Gear Review: Vaikobi VCOLD Hydroflex Paddling Top
The Vaikobi VCOLD Hydroflex paddling top is constructed with hydrophobic material to keep paddlers dry by deflecting water instead of absorbing it. Vaikobi built their Hydroflex top with breathable fabric to keep paddlers warm and dry without overheating, While the concept sounds simple and straightforward, it is not easily achieved. Vaikobi accomplishes this by incorporating highly flexible, lightweight hollow yarn threads alongside their proven breathable side panels to allow paddlers to maximize their performance on the water. Underneath, you’ll find a soft, plushy fabric that feels fantastic to the touch and rounds out the top with an unrivaled level of comfort.
PaddleXaminer has been testing out the Vaikobi VCOLD Hydroflex top while surfski paddling in the brisk Pacific Ocean off Southern California. Very likely the most impactful new item in the Vaikobi range since the versatile VCOLD vest, the VCOLD Hydroflex top is a significant performance upgrade from traditional base layers. True to form, the VCOLD Hydroflex top provides paddlers with warmth and comfort without overheating - even during periods of intense physical exertion. You’ll instantly feel warm wearing this top and it's level of performance is so good you’ll quickly forget that cold and damp feeling from non-hydrophobic gear.
I have an approximately two mile (3.4k ) trek from my regular launch site in Marina del Rey out to the ocean and the Vaikobi VCOLD Hydroflex top has become one of my go-to pieces of paddling gear as we transition into winter paddling conditions here in Southern California. Paddling in this top, I find that my body warms up to a point and then the magic of the Vaikobi construction kicks in and begins to allow excess body heat to dissipate.
Bring on the cold weather because this is a paddling top you’ll look forward to wearing. The soft, plushy interior construction is so comfortable and the performance of the top is so good I can’t imagine paddling in anything less than the Vaikobi VCOLD Hydroflex top in cold paddling conditions.