Level Six Explorer Bungee Rand Touring Skirt
Tunnel Sizes: XS-XL
Kayak cockpit compatibility: Vary, check this link
Price: $159.99 CDN or $122.99 USD
The Explorer features a flexible neoprene deck with a bungee seal that can fit a wide variety of boats. The tunnel features 2mm thick neoprene and comes in 5 different sizes. The skirt has a red nylon pull loop for quick wet exits.
The underside of the skirt is home to two interesting features. One is a removable implosion bar that is used to give your skirt some extra structure and security if a large wave were to crash down on it. Secondly, the underside has a urethane grippy layer beside the bungee enabling the skirt to seal more securing on your kayak rim.
Seal- The Explorer Touring Skirt has one of the best seals that I have ever tried. It kept me dry in 3 foot swells when waves crashed down over the cockpit. I have rolled the boat (for fun) a few times and the seal works perfectly. I enjoy how I don't get wet out kayaking flatwater from drips from the paddle as well. The quality of this product is outstanding.
Tunnel sizing- I opted for a larger-than-normal tunnel size (large) so that I would be comfortable on long days touring as opposed to my whitewater kayaking tunnel size of medium. It also gives you the opportunity to vent more if in hot weather. My husband also upsized and we both thought it was a great idea, especially for those with a whitewater kayaking background who are unlikely to flip in waves.
Neoprene- I have used coated nylon and Gore-tex touring skirts in the past but prefer the security of the neoprene skirt. Why? I intend on kayaking into late fall and again early spring in cooler water temperatures and I know this product will enable me to keep warm, dry, and secure in those settings. Neoprene also sheds water better than nylon/Gore-tex in big waves and keeps you drier. The implosion bar and neoprene fabric combined gives the skirt even more structure, preventing water from collapsing your skirt.
Overall impression- A high end touring skirt for those intending on visiting bodies of water with swells or surf. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for skirt they never want to have to upgrade.
The biggest con for this skirt is the 'break-in' phase. Both my husband and I own Wilderness Systems Tempest kayaks (165 and 170) and we both had difficulty initially getting the skirt on the boat. The first time we tried it in our garage it was a two person job and we probably could have used a third set of hands it was so difficult. We weren't sure at all it would even fit. We did eventually get it on and let it stretch out on the boat for awhile.
The first few times I used it to actually paddle I needed a second person to help me get it on. Once on and eventually wet, it was easier for me to do myself. I haven't asked for help for months now! If you can get through the initial phases without being frustrated, the spray skirt is fantastic!
Best Uses: Sea Kayaking in areas with swells or surf. Early or late season kayaking anywhere.