Palm Fuse Paddle Top Review

By Up and Under Part-timer Ross Tiley

Finally… After 6 months wait I have got my new Palm Fuse Paddle Top in Harlequin colours! Yipeeeee!!

I took the cag straight to the Cardiff International White Water Course on a grey Friday evening and boy did it brighten up the place! The Fuse Paddle Top in the Harlequin colour scheme is a bit of a marmite cag I admit; with a patchwork of different fluorescent colours straight from the 80s it certainly splits opinion, but never fails to draw attention! However the Fuse is also available in a less brash green colour.

Anyway enough about the colours, how does it perform? Well, first impressions are that the new fit is excellent. It allows fantastic freedom of movement without any of the bagginess I used to experience with older cags where the excess fabric around the shoulders used to bunch. The thin neoprene inner is comfortable against the body and gives a better feeling of articulation around the torso than traditional nylon inners, perfect for play boating

The latex cuffs keep out the water when plugging deep into oncoming flow and the stretch panels around the neck also allow great head movement especially paired with the neoprene neck which is much more comfortable than a latex gasket. The pay off is that it is not completely dry and does let a small amount of water in, although with a Peak UK Thermal Rashy underneath with the air at around 12 degrees C I was very comfortable. The XP 3 layer fabric does its job against the wind very effectively and provides good insulation.

All in all I am very happy with the new Fuse. It offers fantastic movement and is the warmest semi-dry I have ever used. It will be perfect for colder evenings and winter days play boating and surfing. However for longer river trips in the colder months where staying dry is important I would looks towards the Palm Atom, which uses the same fabric, but features a latex neck and Kevlar reinforced elbows. Alternatively the slightly cheaper Palm Surge, which uses latex wrists and neck (so totally dry) but without the Kevlar reinforcement and with just XP 2.5 fabric for the shell, is a good option.

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