Having sea kayaked for 6 years and tried out various methods for keeping dry during the cooler seasons, I finally bit the bullet and decided to invest in a full drysuit.
Two piece drysuits are fine if you’re with other paddlers and can get assured rescue quickly if you happen to capsize but, for me, as I normally solo paddle, I wanted something that offered full protection and comfort if in the water for an extended period of time.
I had quite a range of kayak specific drysuits to choose from but settled on the Typhoon range as they had great reviews and feedback from customers.
Their range also had glideskin neck and wrist seals as opposed to latex (which makes my eyes stream for some reason) and a host of features that I couldn’t find on other offerings.
The Typhoon PS330 Xtreme has an excellent entry system known as the ‘Hinge Zip’ with the drysuit zip circling the waist/midriff as opposed to the usual arrangement across the shoulders.
This makes it incredibly easy to put on by oneself, without having to rely on someone else to help with the zip, or performing contortions not usually seen on a middle aged male.
The zip sits well and doesn’t interfere with a spray deck. In fact it’s unnoticeable when paddling. It also means that the shoulders are free from any hinderance.
Another feature which sold me on the suit was the removable collar. The collar itself is fantastic. Fleece lined, high enough to cover ones ears and with a built in hi-vis hood, it’s perfect for the winter months or when the wind picks up. However, I don’t want it attached all the time and, on the warmer days, it would feel too hot. But with a flick of the wrist, the hood and collar unzip and the suit is left with just the neck seal and a protective over-cover. Very similar to a whitewater drysuit.
Further useful features include the removable fleece handwarmer chest pocket, the removable kneepads, the excellent thigh pockets (which don’t get in the way of thigh braces) and a separate, horizontal fly zip.
The fold out hood has a surprisingly efficient seal around the face that kept the worst of the spray at bay and had all the usual adjustments to stop it flapping about or blocking vision.
The wrist and ankle cuts had good, wide velcro that could be adjusted with gloved hands and the inner leg tubes are great, as they were knee high so kayak boots such as the Palm Nova can fit underneath.
Wearing the drysuit is a joy. The glideskin neck seal doesn’t snag or pull like a latex seal and, after a few minutes, I forget I”m wearing it. The suit itself breathes well and doesn’t feel clammy. I didn’t feel overdressed or restricted and frequently left the suit on during lunch breaks.
It doesn’t get in the way of paddling and didn’t rub under the armpits, which some of my cags are prone to.
Being double-waisted, the sprayskirt fitted nicely underneath and I didn’t get that feeling of ‘too many layers round the waist’ that can occur.
The PS330 is not only ideal for kayaking, it’s also a versatile drysuit for all other boating activities, such as dinghy sailing, power boating and sailing.
The PS330 is the flagship Surface Drysuit from Typhoon. Using technology developed when creating the PS220, refinements such as the hinge zip system , 3D Hood with spray protector and detachable fleece lined storm collar have been added. It boasts unrivalled comfort and comes packed with features that make it a class leader, including the Typhoon 3 Year water tight warranty.
- TX4 breathable fabric
- Cordura reinforcing on all high wear points
- Hinge zip position for unrivalled comfort
- Convenience zip as standard
- PU flex zips as standard with covers
- Fully articulated arms, legs and body for improved fit
- Detachable fleece collar and detachable 3D dry hood with spray protector
- Double waist
- Revolutionary ‘High-Vis’ glass bead wrist prints and refl ective hood tape for increased visibility
- Lifejacket compatible
- Extra long lower leg covers to work with full height boots
- GlideSkin seals designed specifi cally for salt water use
- 5 pockets and a removable hand warmer
- Comes with changing mat bag
- 3 year watertight warranty