Gul is a UK based company with over 50 years experience in the watersports industry. We have received a couple of bits of gear from Gul for review at Unsponsored. First up is the paddling specific Napa Drysuit.
Here is Gul’s take on the Napa.
Gul introduces the GCX4 Evo Napa dry suit with Zip Disc technology that separates completely at the waist giving paddlers the versatility of a dry suit or bib trousers in one garment. The zip disc fully separating zip makes the Napa easier to don and doff than traditional dry suits. The suit features Gul’s exclusive 4-layer GCX4 Evo Shell fabric, used in combination with 500D Cordura reinforcement panels, heavy duty double taped socks‚ and UK made latex seals are there to keep the water out!
The Napa Drysuit retails at £600 here in the UK and from first impressions this looks like a pretty good deal. The Napa is well put together, it feels robust and has been well cut.
Now lets get to the suits biggest feature. Unlike most suits the Napa doesn’t have a zip running across the shoulders or indeed a zip running across the chest. Instead it has a Zip DiscTiZip running the full circumference of the waist just like the “exclusive” Switch technology available on the Kokatat range of drysuits such as the Idol (RRP £1200). So the technology is not that exclusive anymore.
Granted the Napa is not made from Goretex but it has the same entry system as the Kokatat at twice the price. Unlike the Kokatat the Napa has a relief TiZip which is a great feature so gents or ladies with a She-Wee don’t have to undo the full waist zip to make a call. If you need to take a crap then the trouser section of the suit can be dropped by undoing the main zip.
The Napa will breakdown into two separate garments which does offer a high level of adaptability and makes this a versatile bit of gear. Both the top and bottom can be used independently.
The lower part of the suit includes a bib system to hold the trousers up. This is made from a soft Hydroshield material. Essentially soft-shell material that is comfortable to wear, is highly breathable but will also offer protection from the weather. Two quick release buckles keep the bib up.
The blue material is GCX4 Evo, a four layer breathable material that also has a little stretch.
Waterproof- 20 000 mm
Breathability – 10 000 g/m/24h
All seams fully taped for long-lasting extreme waterproofness
The black fabric areas of the suit, seat, elbows, and knees are Cordura re-enforcements. The latex gaskets at the neck and wrists are protected by adjustable 2mm neoprene cuffs. A twin waist is in place that looks like it should offer a good seal.
Drainage holes are present where you would expect them and the integrated socks are of a good size. I have a large sized suit in for review and they easily accommodate my size 10 (UK) feet with room to spare.
Incidentally the Napa drysuit is available in 5 different sizes so most people will be able to find a size that would fit.
After an initial try on I am very impressed and will be giving the Napa some stick over the next few months to see how it performs/holds up.