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Gul Saco Dry Top – First Look

If you were to take a quick look at the new Gul Saco dry top you could mistake it to be from another well known manufacturer. This is because it has the kind of features and detail you would expect to see in a kayaking dry top from a more well established kayaking gear producer and not from a firm that is relatively new to this part of the market. This is definitely a good thing in terms of its features as it has the elements that paddlers would want. Gul aren’t strangers to the world of watersports but dedicated high end kayaking gear has been missing from there range over the years. Gul started as a wetsuit company and developed the first “steamer” wetsuit back in the early days of surfing in the UK.

Gul Saco Dry Top

The Saco dry top in conjunction with a number of other other new designs is set to change this.

Gul Saco Dry Top

The Saco is fully specced with all of the key features you would expect to see in a high quality dry top. Twin seals are found on the neck and wrist with the inner being latex and the outer being 2mm neoprene (adjustable). Seams and joins are sealed with a fabric tape. Where water could pool eg between the outer neck seal and the inner drain holes are present.

Gul Saco Dry Top

The GCX2.5 EVO 2.5 layer Fabric is Gul’s own. It feels tough yet soft at the same time and reminds me a little of the Palm Equipment Rivertec gear from a number of years back (1990’s – retro Rivertec review coming soon). It has a grid ripstop outer with a laminated inner. The fabric is breathable and has a DWR coating to the outside to help shed the water.

Gul Saco Dry Top

This particular Saco is a lovely bright yellow, but it is also available in blue or black. To be honest I like the look of the black one better. I don’t think the yellow will hold up well.

The waist is a twin seal with a fully adjustable outer and a nice long inner tunnel. So achieving a good seal with your spray skirt of choice should be straight forward.

Gul Saco Dry Top

Gul Saco Dry Top

Taping throughout looks for the most part pretty spot on.

Gul Saco Dry Top

Gul Saco Dry Top

Gul Saco Dry Top

3M Reflective piping details can be found on the arm seams and the Gul logos are also reflective.

Gul Saco Dry Top

A low profile zip gives access to a large storage pocket and drain holes are present where you would need them.

Gul Saco Dry Top

Gul Saco Dry Top

Gul Saco Dry Top

Gul Saco Dry Top

From Gul:

The 2.5L Saco is an excellent all-around dry top. Whether you are a weekend warrior or everyday paddler, the Saco cag delivers outstanding performance, featuring Gul’s proprietary waterproof and breathable GCX2.5 Evo fabric. Saco cag is constructed from a tough Nylon outer layer with DWR coating the 1.5L inner membrane working in tandem to wick away interior moisture. The Saco has a dual adjustable neoprene outer skirt, a YKK AquaGuard zippered chest pocket, factory seam sealed 3L taped, UK made latex wrist and neck gaskets, creating the do-it-all whitewater cag .

RRP for the Gul Saco dry top is £180.

3 Comments

  1. Wise Kayaker - Trust Me I Know What Is What

    I see that you have been getting some hassle from Pyranha and Palm supported kayakers or employees over this post on Facebook. That’s a real shame. I value your posts as I know many others do, both inside and outside of the industry. There are not many sites like Unsponsored and certainly not that many that have been around so long.

    I have one of these drytops and have been using it consistantly every week for the last two years. What I can say is that it works really well and has been manufactured to a high standard. My previous drytop was from another brand and its full taping failed in under 12 months of normal use. That manufacturer wouldn’t warranty the product despite it being a faily common occurnace with there (not so) dry gear. The taping is still as good on my Gul drytop as the day I first used it. I have reproofed the outer a couple of times and have replaced the neck seal after splitting it last winter. I went for the yellow top as pictured and wished I had went for the black/blue version. The yellow is looking a little dirty but I suppose is still high viz enough. So depsite not being from a mainstream kayaking brand it stacks up.

    I sometimes feel like many aspects of the kayaking industry, and I deliberatley say industry, are quite clicky, elitist and insular. I include the hangers on in this as well. If you aren’t part of the “club” your views are not well recieved. It was much more grassroots when I started kayaking over 40 years ago, companies developed into what they are now from early beginnings back then but I think some have lost direction. Those early innovators aren’t innovating any longer. I don’t think changing the colour pallette very year really counts. I really admire the likes of Corran Addison who is still out there pushing the envelope and producing something new that challenges the norm both in terms of his designs and his approach. I remember the early days of Riot and the “coporate kayaking sucks” slogan. They were ban on with this. When the “industry” was pushed by new designs the grouped together and pushed back. The new kayaks that Corran was developing were light years ahead and were innovative. Lots of kayaks with similar design features exist in the lineups of most manufacturers.

    Others I still admire for not selling out:

    Sweet, Immersion Research, Spade Kayaks, Whetman Equipment, Lettman, Titan, Exo, VE, Waka, Kokatat, HF.

    There are many others.

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  2. Derek C

    I agree. I have the Gul drysuit and it is as good if not better than most others out there. I did have an issue with the taping on the left arm. I sent it off to there repair centre, the repair was made and was sent back without any cost to myself. It took about 4 days including the shipping time. I can’t make out which is the old and which is the new tape.

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