Gear Bag Essentials: The Kokatat SunCore Long Sleeve Shirt Review

The Kokatat SunCore Shirt Review

Besides the 5 essentials, there are a few additional items that everyone should have in their gear bag. Whether you're a whitewater kayaker, stand up paddler, sea kayaker or rafter, some pieces of gear should not be ignored. The Kokatat SunCore top falls into this category. It is an ultra light weight polyester / spandex rash guard top that provides a little bit of warmth, heaps of sun protection (almost 100%), lots of mobility and comfort from your PFD. Kokatat is a brand that is known for making the best paddling gear in the world. They have an incredibly high quality of construction, superb fit, and the BEST customer service in the paddlesports industry. There's a very good reason that you see so much Kokatat on the river; it lasts forever and gets the job done in style. Here's some detailed info on the SunCore:


Kokatat_SunCore_Top_Specs2 Kokatat_SunCore_Top_Specs


  • HIGH QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: The SunCore Shirt is made from Polartec® Power Dry, which is a top of the line material(89% Polyester/11% Spandex). There is no Nylon at all in this top. That means that it will not absorb nearly as much water, and will also dry quicker that a traditional rash guard (made with Nylon). What does all of this mean? You will be warmer and more comfortable because there is less water on your skin, and there is less of a chance of mold and mildew forming. Also, the SunCore is silky soft to the touch.
    Kokatat_SunCore_Top_Label.jpg The SunCore is a bit different that many competing rash guard tops; it does not contain any Nylon.
  • MOBILITY FOR PADDLERS:Kokatat is a paddlesports company, not a surf clothing manufacturer. The SunCore has a paddlers cut, and not a surfers cut. It has a long back that covers you when sitting in a boat, and lots of room in the shoulders for paddling. Kayakers, rafters and SUP'ers will like these features. Besides that, Kokatat is generally known for having a great fit, with the Rouge dry top being a prime example.
    Kokatat_SunCore_Top_Long_Back.jpg The long back on the SunCore will prevent the issue of bare skin on a kayak back band.
    Kokatat_SunCore_Top_Kayaker_Fit.jpg Extra material in areas that stretch and have lots of movement. The shoulders are also built like this.
  • COMFORT:Besides having a smooth material like Polartec Power Dry against your skin, the seams in the SunCore are flat stitched. This makes them unnoticeable, and prevents chafing. Again, the attention to detail on this top is second to none.
    Kokatat_SunCore_Top_Seams.jpg Flat stitched seams are much more comfortable against the skin and prevent chafing.
  • WARRANTY:It's no secret that Kokatat costs more than other comparable rash guard tops. Besides a higher quality of workmanship, you are also paying for the "Kokatat experience".This includes their phenomenal customer service, warranty, and overall level of commitment to providing the highest quality paddlesports products available.
    Kokatat_SunCore_Top_Read_Name_kokatat.jpg Plenty of rash guard tops will work just fine, but if you want the best, make sure it says Kokatat on it.
  • 5 STAR SUP GEAR:We have already mentioned a few times that this top was built with stand up paddling in mind. Typically, people spend more time on their SUP on sunny days, and often in warm weather. If this applies to you, the SunCore will suit your needs well. With lots of sun protection, minimal bulk and a high range of mobility, this top is the type of layer that makes you forget that you are actually wearing anything. Also, if you have spent any amount of time on a paddle board (especially in the river), you know that the odds are good that you will inevitably end up IN the water, as opposed to being ON the water. Because there is no Nylon is the SunCore, it will not absorb as much H20, and also fully dry out much quicker than comparable models.
    Kokatat_SunCore_Top_SUP2 Perfect top for any SUP'ers gear bag.
    Kokatat_SunCore_Top_SUP The SunCore is built to allow the body to move easily.


  • PRICE:There are quite a few surf oriented rash guards for sale that are less expensive. I imagine that if you searched on the web you would probably find one for half of the price (maybe even less) within minutes. There may even be tops made out of similar material (sans Nylon), but most likely do not have the cut of the SunCore, the long back, and certainly not the personalized customer service that you will receive at Kokatat.

The Verdict:

We often receive comments that some of our reviews seem to be biased, and often times do not have anything negative to say about the items(Werner Nitro, Kokatat GMER, Liquidlogic Stomper,Starboard or C4 Waterman SUP's, etc). There are certainly things that are not perfect about the SunCore...right? Well, if there are, we have not found what they are. One of the fun things about reviewing a simple, well made piece of gear like this, is that it really is awesome. What else can you say? It's a rash guard adapted for paddling (and SUP) that fits well and is backed by a great company that will take care of you. Is that worth the extra few bucks? We'll let you make the call. Kokatat_SunCore_Top_Contest_Enter

Sign up to win a $2250+ SUP package with lots of shiny new gear including a Kokatat SunCore Top! Click on the image (or the link below) for more info:

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

About Us

We're a group of whitewater kayak, raft, and stand up paddleboard enthusiasts committed to stocking the highest-quality gear and deliver it to you as quickly as possible.

Learn more about us

Don't Forget About These

What else are we up to?

View all
Down and Dirty: 9 Items You Need for Your Dry Suit Repair Kit

Down and Dirty: 9 Items You Need for Your Dry Suit Repair Kit

GearJonny Ortiz
Whitewater dry wear is the largest apparel investment any boater can make. For those who want to extend the life and use of their dry suit (or dry top), it's best to keep a dry suit repair kit on hand. Read our 9 recommendations for the best dry suit repair kit!
Whitewater Kayak Paddle Buying Guide

Whitewater Kayak Paddle Buying Guide

Jonny Ortiz
Choosing the right paddle for whitewater kayaking can be daunting with all the available paddle options to consider. We are here to help! ...
All Aboard the Love Boat!

All Aboard the Love Boat!

Benjamin Thornton

Have you ever had a tough time convincing your family that your black eye isn't that big of a deal? Or spent an hour explaining to your Tinder date the difference between "homeless" and "houseless," just so they would understand why you brought them back to a tent in the woods? 

If you answered yes to either of these things, hopefully this blog can help avoid some of those awkward conversations!