Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Bomb Dry suit

As a full time college student, I have learned to get by with gear that meets the standard of “good enough” in order to stay within budget.  In the past year I have been fortunate enough to receive product from Bomber Gear that has allowed me to experience truly high quality gear.  No piece of equipment impressed me as much as The Bomb Dry suit.  Paddling in the Pacific Northwest for 9 years has taught me that a dry suit is not only a major comfort, but can also be necessary to avoid life threatening situations.

Paddling in the PNW can be cold!
Photo: Nate Merrill

 Places I have seen this occur are capped by a trip last year where 3 of us were forced to hike off an exploratory trip in the snow.  We hiked for 8 hours, 4 of which were at night.  Two of us wore dry suits, one was in a dry top and shorts.  The person in a dry top experienced hypothermia and none of us had any illusions about his chances for survival if we did not make it out that night.  The dry suits were the difference and we all learned valuable lessons on that trip.  One of which struck me a few days later when I went paddling next and realized that my dry suit was now leaking excessively.  The dry suit did not have abrasion padding to lesson the impact of the undergrowth.  I decided the next suit I used needed this feature.

Lesson learned, the correct gear on the return trip.
Photo: Keel Brightman

I do not like to be restricted by anything aside from my skill level, so a dry suit that stays dry is  important to me.  This is what made me so excited when I received the dry suit from bomber.  The Bomb dry suit has padding in all the right places (abrasion-resistant oxford nylon).  The knee/shin padding is the location that takes the most abuse when I go kayaking as hiking through the woods is a cherished aspect of kayaking to me.  I no longer have to worry about the underbrush rendering my suit ineffective.  The padding on the rear keeps the suit intact after long term interaction with the kayak seat.  Shoulder and elbow padding also add extra protection during less than ideal lines.

Photo: Melissa Fowler

My next favorite feature of this suit is Bomber Gear’s signature Performance Cut fashion which allows for all the reach I could ask for.  This can be hard to find at the height of 6’3”, with this suit I experience full range of motion which is actually something I have never had before. 

Photo: Melissa Fowler

The neoprene cuffs on both the wrists and ankles are likely going to be the way to go for all dry suits in the future as they are effective and extremely comfy! The Sub-Screen material possesses the perfect amount of elasticity to keep water out while lacking pressure points.  The ankle gaskets overlay the 4-layer Toray socks with reinforced bottoms.  These feel very durable and fit easily inside shoes or booties without pressure points.

Photos: Patrick Stephenson

Tunnels seem a basic feature, but Bomber did not neglect even this part of the suit. A dual-adjustable overskirt with rubber closer flaps is engineered to allow for the full spectrum of body sizes to be fit without excess material.  They utilized this area to sew on reflective logo’s to improve visibility. 
Other cool features include an easily accessible emergency whistle, glass bead reflective piping to further improve visibility and a sleeve pocket with a drain to store maps or a snack.  The entrance is aft which is the driest style and with a little effort I can reach and zip myself up. They were sure to include a relief zipper which, like the entrance zipper, is by TiZip.

Photo: Melissa Fowler

The suit itself is made of Entrant HB, which like all companies claim is highly waterproof and breathable.  So try one out yourself to see this is the real deal.

Photo: Melissa Fowler

Being warm and dry inspires confidence when there is ice on the walls!
Photo: Emile Elliot

Overall Bomber has gone above and beyond to provide a highly functional dry suit at a functional price. Every feature I have ever wished to see on a dry suit is here and I personally have never been so comfortable in a piece of kayaking equipment.  Like all the new Bomber products, this is a top of the line piece of equipment.  I can honestly say I would still be paddling with this suit if I were funding the purchase on my own.

Be Ready!

Falls City Falls with the Bomb Suit


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