Products manufactured by Sweet Protection
are fun to write about for product reviews. They are functional, stylish, fit well, have incredible attention to detail, and are very durable. Their whitewater and snow sports helmets
are arguably the best in the world. Check out any Bombflow Video
, and take a gander at the helmets worn by those huckers...they are all Sweet Athletes
Although it's not well know outside of Europe, Sweet's been making dry-tops for the last 4-5years and working with GoreTex fabrics (winter line) for nearly a decade. They are crafted with the same level of detail as their helmet line. The use of GORE-TEX fabric speaks volumes to their overall vision for the product. In short, they want to deliver the best dry top in the world to whitewater kayakers. Here are the details of the Shadrach top:
The top built with 3- layer GORE TEX. This is the only waterproof / breathable material that is meant to be submerged underwater ALL OF THE TIME.If you want the best waterproof (and breathable) material out there, go with GORE TEX. The Shadrach uses the 'Coastal' membrane which is basically Gore's V8 for all you car enthusiasts. So not only is it GoreTex, but it's pretty much the most advanced waterproof breathable membrane that Gore makes.
- The new waist closure / tunnel system has been redesigned for 2012. There is a new set of Velcro straps. There is also a triangle wedge inserted into the fabric, which makes the top easier to put on and take off. Also, the tunnel has an ulra-sticky silicone rubber on the inside to keep the skirt from slipping. This feature will be great for play boaters and paddlers that want ultimate range of movement, and not to have to worry about the tube of the skirt slipping down.
- The neck and wrist gaskets are top notch, and have also been upgraded for 2012. The latex gaskets themselves are very thick and durable. They are long, and have an ergonomic cut. The gaskets are glued and taped (with a special tape that has stretch properties). Surrounding the gasket, is a super elastic Yamamoto neoprene Lycra. This will protect the gasket, and help with keeping water out. There's a mesh drain on the neck.
- The jacket has what Sweet calls a "larger ergonomic cut". Part of what you are paying for in a dry top is the fit. Brands like Sweet put a lot of time and effort into making sure that their dry tops fit well and are comfortable.
Price. As with all Sweet products ranging from helmets to shorts, you are going to pay for style, comfort, protection and durability. The Shadrach retails at $349. Considering that this is a GORE TEX top, it's a great deal, but it's about $100 more than other non GORE TEX dry tops on the market.
Color. Sweet is known to use bright colors. This could be seen as a "love it or hate it" issue. Personally, I think that the green (with bright yellow accents) Shadrach is one of the best looking tops that I have seen. Other people may want a dry top in more conservative colors like black, or earth tones.
Many CKS staff members have been wearing Sweet gear since we have been stocking it on our shelves. There's a good reason for that, and it's not because the reps have been giving it to us for free. It's extremely comfortable, lasts a long time, looks bad ass, and most importantly is built to perform. If it's a good looking, ultra high end GORE TEX dry top, with incredible attention to detail that you are after, go throw on a Shadrach and see what you think. We love it.
WIN A SWEET SHADRACH GORE TEX DRY TOP, IN THE LIQUID LOGIC STOMPER ULTIMATE CREEK BOAT SWEEPSTAKES. IT'S FREE TO ENTER: