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This is my second year of kayaking. I have seen some old threads on this, but nothing recent so I am looking for updated advice.

Last year I spent most of my river time on guided trips (class II-III), and was always wearing a well used (and smelly) farmer john. Now I am trying to get some opinions from experienced paddlers on what to wear for boating this summer. Obviously, as I paddle more and more, I will be adding to my gear stash, so I am looking for a recommendation on the first pants to get for warm weather paddling in CO rivers (thus far, Clear Creek, Colorado, Ark, St. Vrain) from now through the end of the summer.

I spent some time looking today at Hydroskin pants and shorts, NRS Rodeo Pants and shorts, as well as farmer john wetsuits. I am now leaning toward the Hydroskin pants or shorts for now, thinking I can add some beefier paddling pants later if I venture into cooler weather, but want opinions. I do my share of swimming, so that should factor into your recommendation.


Any advice would be appreciated.
8)
 

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I would suggest a base layer (hydroskin or something comparable), a pair of shorts, and either a pair of drypants or high quality splash pants for high water and cold days.

You don't necessarily need to spend a lot of money on the base layer, any comfortable polypro/fleece/synthetic will work fine.
 

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Hydroskin rules. I'm in mine at least 8 hours a day. They don't get super stinky, and are comfy both wet and dry. I disagree with fleece/poly pants. Some guys say fleece and poly bottoms are still warm when wet; these guys haven't tried hydroskin. If you can't afford HS then the only less costy alternative is smart wool long johns. They will stay warm when wet, but don't compare to HS. Get some good pants with gaskets at the bottom and a top gasket that goes above your navel and you'll be money. $40 pants just won't do it. Myself, I"m poor. But I only have fun on the river when warm. Don't skimp.
 

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Gorms,

Glad to see your getting into padlding. I'm pretty sure I bought some skis from you a while back, and the Jaks are still doing great for me. I would suggest you look at these. Extrasport X-Treme Splash Pants - Waterproof (For Men) - Save 57% I wear polypro and these and even when I flipped in Browns two weeks ago, i stayed warm. And the price can't be beat. Plus don't forget the coupon code. Sierra Trading Post Coupon Codes - all coupons, discounts and promo codes for sierratradingpost.com
 

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I would suggest a base layer (hydroskin or something comparable), a pair of shorts, and either a pair of drypants or high quality splash pants for high water and cold days.

You don't necessarily need to spend a lot of money on the base layer, any comfortable polypro/fleece/synthetic will work fine.
I'll second this as it's exactly what I do. No need for neoprene pants unless you're in cold water/weather frequently... in which case you should have a dry suit.
 

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Hydroskin rules. I disagree with fleece/poly pants. Some guys say fleece and poly bottoms are still warm when wet; these guys haven't tried hydroskin. If you can't afford HS then the only less costy alternative is smart wool long johns.

Get some good pants with gaskets at the bottom and a top gasket that goes above your navel and you'll be money. $40 pants just won't do it. Myself, I"m poor. But I only have fun on the river when warm. Don't skimp.
Granted, I have not tried Hydroskin...that said I paddle with several people who do, and the way I layer my gear seems to keep me warmer than them.

I use a Duofold heavy weight polypro base layer with a neoprene top over it (early season I use a thin fleece over that), then my dry-top. Generally I just wear shorts under it...however, if it's cold out (under 60) I wear a pair of Duofold "Expedition Weight" polyester/polypro bottoms under the shorts. If it's super high water, or there is snow on the ground I wear the above mentioned under a pair of NRS splash pants (these pants have neoprene gaskets at the waist and ankles, but are made of the same material as their drypants), and I am good to go.
This being said I haven't swam in 3 years (and hope that to continue...), and have an excellent MountainSurf skirt that seals out ALL the water.

Gorams, I would not suggest a wetsuit or wetsuit pants for kayaking. It will be sufficient to get you on the river and keep you warm...but you will want something more comfortable if you continue to pursue the sport.

Hope the advice has helped.
 
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