Gear Closet: SeasonFive Phantom Paddling Shirt

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A quick glance at the calendar will tell you that spring is here and warm weather won’t be far behind. That means its time to put away our cold weather gear for another year and start getting ready for our favorite warm weather activities like mountain biking and kayaking. This year when I hit the water I’ll have a new piece of paddling gear that I’ve already found to be a wonderful addition to my gear closet. The Phantom long sleeve shirt from SeasonFive has already proven itself on some early season paddles here in Texas where the weather is nearly always right to hit the water.

Made from SeasonFive’s waterproof and breathable Atmos fabric, the Phantom is a comfortable and form fitting shirt that has no problems keeping you dry throughout your paddle. That’s because it combines three distinct layers including a water repellant outer layer, a waterproof membrane in the middle and a soft interior fabric close to the skin. It also features tapered seams that are designed to help prevent chafing and a convenient zippered extension in the back helps to seal the shirt further.

SeasonFive doesn’t have a deep product line like a lot of other outdoor gear manufacturers, as they prefer to focus on a few high quality products over large numbers of items. If the Phantom is any indication of what the rest of their gear is like however, I can honestly say that I’ll be adding more of their clothing to my line-up in the near future. I found this shirt to be extremely comfortable to wear, even on longer paddles and while it was form fitting, it never interfered with my ability to move easily both in and out of the cockpit. The four-way stretch fabrics were lightweight and supportive, keeping my muscles warm throughout my time o the water. That translated to less sore muscles at the end of the day and quicker recovery time over all.

Wearing the shirt on a breezy day proved that it was great as wind shirt as well. We don’t get especially cold in Texas, which is good as the shirt isn’t designed for that kind of weather, but it does help shield against the wind and I imagine it would make a fantastic layer under a wetsuit as well. Either way, the Phantom is an excellent addition to any paddler’s closet and I recommend it whole heartedly. It will make a great spring (or fall) kayaking shirt. At just $99 it also packs a lot of performance into a single, versatile piece of gear. Something we can all appreciate.

Kraig Becker