The gear you choose will be the difference between enjoying yourself or being miserable. Whitewater rafting gear solves this problem keeping you comfortable even in extreme conditions. I will try to save you some time by doing research and recommendations for your outings also hoping we can give you some good ideas.
Cold Water Wet and Dry Suits
Wet suit or dry suit for whitewater rafting gear, will be decided on water temperature and where you plan to raft or kayak. The right suit and clothing will keep you warm and prevent hypothermia. Wetsuits are mainly constructed of foamed neoprene, it holds water next to your skin and gas bubbles in the neoprene act as an insulation keeping you warm, the main thing is to get the right thickness of neoprene, measured in mm (millimeters), for the water temperature you will be actively participating.
The neoprene will also protect you from the different elements, like UV rays, abrasions and mosquitoes. It will also keep you more buoyant in water.
The dry suit works by keeping the water away from your body. Plus you can get clothing underneath to keep you warmer. A good insulating suit is not cheap. Kokatat has a gore-tex suit, which keeps out close to 100% water plus is breathable.
Amazon and Wetsuit Wearhouse both have lots to choose from and compare. Both have informative sites.
Katie likes her Kokatat drysuit, made with gore-tex. You can get a pro deal you can save a lot. She has worked as a rafting guide and got her pro deal there. The rafting suits will not be using the skirt which goes around the part of the kayak where you sit, and can be easily detached in the case you tip over and can’t right your kayak.
NRS sells Kokatat plus their own brand suit. NRS.com is one of the top brand stores for the sale of whitewater supplies, dealing in many brands and much expert advise.
Be Comfortable with the Right Clothing
There are so many ways of dressing to stay warm and dry while rafting or kayaking that you could spend a lifetime trying to find the perfect fit or the right clothing to wear along with your drysuit. Wetsuits are simpler in that you put them on over your swimsuit and just dress more simply. My daughter will help me write on what clothes to wear, by the time I got done with you, you would be wearing an astronaut suit to kayak a river. Movement would be limited. Where kayaking and whitewater sports you need to move quickly at times. The biggest thing for me would be to dress comfortably and stay warm. This would depend on length of your trip, activities, temperature changes. Be prepared for about whatever comes up. Keep it simple and think about how much you can take with you on each trip. Ask experienced rafters and kayaks.
Some places to check for Whitewater Rafting Gear and Kayaking supplies for wet and dry suits, clothing and all kinds of rafting supplies are NRS.com, Outdoorplay.com, Amazon, and Wetsuit Wearhouse, to name a few.
Whatever you do in the outdoors always think ahead and be prepared for what could happen. Don’t take anything for granite. I have spent my life outdoors. Just a few suggestions. Talk to experienced people that do your sport. Make a list, covering as many bases as you can by thinking ahead to what could happen. Let others know your plans, then stick to them as close as you can. As an example: walk around the log instead of crawling over it if you can.
Look ahead and think what could happen before doing something. Do what you know you can handle. In other words check the cinch before climbing in the saddle on your horse. Don’t take calculated chances. Use common sense and don’t do what you don’t think you can’t do. This is the end of my safety lecture. Katie trying to get the cookies without getting caught. Don’t forget the bear pepper spray!
How your raft is constructed could be the difference between a float trip or a wreck. This is why I’m going to write on what is used to construct your raft. Rafts are constructed of different types of materials or combination of those materials.
Hypalon is a name for the chemical chlorosulfonated polyethylene, called CP for short. It is known for being super abrasive resistant, UV and chemical resistant. The Pennel Orca fabric is a layered fabric with CP as a protection, which makes a very tough fabric for raft construction. The military used a lot of these fabrics.
Denier is another add on fabric as a layer, also known for being super tough. It is one layer in a group of layers, layered with a group of other layers to make abrasion, UV and chemical resistant raft. Denier is made up of hundreds of threads woven together. One strand of silk would stretch to 9000 meters and would weigh one gram. A raft rated at 1000 deniers would have a 1000 of the strands, 2000 would be double this. These are tough rafts, and can take a beating. Leaks are usually easy fixes for both Hypalon (CP) and Denier.
Lots of rafts are made in combinations of these materials. These rafts are very resistant to puncturing.
Enjoy Your Adventure
To feel the spray of water while going through a category 3 rapid is exciting and invigorating. Having good equipment is a must. Just sitting in the raft or kayak and just drifting along relaxes our spirits and takes away all the stress of everyday life. The best to all you that participate.
Thanks and the Best