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Old 10-21-2008   #21
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 672
i have one of the IR tops with latex gaskets, but i forget the model. i couldn't be happier. even though i stretched the neck gasket a bit too much when i first got it, it's still dry as a bone. i got it off boatertalk from a shop in AL selling leftover gear for something like $100 or $150, which was a steal.

By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 10-21-2008   #22
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 15

Maybe you can help me out some. You said in your post. "Get the Peak top, but its probably not as good as the IR or Kokatat." Why do you think that is? Price, style, etc? Any feed back would be great, as you know we are now moving into the US and Canada, so we want to hear from potential customers on what they think of the product.

We are by no means a new company, we are entering our 19th year of business. And just paddlers like the rest of you trying to make the best products we can.



Originally Posted by acetomato View Post
CKS must've sold out of men's Comp LX's
BOC has a med. for $210 if you can fit in that or large for reg. price of $295:
Boulder Outdoor Center Kayaker's Store Products by Immersion Research Competition LX Dry Top L/S

Don't really know anything about Peak's products yet. There was a lot of talk last year about their creek jacket that has pads you add to shoulders/elbows but I haven't heard much since then. No idea on how their quality is long term.

You can't go wrong with IR or kokatat- but honestly you haven't even been out boating yet so there's a chance you might not like it or might get spooked and give it up. Who knows- it happens to a lot of people.
I'd say, for now, if you're not in a real hurry to get it, keep an eye out for deals. Keep checking the swap on here (there's a guy with two Kokatat Gor-tex tops on there right now- the listing is older but he might still have them). People will sell their boating gear to pay for ski/board gear.
If you need to get it right away? Buy the Peak on sale at CKS for $175. It's probably not going to be as good as an IR or Kokatat, but I think they're a fairly reputable company and it'll be a good enough drytop to get you started. If after a few years you're still sticking with it, then you can start looking again for the top of the line. Yes, I know everyone will say that it's much cheaper to lay out the $400 now than buy both- which is true, but that comes from all of our experiences of doing a similar thing. And most of the people on the buzz have been paddling for quite a while. It's hard to drop another $400 after buying all the other gear for a sport that you don't yet know if you're staying in. Hope that helps some. (And who knows, maybe you'll be on here in 4 years or so telling newbies about how great your PeakUK drytop is and that you got it at a steal for $175)
As far as the convertible goes, I wouldn't get it just because of climate. PA's water isn't going to be as cold as CO, but it's still fairly cool there (from what I remember). And like gh said, it's easier to cool down when you're out on the water. Just roll.
Good luck.

PeakUK's website for Bob or anyone else interested:
PEAK UK US - Peak UK USA and Canada

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Old 10-22-2008   #23
Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 207
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Sorry, I didn't mean to disparage PeakUK at all. You guys seem like a good company with solid products. I think the biggest thing working against you right now is time in our market.

That, and you're working against some companies that have really gotten it right (especially IR & Kokatat). I'm not saying you've made any mistakes. It would just be easier for you if Kokatat and IR had quite a few missteps. As they haven't really, and both are very good about standing behind their products, they've built up a strong following of loyal customers who are advocates of their products. It certainly makes it more of a challenge for you to take a bite out of the market.

I think what you guys need to do right now is to make sure you're building solid, quality products and make sure that you have really strong customer service. It'll take time to build up the reputation but it will come. Your easiest inroads will be made with new boaters (like Bob- the OP). The other way for you to build your base is by innovating and improving product types that are already out there (your padded creek jacket is a great start) and by creating new products that haven't been filled by the other companies in the market (like your convertible shorty).

As far as pricing goes, I would think it would be good for you guys to be priced close but slightly below some of the other companies right now. If you're too low, people won't think your product is of the same quality. But if you're maybe $20-30 cheaper than an IR or Kokatat that gives someone a good reason to take a look at a product they don't know as well.

Styling? I think you're doing well. You choose some "interesting" colors but there's nothing wrong with that and it's nothing new to kayaking products. I think it's nice to have some other colors out there besides primary reds and yellows! Color would definitely never stop me from buying a product. I have a pink SuperStar- the "Pink Torpedo" (yea, Spinal Tap!).

Hope this helps. Or feel free to tell me to get stuffed. Either way, I'm ok with it. Like I said I think you'll do well here, it'll just take some time.

One product request: I'd love to see you guys take what you've started with the creek jacket and go full drysuit. I'll be hunting for a drysuit next year. Right now it seems like IR has the smartest design decisions in their product but Kokatat definitely has the best reputation. It would be good to see another really strong option in the market.

Ken- one small personal thing: as a representative of a company on the Buzz, when you quote someone, you should probably just copy and paste so that you get their exact words. It could upset some people. Just a suggestion.

To Bob and the others on here, sorry this got rather long and off topic. Bob maybe you decided to go with the Peak jacket and can let us know how you like it. I'd like to hear more feedback about them. Whichever way you go, let us know what you decided on.

