Typhoon PS220 Xtreme – Initial review

After the demise of my Kokatat drysuit I found myself in the market for a replacement drysuit, this resulted in the purchase of a new Typhoon PS220 Extreme. I was originally looking to purchase the Typhoon Multisport, though it was out of stock at the time so I raised my budget a little the PS220 was the result. It’s not exactly cheap at £500, so it immediately raised the question as to whether it was worth the extra money or not.

It turned up within 3 days or ordering it from the Wetsuit Outlet, a free fleece undersuit was included. The first thing that struck me was its weight, it was considerably heavier than my Kokatat. I was a little concerned that this additional weight may prove a hindrance when re-entering the kayak, though a few re-entry drills in my local pool immediately laid this concern to rest. The extra weight isn't noticeable neither whilst wearing the suit.

The suit is yellow and black, mainly yellow above the waistline which will aid visibility should you be on the kayak or in the water. The suit is constructed from a 4 ply breathable material with generous amounts of Cordura reinforcing all the high wear points. Another potential area of concern was the zip arrangement, the PS220 is fitted with a rear entry zip, not something I’d experienced before. I’d really wanted to avoid a latex neck seal, the PS220 is fitted with ‘Glide Skin’ neck and wrist seals, what is that exactly??, well more on that a little later.

Anyway, onto the initial review, here’s a couple of stock images.


When unpacked I rolled it out and gave it a good inspection. Surprisingly the zips were closed, I was always under the impression the zips should be left in the open (relaxed) position. As already mentioned the suit is heavier than what I’ve experienced before, though there’s also lot of material, hood, pockets, lower leg covers, etc.

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Looking at the top of the suit there are pockets, and as well as the neck seal there is a concealed hood and a zippered neck to provide excellent storm protection.


The two upper pockets are labelled with a whistle and an IPod. The whistle pocket actually contains an orange emergency whistle, a nice touch. The other pocket, as the picture suggests, is intended designed to house a suitably waterproofed IPod. There’s actually a hole from the IPod pocket into the hood itself to allow the headphones to be suitably routed. I’m not too sure if I’ll ever take an IPod afloat with me, though it’s also ideal for the storage of mini flares, etc. These pockets are not watertight, I’d probably rate them as splash proof. Should you go into the water they would certainly flood, though they should self drain without any real problem.

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A nice feature of the PS220 is the hood. Under normal use the hood is rolled down behind the head, though with the release of two studs it’s ready for use!. There are elastic drawstrings to adjust the hood as required. The neck can then be fully zipped up for maximum protection. There’s a lip on the front edge of the hood to help keep the rain off your face. Some Solas patches are fitted to the hood to aid visibility.


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Situated on the front of the suit, above the waist, is a large multi-access pocket. The main feature is a fleece lined hand warmer pocket which is accessible via a zip from either side. A point of note is that with a PFD fitted it’s unlikely to be useable. However, whilst off the kayak for prolonged periods it would no doubt prove useful.

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With the upper flap raised you have access to a full width, full depth zippered pocket. There’s also a small zippered pocket that gives access to two tall/thin storage pockets, probably suited to larger flares, etc.

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The upper part of the suit is designed to fit over a kayak spray deck and can be pulled tight with the aid of a drawstring. It has no detrimental effect for use on a SOT kayak. It’s drawn down for a comfortable fit. Should you find yourself in the water, the area drains instantly when pulling yourself back onto the kayak.


The wrist and neck seals are constructed from Typhoon’s ‘Glide Skin’ which produces a low friction seal. It looks like 3mm neoprene with a smooth rubberised inner surface. It works extremely well, the neck seal being easy to pop into and out of. Only time will tell how well they will perform in long term use. That said initial impressions are very pleasing!



Moving on to the main zips themselves. The suit comes with a convenience zip fitted as standard. I couldn’t imagine having a suit without one, getting one retro-fitted is particularly expensive!. The zip is protected with a flap, so it’s now one less thing to snag yourself on.

