Monday, June 7, 2010

Staying warm and dry in the cold and wet with IR's Double D

Spring sprung and now summer is here in the southeast, which means that the drysuits have been put away until next December. It has been a great winter/spring of paddling and throughout it all my Double D drysuit kept me warm and dry. For me, drysuit season started out in early December when I switched from paddling in my IR Comp drytop here in the Southeast to living in my Double D for two weeks in the Grand Canyon (see report here). After a few weeks in the Grand Canyon, I headed south of the border for warmer waters (see report here), when I returned to southeast in January to found the entire region in a deep freeze.

The following two months the core groups of local paddlers kept paddling straight through one of the coldest Januarys and February s on record. Highlights included endless ice chandeliers on every run, beautiful snowy river banks, breaking through (and sometimes portaging) frozen pools on Little River Canyon and a few days dodging ice undercuts on the normally tame Tellico River. Throughout it all I have been extremely pleased with the IR Double D and wanted to share my thoughts on the suit itself and the new improvements in the current model.

From the beginning IR’s Double D drysuit featured built in booties, a relief zipper, and an entry zipper across the shoulder blades. These are all great features that anyone should look for when looking for a drysuit, but several improvements to the newest version of the Double D have made it even better. The new four-layer Entrant fabric is more durable, very waterproof, and still quite breathable.

However, the best upgrade by far is the entry zipper. I have always preferred drysuits that utilized a rear zipper entry because of ease of entry and how much drier my boat stays when compared to front entry suits. IR’s new entry zipper is now longer which is great for big guys (like me) and the new zipper slides open and closed more freely than the old style zipper. There also seems to be a little extra fabric around the entry area which makes it less tight around the shoulders and therefore easier for me to operate myself (not that I do a lot of solo paddling when its drysuit weather, but its nice to know I can do myself).

Conclusions? Like most Immersion Research products, the Double “D” Drysuit is an extremely well thought out design. A great example is the flap covering the rear entry zipper. This simple addition protects the zipper and just as importantly, it allows me to pull my PFD down over my head easily (unlike designs where the zipper is exposed and the PFD snags). This kind of attention to detail (and numerous other details on the DD and other IR products) continues to prove what we all know already… that IR was founded by real paddlers, with products designed by real paddler, for use by real paddlers. The IR Double D Drysuit has all the top features anyone could want in a Drysuit. With a price more than $100 less than other top-of-the-line drysuits, the Doulble D should be at the top of anyone’s shopping list who is looking to be warm and dry next winter.

Until Next Time...


kayak session

No comments: