7 Paddling Essentials of Summer 2012
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Shred Ready Carbon Deluxe TDUB
Got a favorite graphic? For thirty extra bucks, Shred Ready will print it on the Carbon Deluxe TDUB helmet, a whitewater-specific design that can take multiple hits and should accommodate just about every head size and shape. (It comes with an assortment of pads for fine-tuning the fit.)
MTI F Spec PFD
Sure, MTI built the F Spec PFD life vest with fishermen in mind (it has a pocket for hemostats), but paddlers will appreciate its snug fit and mesh back panels that breathe easy in summertime heat.
Stohlquist knocked nearly $200 off the price of most competitors’ dry suits by using a proprietary fabric that testers reported “worked as well as Gore-Tex.” Considering that the expedition-ready Elvis comes with a removable storm hood and a relief zipper, it’s an even greater bargain.
Koppen Zuma Rocks
Heading to a buggy lake this summer? Koppen’s Zuma Rocks convertible shirt has a secret weapon: its fabric’s fibers are bound with a natural insect-repelling agent found in the chrysanthemum flower. The stuff works so well, the military developed a synthetic version.
SealLine Pro Pack
The roll-top closure on SealLine’s Pro Pack is waterproof enough to handle repeated dousings and brief submersions. The shoulder straps are surprisingly comfy (and fully adjustable), and the heavy-duty reinforced-vinyl material is practically puncture-proof. Lash it to a raft or your car’s roof, or use it as a portage-friendly canoe pack someplace like the Boundary Waters.
Looking for a more forgiving sea-kayak paddle? Handcrafted in Portland, Oregon, Saltwood’s Reggie has a hollow-core spruce shaft and composite blade, both of which do the flexing so your joints don’t have to.
Aquapac Waterproof Case
The wisest move is probably just to leave your iPad at home. But if you must, protect it with Aquapac’s new waterproof case, which barely interferes with touchscreen functionality and has a gasket-protected, nickel-plated jack for your headphones.