We are big fans of Sweet Protection at Unsponsored and have been since the early days and first iteration of the Sweet Strutter helmet.
The year is 1988. Skateboarding is still prohibited in Norway, and the Sweet mantra was just manifested in a school paper. The Sweet Protection story started in Trysil, a mountain village in Østerdalen, Norway… Fast forward to May 24th, 2000, the company was founded by a group of keen kayakers, skiers/snowboarders and mountain bikers missing the proper protection to push even harder at their sport. Now, twenty years later, Sweet Protection celebrates 20 years. 20 years in love with the rivers, waterfalls, mountains and forests – the playgrounds for which the brand has made it their mission to make the best possible products.
A great deal of outdoor equipment passes through the halls of Unsponsored HQ. Some great, some good and some not so good. As we get closer to the 25th of December it has now become a little bit of tradition (and to save me answering loads of “What should I get ….. for Christmas, they have just got into kayaking/canoeing/SUP?” type questions via email) to put together a list of gear for our Festive Gift Guide that paddlers and general outdoors type folk might appreciate as presents at Christmas time.
Since buying a couple of merino tops a few years back I am completely sold on the stuff. For years I had been using Helly Hanson Lifa or Sub Zero Factor 1 thermals. All of which developed that characteristic kayaking odor.
Up until very recently my thermal base layer of choice was the Howies merino surf thermal. The merino is thin, the arms are nice and long and also include thumb loops. These are superb when your putting on your drycag or dry suit as they help prevent the sleeves rolling up. The neck is a turle neck so you get a bit of protection from latex dry cag seals. Unfortunately they stop production of these quite a few years ago and I needed to make a change simply due to wear and tear.
Now not all Merino is made equal. There are different weights and depending on the quality of the wool and what it is mixed makes for some good and some bad merino gear.
As merino gear has become more wide spread and popular I think the overall quality has gone down. Some of the initial big players don’t seem to producing gear that lasts as long as I think it should.
The Sweet Protection Sabrosa Dry Top has landed here at Unsponsored HQ. This may well be an exclusive, it’s not even on the Sweet Protection website yet. It would be fair to say that I have been waiting sometime for Sweet to put a short sleeved paddle top into production and it’s finally here.
I think that originally the Sabrosa was not designed to be a full on dry top and was billed as a spray top. However on arrival at Unsponsored HQ it is clear the the Sabrosa is a full on short sleeve dry top. It even states it on the swing tag.