The days are starting to get a little longer and the sun seems to be out that little more. It won’t be long until it’s time to be out on the water with a short sleeved cag. For many years I have been using an Immersion Research cag which is simply awesome but is now getting a little long in the tooth. Last summer I decided to get a Palm Equipment Zenith short sleeved top but was simply far too late. No dealer within the UK or Palm themselves had a top left in my size. Roll on just under a year and Palm have released the 2015 version of the Zenith.
A midweight shortsleeve jacket for warm weather paddling. With a soft GlideSkin neck and bicep seals, and made in XP 2.5-layer fabric, the Zenith is the one for alpine trips, summer surfing or freestyle.
XP 2.5-layer fabric
YKK AquaGuard zipped chest pocket
630 g (L)
Ultra Stretch neoprene gasket
Ultra Stretch neoprene bicep gaskets
Velcro adjustable neoprene waistband
So what makes this year’s Palm Equipment Zenith so different to last years. Well the most obvious is the new colour scheme. The main body of the top is now one bright single colour. The inner skirt tunnel is in a contrasting bright colour.
This particular jacket is Sherbet (orange) with aqua contrast. The other colour way is Aqua with a lime green contrast.
Less obvious is the new neck and arm seals. The Glideskin seals have been significantly updated with a newer material and is now all black. Seals of this type are sometimes not as dry as latex versions but they do handle sun screen much better and tend not to create neck rash. I have used several Palm products that have used older versions of the seals without issue and have found them to be almost as dry as latex based seals.
On the subject of material the 2.5 layer fabric has improved taping throughout. Palm had a few quality issues with taping in the past and have been working on improving the system. The taping on this top is superb. Look at the precision.
The intersection of joints is kept to a minimum reducing the chances of problems later down the road.
Inside of the top is also a little hanger loop. It’s not something seen in very many kayak/canoe tops, but why not. I think it’s a great feature and very much welcomed.
The outside of the Zenith includes a very large zip accessed pocket. The pocket spans the chest of the jacket. This pocket isn’t waterproof and includes a drain hole to allow water to escape.
The double waist of the Zenith is nice and deep as per the previous model and includes a fair bit of adjustability via the two Velcro tabs. The inner tunnel also includes a rubber strip which is sticky to the touch and will help to keep the inner tunnel in place.
The 4D cut is superb. I don’t know what is special about 4D, but what I do know is that the top fits me very well without any restriction of movement.
So the new 2015 Palm Zenith is lined up and ready to go. Hopefully there will be a couple of warms days over the next few weeks so that I can hit the water and start to begin the review process for real.
The Zenith is also available in a long sleeved version.