Wesley's Wild World of Kayaking & the Jackson Action Wagon (JAW)

News, Info, & Events from my kayaking life

Kokatat Gore-Tex Trinity Dry Top Southeast Field Test

From freestyle to creeking, this shorty dry top gets the job done well in whitewater!

Nantahala “Horns of God” – Photo by: Rahul Subramanian

Product website: https://kokatat.com/product/gore-tex-trinity-dry-top-dtutrn 

I’ve been a whitewater kayaker for over 15 years now, so I’ve tried a lot of different brands and types of splash/semi/dry tops.  I’m a big warm natured type of guy that lives in the southeast, so I’ve learned over the years that I don’t have much use for splash or semi-dry tops.  I typically paddle on hot summer days either skin to the wind or with a light sun protection shirt if the water temperature is above 50 degrees.  However, I find great use in having a shorty dry top for many reasons starting in the spring and throughout till late autumn.

I started using my new Kokatat Gore-Tex Trinity Dry Top in the late spring this year while creeking season was still in its prime.  The milder air and water temperatures during this time make it a bit uncomfortable for me to wear a full dry suit.  Having a shorty dry top as an option in my gear bag during this season always increases my comfort while keeping a much dryer core and creek boat.  I also like the safety aspect of having an extra piece of gear on to aid in rash protection in case of a manky creeking situation.

Laurel Fork of the Doe “Groove Tube” – Photo by: Matt Dalton

This year I was amazed at how much dryer both me and my boat were using the Trinity compared to other “dry” shorty tops I have owned in the past!  I typically layer under my shorty with a short sleeve thin rashguard.  Every time I took off my Trinity this spring and summer after creeks and river runs I found my rashguard completely dry of water.  My boat was also 100% dry as long as if I did not have to get out to scout or portage through the water on a run.  The seal the Trinity makes with my spray skirt is superb.  

I also like to use a shorty dry top when I playboat, because freestyle kayaking tends to keep you upside down and splashing around a lot.  Thus water can implode through your spray skirt tunnel without some sort of paddle jacket to aid in sealing.  The Trinity really shined in performance during summer playboat sessions!  It was by far the best dry top I’ve every worn while playboating.  I could go for a 1-2 hour play session with only a few drops in my boat after I was done flipping and tricking.  This was a very impressive finding in comparison to other tops I’ve used playboating!  The Gore-Tex coating not only helped keep me dry from whitewater in the feature, but it also help me from over perspiring inside the jacket on the warmer days.  This makes for a great balance of comfort all the way around! 

The only thing I thought was missing on the Trinity was some sort of small gear pocket.  I find a zip pocket to be a handy accessory some of the time.  As with any dry top the latex gaskets took some time to break-in (stretch) to fit well.  At first the gaskets were rather tight, but now they feel fine and are still bone dry.  Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this purchase and would highly recommend the Trinity Dry Top to any whitewater kayaker who does not has an allergy to latex.

Nantahala Cascades – Photo by: Rahul Subramanian

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *
*
*