Summer time paddling top roundup
Looking for a relatively inexpensive (under $200) shorty dry/semi dry top for summer boating in the southeast. Who has opinions and why?
Kokatat Tropos Blast
IR Nano (how does it do with lack of double tunnel?)
NRS Stampede (looks like there's old and new models available, going from a 2.5 to 4 layer membrane)
Any others I might have missed?
inner tunnel isn't needed unless you have a double tunnel skirt
I love the nano. It's one of my favorite jackets. The lack of an inner tunnel doesn't make a difference unless you're using a double tunnel skirt. The seal at the waist of the nano is dryer than most waist seals because there's a tube of neoprene at the bottom instead of a hook and loop fabric/neoprene combination found on most jackets. Fabric folded over itself isn't exactly the dryest seal. The neoprene tube does take a little more effort to get into and out of than a standard paddling jacket... but i find it to be worth it. The nano is nice and light but also durable. Mine has gone through several seasons of abuse and it's still going strong. It's the perfect upper yough summer jacket. Just enough to keep the sun off and water out of your boat.
Yeah, I had a 25% off coupon to somewhere so I went ahead and ordered one, figured I'd return it if I didn't like it.
Not planning to return it, it keeps water from going down my skirt better than anything else I've ever worn including my dry suit. Doesn't keep me terribly dry over a day of paddling but it wasn't really meant to.
Great top for warm days late spring to early fall on cold water.
I've used the NRS Stampede shorty the last couple years for easy & warm summer paddling and rafting. Light, comfy, easy on/off. I bought a new one on sale + coupon this winter for around $80 (thanks Campsaver), otherwise I would have tried the Nano. My son has used the Kokatat Tropos Blast shorty for the last two summers and really likes it. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the three, though in my experience with regular drytops, Koka and IR have better quality and fit than NRS, though you usually pay more for them.
dude stohlquist makes a mean drytop that I grabbed for pretty cheap off of steepandcheap.com....probably worth a gander....other then that go with IR or Kokotitty
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