Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Tag: Review (Page 1 of 18)

Immersion Research 7Figure Drysuit – Review

The nights are drawing in. The temperature is dropping, and the rain is falling. I should be excited; the Scottish paddling season is kicking off. Months of blustery days, where the heavens open and you go paddling almost every weekend.

Immersion Research 7Figure Drysuit – Review

This year however my drysuit is stranded in Canada. Summer boating plans got kiboshed due to the pandemic and I’m back in Scotland without my trusted latex companion. The long john wetsuit drafted in as a reserve haunts my hallway. It was great in the summer. Warm weather days, and a laugh at the retro styling meant I was happy in it. Now it hangs in the hallway, dripping, like a form of psychological torture. Reminding me of what lies ahead. Cold. Wet. Miserable. 

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Astral Green Jacket Vs Kokatat Hustle R

From L to R:
Astral Green Jacket, Palm Nevis, Kokatat Hustle R, and Yak Taurus PFD

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.

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Astral Brewer Shoe 2.0 – Review

We have had at least one pair of Astral Brewers at Unsponsored HQ since there launch back in around 2013.

Astral Brewer Shoe 2.0 – Review

In that time I think we have had three pairs, so it is about time we published a full review.

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Palm Side Swing HMS Karabiner – First Look

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.

Palm Side Swing HMS Karabiner - First Look
Palm Side Swing HMS Karabiner – First Look

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.

Palm Side Swing HMS Karabiner – First Look
Palm Side Swing HMS Karabiner – First Look

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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Adidas Five Ten Trail Cross LT – First Look

The newest addition to the flat pedal mountain bike range is the Five Ten Trail Cross LT. The version we have here is the LT version which is more trainer like that the Mid Pro we reviewed on the site a couple of months back.

Adidas Five Ten Trail Cross LT - First Look
Adidas Five Ten Trail Cross LT – First Look

Size wise I still think that these run a little large. I usually wear Five Ten or Salomon in a UK size 10 and did originally order a pair of Trail Cross Mid in that size. However I found that the shoe is super long. I sent them straight back and now have a pair of UK 9.5s which after my first ride out fit great. So these LT versions are also 9.5 and as expected fit well.

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Palm Equipment Nevis PFD – First Look

Hot on the heals of the Kokatat Hustle R is the Palm Equipment Nevis PFD. We now have one of the very first at Unsponsored HQ for review.

Palm Equipment Nevis PFD - First Look
Palm Equipment Nevis PFD – First Look

The Nevis is an over the head slab PFD with a number of features I have not seen before in a PFD.

The Nevis PFD is the culmination of research from UCLan, design by Barney Caulfield and testing worldwide by Bren Orton. At its core is the Delta Fit adjustment system. Two wings that wrap your ribs, reducing pressure on your abdomen, helping you to breathe and increasing mobility. Set-up to go in five fluid steps, with fewer buckles (including new load tested aircraft grade aluminium hardware). The Nevis has the world’s first Piggyback adjustable quick release chest harness, improving upon the latest research, so that releasing your harness doesn’t affect the fit of your PFD. The Nevis sets a new standard in fit and safety.

Palm Equipment
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Immersion Research Aphrodite Dry Suit – First Look

Immersion Research Aphrodite Dry Suit - First Look
Immersion Research Aphrodite Dry Suit – First Look

Living in Fort William as a kayaker means one thing – a good, comfy and durable dry suit is a must! Lochaber has rain even in the driest months. In fact, we have an average annual rainfall of approximately 1777mm or 70 inches; a kayakers paradise. However, for those of us who feel the cold, a mean annual temperature of only 8.6 °C can be a enthusiasm-killer if you’re body isn’t guaranteed to be warm and dry whilst paddling, even in the summer months when you’re catching post-work Moriston laps until 10pm.

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Nookie Core Hybrid – Review

The Nookie Core Hybrid base layer has to be one of the pieces of gear that has has been used the most over 2019 and will be used heavily over 2020.

On the face of it the Nookie Core Hybrid looks like a rash vest and is certainly cut in a very similar way. Where it differs and where it really stands out from the rest is the material.

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Yak Taurus PFD – Review

A brand new Yak Taurus PFD landed at Unsponsored HQ at the end of August 2019.  Since then it has seen a hundred hours of use.

Yak Taurus PFD - Review
Yak Taurus PFD – Review

When it first landed I thought that it was one of the best looking PFDs I had seen in some time. It reminded me a great deal of some of the Lotus PFDs from the 1990s in both its shape and size.

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RRP Proguard Bolt On Mudguard – Review

Ok, we are going a little off piste with this one as it is definitely not kayak or canoe related. When the water is low and the surf has dropped off I get out on a bike. This now includes mountain bikes and road bikes.

Clean lines and no zip ties

I’ve been after a good mudguard for sometime and the Proguard hit my radar a few months ago. I pre-ordered bot the Proguard standard and mini.

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Nookie 20m River Water Flood Rescue Throwline – First Look

We have a Nookie 20m River Water Flood Rescue Throwline in for review at Unsponsored.

Nookie 20m River Water Flood Rescue Throwline
Nookie 20m River Water Flood Rescue Throwline
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GoPro The Handler – Review

GoPro The Handler - Review
GoPro The Handler – Review

The Handler is GoPro’s move into the hand held grip market for waterborne users. It is designed to perform a very similar role to the GoPole Grenade grip with the added bonus that the GoPro The Handler is designed to float (even when using a Bacpac).

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