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The rear entry zip is of Typhoon’s ‘Hypercurve’ design. Basically it’s sewn into the suit in a curved position so it sits more naturally when worn and provides improved comfort. I was concerned about the difficulty of closing the rear zip once into the suit. However, the zip is easy enough to close and open, a little technique is all that’s required. As with the convenience zip there’s a protective flap that covers the rear zip once closed. However, it’s not that easy to put this flap into place, not that it’s of any real concern.




Finally, looking at the legs. The socks are an extension of the lower inner leg and are a generous size to allow for two pairs of thick socks. There are lower legs covers that to allow the suit to work better with full height boots such as my Chota Mukluks. Once into the suit you can roll these leg covers up, fit your boot, before rolling the covers back down and securing with the Velcro strap. Again, it’s a neat solution that prevents fewer snagging hazards, whilst keeping the heavier Cordura material outside the boot.

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Getting the suit on is easy enough. It’s a case of stepping into the suit through the rear zip. Once your legs are fully into the suit there are internal braces that are then positioned onto the shoulders. These are adjustable and enable positioning of the suit for the most comfortable fit. It also allow the suit to be partially removed when off the water if required.

That’s pretty much covered the suit. I’ll post a follow up review after a few weeks providing some feedback on how it performs in the longer term.

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Facebook Group

After an initial glitch I’ve opened up a group on Facebook purely for saltwater kayak fishing enthusiasts. Somewhere to chat, ask questions, share ideas, post photos, videos and interesting links. It’ll make life easier to follow kayak fishing stuff whilst on Facebook. Please feel free to join the group and let’s see where it goes!


         Here’s the link –----> Facebook Saltwater Kayak Fishing Group

PanFish & DogBone Mounts from YakAttack

I’ve spent the last three days re-rigging my kayak, incorporating some GearTrac along the way. The positioning on the GearTrac was dependent on several factors. One of those was where to position my PanFish camera/video mounts.

The PanFish comes in two models, the standard PanFish and the PanFish Portrait. The biggest difference between the two mounts is the height, the PanFish coming in at 28” whilst the Portrait is considerably smaller at 6”.

The PanFish was specifically designed for ‘over the shoulder’ video with lightweight cameras. This basically covers most point and shoot cameras up to a maximum weight of 1lb. The PanFish is basically a split mast with the top half able to rotate. The amount of friction experienced at this joint is adjustable, something that will no doubt prove useful after prolonged use and the associated wear and tear. It’s marketed for use with Scotty mounts, MightyMount  and track systems, specifically the Wilderness SlideTrax and the GearTrac, though it’s also compatible with other track systems. Whilst looking over the PanFish I noticed that the MightyBolt (T-bolt) can be removed and replaced with a threaded RAM ball. Out of interest it’s also is a snug fit into most flush mounted rod holders. Clearly it has many mounting possibilities!

At the top of the PanFish is a 1” RAM ball and for a few extra dollars it comes ready equipped with a RAM camera mount, clearly this is the way to go. As much as it’s marketed as an ‘over the shoulder’ camera mount there’s no reason it can’t be mounted ahead of you. I took things one stage further and repositioned a flush mount rod holder (I never use them) so it was effectively positioned 90 degrees to the kayak. The PanFish is a perfect fit into the flush mount, in fact it makes a pleasing ‘popping’ sound when pulled out. So what’s so great about mounting it in that position?. Well it provides yet another camera angle, perhaps a more interesting one in my opinion.


Of course it can be mounted directly into the GearTrac, MightyMount, etc. Fitment to either is quick and easy, taking only a few seconds.


The PanFish has comfortable foam grips to rotate the mount when required. The foam adds buoyancy which enables the PanFish to float. I’ve not tried it with a camera attached, though I’d imagine that it’s still likely to float. The RAM camera mount makes for easy positioning of the camera helping you achieve the best angle for a photo or film.


