Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

At times gear is the key to comfort.  Unfortunately, it can be a costly venture finding the right gear.  It takes time to research, to save up money, and then redo everything when your first purchase did not meet your expectations.  This is my problem when it comes to shorts.

I have worn multiple types of swim suits, surf trunks, quick drying shorts, rock-climbing shorts, and hiking shorts.  The recurring problem is chafing, a desire for a quick drying material, and the look of professionalism.  I have had problems with chafing in the groin and where the back band connects.  My goal has always been to find a system that I can easily wear multiple days on the water, around camp, function well under the hip-belt of a twenty pound pack, provide a great range of motion, and look presentable when I am walking around town.

It has been a long and arduous quest filled with a drawer of many failed attempts to find lasting comfort.  Until now, I can empty my drawer donate all of my old shorts to the needy and replace those shorts with one pair of Mountain Hardwear Wildlands Shorts.

These shorts made by Mountain Hardwear feature a patented, micro-chamois lined seamless conical waist.  Thus the design eliminates pressure points where a back band of a kayak and a backpack would rest.  The cloth is 100% nylon and coated with a DWR finish that sheds dirt and moisture.  I will admit that the shorts do become stiff after a few days of being in and out of salt water.  However, the stiffness has not produced chaffing.  The shorts are available in ten and twelve-inch inseam lengths.  I chose the twelve-inch inseam just because I liked the look.  There is a down side to the shorts.  It has small pockets in the front.  Consequently, when sitting in a kayak it is nearly impossible for me to get anything out of my front pocket.  Then again, I wear a skirt over the cockpit and why would I be wanting to get into my pocket.

  • Overview statistics of the Wildlands Shorts
  • Updated hand pockets and integrated belt
  • Micro-Chamois™-lined seamless conical waist for comfort under a pack
  • Integrated webbing belt with buckle closure for easy fit adjustments
  • Lots of pockets for storage
  • Mesh drain panels in pockets for river crossings and spontaneous swims
  • Full length inseam gusset for mobility
  • DWR finish sheds moisture
  • UPF 50 sun protection

All in all these are great shorts.  I have them in khaki, and I now plan on purchasing a pair in cigar brown, stone green, and black.  If you have too many clothes at home and you are looking to simplify then replace all of your shorts with this pair, for it does it all.  Happy paddling – Jeff

For Christmas my wife asked Russell at Sweetwater Kayaks to special order me a pair of Kokatat Tempest pants with socks and relief zipper.  I did not know about this gift… 😉  Unfortunately it arrived after Sean and I left for the Suwannee River.  So, during the Sweetwater Symposium I lived in them and mated them with an old dry top.

I have been told that these dry pants easily combine with a double skirted dry top to make a nearly dry system.

I combined these pants with my discontinued Stohlquist double skirted dry top.  I folded the bottom of the inner section of my dry top up.  And snugged the waist band of the Kokatat pants on top of the inner section of my dry top.  I then pulled my neoprene spray skirt on with the tunnel over the dry top.

For most of the time during my BCU L-1 coach training I was dry.  It was only after the third water rescue that water started to enter into the system.  As I floated in the water warm cold Florida water seeped into the waist.

I discovered that even with a gallon of water in my pants I remained comfortable because of my Smartwool pants and socks.  I love Smartwool.  As I sat in my kayak I also attempted to remove the water with my  bilge pump by way of the relief zipper.  It worked.

For Florida paddling these pants with a dry top are a good choice.  Granted when I travel to Sea Kayak Georgia in October I will be wearing a Kokatat GORE-TEX® Expedition Dry Suit EXP


New Kayak t-shirts

Posted: April 27, 2009 by Jeff Fabiszewski in Clothing, Entertainment, Gear Reviews
Tags: , ,

I enjoy a good laugh.  I was surfing and when I saw the new spin on Life is Good t-shirts by Life is Crap I smiled because the kayak illustrations have happened to myself and/or some of my friends.

life-is-crap-kayak-garagelife-is-crap-up-the-creeklife-is-crap-ocean-kayakI hope you have a good laugh around the campfire wearing one of these shirts. —Jeff

Columbia Sportswear Omni-Dry fabric 001I spend a lot of time on the water and under the Florida sun. Which is great if you are like many people trying to achieve a healthy tan; unfortunately, too much sun can lead to the development of a malignant growth. And skin cancer is not a healthy thing.

To keep my skin healthy I wear sun protective clothes and sunscreen. It surprises many people that in the hottest months in Florida I still cover up. And people always ask, “why are you not hot?” when they see me paddling in a wide brim hat, long sleeved shirt, and wearing a paddling vest.

The secret to keeping cool is in the fabric. I wear clothing made by Columbia Sportswear because of the fabric that they use. The clothing made with their Omni-Dry fabric controls my body’s temperature.

I have tried several different clothing combinations. And covering skin with a long sleeve top is the simplest yet most challenging way to protect the skin in a hot climate.  I have used lycra (surfer style rash guards) but they always kept me wet.  Now I use a  shirt made by Columbia because it keeps me cool, dry, and rash free of chafing armpits. And as of today, Columbia Sportswear Omni-Dry fabric works the best in keeping me cool and protected from the sun.

In up incoming posts I will add to what I do to protect my skin from the sun.

• Preventing Skin Cancer: kayak kit • May 5, 2009 •