SERVICE

Peak UK kayaking equipment is designed for the toughest conditions on the planet. We have a dedicated service and repair facility in the UK to help you get the most of your kit.

Jacket Advice

Choosing a new paddling jacket can be a daunting experience with so many brands and models out there. Our range caters for most kayak disciplines, with jackets specifically designed for certain craft and conditions. If you are looking to upgrade, or if you are just starting out, then hopefully this will help. 

The basics

A jacket will be constructed with its end use in mind. A jacket designed for hard, regular whitewater use will be constructed from tough, heavier duty materials and will aim at keeping as much water out as possible. A jacket made with ocean expeditions in mind will have a hood and will focus on the optimum balance between comfort and protection.  A jacket made for flat water racing will not be concerned with water ingress so much as breathability and minimum weight. 


Whitewater

A whitewater jacket will generally be geared towards preventing water ingress. This will mean tighter seals, a double waist and, on the more advanced models, a latex neck seal. All this will mean you stay much drier on the river, but they do not ventilate well which makes them less suitable for longer, calmer touring trips with less chance of immerison. Top end jackets will have reinforced areas to give greater durability and protection in tougher environments such as steep creeks etc.


Touring

Our sea kayaking / touring jackets emphasise comfort on longer trips, rather than total water ingress prevention. We use a velcro closing (Aquaout) neck (except on the Tourlite Hoody) which allows you to ventilate, but will close up in adverse conditions for extra security. The higher spec models feature hoods, and we have jackets with double wrist / waist seals for more full-on expeditions. These will offer superb protection in grim weather, but even the top model will not keep you 100% dry in the event of a roll or swim. You will however be glad that you can vent your neck on that long, calm crossing...


Marathon / distance

Our Marathon range focuses on lightweight, high performance and breathability, with either waterproof or windproof models to choose from. The cut on these is slightly longer (especially in the seat) as they are not generally used with a spraydeck. The seals used are perfect for keeping spray out, but the emphasis is on ventilation during high output activities, so there are no hoods nor latex. 


SUP

Many of our jackets lend themselves to paddleboarding, with several options to choose from depending on your environment. The touring ranges work especially well for the most common scenarios, with hoods, single waists and closable wrist seals all lending themselves superbly. The lighter weight marathon jackets can also pack away (even into your PFD pocket!) so are a fantastic back up to have, no matter how settled the weather may seem.


Beginners / group use

If you are just starting out then have a look at the Semi Long (whitewater) or Tourlite range. These are also popular for more advanced group use. If you are on a budget then the Pro Long is a great choice, with Aquaout wrist, neck and waist seals. It is perfect for most beginner / group environments whilst upright, but it will not keep much water out if you take a swim. The Centre is our least expensive, simplest jacket and is designed primarily for group use - basic but tough as anything. 


If you are looking for one jacket to do a number of different things then it is worth considering what your priorities are. For example, if you want one jacket for whitewater and sea, then a good compromise would be the Freeride or Semi Long. These will give good protection on whitewater, but will also be more comfortable whilst touring than something with a latex neck. Ideally you do not want a hood on whitewater, nor a latex neck for touring. If you want something for gentle touring, open canoe and SUP then the Tourlite Hoody will be perfect with its hood and single waist. It will keep the rain and wind off, and you won't be carrying the extra weight of unnecessary waist / neck seals.

We should give a special mention to the Ocean Bothy as this a unique piece of kit, designed to be worn by expedition paddlers over existing kit in the roughest of conditions, but also popular amongst athletes and coaches looking for protection whilst on the bank.

Some of the features worth considering are described below:


Necks
The driest whitewater models feature double neck seals. These consist of a latex inner cone and a neoprene outer, in which the outer serves mainly to give initial protection and to protect the latex cone which is the main seal effectively. The next step down is the supersoft neo cone with tension band. With the correct fit this can give a great seal, however it is important that the initial fit is reasonably snug in order for the band to work properly. The Semi Long jacket uses the supersoft neo cone which is really comfortable, and again very effective with the right fit. Both neoprene seals are considered semi dry and you should not expect to stay 100% dry post-roll / swim. Our sea kayaking a touring jackets mostly use our Aquaout system which consists of a velcro closing neoprene / fabric band. This is great at keeping out rain, splashes etc. but is not designed to keep you entirely dry in the event of a capsize. Finally, some of our hooded & marathon jackets use a zipped outer collar with no seal inside. 





