We’ve just about hit that time of the year in the UK when it gets darker earlier and earlier, the weather has begun to turn and the water is that little bit colder – Winter Is Coming. Last week on the water was very cold and today the rivers are up and snow has hit the UK.
Being cold is not just uncomfortable it can also be life threatening. Having the right gear for the right conditions is key at any time of the year but the margin for error during the colder seasons is much tighter.
It’s defintely a good time to start to look at your cold weather paddling gear and assess whether it is going to be up to the job.
When I’m at paddling events or on a river when I meet other paddlers it is pretty much guaranteed that someone will be wearing an Astral Green Jacket. After all it is a stand out design that works really well. However I have recently picked up a Kokatat Hustle R and wanted to take the opportunity of comparing the two in a little more detail.
The Astral Green Jacket and Kokatat Hustle R I have here are EU versions. For the European market the Green Jacket has a side entry feature where as the US version does not. The Kokatat Hustle R has some additional reflective SOLAS tape on the shoulder straps to meet newer ISO requirements in the EU.
We first made a post about Kokatat releasing a new throw bag way back in 2019. It has only been quite recently that the Huck began to appear in stores.
The Huck is a compact, mantis green coloured throw bag packed with 50 feet (15m) of ¼-inch floating polyethylene core rope with a maximum strength of 1,450 pounds. A 70 feet (21m) bag is also available.
The Palm Side swing HMS Karabiner looks like a fairly conventional karabiner that has had some weight shaved off and a trick anodised colour applied. I thought exactly this when it landed here at Unsponsored HQ.
I didn’t even look at the name, as it was obscured by the paperwork, before removing the karabiner from its display card and checking out the gate action.
When you pick up a karabiner it is compulsory to test out the gate action. That is the point that I realised the Palm side swing karabiner was a little bit different.
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