When a paddling Jacket isn’t just a paddling Jacket
As I strive to take a more minimalistic approach to my paddling, fishing, and camping life, a notion that seems lost to me when I visit the local Fly Shp, I typically find myself looking for product’s That will serve more than one purpose. Kokatat’s Gore-Tex Full Zip Jacket just happens to be one of those products for me. When I originally purchased the jacket my intent was to find a lightweight, breathable, fully waterproof jacket with paddling friendly features. Since picking up the jacket in the early part of last season I’ve definitely put it through its paces and it has held up impressively.
Full zip hooded jacket with double storm flaps
Integral wide-billed storm hood with bungee adjustments on sides and back
Adjustable coated Lycra® splash cuffs
Zippered, self-draining chest pockets and left sleeve pocket with key lanyard and reflective piping
Side entry, pile-lined hand warmer pockets, self-draining
Adjustable bungee drawcord at waist
Rollaway hood with reflective piping
Factory sealed seams
“The featherweight jacket with sealed seams, adjustable splash cuffs and collar complete this GORE-TEX® version of our classic paddling jacket. The zippered sleeve pocket is self-draining and accessible while wearing your life vest. Adjustable coated Lycra® collar keeps splash out.”
As a paddling jacket it performs exactly as advertised. It’s a great lightweight waterproof jacket when on the water with a nice cut allowing for great freedom of arm and torso movement when paddling even when layering up for colder weather. The wide bill of the hood works well at keeping the water off and comes with bungee adjustments on the side and back for a more comfortable fit. The splash cuffs work perfectly and the lined pockets are a big plus on the colder days.
When I purchased the jacket I was really only looking for a waterproof outer layer for wet weather paddling and kayak fishing. It was a coincidence that I happened to be in the market for a nice lightweight wading jacket for my walk and wade fly fishing sessions. I wasn’t to keen on the wading jacket I had already as it was a bit on the bulky side and didn’t pack up all that well when not in use. After hitting the water a few times with the jacket I realized it was everything I was looking for in a light packable wading jacket. It shares almost all of the exact same features as a wading jacket with the exception of dual front zip pockets and the typically short cut. I usually use a sling pack when fly fishing and have never really had much use for the dual front pockets so that was a non issue for me. The Kokatat’s Gore-Tex Full Zip Jacket has an adjustable bungee draw cord at the waist allowing me to adjust its level on my waist to anywhere I like. Something most wading jackets don’t have. I also found my range of arm movement when casting better than the wading jacket I had been using. Its as breathable as any other product I have or have had. It’s packable,waterproof and lightweight. For me it’s more than just a paddling jacket. It’s a wading jacket and my go to rain jacket as well.
The Kokatat Gore-Tex Full Zip Jacket was definitely one of my favorite acquisitions last season. It has performed well as not only a paddling and kayak fishing jacket it has outperformed my previous wading jacket. Oh and the Lichen color is sweet.