Drysuits are an essential piece of kit for kayak fishing in Ireland. They will keep you dry in the worst of weather and conditions and your clothing underneath can be layered appropriately for the time of year and expected conditions. Some anglers prefer not to use a drysuit but opt for separate dry jackets and pants, favouring the options that two pieces can provide as opposed to just the one. With this in mind I decided to have a look at the Palm Equipment Bora Jacket.
Available in red or saffron, this jacket is absolutely packed with features. Starting at the waist, Palm Equipment have designed this jacket with a twin waist, made up of an inner skirt covered by the adjustable outer neoprene waist band. The twin seal creates an environment where water ingress is severely hampered and minimises the amount of ingress between the layers of a dry two piece ensemble. The outer waist is adjustable with the aid of some heavy duty velcro fasteners.
Moving up onto the stomach area and we find a pair of pockets secured with YKK zippers. The sleeves either side are ended with latex wrist seals and adjustable velcro fasteners on the outer for a snug fit that won’t allow water through. The arms also feature some reflective piping, a safety consideration that will allow rescuers locate paddlers in low light conditions.
Moving onto the upper torso we find a 1/4 length zip. Underneath this 1/4 length zip is a second collar, fleece lined and zipped. The double layering of zippers allows for many options for the wearer; warmer weather can see one or both left open for venting and comfort, in inclement conditions they can both be fastened to protect against the elements. The outer collar of the jacket is adjustable and can cover a good portion of the face in really inclement conditions, breathing holes present if it comes to that.
The outer collar also hides a folded hood which can be easily accessed and very useful when, as it likes to do in Ireland, it pours with rain. The hood is fully adjustable and features a sewn in peak which not only gives the hood shape and structure but also shields the eyes from whipping rain that comes in sideways in strong winds. When not needed it falls back effortlessly and stays out of your way. The design of the outer collar and hood provides a jacket that is light enough to paddle all day in but also tough enough to hide in when weathering out a storm.
The Palm Equipment Bora jacket is exceptionally well made, as we have come to expect from products from this company. I really like the protection it offers from the elements but also the fact that as a single garment it can be discarded altogether when the sun decides to shine. The Bora makes the perfect partner to team up with dry pants and it should be more than capable to handle anything that Irish weather and kayak fishing conditions that Ireland can throw at us.
A full range of Palm Equipment clothing is available in Ireland through the Canoe Centre.