lot like me, you would want some thinner material the better that beginner got. Fewer swims, less need for the extra insulation. That's my .02 worth.
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Old 02-25-2004   #5
pnw, Washington
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Hey Tomcat was that a personal slam on the swimming? I try to only swim once per rapid.
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Old 02-25-2004   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Originally Posted by gh
Hey Tomcat was that a personal slam on the swimming? I try to only swim once per rapid.
hey, I know you can swim..... ...but the comment quoted above was in reference to your friend.....hahaha

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Old 02-25-2004   #7
Join Date: Nov 2003
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I wear a polypro longunderwear shirt under my now leaky, stretched out dry top. You basically want something that breathes when it gets wet. Just because you get wet, doesn't mean you should get cold. I get wet everytime I get in the water(no swim), but I stay warm, and that is all that matters,(until I get a new drytop). Just make sure you wear something underneath the drydrop. I decided one day I did not need a layer, and it took me 15 minutes to get that fricken drytop off. It is like fly paper.

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