Ken & Co. - Good luck in the new markets. I can't wait to see how everything goes for you guys here. Hopefully very well. It can only help boaters to have another great company as an option.
I was going to be vague but then I decided to do this other thing.
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Old 10-22-2008   #24
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 15

That is exactly the feedback I am looking for. And I am not the type of guy to say go shove it. I love to get feedback, and honestly negative feedback is the only thing that will make us grow stronger. And I appreciate you taking the time to post.

Well your wish on the creek top is coming true. Our new dry suit came out at OR show. It will have the features in the creek top in a full dry suit. In addition to that cool feature, it also has a new entry system. You enter through the legs, ankle to ankle zip. Its a super sweet system. Its like putting on a long dry top. We have been developing and testing this for the last three years, and its been great. Here some photos from playak.

OR 2008: David Weber Editorial

Colors, yeah, well we did go a bit wild in 08. We change some colors every year, so sometimes a wild streak gets in there.

Again I do appreciate the feedback, and I apologize for the quote, I have not quite figured this board out yet.

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Old 10-22-2008   #25
islandertek's Avatar
Rocky Mountain Hooliganz, Rocky Mountain High
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 364
I have the Stohlquist Free Fall Jacket. I love it! It's thick, waterproof, windproof, and breathable! It is pretty rugged as well, with a rhino type coating on shoulders and forearms, and thick gaskets on neck and wrists! I think it is pretty solid! I have never tried a Kokotat jacket but I Love their PFD's, so I'm sure their's is probably best. Although I didn't see a "creeker" type jacket like the Stohlquist "Free Fall" in their 2008 catalog?? They probably have something just as bomber if not better! Check them both out!


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Old 10-22-2008   #26
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Edge o' the Dust Bowl, Oklahoma
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 195
Yeah, I was about to ask about Stohlquist. I have one of their Gore-Tex drytops and have LOVED it for about three years. May be the same model as Islandertek has - padded shoulders and elbows. Seals are still in great shape. Amazing comfort and temp range, but that may be true of most of the tops and suits made of breathable material. Looks like their current breathable material is Eclipse instead of Gore-Tex. Any feedback out there on how Eclipse stacks up against Gore-Tex?
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Old 10-22-2008   #27
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B.F.E., Wyoming
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 907
I have one of the older PeakUK creek tops that I got at sierra trading.
I like the top alot its thick durable and pretty comfy. The only problem is it isn't very breathable. On the bright side Not being very breathable also makes it really warm.
Just my.02
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Old 10-22-2008   #28
Dreamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 230
Hands down, for price, durability,and quality check out bomber gear. They have super durable gaskets, and the materials and technology are killer.
check it here:
Bomber Gear

good luck
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Old 10-22-2008   #29
Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1492
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A friend of mine got the Stohlquist freefall last season and by the end of the year he said it was already starting to lose some of it's "waterproofness".
I was going to be vague but then I decided to do this other thing.
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Old 10-22-2008   #30
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SLC, Utah
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 13

So I manage a rafting company in Idaho on the Salmon river. all of my guides now use Peak UK. I bought the Combi when they first came to SLC, the next season all of my guides wanted peak uk. I have used the IR Comp with and without latex gaskets, NRS, and my first drytop was kokatat. The kokatat was used so I can't really tell you how it would have been had I bought it new but I can say without a doubt that Peak UK has held up better, kept me drier, and fits me better than the others.

what I use now:
Peak UK Deluxe for anything serious
Peak UK combi for summer idaho and utah playing around

the only complaints that I have are 1. I cut the gaskets a little short on the combi, but if you are ever going to use a shorty this is it. 2. the velcro on the Deluxe never stays fastened on my left wrist, I don't know if it how I paddle or if it is because of the weird velcro that they use. I am pushing hard into the class IV realm of boating so trying really hard to be a creek boater, so I have not been nice or easy on these drytops. Also I have lent them out many times to new guides or friends who didn't know what to get yet (almost all of them end up with peak).

Here are my complaints about the others
NRS, has been said already, no use repeating, and the last two years they have had a lot of turn over in their office and customer service has completely fallen apart!
IR, were great, super comfy, but the waterproofing didn't seem to hold up as well. the regular comp lasted me a long time, the fabric actually tore on a trailer loading boats, the model with the gaskets lasted me a year, the nest season on my first trip it was soaking through the material and I was wet and cold. the rewaterproofing things never seem to work as good so I bought the Peak UK next.
Kokatat, was older so I didn't expect it to last as long as the others, but their materials were bomber! I am 6' 1" and weigh 200 pounds. my complaint about kokatat is that things always felt small and restrictive on me, or big and in the way. maybe I am in between sizes I don't know but when I tried them on when I was looking they never seemed to fit right. and the new ones are expensive compared to Peak UK.

They are new around here, you don't seem as many of them. But if you come to Utah (not that you would to boat or anythig) you will see them all over, and in Idaho they were sold out when we were trying to get more, and had to order straight from Peak UK. I have also seen them up in Oregon and Washington, so they are comming around. Also people at Peak UK have gone out of their way to make sure that me and all of my guides were happy with everything that we have purchased, service is fast and direct!

So really I could have just said if you don't know what you want already Peak UK is a great product that is going to last you a long time, they are comfy and dry and priced much better then a lot of other tops. They get my recommendation!


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