Kokatat, an industry leader in watersports wear, has just released their new Jackson Collection for the 2013 paddling season! The collection, which contains one top-of-the-line dry suit, two PFDs, and three dry tops, was developed in collaboration with whitewater paddling legend Eric Jackson (founder of Jackson Kayaks) and his son Dane Jackson, the reigning Junior World Champion. Here are some of the deets on this amazing new collection of paddling gear…
Icon Dry Suit:
Key Features: GORE-TEX Pro Shell, Rear-entry, Neck & Wrist Gaskets, Relief Zipper, Socks, Bold Colors
Just one look at the Icon dry suit and you’re sure to be stunned by its bold color pallet and fresh graphics! Upon further inspection, one can appreciate that the designers have gone to great lengths to make the Icon highly functional and packed full of great features! I couldn’t be happier with the material selection. The GORE-TEX Pro Shell offers excellent breathability and the carefully-placed Cordura reinforcements will help provide added durability when scouting river banks (or climbing up the bank after an errant swim, like me)! Add in all of the other bells and whistles such as the relief zipper, socks, and overskirt and you have a full-featured dry suit that will make a great choice for whitewater and sea kayakers alike!
I’m very interested to see how the rear-entry idea pans out. On the one hand, a rear-entry dry suit removes the zipper from across the chest and relocates it across the shoulders where it is less likely to impede the paddling motion. However, dry suits are a notorious PIA to get into and out of and I wonder if the rear-entry will be better or worse in this department.
Maximus Prime PFD:
Key Features: Front-and-center adjustments, Side-entry, Dynamic Suspension System, Large front pocket, Quick-release chest harness.
The Maximus Prime is a beast of a Type 5 Rescue PFD! For starters, it’s 17lbs of flotation blows the industry standard (15lbs) out of the water and can make a real difference if you like to play in the big stuff. It also features Kokatat’s Astral-like Dynamic Suspension System (DSS) which has wide shoulder straps, an athletic cut, and an independently suspended front floatation panel designed to move with the paddler. The side-entry configuration and front-mounted adjustment straps help make Donning and fitting the Maximus Prime quick and easy. I think that Kokatat has a real winner here and I can’t wait to check one out for myself this summer!!
Not interested in all of the rescue do-dad’s?? Check out the stripped down Maximum PFD
Here is an excellent review of the of the Maximum Prime by Kyle Smith of Colorado Kayak Supply
Legend Dry Top:
Key Features: GORE-TEX Pro Shell, Overskirt, Neck & Wrist Gaskets, Bold Colors
The Kokatat Legend is a top-of-the-line dry-top that looks wicked cool to boot! I mean there’s not really much more to say about it as it has all of the key features: GORE-TEX fabric, overskirt, pocket, ect. Heck, I’d buy one for myself if Kokatat was willing to customize it with a hood! (Unfortunately, they are not able to do this but they should consider it in future designs as a hood is something that sea kayakers really appreciate in a dry top!)
Also part of the Jackson Collection:
Note: Womens versions of all of the Jackson Collection products are also available. They are obviously cut differently but they contain all of the same great features (aside from the women’s Icon dry suit which has a drop-seat instead of a front relief zipper).
Happy Gear Shopping!
- Kayak Dave