That pretty much covers the PanFish, which takes me straight on to the PanFish Portrait. This is basically a miniature version of the PanFish and is ideally suited for positioning ahead of the angler/paddler. The camera mount itself is a RAM item, hence positioning and locking the camera into the best position is quick and simple. The whole mount swivels even when fully locked into position (friction can be adjusted), this provides a couple of useful facilities. A mounted camera can be turned around allowing easy access to rear mounted controls, self timer controls, etc. The camera can then be rotated back ready for that ‘Hero’ photo!.



The PanFish Portrait is able to support heavier cameras of up to 2lb in weight. My photos show it mounted in some GearTrac, however, as per the PanFish it has multiple mounting options.. Scotty, SlideTrax, MightyMount, etc. It’s easily swapped from one GearTrac or MightyMount to another so its position can be quickly changed as required.


So, is that the end of YakAttack’s camera mounting options?…. nope!. They sell an item called the ‘Dog Bone’. It’s a foam covered tubular mount with a 1” RAM ball at either end (hence the ‘DogBone’ name!). At a glance it doesn’t appear to be much, but with a little thought it’s an incredibly versatile piece of kit. I swapped the 1” ball for a 1.5” ball at one end, purely as I’d run out of 1” RAM double sockets. I also felt this would potentially increase its rigidity when mounted in certain positions. As much as I used a RAM ball mount, it’s possible to swap the mount to make it compatible with the GearTrac, MightyMount, etc. I know, I said that for the PanFish range as well, ingenious or what!

I decided to have a play using a MightyMount with a 1.5” ScrewBall installed.


The DogBone was attached to this with the aid of a 1.5” RAM double socket. So how did this all work out?. Great!, hopefully the photos below should explain my setup reasonably well.

I really love the underwater position shown below!. With the upper RAM mounted loosely tightened the camera is easily rotated to any chosen position, full 360 degree coverage!.


From the photos above it can be seen that with a little thought when positioning it, the DogBone can be cover many potential angles!. I’ve only experimented mounting it in a MightyMount, placing it in the GearTrac will no doubt open up yet more possibilities.

In over four years I’ve struggled to find a particularly versatile camera mount. In one day I’ve now had a play with three!!. These latest camera mounts from YakAttack are well worth a look. Like their other products they are top quality and innovative, keep them coming!

Rigging with GearTrac

I recently received some GearTrac from YakAttack and I was keen to see how best to utilise it on my kayak. However, nothing in life is easy!. The rigging on my kayak has evolved over the past few years, a fish finder, GPS and GoPro video camera have appeared over time. The GPS and fish finder are powered from an SLA battery mounted with the kayak. One of my GoPro video cameras was mounted to the rear of the fish finder.

The GearTrac provided some interesting options, though to be honest I decided it was better to start with a clean slate. Sure, adding a length of GearTrac here and there would have been quick and easy, though I wanted to make the best use of them. The Big Game has a flat ‘dashboard’ area ahead on the foot wells yet I’ve never made any real use of this area. There are reasons for this, though by far the biggest is that I load the kayak upside down on the car so any fixed fitting would eventually get damaged. When I originally mounted the fish finder I took this into account and made it a fold down affair.

The GPS was added later and this meant another mounting point (centre cover) and an electrical feed. Then the GoPro made an appearance!. It was functional though it could definitely be far better!


The GearTrac provided an opportunity to tidy up the current arrangement whilst providing some additional flexibility and space. That said, the current kayak rigging was going to require a bit of a re-work!. The GPS power feed and cam cleat were removed, this left a few holes that were plastic welded closed using a soldering iron and trimmings of plastic offcuts leftover from fitting hatches, etc.


The GearTrac comes supplied with quality stainless screws to enable rapid fitment, it even comes with a drill bit!. However, after some thought I decided to mount the GearTrac using stainless steel nuts, bolts and ‘penny’ washers. This is my own preference, rigging is very much a personal thing. Rather conveniently the 16” length of GearTrac fitted neatly across the ‘dashboard’ area of the Big Game. Holes were drilled and it was ready to mount.

