Neoprene is made of small closed cells that are filled with air which provide insulation against cold water by trapping heat in. The thicker the neoprene is, the warmer it will be because it has more heat-trapping insulation. It is important to research the water temperature (keeping in mind the different seasons and swells) in the region where a paddler will primarily use neoprene.
The Level Six Storm
from Level Six are
that will keep you
warm and happy
when it's cooler
in the water.
An alternative to Astrals or other river shoes, Neoprene Booties are often used by kayaker because they’re less bulky. Neoprene booties will keep paddlers a bit warmer than other water shoes.
Put neoprene socks over drysuit socks. It will add protection from sand/silt that can get caught in between river shoes and drysuits. A constant friction on your soles may create pinholes, which can eventually lead to cold, wet water leaking into warm, dry feet. This is definitely something paddlers want to actively avoid, and do so with a quick neoprene sock fix!
We always think about our feet and toes, but don’t forget about those hands! There are a variety of neoprene gloves available, and NRS’s Hydroskin Neoprene line is extremely popular because it’s durable and affordable. To learn more about Hydroskin, check out CKSO’s blog here.
Add an extra layer of insulation (and keep your hair from getting tangled in a mess of water and wind) by investing in a helmet liner. This fits in between your skull and your helmet.
Some people invest in drysuits or drypants, others rock shorts all year long. A happy medium between the two is Neoprene-lined shorts, like these from Level Six. A cozy fit without compromising ruggedness, these shorts keep paddlers warm in places that matter.