The Ocean Kayak UK Fishing Team members, Keith, Ian and Dane have been using the Typhoon Extreme PS330 drysuits for over a year now. Here Keith does a review on how the suits have performed for the team in a variety of situations.
The suits are the top of the range extreme weather suits tested in the harshest of conditions, they are ideal for the kayak fishing and theirs, and the PS220’s, popularity is evident at every UK kayak meet and testament to their quality. I have used mine for both whitewater and surf trips. On a club trip I spent hours in the sea photographing and videoing kayak surfing in comfort.
- Breathable fabric throughout
- Cordura reinforcing on all high wear points
- XHinge zip position for unrivalled comfort
- PU flex zips as standard with covers
- Fully articulated arms, legs and body for improved fit
- Detachable fleece colar, 3D Dry hood with spray protector
- Double waist
- Revolutionary ‘High-Vis’ glass bead wrist prints and reflective hood tape for increased visibility
- Life jacket compatible
- Extra long lower leg covers to work with ful height boots
- Glide sking seals designed specifically for salt water use
- 6 pockets and hand warmer
- Internal braces
- Comes with changing mat bag
- Three year watertight warranty
The suits are very well manufactured here in the UK and have that fantastic three year watertight warranty. We have not had a single fault with ours, clearly they have maintained their waterproofing, the zips are all working perfectly and the suits are showing no signs of wear on the seals, cuffs, stitching or abrasion to knees, elbows or backside.
A drysuit is designed to do just that, keep you dry when immersed in water. Here in the British Isles even in the heights of summer immersion in the seas around our coast quickly drains away body heat. So why a drysuit as opposed to a wetsuit, after all surfers go out in extreme weather too. The difference is the expectation that a kayaker will spend extended periods sat above the surface and subject to wind chill, you will inevitably get wet at launch or in chop which makes a wetsuit uncomfortable in the cold. Immersion will be sudden and you will initially have cold shock, then cold incapacitation and eventually hypothermia if you cannot maintain your body heat. The advantages of dressing to prevent these is well documented and will ultimately increase your chances of survival significantly. Rescues aren’t generally instant, the ability to self rescue and buddy rescue are paramount too.
Not to dwell too much on the negatives, this suit is practical day to day kayak fishing wear. A drysuit is easier to paddle in with little restriction on arm movement, has the benefit of a pee zip and your underclothes can be tailored to the conditions. The suit itself offers little insulation but offers the flexibility of a thin base layer in warmer weather down to thermal undersuits in winter. Make sure when trying it on you account for this. To clean it I just hose it down and dry it before putting it away. It comes with a bag that doubles as a changing mat.
The PS330 has built in socks with a generous overlay to enable paddlers to wear the longer neoprene boots underneath.
It has removable knee pads for cushioning if kneeling for any period of time. Above these are two reasonably sized thigh pockets. Also shown the all important pee zip.
The large self draining front pocket under a velcro flap has an additional two compartment zipped pocket, ideal for whistles etc. The hand warmer pocket is zipped and the fleece lining is secured by velcro and can be removed for washing. There are two further zipped shoulder pockets.
The suit comes with a removable hood and the reflective material works well for locating mates on there water, protecting you from the rain and wind and of course making you visible to other sea users. It stows away in the high collar and this whole hood/collar attachment is removable.
I was sceptical at first about the Xhinge PU flexible zips. Firsty after years of bulky zips to the rear I feared that a protruding zip midriff would be a hazard for re entries, be uncomfortable when lifejackets were applied over it and would get in the way of a spraydeck when I go whitewater kayaking. All these fears were unfounded. The zip is very flat and flexible, I’ve tried to show this in the pictures below.
So the Xhinge, how good is it ? I regularly fish alone. Through last minute opportunities or lack of people mad enough to fish all seasons. This suit has been brilliant for the ease of donning and removing on my own. The pulling the shell over my head and central zip has to be the best feature I’ve seen in a drysuit and I love it. As with all kit though visit your local shop try it on see how you like it. Do them the courtesy of buying it from them though, if you don’t and order elsewhere just to save a couple of pounds don’t be surprised when they are no longer there.
Typhoon sizing is very accurate their broad range really helps us more normal sized people get a good fit.
I’ve used mine with the Typhoon Duotherm undersuit on some of the coldest days and the combination has really kept the elements at bay. I’ve been using Typhoon neoprene rock boots for years now and can’t fault them. My current pair albeit on their way out have lasted 5 years.
Yes this suit is relatively expensive but then it is excellent quality and the top of the range. If you want a durable suit guaranteed watertight for three years and with a quality feel that reassures you it will last far longer I would recommended this suit. Yes, we as a team are sponsored by Typhoon, that does not mean we get kit free. Anyone who knows how frugal I am will appreciate the saying “Buy quality and cry once, buy cheap and cry forever.” My tears have subsided.