Kit Review: Thermals (Pete)

Before I left for Italy earlier this month, I realised I didn’t really have many decent thermals. Hot sun, 20+ degrees, but can sometimes get cold when the sun goes in, or when you’re deep In a gorge with steep walls and/or trees blocking out the sun, and then Ice melt water, splashing in your face or when you inevitably go over. So I wanted something which would keep me warm when needed, but didn’t want to be Sweating inside my drysuit all day.


I was looking at the Thermatech SpeedDri unltasport base layer, as its lightweight, gives you lots of movement and the different features it says it has sounded really good, such as fast drying, has the properties of merino wool, which I’ve heard good things about, and the best sounding one, odour resistant! We all know how bad thermals can smell after just a day’s paddling, let alone 9 days in the sun in Italy.

Matt Newton (From Canoe Kayak Trader) also told me how good other people have said it is, so I thought id give it ago, and see for myself how good it is,


I also decided I’d go for the Palm Indus 4 core thermal, as it was a bit thicker, being more of a mid-weight thermal, and also super comfy. There’s nothing worse than having a horribly uncomfortable thermal under your cag/drysuit all day. I thought it would give me that extra bit of warmth I may need if the sun isn’t around, as well as being good for a chilly day boating in the UK.I really liked them both!

On the really hot days, I would use the Thermatech base layer under my PeakUk drysuit which worked out to be perfect! Didn’t feel it was making me too hot, and didn’t once get to cold with it on either. I couldn’t really notice I was wearing it when paddling as it’s so lightweight and gives you all the movement you’ll need which was really nice. And after the paddle, whilst waiting for the shuttle, it was thin enough and breathable, so if I wanted to, I could carry on wearing it out of my drysuit and still not feel too hot, and avoid getting sun burnt.

I would definitely recommend this thermal to anyone paddling in a hot country or on a hot summer’s day in the UK. Apparently it’s meant to be good at keeping you warm in the winter too, but I haven’t yet been able to test that!

If we planned to be out for a long day deep in a gorge, or when it wasn’t quite as warm as other days, I opted for my Palm Indus thermal to provide me with that extra bit of warmth. This was ideal when we did a section called the Heidi run as it was high up the mountain, but deep down in a gorge with high trees blocking lots of the sun, and we ended up being in there for a while so a lot of the day’s heat had gone. Again, this top was really comfortable to be wearing all day under my drysuit, and it also has a handy chest pocket, which could be used to store a bit of money or something in, in case needed. I would also recommend this top as well and look forward to seeing how well it will keep me warm when winter comes back around, as currently, I only has a onesie for winter paddling.

pete italy

See you on the water.