Gore-Tex Meridian – It’s a Kokatat classic for sure and you are bound to fit in with everybody on the beach at your local kayaking symposium. If you can afford to upgrade to the model with the relief zipper and integrated socks do it. Having dry feet and the ability to pee without taking the whole suit off is worth the upgrade for sure.
TROPOS RE-Action Jacket – Its great piece of gear for somebody looking to purchase a paddling jacket but on a budget. It has wrist gaskets so the water doesn’t run down your arms when paddling but it has a neoprene neck closure so it is comfortable to wear on a day paddle. Not having a neck gasket helps keep costs down for customers and if you are not planning on rolling or a lot of rescue practice then it is a great jacket choice.
MsFIT PFD – They released it as a woman’s model but in reality it fits pretty much everybody due to it’s “anatomically cut foam panels”. When I worked at a local paddling shop it was one of the first models I would reach for when people came into the shop looking for a PFD. The MsFIT Tour model is a similar design but comes with more pockets and reflective tape sewn on.
Finally for the history buffs out there, here is a video posted by Kokatat for their 40th anniversary in which they talk about the early days trying to get their business off the ground. It’s pretty fascinating. I had no idea that they used to be called “Blue Puma” before the big company Puma heard about them and sent a cease and desist letter forcing the name change to Kokatat.