Review of Peak UK Paddling GearDecember 23, 2014
Peak Kit – Review June 2012
A little about me to start with, so you know who is writing this. I am a director of Pro Adventure Activities in Llangollen, which is a not for profit outdoor centre and I am an aspirant Level 5 canoe coach. I have been boating for 28 years, paddled around the world in canoes and kayaks and have worked in the outdoors for over 20 years teaching pretty much everything.When it comes to abusing kit I am right up there with the pro kit destroyers, outside 5 days a week most of the year whether it be boating or biking for myself or instructing or guiding expeditions. So my kit gets put through the mill and only the stuff that works gets kept and used and used.
I got my current set of peak kit 2 years ago now, and they have been well and truly used and abused.I have been using peak kit on and off since I started paddling. Not exclusively as you don’t do you, you get what you can afford as and when and as you progress, your requirements change. But I was lucky enough to get a Pro-deal with peak in 2010 which enabled me to kit myself out in a 1 piece creeker dry-suit, a River Guide BA, a creeker dry cag, Multi sport pants and multi sport jacket.
As a UKCC coach educator, WWSR provider, 4 Star provider, White Water Coach, expedition guide and a kayak and canoe Paddler I thought this would be the best mix of kit to enable me to do all my coaching and my own personal paddling.
Where to start? I guess with the bank kit.
The multi-sport pants and the jacket are really well designed and so functional that they are always in my kit bag.Whether im biking, walking, teaching climbing or team building they are there.The Pants fit well, and with the large zip opening at the bottom are very easy to get over boots.They do the trick of fitting over trousers really well, but also being worn just over boardies or thermals equally well.The Velcro and neoprene ankle seals are surprisingly waterproof, as I found out and regularly test lol!
The jacket is lightweight, windproof and surprisingly waterproof considering how light it is.This jacket is so versatile that it gets worn for coaching, paddling, walking, biking and even going out and shopping.My only gripe with the jacket is the hood, as hoods go, its awesome, adjusts well and fits over a helmet easily, BUT, it didn’t stow anywhere which was slightly annoying, but good news the new version is stowable. A big thumbs up.
They are called multisport and in my opinion they work well in every sport I have tried. These are a MUST for anyone who is outdoors often.
Creeker 1 piece dry-suit. Well as a white water paddler, WWSR provider and someone who likes to be comfy while boating, a dry suit is an essential bit of my kit.Which get used on average 5 days a week for nearly 6 months of the year.
The creeker suit, when I got it, was new on the market and plenty of people were dubious of the zip location, especially for a canoeist. I saw it as the best place for it, as it meant easy to get on and off, a built in pee zip plus it didn’t get in the way of putting BA’s on.Also acts as a useful changing robe in bad weather.
From the first time I put it on, it felt comfortable, didn’t restrict movement and after a little adjustment to the neck seal, easy to wear for the day.The material felt tough but supple and the seams looked well done.After2 years of use, I can happily say my initial thoughts were correct. The zip is awesome and works well( just remember to used the lube that comes with it occasionally), The material still looks new and none of the seams have failed.
Since having it I can honestly say it has never leaked. Its not been washed or re-proofed and is perfect!! My only gripe with this bit of kit is that the elbow pad pockets, after being in the water can collect water and when you lift your arms up it runs out. Not a big issue at all but annoying. As you get water running everywhere.
The River guide BA is quite simply, in my mind, the best BA on the market.I have had and used many other types and they are all good, but they don’t get the accolade of the BEST.This BA manages to fit cavernous pockets, fantastic cut, easy adjustments and perfect fit, on well built product.Put simply perfect.The front pocket happily consumes the following – Boat saw, 4m Tape, 2 x Krabs, 2 spare drain bungs, spare foot plate bolts, waterproof note book, knife, glasses holder and a digital camera.Yes, honestly all that and still close and does not effect the fit or hamper paddling or swimming.
The creeker long Cag is possibly the least used bit of my kit. This is because the dry suit and multi sport jacket do such a good job that the cag just doesn’t get used that much. But on the few times I have worn it, it has been amazing.The fit, cut and quality is that you would expect from Peak UK.
I feel I can say all this as I have to pay for my kit, and there fore don’t have to say nice things.As a result of my using Peak UK kit, I have seen my staff and customers start to change over to using it.This I feel is the best confirmation of how good the kit is.
To get your PeakUK Paddling Equipment go to the ProAdventure Store, if they don’t have what you need in stock they can soon get it for you.
ProAdventure Chief Instructor