There are some pieces of gear that you can't live without, and some that you can live without;but are really nice to have. The Level Six Hudson Jacket falls into this category. It's a well made, waterproof/breathable shorty splash top. The nice thing about the Hudson jacket is that it's very inexpensive($54.95) for the amount of features that it has. If you're a sailor, stand up paddler, kayak fisherman, whitewater rafter, inflatable kayaker or a sea kayaker, this is a good top to have in your gear bag. Check out the details:
- 100% Nylon 2.5 Ply waterproof-breathable Siphon Zone™ laminate fabric
- 185g/m2 100% nylon
- 5,000 mm water resistance (water column test)
- 5,000g/m2/24hrs breathability (JIS L 1099 A1+B1 tests)
- Teflon DWR treatment
- 2.5 ply fabric features a thin grid applied to the inside of the breathable membrane as opposed to a thicker laminated tricot fabric as seen in our 3 ply fabrics. The result is a fabric with a softer, suppler feel.
- 1mm ultra stretch neoprene arm and neck gaskets
- Top stitched seams throughout
- Fully heat seam taped for a complete waterproof seal.
- YKK waterproof zippers for superior water-resistance on neck and chest pocket.
- 2.5 Ply fabric offers great breathability, lightweight and exceptional value.
- Waterproof YKK zippers keep water out and will last a long time. The neoprene neck is soft and comfortable. It doesn't keep water out like a latex gasket, but for days on the raft, IK, or in a touring boat it works well.
- The storage pocket has a waterproof YKK zipper. The interior of the pocket is mesh with an additional micro pouch for storing small pieces of gear like keys. The pocket is positioned so that you can get into it with a PFD on.
- Drawstring waist cinches down tight.
- Getting a waterproof and breathable splash top with a large storage pocket for under $60 is not a bad deal.
- The neoprene arm gaskets make for a snug fit. Again, it's not water tight like latex, but the main purpose for this top is not play boating (although it would be great for hot days at the hole). The Hudson is also super easy to take on and off, unlike a shorty dry top.
- The storage pocket has a waterproof zipper, but the pocket is made of mesh. This means that water can get in through the back side (if you take a swim or get water down the neck). It would have been nice if the entire pocket was made of the same waterproof / breathable material as the top. Having a fully waterproof storage pocket would be really cool.
- The arms were a little bit tight on the top that I put wore. I am about 200 lbs, and the XL fit well, except for the arms. I am sure that they would stretch out after a little while. Also, it is better to have the neoprene too tight rather than too loose.
The Level Six Hudson Jacket is a solid shorty splash top with lots of great features that are usually found on ones that are much more expensive. Examples of this are YKK waterproof zippers, a large well placed storage pocket and a 2-layer waterproof/breathable membrane that keeps you dry. I was very surprised to see that this top was constructed from waterproof /breathable material for $55. If you raft on hot summer days, or spend lots of time touring,sailing, rafting fishing, SUP'ing or recreational kayaking;the Hudson Jacket is a great value for the money.