I stumbled across the brand Arcteryx a few years ago before they really hit the UK. I was after a lightweight insulated jacket that wasn’t filled with down so ended up with the Atom LT. I was so impressed with the fit of the Atom LT that I have since managed to create quite a collection of Arcteryx kit. The one thing that was missing was a hardshell. I had been trying to make a decision between an Alpha LT and Alpha SV for months. It didn’t help not having a store locally that actually stocked Arcteryx.
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.
The Palm Zenith Dry top is a midweight whitewater jacket with a comfy GlideSkin neck (no latex)‚ made in XP 2.5-layer fabric. We’ve had the short sleeve version at Unsponsored HQ for some time and it’s our go to summer jacket. The long sleeve version shown landed last week, so we thought we would take a closer look.
As you would expect the long sleeve Zenith Dry top is very similar in both fabric, cut and freedom of movement.
The Palm Zenith is available in a mens and ladies version. The Palm Zenith shown here is the mens version.
Just like the other Peak UK gear we had in recently the Peak UK Deluxe drysuit was first seen back in 2015 at the Paddle Expo in Germany.
After having some time time checking the suit out and discussing its design with Snakey it was clear that Peak UK had taken some time to develop there next generation of drysuits.
It’s been some time since we last had a dry top from Peak UK at Unsponsored HQ.
This one is Peak UK’s best selling Deluxe dry top.
The Deluxe retails at £225.
We’ve been running the newest Sweet Protection Intergalactic drysuit for a year after running version 1 for just over a year. It’s now time for some feedback.
First and foremost this is an expensive suit at around £900. It must therefore function at the very highest level to payback some of those pennies.
The Nikon AW110 has been my main on the water camera for the last few years. Many of the images on the site have been taken with this camera or a Nikon DSLR (D5100 or D7100). I had previously used a Sony TX10 with great success but it was getting a little long in the tooth and technology had moved on.
The Nikon AW110 is now around 3 years old and things have moved on with Nikon releasing the AW130 a few months back. However after using the AW110 for so long and the price reducing so significantly I thought many readers of Unsponsored would be keen to find out more about this rugged point and shoot camera.
Spray skirts/decks have a pretty tough life but do an incredibly important job. I’d been on the look out for a spray skirt to rescue from an inevitable trip to the bin and found one close to home.
Unsponsored’s little brother River (Militia) has a Palm Kevlar RT rand deck that has seen better days. I had offered to repair it for this post without seeing the total extent of the damage.
In fairness the skirt should have been consigned to the bin years ago or at least set on fire and given a grand send off. However the skirt was in such a bad state that it made the perfect subject for this post as most types of repair were required to bring it back to life.
To put the repair into context most joints on the skirt were compromised and in other areas the skirt had separated from the rand. In two key places the kevlar/neoprene had worn out/through and large holes had appeared. Even the top part of the tunnel had separated from the skirt and was also torn in a couple of places. All in all it was in a sorry state.
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).
Technical waterproof fabrics like those used in dry cags and trousers only do their job effectively (keeping you warm and dry) when water doesn’t soak into them. Through wear and tear this ability to shed water begins to fail leaving you with kit that soaks up water. This often means that your kit takes on extra weight, takes longer to dry and is not as breathable as it may have once been.
It’s always good to see a company take an alternative approach to a problem. Kokatat have down just that with the Idol dry suit. Essenstially the Idol is a two piece suit that is a joined by a waterproof zip that circumnavigates the waist of the suit. This means that the top could be used as a dry top or used in conjunction with the bottoms to form a complete suit. A great idea. Continue reading
Not so long ago you could carry your car keys in your PFD pocket and not have to worry about things like remote central locking, immobiliser coding or anything else. If your key got wet it didn’t really matter. Things are different now.
You therefore have three viable options:
1. Hide the keys on, in, under or near the car. Super risky and the insurance company won’t like it.
2. Carry them in a nice waterproof case in your boat. Good cases are easy to find and it’s easy to store them in your boat. However lose the boat and you’ll lose the keys.
3. Carry them with you.
After finally finding a low bulk waterproof solution that would allow me to carry my keys within my PFD I have went with option 3.