Level Six Ellesmere Jacket
Sizes: XS to XL
Colours: Grotto Blue, Beet Red, Violet Indigo
Price: $190 CAD
- YKK Aqua guard zippers on the quarter-zip neck and arm pocket
- Adjustable neoprene waist
- Adjustable neoprene double cuff wrist system
- Fleece-lined collar and storm flap with laser-cut ventilation holes
- Removable / stowaway hood
- Hidden safe key pocket
- Exhaust 2.5 UL ply waterproof breathable nylon
The first thing you notice when you pick up this jacket is how lightweight it is. Not designed to be a full-on dry top, this splash jacket was designed with lightweight waterproof breathable nylon.
When you put it on, you can't help but feel the soft fleece lined collar that when fully zipped offers protection over your chin. I didn't think I'd ever have this jacket fully zipped up but on a rainy and windy day in Georgian bay sea kayaking mid-summer it was full zipped. Using this jacket in spring and fall I also have in zipped up fully.
Once you have the jacket on you need to adjust the two layers of wrist velcro straps. This is an important step when wanting to keep warm and dry. The cuffs fit well over my watch but then I couldn't see my watch on my wrist so I transferred it to attach around my PFD shoulder strap. The neoprene waist velcro straps also needs to be adjusted. This works well over spray skirts or even rainpants (if wearing the coat around camp).
I prefer to keep the stowaway hood out as I tend to need it when wearing this jacket in rain and windy conditions. The hood offers good coverage from the rain and can be cinched down to stay on in the wind.
The Exhaust 2.5UL waterproof-breathable fabric is indeed waterproof and breathable. I routinely get wet arms while sea kayaking and this jacket offers great protection from getting soaked, especially in colder water conditions. I have used the jacket in big swells and it has kept me dry each time. The fabric never had me feeling hot or sweaty, and offers great protection from the wind and rain.
The one and only con I have with product is the snap attachment for the hood. The snaps pull off way too easily, making it difficult to re-attach the hood back on after it has detached. This is especially true in the coldwater season and you are wearing the jacket and have gloves on. I found the snaps flimsy when pulling the hood out from under the PFD and in the wind. Once when wearing the jacket in a motorboat the hood caught wind and only with cat-like reflexes did I save it from being blown off altogether. My recommendation is that this hood be sewn-in or more securely fastened to the jacket so that it becomes more durable in typical paddling conditions.
Best Uses: Recreational flatwater kayaking, sea kayaking, SUPing.