Gear Review: Vaikobi V Cold Storm and Base Tops

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A Look at the V Cold Paddle Tops From Vaikobi

There are a number of ways to keep yourself warm when paddling in cold weather, but if you are looking for a performance driven product specifically designed for paddling I highly recommend trying Vaikobi’s V Cold Storm and Base long sleeve paddling tops. Feeling cold can be relative in greater or lesser degrees, but with two great tops to choose from the Australian company has delivered the ultimate paddling gear in a lightweight, flexible performance driven design.

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The V Cold Base padding top

With Vaikobi’s V Cold paddle tops you do not have to sacrifice comfort or performance for warmth. As its name suggests, the Storm is the warmer of the two and is my go to top for early morning OC-1 workouts with my outrigger club during the winter. The V Cold Storm retains all the performance attributes of Vaikobi’s V Cold range with its lightweight and flexible design. When you don’t need the full protection of the Storm, but still want to cover up for some added warmth, I recommend wearing the V Cold Base top.

Features on the V Cold Storm include:

  • V Cold Technology which controls your body temperature for maximum performance
  • Flexi-Fit for ease of movement with scooped back to protect your lower back and kidneys
  • Seamless Hydro Fleece under arm and side panel for maximum paddling comfort and breathability

Features on the V Cold Base include:

  • V Cold Technology which controls your body temperature for maximum performance
  • Fitted design using Vaikobi’s lightweight and fast drying Hydrofleece fabric in the body and arms
  • Hydromesh ventilation under the arms and down the side of the body to control body temperature and eliminate over heating
  • Articulated cut designed for ease of movement

Draft free! One of the nice features on both tops is the extra length in the back. This provides complete coverage of your lower back, even when paddling in a seated position, and prevents exposing your bare skin to cold air and water.  

I’ve found the V Cold base works well for me when it is 15 C or below (59 F). Then once you want to add a little more warmth or perhaps the conditions are a bit sloppy and you know you’re going to get wet, transition into the Storm. The base layer is very fitted and could also be worn under the Storm, but the conditions here in Southern California have not necessitated such a configuration during the time I have been using the gear. I’ve used both tops for SUP and outrigger and found they makes a great tops for SUP surfing when you need a little something to keep your upper body warm.

Since I paddle in the ocean, I always rinse my Vaikobi V Cold gear in a bucket of fresh water after use. In order to have it fully dry and ready to go for the next day, I put the V Cold Paddle Pants and tops in the washing machine on a drain/spin cycle for 11 minutes after rinsing them in a bucket. The spin cycle forces all the water out and leaves the gear virtually dry. I then hang it up to air dry for the remainder of the day and by nightfall it is fully dry and good to go.

The V Cold tops look sharp and perform exceedingly well. Based on my experience with the two tops, the sizing mirrors my shirt size. In my opinion, they are the perfect paddling top for high intensity paddling where you want to stay warm, but do not want to bog yourself down by wearing gear that will cause you to quickly overheat. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to cold weather gear, but this is what I use and is what I recommend.

V Cold Storm: $179 AUD
V Cold Base: $119 AUD

Learn more at vaikobi.com.  

Matt Chebatoris
About Matt Chebatoris 224 Articles
Matt is a former national security professional and lifelong adventurer. He has published material on a variety of topics in the foreign policy arena and created PaddleXaminer™ as a platform to share his enjoyment of paddling with others. When not on the water, Matt can be found hiking along rugged mountain trails in the California wilderness. Matt resides in Los Angeles and is a member of the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in Redondo Beach, California.

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