Wrists
Many jackets feature our double Aquaout / latex wrist seals for the best protection. The Semi Long features a double neo cone / latex seal. Some of the lighter models feature single Aquaout seals, which offer great ventilation but can be tightened securely if needed.





Waists
All whitewater models, plus the Adventure Double, feature our double Aquaout outer / fabric inner system. The inner sits underneath the spraydeck's body tube, and the outer seal is then tightened around the outside of the tube to give the best seal. Other models feature a single Aquaout outer seal, whilst jackets with a dropped seat generally feature an elasticated drawcord hem, or simple elasticated hem.



Hoods
Several jackets ( and suits ) offer hoods. The Adventure Double features a X2.5 adjustable hood which zips away entirely into a fleece lined collar. The rest feature body-weight hoods which can be fastened down using our Easy Stow system. Here, the peak on the hood has small toggle which can be hooked through the hanging loop at the rear of the jacket, to keep it out of the way when not in use.



The table below will give you an idea of the intended use of each jacket in our current range, along with the kind of seals they use and whether or not there is a hood. Combined with the above information, this should help you narrow down your search. 


Model

Neck

Wrists

Waist

Hood

Suitable

Season

Deluxe X3

Double

Double

Double 

No

Whitewater, freestyle, surf

4

Deluxe X2.5

Double

Double

Double

No

Whitewater, freestyle, surf

4

Freeride

Neo cone & band

Double

Double

No

Whitewater, freestyle, surf

3

Combi Short

Neo cone & band

Double

Double

No

Whitewater, freestyle, surf

2/3

Semi Long

Neo cone

Double

Double

No

Whitewater, freestyle, surf

3

Adventure Double Evo

Aquaout

Double

Double

Zip away 

Sea, open canoe, touring

4

Adventure Single

Aquaout

Double

Single

Easy Stow

Sea, open canoe, touring, SUP

3

Ocean Bothy

Zipped collar

Single

Drawcord

Easy Stow

Sea, open canoe, touring, SUP

4

Tourlite Hoody

Zipped collar

Single

Single

Easy Stow

Calm sea, open canoe, touring, SUP

3

Tourlite Long

Aquaout

Single

Single

No

Calm sea, open canoe, touring, SUP

2/3

Tourlite Short

Aquaout

Single

Single

No

Calm sea, open canoe, touring, SUP

2

Marathon H2O

Zipped collar

Single

Drawcord

No

Marathon, open canoe, SUP

3

Marathon Wind

Zipped collar

Single

Elasticated hem

No

Marathon, open canoe, SUP

2

Pro Long

Aquaout

Single

Single

No

Touring, open canoe, SUP, group use, beginner

2

Centre

Velcro / neoprene

Single

Drawcord

No

Group use, beginner

2


Looking after your jackets

Our jackets come with a one year warranty, although this excludes latex seals & zips as they require particular care and are susceptible to abuse. How long your kit should last depends on how often you use it and on how well you look after it. If you are coaching every week then your jacket will need replacing much sooner than someone who paddles once a month. Taking the following info on board can make a huge difference in the lifespan of your jacket:

  • Wash! Always wash in fresh water after every use and leave to drip dry, away from direct heat
  • If leaving outside for any period of time make sure the jacket is the right way round as the outer fabrics deal with UV much better
  • When putting on and removing your jacket, stretch the latex seals wide over your head / wrist. Never pull on and off using the fabric as this can damage the seal and the seams
  • Check periodically for holes / seam damage and fix using Aquasure or similar. Contact us if you are unsure.


Customise it!

Finally, if you are looking for your own, unique style then take a look at our custom range of jackets. We have four custom jackets in our range and you can either choose from 10 main / 10 logo colours to create your own colour scheme, or you can go fully bespoke and have your very own design. Check out our bespoke print page or contact us for more details.