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Old 01-21-2009   #1
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
Most Versatile River Paddling Wear?

Placed an order for a Hyside Paddlecat from although not certain my order is being fulfilled with the lack of response from the company...anybody have experience with them?

On to my next matter of business, river wear for the wife.

I kayak and therefor have a dry top but no dry/splash bottoms.

What is the most versatile river wear for a paddling season from April/May to September/October in Colorado/Utah? Splash wear, dry wear, semi-dry wear?

I really can't afford a collection of all of the above but want to make sure she stays warm and comfortable thus increasing the fun factor...she does get cold easily.

Any suggestions?


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Old 01-21-2009   #2
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
Splash pants make a big difference in staying warm. There have been discussions regarding risks due to pants filling with water during a swim. Probably best to keep the ankles cuffs loose? My current recipe for the Colorado paddling season (Late March -> October) is: Wool Socks, Neoprene Booties, Neoprene pants, Splash Pants, Neoprene longsleve top, 100-weight fleece long underwear top, Drytop, skull cap. This has kept me warm in the past. Hope that's helpful. With that said, looking forward to getting a drysuit someday.

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Old 01-21-2009   #3
freexbiker's Avatar
B.F.E., Wyoming
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 907
Damn thats how you dress in the summer? i would cook in that...
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Old 01-21-2009   #4
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I've floated Westwater in 55degree weather in March and stayed pretty warm wearing wool socks and neoprene booties, neoprene pants and splash pants (not rubber gasket ankles but neoprene ankles), a hydrosilk longsleeve and a semi-dry shorty top. I don't get cold easily either though. My 2 cents.
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Old 01-21-2009   #5
rideon's Avatar
Chico, California
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 148
Here is what I wear...

I generally believe that regardless of water temperature or weather, my cotton sweat pants and my smoking jacket are most appropriate. This ensemble is usually accompanied by a mustache which is critical to keeping you warm. Also, feel free to accessorize with gold jewelry which will also add to the durability and warmth of your attire, as well as making you super popular with the ladies. This isn't for everyone but if you have the skills to rock it then it will more than pay for itself in warmth, friends and lovin.
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Old 01-21-2009   #6
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
Originally Posted by freexbiker View Post
Damn thats how you dress in the summer? i would cook in that...
Depends...cold summer day floating on snowmelt in a narrow canyon, that's what I'm wearing. Warm sunny day far from the meltwater, much less clothing, naked even. Still glad you asked?
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Old 01-21-2009   #7
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
I do a lot of winter boating and I wear: wool socks, neoprene booties, thermal underlayer, wetsuit, neoprene (or other fast-drying) pants and splash pants. On top I wear a thermal underarmor, farmer jane wetsuit, fuzzy rubber, and splash jacket (sometimes another fleece if really cold). The wetsuit is key because splash pants will not prevent all the water from getting in and while fleece, wool, neoprene, etc. will warm you up, inital splashes will still be cold. Once you're cold, it's harder to warm up- the wetsuit keeps you warm as soon as it gets wet.
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Old 01-21-2009   #8
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 221
women are generally colder than men, so remember if you are fine with one layer she probably needs two or three. if she is going to be rafting for the most part i would suggest a semi dry top or splash top and splash pants with a few pieces of non water absorbing layers underneath. neoprene socks with the use of teva or chaco sandals would probably be sufficient.

but best case scenario would be to use a dry top in combination with dry pants from either IR (neoprene waist band and ankles) or bomber gear (neoprene waist and latex ankles) and layers underneath. that way you dont have to buy a seperate set if she decides to kayak.

base layers can be adjusted to season. and the splash pants can be left in the car if it is warm day. hope this helps.
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Old 01-21-2009   #9
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
I think for versatility a dry top/semi dry top is the first thing to get. You can layer like crazy under it and if you get too hot just take it off or go for a little swim.

For bottoms it depends a bit more on the water and air temps you plan on being out in. Neoprene shorts and splash pants are a nice combo and give some options. You can always layer under the splash pants.

For feet seam sealed neoprene socks with a velcro closure at the top are great. If she gets cold feet easily some warm water in them to start the day goes a long way, and with the seams sealed and the velcro closure at the top there is very little water exchange - so the feetsies stay warm. Then use a sandal or water shoe for protection, or a wetsuit bootie for even more warmth.
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Old 01-21-2009   #10
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x, x
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,634
Duct tape and trashbags to cover any ansamble you already own is a cheap and easy way to save on riverwear, if you swim I recomend tairing apart the bags as soon as you hit the water to keep from filling up.

I am kidding of course, unless she is a big gal like me, then it might be the only comfortable thing you have.

I would say wool or fleece or poly is a good base layer, top and botom. then its all about wind and water, splash jackets are like rain coats if you fall in, here comes the water. one thing you should be careful of is trapping water in between your outer gear and you. waders are a bad idea and any pants with gasketed ankle cuffs, you will fill up like a macy's day balloon and not be able to swim.

You either want water to pass through or stay out all together.

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