Outdoor Retailer : Day 2 : Immersion Research

A few additions and updates to Immersion's Research line of paddling gear. As always, in addition to doing a great job across their line, the IR team is spearheading technical women's paddling gear that the usual "shrink it and pink it" methodology can't touch.

Starting with their dry gear, IR is moving all of their 4 layer garments to a new, heavier duty 4 layer fabric. Many of their existing pieces are already in the new material, but they'll continue to roll out those that aren't.

The 2010 drysuit gets a new zipper this year that is drier and feet that are treated with an extra layer of polyurethane to improve durability.

If you require the driest of the dry, IR makes a stitchless drytop, the X Jacket, that is the dry top for you. Made of entirely glued construction, there isn't a place in this top for the tape to peel up and leak. White Salmon paddlers, you asked for - they made it!

We've been looking for some good splash pants and IR's version with neoprene gaskets, reinforced abrasion locations, and a well placed hidden pocket is a strong contender.

Ladies - this year's Comp LX in Butter looks great! Made with 4 layer Entrant, it's the closest thing to X-Jacket-dry this side of the X jacket and will have the great women's specific fit that has become the hallmark of IR's ladies line up.

Also with the ladies in mind: the union with the drop seat. Between these and products like Go Girl and Whiz Freedom, the women are getting some options!

Skirts are the only thing to receive a complete overhaul this year. With Jackson taking the boat market by storm, IR redesigned their skirts with every JK boat from the All Star to the Hero in mind. That said, don't worry all of you Liquid Logic, Pyranha & Confluence fans - they made sure they fit your boats too! Two of the skirts we really liked are the Lucky Charm, a great rand skirt, and the Shockwave, a bungee skirt. Brand new to the line up, the Lucky Charm will be great fit for the intermediate/advanced boater while the Shockwave, with it's user friendly bungee and user friendly price ($100), will take care of the someone just getting into the sport.

In addition to their dry gear, layers & skirts, IR always does a great job with paddle wear. If you're familiar with it, the Guide Short gets its grommet back this year and everything from the surf trunks to the business casual shirts (paddler style, of course) looked really good.

On a side note, John Weld - who along with his wife, Kara, owns/operates IR - called us ninnies and said he thinks the cold water of the PNW is over-rated. He promises to leave his balmy East Coast bath water and come out with a Silk Skin, a Shorty, a Speedo and some sun screen and show us how it's done. If we can hold him to it, I promise some entertaining pictures for the blog.

Labels: , ,