Kokatat has just announced the fruits of their labour with the recently announced partnership with Eric “E.J.” Jackson and his son Dane.
Starting January, 2013, you will be able to purchase the Kokatat Jackson Collection which will include specially designed dry suit, dry-top and shorty dry-top.
Everything will be unveiled at Outdoor Retailer in a couple of weeks but they released a couple of sneak peek photos below.
As you can see, everything is designed from a whitewater kayaking perspective so most of the bells and whistles (like pockets) that come on their touring gear have been left behind with a focus on sleekness, function and flexibility.
GORE-TEX Icon Dry Suit
The new Icon Dry Suit is a tangerine coloured suit with nice graphics on the arm. The most obvious design change (compared to their other suits) is that they moved the entry zipper from across the front of the chest to the back of your shoulder. I don’t know all the reasons for the change but my guess is that it allows the front of the suit to be more flexible and move more comfortably during whitewater tricks.
GORE-TEX Legend Dry Top
The new Legend Dry Top has many of the same features and colour pattern as the Icon Dry Suit (minus the pants of course). If you have a tighter budget, the dry-top will also be available in their new Hudrus 3-Layer fabric. More on that below.
Hydrus 3L Mythic Shorty Dry Top
The new Mythic Shorty is going to be available in a new material called Hydrus 3L.
I don’t know a whole lot of information about Hydrus 3L but it looks like somebody has finally figured out how to make a waterproof breathable nylon material.
Here is the description I found:
The Mythic shorty, part of the Kokatat Jackson Collection, features Kokatat’s new Hydrus 3L, a three-layer fabric that is exceptionally waterproof and breathable thanks to its super tough Nylon outer layer with a DWR finish, a proprietary polyurethane micro-porous coating, and a soft polyester inner layer to manage moisture.
I wrote to Kokatat to get more info about the pros and cons of the new material and will update when I hear back.
Update: Kokatat said they will be relasing more information about Hydreus 3L in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!
Maximus Prime PFD
Not specifically part of the Kokatat Jackson Collection but still new on the market, the Maximus Prime PFD looks like a very cool design. I’m keen to see better photos and video showing off the features. It’s a low volume PFD called the Maximus Prime (awesome name) which features a quick release safety harness and O-ring, a tether/ tow system, and an electronics pocket.
The biggest new feature of the Maximus Prime which is hinting at a whole new line of PFD's for next year is what they are calling the “Dynamic Suspension System (DSS)”. According to the info I received, “the DSS features wide, contoured shoulder straps that allow an independently suspended front flotation panel to move with the paddler.”
So there you have it, the Kokatat Jackson Collection. What do you think? Is it time to start saving up for Sping? All signs point to yes.
No word on pricing for anything yet but look for it in your local paddling shop sometime in early 2013.