Kayaker comfort

I have an insane friend who agrees to paddle for me nearly every weekend at a local lake.... except for those weekends when she puts in 40+ hours (3-days of CONSTANT cat-herding that is also known as 9-11 yr old swim coaching) at a HUGE age-group swim meet for her "real job."

Anyway....she also said that she'd paddle for me as long as I would get in the water, even when it starts to get cold, stays cold, etc. BUT, neither one of us really have a good idea of what she should wear as it gets colder.

It won't get SUPER cold down here until mid-late November...sometimes in to December, as long as you're dry.
We've got SPF long sleeves for her, a buff for her face, and a floppy hat for summer....and sun glasses, of course. And a light towel to cover her legs, plus copious sunscreen for the summer months.....cold weather....we're completely in the dark.

I'm wondering about her feet, and wind off the water.

Hat and gloves, of course.....but, what DO kayakers wear in the cold?

Looking for recommendations -- general ones as well as brands/stores if you're comfortable with that.

Comments

  • polka_stripespolka_stripes Sacramento, CAMember

    NRS makes a bunch of great cold weather kayaking gear, my husband has a wetsuit he wears under his lifejacket from them he likes a lot. REI stocks them :) If you're getting into REALLY cold weather, a dry suit might be best for your kayaker. Don't let her wear cotton - something like merino wool that keeps her warm even when wet is best. Some synthetic fabrics perform like that as well too.

    flystorms
  • @polka_stripes said:
    NRS makes a bunch of great cold weather kayaking gear, my husband has a wetsuit he wears under his lifejacket from them he likes a lot. REI stocks them :) If you're getting into REALLY cold weather, a dry suit might be best for your kayaker. Don't let her wear cotton - something like merino wool that keeps her warm even when wet is best. Some synthetic fabrics perform like that as well too.

    What does NRS stand for please? :)

  • swimrn62swimrn62 Stowe, VTMember

    NRS for booties (for cool, wet weather or wet launches I like their knee highs, otherwise, ankle high is fine) and for pants/bottoms. NRS Hydroskins are great for kayaking and crewing. I think it stands for Northwest River Supply but may be almost right.

    Kokatat for any dry or semi-dry top. Their outerwear is excellent and they stand behind their products completely. An amazing company. There are others but in my personal experience, these are the standouts.

  • You are awesome....thanks!
    I figure that if my swimming is the only reason someone is paddling, the least I can do is help with the purchase of comfort clothes. :)
    She and I will be doing some online shopping to be sure!

    She's TEENY TINY..... so keeping her warm is essential!

  • swimrn62swimrn62 Stowe, VTMember

    I woke up thinking of one other very favorite comfort item: the Seattle Sombrero by Outdoor Research. These are waterproof, breathable, warm hats that I never leave home without (for any kayaking trip).

  • @swimrn62 said:
    I woke up thinking of one other very favorite comfort item: the Seattle Sombrero by Outdoor Research. These are waterproof, breathable, warm hats that I never leave home without (for any kayaking trip).

    That's great.....we have a big hat for her in the sun, but that company makes lots of different options for when it gets cooler, too. She also already has her buff.

    It looks like that if we need to start small...feet and hands are the way to go plus a decent jacket that permits layering underneath. ..... and then add on top of those as we are able. Does that sound right?

  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNMember

    Smartwool isn’t cheap but they make great products for staying warm even when wet. You can find their stuff online and at REI for sure.
    Also, if you’re not already a member at REI, the $20 lifetime membership is worth it for dividends and sales. It’s not required but it’s a one-time cost that will pay off

    Sara_Wolf
  • Yes, am REI member.
    :)

    Even found a brick and mortar store within enough of a driving distance that it's not outside the realm of possibility to visit. :) Just far enough to need a "play hookie from work day" but close enough not to need an overnight stay!

    flystorms
  • polka_stripespolka_stripes Sacramento, CAMember

    @Sara_Wolf said:

    @polka_stripes said:
    NRS makes a bunch of great cold weather kayaking gear, my husband has a wetsuit he wears under his lifejacket from them he likes a lot. REI stocks them :) If you're getting into REALLY cold weather, a dry suit might be best for your kayaker. Don't let her wear cotton - something like merino wool that keeps her warm even when wet is best. Some synthetic fabrics perform like that as well too.

    What does NRS stand for please? :)

    Sorry, I disappeared from this post! Didn't mean to leave you hanging out to dry ;P I have no idea what it stands for, but it's a popular company, you should be able to ask for NRS products and people will know what you mean :)

  • Sara_WolfSara_Wolf Member

    @polka_stripes said:

    @Sara_Wolf said:

    @polka_stripes said:
    NRS makes a bunch of great cold weather kayaking gear, my husband has a wetsuit he wears under his lifejacket from them he likes a lot. REI stocks them :) If you're getting into REALLY cold weather, a dry suit might be best for your kayaker. Don't let her wear cotton - something like merino wool that keeps her warm even when wet is best. Some synthetic fabrics perform like that as well too.

