Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kokatat Destination Collection Review

As kayak anglers, we are closer to the action which means closer to the water. When you made the choice to paddle a kayak you indirectly accepted the fact that you're going to get wet. Face it, it's inevitable! Along with getting wet, we also feel the effects of the sun, which is putting it lightly. Most of us know that the sun's rays reflect off the surface of the water and pretty much bake the poor paddler that was not prepared for it. So, to say that quality paddling apparel is important to kayak fishermen would be a total understatement!
The purpose of this review is to give the kayak angler some insight on the Destination Collection from Kokatat. We will talk about; overall design, features, and if it is worth owning. At the end, I will sum up my thoughts and grade it on a 5 star scale like I do for all of my other reviews. 

Kokatat's Destination Collection of apparel is made for paddlers, by paddlers. What I mean, "made for paddlers" means that each piece of clothing is tailored towards the paddler. As kayakers, we don't sit still and drive our 250hp engine from spot to spot. We are constantly moving and hardly ever just sitting still. Kokatat understands that fact and designed each piece of Destination apparel with a paddling specific design.
First up is the Paddling Shirt: MSRP $90.00.  The shirt is a long sleeve, full zip, lightweight top. This top is loaded with features! One of my favorites is the vertical shoulder vents. The slightest breeze will flow right through this shirt keeping the paddler as cool as possible. The waist has an integrated bungee which allows the paddler to tighten up the waist so the top won't ride up the back and bunch up. When paddling, you won't feel any restrictions or tightness at the top of your paddling stroke. The arms are loose and very comfortable. You will also notice that when you get water on the material, it won't soak in like a cotton t shirt. It will naturally bead up like a waxed car. Lastly and probably most importantly, the material is rated UPF 30+ which means the sun's harmful rays will not harm your skin underneath.
Comparing this top to many others that I have used in the past, this one is my favorite. The overall comfort and functionality of Kokatat's Paddling Shirt is what I love the most. You can't help but notice how comfortable the shirt really is until you put one on.
Next up is the Paddling Pant: MSRP: $80.00. These pants have similar features as the Paddling Shirt; UPF 30+, zipper fly, lightweight, and quick drying. Lightweight and quick drying are the two immediately noticeable features. Water will bead up on these pants and does not want to soak in. I have done tests where I poured water on my pants and waited for the water to soak in. It took more than 3 minutes before my leg even started to feel the slightest bit of moisture. Most people know that having a pair of paddling pants that is loose in the crotch is a blessing! Of the hours I have spent in these pants, I have never once felt any discomfort.
Overall, I could not be more impressed with these pants. Like the Paddling Shirt, these pants are incredibly comfortable. I have even put them on around the house just because of how comfortable they are. I can honestly say that I don't think you will find a nicer pair of paddling pants!
Water beaded on the Paddling Pants. Photo taken after 3 minutes of water application.

Last but not least is the Surf Trunk: MSRP $50.00. Following suit like the previous shirt and pants, the Surf Trunk is lightweight, quick drying, and features UPF 30+. These shorts have a lacing waistband along with a button fly. The Surf Trunks are very comfortable with the loose inseam. The material is very soft and just like the paddling pants, beads water on the surface instead of soaking it in. You can tell that these trunks are high quality when you put them on. One feature that I like is the zippered, self draining pocket on the leg. The pocket even has a key lanyard so you can secure a key along with keeping your ID on you at all times.

I have replaced my all of my previous board shorts with the Destination Surf Trunks. Once again, Kokatat nailed it on these shorts. The Surf Trunks are a quality piece of apparel through and through!

Alright, that pretty much sums up my experience with the Destination Collection from Kokatat. The collection does consist of much more such as headware, hand covers, along with other styles tailored for either men or women. If I had to guess, I would imagine that everything else is very similar in features and overall performance.

After hours and hours of use, I would rate the
Destination Collection...
5 out of 5 stars!
Just like all of my reviews, this is strictly from my own experience and my opinion. I logged many hours wearing this line in all sorts of weather conditions before I formed my opinion. Just like anything else, if I use something consistently, I stand by it 100%!
Believe me, it was hard giving a review a perfect rating! I seriously sat there and tried to think of something that I considered a negative or a drawback. I couldn't do it. There is really nothing that I can say is a downside or a negative. The Destination Collection screams quality and I would HIGHLY recommend this lineup of apparel to anybody! Try it out, you won't regret it.
~See ya on the water!

If you're in the market for a new PFD, or just want to read a quality review about something that you may want to consider in the future, check out the review of the Kokatat Bahia Tour PFD by Rob Choi from Angling-Addict.

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