Astral Hiyak: AKA “The De-funkifier” This is Astral’s view of a proper bootie. It offers ground conforming stability, excellent foot protection and insulation without neoprene. The result is a lighter, more durable and faster drying water boot with phenomenal gripping power. Because these shoes dry so quick they don’t hold in that funky odor, we have selected the Astral Hiyak for our 2015 ‘New Car Smell’ award!
Thick Skin Union Suit: AKA “The United Front” The IR union suit is a unique one-piece cold weather base layer made with soft, heavyweight, stretchy, double sided polyester fleece. An innovative super stretch neoprene collar allows you to enter the suit via the neck opening, thus no zippers or closures. Mens union suits feature a front fly. Perfect under a dry suit or as a base layer for any outdoor pursuit in cold weather. For theses reasons, we are naming this union suit as our 2015 best layering piece for cold weather paddling!
The Royale: AKA “The Weekend Warrior” is the best class V spray skirt ever made. Big water chargers- this one’s for you.The foundation of the Royale is IR’s proprietary “fin” shaped rand designed to make maximum contact with the rim and resisting implosion to the very end. In addition to the rand shape, there are two sticky rubber patches under the deck on the sides to provide additional implosion resistance. The deck neoprene has also been extended 2″ past the rand (like on the Klingon) to offer unsurpassed dryness on a variety of rim shapes. In the high wear areas IR uses the most expensive and strongest 4-way stretch kevlar available, and all of the seams are glued, taped and stitched. They also have studied dozens and dozens of the most popular rims to dial in a fit that will accommodate a very wide range of boats, which wraps up why the Royale has taken our ‘What more can you ask for?!’ category for 2015! Does every paddler need an expensive whitewater sprayskirt designed to survive the stoutest of drops? No, of course not. But for those of you who do, we think you’ll find the Royale to be an essential piece of paddling gear.
IR Neo-Lined Guide Shorts: AKA “The Keep Your Cool”, Tight fitting neoprene shorts can be a great thing if you’re sitting in cold water all day, but tight fitting neoprene shorts on their own? Not so great as they are prone to tearing and, well, they’re tight-fitting shorts that can be unflattering. Our answer is IR’s Neoprene Lined Guide short. It’s two shorts in one- an IR Guide short with a separate 1.5mm neoprene inner short attached to the waistband. Because you’ll be warm while you keep your cool, this pair of shorts is the winner of our ‘Problem Solver’ category for 2015!
Nano Short Sleeve Paddle Jacket: AKA “The Never Winter” IR’s new Nano short sleeve paddle jacket is a high performance, lightweight short sleeve paddling shell perfect for summertime playboating and river running. Because we know you’ll be day dreaming of the Ocoee when you try this top on, we’ve chosen it as our favorite piece of river gear for the Ocoee in 2015! Features – 70D Nylon, 3 layer fabric laminated with our proprietary WhiteOut™ waterproof breathable technology. Wide, one-piece sticky neoprene waistband, neoprene neck and bicep gaskets, no inner tunnel. All seams designed from the ground up to maximize seam tape performance.