Top 5 paddling accessories for Winter 2014
Here are five of my favorite pieces of kit that I can't paddle without during the winter months. This list is heavily influenced by flatwater kayaking as I am doing a lot of this at the moment. Although I use these pieces of kit mainly for flatwater, they also can be combined with other kit like my drysuit for whitewater and sea kayaking. So whether you are planning a Devizes to Westminster campaign or just looking for the perfect gift for Christmas you might find something of interest below.
CRAFT Base Layers
Swedish sportswear brand CRAFT offer an amazing range of high quality affordable base layers that work really well. The cut and flat seem stitching is excellent and the long back makes sure you don't get a cold lower back when sitting in your boat. You might think I am biased as I am sponsored by CRAFT but I have been using them for years before I became a team athlete and have never been disappointed. A few good base layers are essential if you do a lot of kayaking. You can keep them on rotation so you always have a clean dry top or bottoms to put on. Available from I Canoe
These are unbelievable! I got a pair of these a few winters back and it was a revelation. Dry warm feet make cold training sessions ten times more tolerable and it also means you stay warmer all over.
€30 from I Canoe
These dont often come out but when the temperature drops near freezing you will regret leaving home without them. Unlike normal pogies these stay open. So no fiddling getting them on. If you have used normal pogies you will understand the torture of getting the second one on :)
€30 from I Canoe
Kokatat Gore-Tex Paddling Jacket
A good cag is the final layer of your winter armour and will protect you from the wind and rain. I have used many types over the last few seasons. From cycling jackets thats blocked the wind but not the wet to cags that are waterproof but don't breath. I am now using the Kokatat Gore-Tex paddling Jacket. A top end piece of kit which is a great investment. The Goretex material is seriously soft, fully waterproof and breathable.
Also available from I Canoe
NRS Hydroskin Pants
Available in different thicknesses and lengths (Shorts and 3/4 length) these offer great protection no matter what the weather. I wear mine nearly year round and they are seriously comfortable. They are cut specifically for kayakers and have a high back to keep your lower back protected when seated. Special order from I Canoe
Kayak instructor, athlete, business owner and outdoor enthusiast from the west coast of Ireland.
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