My cag is a bright orange Kokatat Tropos Storm Cag, and it is the piece of kit that I never leave at home. It’s my most essential piece of gear (that I’m not always wearing). Rolled up compactly in its own hood, placed at the top of my day hatch, it’s a one-piece combination jacket and spray skirt cover that is designed to be worn over my PFD to keep me warm on or off the water.
I look at water and get cold. Most likely when you see me paddling I’m wearing a dry suit, be it summer or winter, Georgia or Wales. Then as soon as I land, I’ve got my cag on over my dry suit. The cag’s length and billowy size enables me to throw it on easily without removing either my helmet or PFD. It blocks the wind, preserves my body heat, offers full maneuverability, while the fleece lined hand warmer pockets enable me to keep dexterity in my fingers. I also like that the zippered front cargo pocket has a pass through so I can get to my PFD without lifting up the cag or undoing it from the cockpit coaming, making it easy for me to get to my snacks, VHF radio or sunscreen. As I said, it’s a perfect piece of gear.
It’s also an essential part of my emergency kit. I can quickly give it to a fellow paddler who has spent a bit too much time in the water. The cag slips on readily, over their head while they are still in their boat and then fits securely over their spray skirt, around the cockpit coaming. As the person paddles with the cag on, he or she quickly builds up body heat that is preserved by the lightweight Tropos material, thus enabling the individual’s body temperature to stabilize. The hood is adjustable so it can be put on easily over a helmet and then snugged up to maintain peripheral vision. The Kokatat Storm Cag is a universal size and fits most people who paddle.
I’ve used my cag in Scotland, Canada, Baja, and New Zealand. It takes up a minimal amount of space and delivers a maximum amount of warmth. If you see me on the water, rest assured my Storm Cag is in my hatch waiting to make an appearance.
"My Tropos Storm Cag is my most essential piece of gear that I'm not always wearing."