Vaikobi V Cold Storm Paddling Gear: The Next Level Matt Chebatoris December 14, 2017 Apparel, Reviews Vaikobi upgraded their classic V Cold Storm gear in 2017 With the 2017 upgrade and refinement of the V Cold Storm cold weather paddling line, Vaikobi has accomplished a rare feat by making what was already a great product even better. The boost to the V Cold gear came in the form of a thicker outer layer and incorporation of ripstop fabric. The result is a rugged, hi-tech modern look designed to provide warmth while not sacrificing the breathable properties of the fabrication. Cold weather gear has a tendency to be non-flattering and utilitarian in look and style, yet Vaikobi has succeeded in overcoming this obstacle and delivered a great looking range. In the process, Vaikobi even managed to grow the range with the addition of a V Cold Storm Paddle Vest and Shorts. V Cold Storm pants I’ve had the pleasure of trying out the upgraded V Cold Storm pants and one of the new paddling vests over the past few months and could not be more pleased with the performance of the products. The new ripstop construction has a cool ridged texture that looks like something Arnold Schwarzenegger might have worn had the Terminator been a paddler. The new paddle pants have a wider waistband than the original model and retain the great scooped shape with a high back and lower front. Less of a factor when standup paddling, the scooped design provides much appreciated comfort when engaging in seated paddling disciplines. The new fabrication also contains an enhanced hydrofleece backing on the leg panels which is significantly more comfortable and performance enhancing than regular old neoprene. V Cold Storm Paddling Vest When my alarm rings at 0440 for winter outrigger practice on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, the Vaikobi V Cold Storm paddling pants are one of the first things I pull on after rolling out of bed. Paddling without them in 40F/4C weather would be simply unthinkable. The V Cold Storm pants also come in handy during summer evening outrigger practices here in Southern California because while the sun is often shining, the water just isn’t all that warm! Vaikobi paddling vest The V Cold Storm Paddle Vest lives up to the V Cold name by providing warmth where it is needed during cool days on the water. It is also perfectly compatible as a layer on top of the V Cold Base paddling top. The latter is a thin construction not to be confused with the V Cold Storm paddling top. I regularly wore the Vaikobi V Cold Storm Paddle Vest this past summer during evening OC-6 workouts. When the waves are cresting over the gunnels or you find yourself up on seat one stroking as I often do, wearing the V Cold Storm Paddle Vest will revolutionize your experience on the water. My first impression after paddling in the vest during a cold blustery evening practice was that it was the greatest piece of gear for paddling since the invention of the paddle itself. Top these guys off with a V Cold Beanie and Ocean Racing PFD and you’ll be ready to overcome whatever elements come your way! Comments Matt ChebatorisMatt 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.