    What does NRS stand for please? :)

    Sorry, I disappeared from this post! Didn't mean to leave you hanging out to dry ;P I have no idea what it stands for, but it's a popular company, you should be able to ask for NRS products and people will know what you mean :)

    No worries!
    I think I found it.
    LOTS of online shopping the last few days..... and realization that for where I live, the heavy duty stuff isn't needed. Spoke with a woman at a local outfitter store who told me that she'll waterski w/out a wetsuit some times in to December around here, so we're pretty blessed. The consensus is that a good base layer (running wear can work in a pinch) that wicks, plus some wind/rain pants, and we'll likely be good on the bottom (maybe some booties for launch/pull-out. And, same up top. Her face/ears will need covering, especially if windy, I believe....gloves for her hands, and we'll be good.

    Mostly, it sounds like we can get her outfitted for not too much by getting the outer layers, and double-dipping the usage for some inner ones.

    I've discovered a whole new world of online shopping!

  • polka_stripespolka_stripes Sacramento, CAMember

    @Sara_Wolf said:

    @polka_stripes said:

    @Sara_Wolf said:

    @polka_stripes said:
    NRS makes a bunch of great cold weather kayaking gear, my husband has a wetsuit he wears under his lifejacket from them he likes a lot. REI stocks them :) If you're getting into REALLY cold weather, a dry suit might be best for your kayaker. Don't let her wear cotton - something like merino wool that keeps her warm even when wet is best. Some synthetic fabrics perform like that as well too.

    What does NRS stand for please? :)

    Sorry, I disappeared from this post! Didn't mean to leave you hanging out to dry ;P I have no idea what it stands for, but it's a popular company, you should be able to ask for NRS products and people will know what you mean :)

    No worries!
    I think I found it.
    LOTS of online shopping the last few days..... and realization that for where I live, the heavy duty stuff isn't needed. Spoke with a woman at a local outfitter store who told me that she'll waterski w/out a wetsuit some times in to December around here, so we're pretty blessed. The consensus is that a good base layer (running wear can work in a pinch) that wicks, plus some wind/rain pants, and we'll likely be good on the bottom (maybe some booties for launch/pull-out. And, same up top. Her face/ears will need covering, especially if windy, I believe....gloves for her hands, and we'll be good.

    Mostly, it sounds like we can get her outfitted for not too much by getting the outer layers, and double-dipping the usage for some inner ones.

    I've discovered a whole new world of online shopping!

    Ahaha welcome to the worst thing to ever happen to my wallet :) Yeah a lot of stuff can be multi-sport, if she already has great wicking gear from running or other exercise! When I kayak I wear UPF quick-dry moisture-wicking Athleta leggings and they work great!

  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNMember

    a nice seat cushion is great for keeping the feel of the cold water off the butt as well. If the kayak doesn't come with one for some reason, you can find a waterproof seat or even use a fleece blanket or something to add a thermal layer.

  • Sara_WolfSara_Wolf Member

    @flystorms said:
    a nice seat cushion is great for keeping the feel of the cold water off the butt as well. If the kayak doesn't come with one for some reason, you can find a waterproof seat or even use a fleece blanket or something to add a thermal layer.

    we had a cushion this week...but, it put her too high in the kayak. she said she felt unstable. I think maybe a thermal blanket might be a better idea. Thanks!

  • curlycurly Issaquah, WAMember

    Just a thought on the seat warmer. I had someone prank me by wrapping my entire desk and chair and everything else in aluminum foil. So to play along with it, I kept everything wrapped and sat in my chair working as if everything was normal. And why am I telling you this, you might ask.... Well the longer I sat on my aluminum foil chair, the hotter I got. To the point that it was uncomfortably warm and I finally had to remove the foil.

    So I would be really curious if you could maybe fold a couple layers of foil so it doesn't tear and use that as a seat warmer. It's kind of like space blankets in that it reflects your body heat. Report back if you try this.

    flystorms
  • Sara_WolfSara_Wolf Member

    @curly said:
    Just a thought on the seat warmer. I had someone prank me by wrapping my entire desk and chair and everything else in aluminum foil. So to play along with it, I kept everything wrapped and sat in my chair working as if everything was normal. And why am I telling you this, you might ask.... Well the longer I sat on my aluminum foil chair, the hotter I got. To the point that it was uncomfortably warm and I finally had to remove the foil.

    So I would be really curious if you could maybe fold a couple layers of foil so it doesn't tear and use that as a seat warmer. It's kind of like space blankets in that it reflects your body heat. Report back if you try this.

    Fab idea! And, it doubles as wrapping for kayakker lunch!

    flystorms
Sign In or Register to comment.