Several weeks ago I had the great pleasure of getting a package in the mail from the watersports clothing manufacturer, SeasonFive. Inside the package I found a short sleeve Barrier Top which is made of a very cool material called Atmos 1.0. SeasonFive markets the Barrier Top as a garment to be worn when it’s to warm for a wet suit but it’s still to cold to go without any type of insulation while on the water. What sets the Barrier Top apart from other insulating tops on the market is their proprietary ultrathin material they call Atmos 1.0. The waterproof, windproof breathable material is designed to fit snugly and provide support for your muscles. I tried this garment out in some very intense testing conditions which included a family vacation (playing with the kids in the ocean and sitting by the pool avoiding my kids) as well as several days out paddling or teaching in a kayak. I will start-off by saying I was quite impressed. The Barrier Top was considerably warmer then I thought it would be based on the thinness of the material. That being said, it doesn’t provide a huge amount of insulation when you go swimming (compared to fuzzy rubber or a wet suit) as water flushes down the neck but it was more then enough for playing around in the water. The fact that it cuts the wind was really nice as it took the chill off as soon as I was out of the water. Since the garment is waterproof and hardly absorbs any water so I also found that it dried quickly. If you are looking for a new top for out paddling in semi-cool conditions check out the Barrier Top from SeasonFive. They are a newer company so their products are only available in a couple of paddling/surfing shops so check their website for your closest dealer. They do sell everything through their website which might be your best bet for purchase. When I first put on the top I found it to be a touch tight for my liking but…
Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Hi-N-Dry Rolling Aid

After writing and scrapping a piece about this, I decided you can make your own conclusions if this is worth the $87.50 they are asking or if it would be better spend putting it into a rolling pool clinic. You can find more info about the Hi-N-Dry here. Thanks to the Bloyd-Peshkin’s at Have Kayaks, Will Travel for the awesome heads-up. Photo credits: Hi-N-Dry
If you have ever dreamed of making customizations to your sea kayak you need to check out Gnarlydog's summary post of every single hack he has made to his boat over the years. You need to check it out as his site is fantastic and always a great read. There are links on the page to articles he has written over the years highlighting his homebuilt electronic pump with magnetic on/off switch or instructions on how to build your own custom fibreglass replacement seat. If you are scared about putting holes in your brand new kayak, just remember it’s only the first hole that really hurts (in theory). Photo Credit: GnarlyDog News
I don’t care what camping traditionalists or lightweight campers have to say; I feel that Coleman’s new propane powered camping oven is one of the greatest inventions in the last 10 minutes.
This past weekend was able to get out to the annual Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show. While I mainly go visit friends from around Ontario who I haven’t seen since warmer weather I also like to take a quick pass up and down the rows at the show to see what’s up. For me, it doesn’t take long to make the rounds once all the travel booths are knocked out (which is about ½ the show) and all the booths hocking shoe polish and better rags to clean your glasses (no streaks!). I will admit I did get distracted by the booth selling one-piece micro fleece outfits. I don’t know what they were thinking as they were more like a form fitting snuggie then anything else. Heading down one row I was stopped in my tracks when I came upon a small booth by a canoe company I had never heard of before called Northern Sound. They are a new manufacturing company from the UK who make Birch Canoes that are absolutely the most beautiful things I have seen in a very, very long time. Northern Sound aims to replicate the feel of birchbark canoes using both traditional materials and historical designs. Since birchbark is extremely limited in supply, the hulls are made from laminated Birch while the gunwals, ribs and thwarts are all made from Cedar. Keeping everything together are lashings made from Willow and Spruce root. The pitch they add to the hull to seal up the cracks has been formulated to still be soft yet not dry out and shrink like regular tar does. The prices for these boats are not cheap. What you are paying for a custom built, handmade boat that is pretty much a work of art on the water so depending on the model, they range from about $2500 up to about $5400 Canadian. Talking to company president Roberto Corradi, I found out that they would like to expand into North America so they shipped the boats over from the UK to try to work out some manufacturing/distribution deals. I really hope that they…

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