Their chat: “This jacket is a necessity for the serious whitewater enthusiast. It is ergonomically designed and form fitted to perfection, and has a cut that maximizes mobility and reduces the amount of seams in construction. The Bomb incorporates both the Volcanic Gasket Protector System ™ and Vault Water Lock Waist Band™ to maximize comfort and minimize bulk. This year the front pocket includes an improved Dry Pocket™ that is removable and works much like a zip-lock sandwich bag. The base front pocket has been increased in size and provides a secure area for one’s belongings.”
The first thing that struck me when I first tried it on was how different it felt to other cags. Usually to give first-rate protection from the elements, the material used weighs about the same as a suit of armour, and is just as flexible. This thing was super light. The cut was well fitting and ergonomic, and didn’t ride up much at all when I swung around my arms like some tops do. To be honest, I didn’t know if the material was heavy enough, but my doubts were soon put aside when I tried it out. It handled admirably.
The inner tunnel is extra long, hanging down beneath my ass, which is a nice feature, so if and when water does sneak in, it won’t come in right around your kidneys. My deck tunnel is a little too large, and the Velcro waistband straps do a fine job of tightening up loose deck tunnels, so they don’t slip down or let in water.
The removable dry pocket fits snugly in the chest pocket. The pockets themselves are nice, easily fitting a bar of chocolate, papers etc, and nicely positioned on the upper arm, and on the chest where the top of the BA would sit. There’s a little clear plastic disc on the left forearm, just where you’d wear a watch – a small touch, but it’s nice to know they’re putting a lot of thought into the design process. For different waist sizes, there’s a pair of wide Velcro waist straps to pull it nice and tight around your belly. A lot of gear manufacturers have been putting thought into how their clothes look as well as feel, and the Bomb looks, I must admit, dead sexy. It’s fire engine red with silver trim.
When it’s on, it feels very comfortable. The neckline isn’t too high, pulling at my facial hair, there’s plenty of space to twist my torso without it riding up during cartwheels, yet it doesn’t feel massively big. The seals are, as the name would suggest, bombproof, they never were pushed up my wrists from a pounding as previous cags have, and it’s always nice to see the top puffed out like the Michelin Man when you roll up, means the seams and seals are still in great shape. The material easily takes briars and brambles, rocks, getting stood on, caught in car doors in stride with no tears or noticeable scratches.
The Bomb is incredibly dry, heavy duty, yet feels light, not encumbering at all. It looks great, and doesn’t break the bank by any stretch of the imagination.
Try one out folks. They’re available from Irish Canoe outfitters at the bargain price of €279/£199.