It’s always worth applying some sealant to the drilled holes, washers, etc, to ensure a watertight seal. Having to apply some at a later time post a leak is hassle best avoided.


Within a couple of minutes the GearTrac was bolted into place. It was clear that its low profile was not going to be intrusive whilst loading/unloading the kayak, absolutely perfect!

The main wiring loom for the front of the kayak appeared below the original fish finder mount situated in the left foot well. It had never been ideal for a couple of reasons so I decided to relocate it closer towards the GearTrac using a better quality watertight wiring gland.


So how are accessories attached to the GearTrac?. There are two main options, using either a ScrewBall (1” or 1.5”) or a Mighty Mount. These attach using T-bolts (Mighty Bolt), the Mighty Mount requiring the addition of threaded knobs if it’s to remain moveable. The Mighty Mount is a mount in its own right so I’ll cover that in a later article. The use of a Mighty Mount on the GearTrac allows attachment of Scotty rail mounts, etc. Here are a couple of stock images.


In the case of the ScrewBall it’s simply a case of sliding the ball onto the GearTrac and tightening down. With a Mighty Mount the principle is the same, though a threaded knob is used to tighten down against the T-Bolt


Below are close up photos of the base of a PanFish mount showing the MightyBolt designed for use with the GearTrac. It’s as simple as sliding the required item onto the track and tightening down a couple of turns to lock it firmly in position. The ScrewBalls work in exactly the same manner.


The re-routing of the forward wiring loom allowed me to reposition my GPS, fish finder and GoPro camera onto the GearTrac. For the GPS I used a 1” ScrewBall allied with the Garmin 60 RAM mount. The Humminbird 565 fish finder was mounted using a 1.5” ScrewBall and a double socket arm. For the GoPro I’ve used the YakAttack PanFish Portrait, though I’ll cover this particular accessory in greater depth in another article.


As can be seen in the above photo by positioning my electronics onto the GearTrac I’ve increased my working area whilst producing a far cleaner setup. The GPS, fish finder and GoPro attach in seconds. The fish finder head unit can be removed and its base mount is stowed on the ‘dummy mount’ in the left foot well. The latter ensures a clean profile when loading/unloading the kayak upside down.


I also took the opportunity to replace any remaining alloy RAM components with the equivalent composite item. The kayak looks far tidier as a result, goodbye corrosion!

After quite some head scratching I decided to mount an 8” length of GearTrac just behind the Crazy Creek seat. There was a slight issue here as the deck profile where the track was going to be positioned wasn’t flat. I used a couple of spacing washers at either end to make up the difference. Again, I went for the nut and bolt option though it was quite a stretch, access being via the centre hatch.


I currently use the VisiCarbon Pro and I was looking for an alternative mounting location for this item. I also have a PanFish camera pole which can be mounted either on GearTrac, Ram ball or Mighty mount (it even slides into a standard flush mounted rod holder!). It’s sold for a specific mounting option, however, with a couple of spare parts it can be easily swapped from one mounting option to another… neat!.

The GearTrac positioned just behind the seat will prove ideal for these items.


The GearTrac really is a great product, its finish is superb and it’s extremely strong. The cost is reasonable considering the material specification and sheers quality of this item. When you consider the initial outlay when purchasing a kayak, it’s really a relatively small price to pay for an accessory that will no doubt provide many years of faithful service. That said, it’s also ideal to upgrade, or to bring some additional flexibility, to your current setup.

My next articles will look at fixing Mighty Mounts to the kayak and I’ll soon be reviewing the PanFish and PanFish Portrait camera mounts. I also have some interesting plans for additional camera mounting options, watch this space!


GearTrac specifications:
Base Material:    6000 series aluminium
Finish:               Type III Hardcoat Anodize - Military Grade
Colour:               Gunmetal Gray
Fasteners:          #10 Stainless Steel thread forming screws
Weight:              1/2 lb per foot