The Palm Spark Surface Immersion suit has been awarded Canoe & Kayak UK product of the year for 2012. I picked up a Spark earlier this year shortly after it was launched.
Over the course of the last few months the Palm Spark Surface Immersion Suit has been worn a fair bit. I’ve worn it during WWSR courses, kayaking, canoeing, ww rafting and bell boating, so it has had a really good test.
You can’t help but notice the colour of the Spark and I love it, however having a couple of other colour combinations available would probably please quite a few potential buyers. The length of the arms and inner/outer legs are great.
For the record I have a large Palm Spark. I’m 6ft 1″ and 210lbs and the suit fits really well without any excess/flapping fabric and without any feeling of restriction.
The Spark isn’t a dry suit, it’s a Surface Immersion Suit. This means that its is the suit equivalent of a semi dry cag as the not all of the seals/gaskets (neck and ankles) are latex based. That said the seals work pretty well. Whilst standing in water I have found that I do get a little water working its way in via the neoprene ankle seals despite them being a really good fit on my legs. However the neck seal is pretty much there and seals almost as well as a latex gasket but is far more comfortable, and probably far more durable. Taking all of this into account I feel secure in the fact that the neck seal does a pretty good job, and as a result I plan to send the Spark back to Palm to have the socks added to the suit.
The fit of the suit is great with plenty of freedom of movement. The positioning of the tizip does work really well. At first it does feel a little strange as it is different to other suits, but it makes sense. In my case I find it easy to do up and undo the zip myself.
I’ve been over the suit checking both the stitching and taping, and have found the construction and finish to be superb. The fabric seems to have a good balance of toughness and flexibility.
It really does look as if Palm are on top form and are banging out some fantastically designed pieces of kit. I intend to use the Spark through the winter and will make another update post in a couple of months time.