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A wet suit is an essential part of a gear geek's stash. They are a "must have" for spring icebreaker rafting runs to provide warmth. And the board rash from a surf and body board can be avoided by donning a wetsuit.
Whether you are shopping for a shorty or a johnny suit, the high prices are a turnoff and may cause you to rent a slimy and smelly wetsuit again for your next class V river run.
SeasonFive has a solution for the wetsuit conundrum. The company's initial line fills a void in the watersports industry – greater protection than a rash guard while allowing greater mobility than a wetsuit. And the prices are more appealing.
The SeasonFive Phantom Long Sleeve Top is part of the initial line of watersports clothing. The Phantom has a soft and sheer feel from SeasonFive's three-layer proprietary Atmos 1.0 fabric.
The fabric is touted for blocking wind, water and UV rays, and allowing heat and vapor to escape. The Phantom has a snug fit and a half-zip on the top's rear can cinch in a sleeker fit. Keep it unzipped to increase the top's ventilation.
Runs down the Youghiogheny River in Western Pennsylvania were the playground for the SeasonFive Phantom. The Youghiogheny is renowned for its world-class whitewater and many rate it as the best on the U.S.'s east coast.
Having the right top is critical when your raft is gunning for the right spot to enter Dimple Rock Rapid. The hulking undercut rock coupled with a class III rapid is responsible for a fatality each paddling season. You need to dig hard and fast or you may be next.
The SeasonFive Phantom Long Sleeve Top met the challenge of Dimple Rock Rapid and the rest of the lower Youghiogheny River. Most impressive is how natural it feels while paddling. Wetsuits can be restrictive and can cause an unpleasant rash from rubbing against your body. Digging a paddle in the river was unrestricted and the smooth feel of the Atmos fabric didn't leave signs of road rash.
The Phantom did get a little hot, but that was after a tamer section of the river and little water entered the boat. SeasonFive does stress that their product line is made for the water and not as everyday clothing. You will get hot if the Phantom is worn for extended period without getting wet. (MSRP $99)
Jason Elliot is the Editor and Publisher of OutdoorInformer.com. Elliot has established a respected following with the top industry professionals and gearheads for his nonbiased reviews of outdoor gear and apparel. Elliot is a regular contributor to Examiner.com, Trails.com and other publications on top of his editorial and writing role with OutdoorInformer.com.
Elliot left a successful fifteen-plus year management career that he worked at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies to pursue his passion for writing about the outdoors. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from La Roche College.
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