What’s in a Cag? [38]

By David Winkworth

Cast your mind back to last winter’s paddle outings and you may remember Norm Sanders paddling along in a particularly nice bit of gear: a “dry top” made by “Hot ‘n Dry” Dry suits of Ulladulla. The top is made of “Milair” which is a breathable fabric.

Norm’s dry top has latex neck and wrist seals which are a bit hot for me…but anyway…on with the story!

My trusty old cag of ten years is due to be pensioned off this year but every replacement cag I’ve looked at has been unsuitable for one reason or another: uncomfortable neck, poor wrist sealing, no neck ventilation, tight across the shoulders, too many bloody pockets etc.

So, last year I went to see Erwin at Hot ‘n Dry to ask him about designing a cag for me. Let me tell you – the folk at Hot ‘n Dry make terrific gear. They test all their fabrics in the most unbelievable ways. For example, to test each delivery of breathable fabric, they make a big bag from it, tape seal the seams and fill it with water. If it leaks a drop they send it back!

With Erwin’s help we came up with a really nice cag. Specifications as follows:

  • Fabric: 2 layer breathable fabric (works fine in salt water and stops you getting all sweaty inside.)
  • Cuffs: 100mm length parallel cut neoprene cuffs for positive waterproof seal.
  • Sleeves: Long enough to NOT stretch the body when you put your hands over your head….and no water runs up your sleeve and down your body!
  • Body: Generous cut for freedom of movement and not too long so there’s no bunch-up at the waist when sitting. No pockets…..Who needs a pocket on the chest of a cag which is squashed flat by a PFD? Pockets can be added to sleeves if needed .
  • Neck: Side or front opening with storm flap and good ventilation. Single – sided neoprene for sealing (ask the surfers about it) and non-irritation of your neck.
  • Waist: Shock cord seal with cord grip…at the side so it’s out of the way.
  • Colour: Darkish for me to soak up the sun and keep me warm on a cold winter’s day.

Well, they’re the specs for my ideal cag. Now, Erwin would like to know what members of the Sea Kayak Club want so he can start making some good sea paddling gear.

If you agree with my ideas above, or would like to change some piece etc, please call Erwin on (02) 4454 0686 (Fax (02) 4454 0696) or me and discuss your ideas.

Let’s get Erwin to work making some really nice gear locally for cool weather paddling!

Cags don’t have to be uncomfortable.