Friday, October 21, 2011

Peak UK Dry Suit Review

For 2011 we decided to try some new Dry Suits at the store from a company called Peak UK. Peak has been around for a long time in Europe but has never had a large presence in North America, until now that is.

For the last couple of years we have only sold the highly coveted Kokatat Gore-Tex suits. While these suits are arguably one of, if not the best suits on the market they are sometimes a little out of the price range for many recreation paddlers. At a couple of hundred dollars less than a Gore-Tex suit we thought we would try a few Peak suits and see how they went, and went they did. We sold out of our first Peak suits only a couple days after we got them in.

As soon as we received our first suits from Peak, I was really intrigued by some of the new ideas they have applied to their suits. The most obvious new feature is also the coolest, the leg entry. The leg entry is awesome, it's far and above easier to get in and out of this style than the traditional front or rear entry suits. The Zipper goes from one ankle up the inseam and down to the other ankle. You pull the suit on much like you would a hoodie. Aside from making entry and exit a breeze it's also really comfortable. You don’t notice the zipper at all while sitting in a kayak or canoe, not something that can be said for the other styles of suits. The entry zipper also doubles as a relief zipper (a must have feature on a dry suit) for both men and women. On some front entry suits the zipper creates a spot where water can leak through the tunnel on a spray skirt as it creates a ridge the skirt can't conform to.

The Peak dry suits also come with all the other standard features we have come to expect from dry suits. A double tunnel, built in waterproof socks, breathable material, and reinforced high wear spots all come standard on the Peak. Some extras on the Peak suits that don’t come standard on most other suits are things like armor pockets for whitewater paddlers to add some extra padding when running the steep and manky stuff. Also the Explorer suit (sea kayakers & canoeists) comes with a standard built in hood that hides away in the collar when not in use. The sea kayaking crowd really loves the adjustable neck closure on the Explorer suit. Most sea kayakers don’t have the need for an uncomfortable latex neck gasket. The Explorer suit has a super comfortable Lycra neck closure that can be opened up for ventilation or cinched tight for a dryer ride.

Picture of the 2011 Peak Adventurer Suit. For 2012 there are new colors and more pockets.

Me about to test my Peak UK Creek Suit off a 35 foot falls on St.Leon Creek. Photo by Mikkel St.Jean Duncan.

I have had my Creek suit from Peak for 5 months now and have over 50 days in it, with no complaints.

The Creek suit sells for $749, (optional shoulder, elbow and spine armor sold separately), the Explorer suit will be selling for $769.

Picture of a 2011 Creek Suit, for 2012 the suits are red and have pockets.

Come check out these cool new suits and extend your paddling season this winter, safely and comfortably.

Ryan Bayes

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