It was time to choose some new clothing for the 2016 season. The days are slowly starting get warmer so i wanted clothing that i could be flexible with. By this i mean that i want clothing that i can easily layer up, or layer down depending on how cold or warm it is. A two-piece suit is the solution and for this i choose the new Palm Atom Bib for the bottom half, along with Palm Seti Thermal Pants. This blog post takes a closer look at the Atom Bib and Seti Pants, with plenty of photos that may be of help to those looking at purchasing new paddle clothing.
Palm Atom Bib
The Atom Bib will keep your lower half dry - this does not mean that they will keep you warm. They are nothing more than a barrier between you and the cold water and/or wind. They will keep you warmer compared to not wearing them at all but realistically they provide little in the way of real warmth. To keep warm you will need some suitable thermal layers to wear beneath. We will get onto that later....
For the last 12 months i have used the Palm Ion Pants (now the Palm Atom Pants) - effectively the Atom bib but without the bib section! These were great but i did find that when in the RTM Tempo i am often sat in a paddle of water due to the low seating position and lack of a scupper hole under the seat. Occasionally if a lot of water was coming into the seat when paddling through messy stuff the water would creep up my back. This is the reason i have gone for the Bib this time around, as the upper section should prevent this from happening.
Lets take a closer look at the Atom Bib....
The Atom Bibs also features XP-4 layer 320D reinforced panels in high wear areas such as the knees and seat.
The Velcro adjustable waist is simple and effective. Simply do them up tight enough to provide a good seal against the body but not too tight to be uncomfortable to wear. The velcro waist is compatible with a twin waist cag to form a reasonable seal against the water.
Palm Seti Pants
In order to stay warm you will need to wear appropriate base layers, ideally ones that are designed for paddle sport use. These will be lightweight. breathable and have fast moisture wicking properties. I have opted for the Palm Seti Thermal Pant to wear beneath the Atom Bib. The Seti Pant is designed for mild/cool conditions so will be great for Spring through to Autumn. For the colder Winter period i can always layer up and add additional base layers.
Lets take a closer look....
The main flexibility comes in the upper half of the suit. As previously mentioned, on calmer days you can often stay practically dry on your upper half unless your jumping in, but you never know when you may fall in unintentionally. Whilst not wanting to overdo the top half with several layers in order to stay dry, i also don't want to end up freezing cold if i was to fall in. I have been using the Palm Kaituna Neoflex top (overview here) over the last year and find it brilliant as a paddling top. It keeps me warm in mild conditions but isn't too hot for paddling on the really sunny days. It also keeps you reasonably warm when damp or wet from wave splash. I've jumped in with it on several times and it does help combat the chilly UK sea water, well its warmer than not wearing a neoprene top anyway! So the Kaituna is what i will be wearing most often with the Atom Bib.
Neoprene isn't for everyone though and there are several other types of thermal base layer that could be worn instead. If the weather is really hot i'll be wearing just a t-shirt - unlikely on my days off anyway!
A Quick Test
NOTE: when wearing dry trousers make sure your vent as much air from the trousers as possible before going paddling. To do this crouch down when wearing to remove as much air as possible before re-sealing the waist band and standing back up straight You can also walk into the water up to the waist seal to vent the air out too, if possible. Venting can be done via the pee zip on the Atom bib too if your on dry land. It will feel like you've vacuum packed yourself but if there is no air in the trousers then none can escape if your find yourself in the water. As air escapes through the waist seal it gives the water a chance to seep back in - it wont be a lot but better to try and prevent it in the first place.