Zhik Isotak X Extreme Foulweather Gear

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Developed in conjunction with the Chinese-flagged Dongfeng team in the current Volvo Ocean Race, Zhik’s new Isotak X foulweather smock features a number of features designed to keep sailors as warm and dry as possible in the “firehose” conditions for which that event is known, including robust neck seals in both the wrists and neck, and top-grade materials throughout. What really impressed us about this new bit of kit, however, was its zip on/zip off adaptive hood, which allows the entire “hood-collar” unit to be changed for the conditions: from a full-on “Hydrovision Hood” that includes a clear, rigid polycarbonate spray visor to a much lighter, oh-so-comfortable balaclava made of either neoprene or Zhik’s proprietary, lightweight water-shedding Avlare material. How many times have we all found ourselves trimming sail when there’s just enough water flying about to want some protection for our melon, but a conventional hood and the inevitably large, restrictive hood is just too much? Now you can downshift, as it were, by just undoing a couple of zippers. The Avlare balaclava looks especially convenient and comfy. According to Zhik, this feature will also be working its way down the line into its less extreme tops for we mere mortals. The sooner the better, we say. $NA. Zhik, zhik.com 

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February 2018

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