One of the most popular watersports product is neoprene wetsuit pants. Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber that is produced by the polymerization of chloroprene. It is chemically stable and in its closed cell form, neoprene is waterproof, cushioning, and holds in heat. It will maintain flexibility over a wide range of temperatures making it a perfect material for watersports. Traditionally, oil has been the raw material in the manufacturing process of the neoprene used. NRS, however, uses a more environmentally conscientious material called Terraprene in their HydroSkin line. Terraprene neoprene is made from plentiful limestone rocks and is more buoyant, warmer, lighter, and offers more stretch than traditional neoprene. No matter which neoprene you’ll choose, neoprene wet suit pants are a great addition to your paddling gear.
Sometimes you don’t need a full neoprene wetsuit or drysuit for a day out on the water. Manufacturers offer neoprene wetsuit pants and shirts or jackets as a multi-piece option. Wetsuit pants can be worn as an outer garment or can be worn as a layering piece under splash pants on really cold or windy days. They don’t breathe so if you are prone to sweating, you might want to wear a wicking layer underneath to put moisture away from your skin to prevent you from getting chilly. These neoprene pants work just like a full wetsuit by trapping a layer of water between the neoprene and your skin and your body heat warms up this pocket of water and air for your insulation. The material itself is waterproof but water can flow underneath the garment if you fall into the water.
Manufacturers are now designing wetsuit pants for both men and women. Traditionally the men’s pants are longer and the waist and hip measurements are closer in size making a more box-like shape in the seat. The women’s pants will usually be shorter and the hips will flare out from the waist making a more triangle shape in the seat. Depending on your lower body shape you can pick and choose which would offer you the best fit. You’ll find a sizing chart on each page as well.
You will also see a variation in the thickness of the neoprene of these wetsuit pants. Anywhere from .5mm up to 2mm thick, all giving you comfort and stretch. You’ll also see that the HydroSkin Terraprene neoprene from NRS comes in a .5mm thickness and a 1.5mm thickness.The thinner the garment the more flexibility, but slightly less warmth. But all are comfortable when sitting in a kayak for long periods of time.
When you need a bit more warmth, but don’t want to wear a full wetsuit, take a look at the wetsuit pants. If you are sitting below the waterline in a kayak, constantly getting splashed on a raft, or sitting in a wet seat on your sit-on-top, a bit of neoprene can be all the difference between a fun day on the water or a grumpy, chilly one! Why take that chance? Just put on your wetsuit pants! Questions on what’s right for you? Just give us a call!
Be sure to check out more of our kayak accessories right here at Outdoorplay.