I've been lucky enough to have the support of some pretty awesome brands on my various SUP endurance races and expeditions, including Mustang Survival who initially came on board to support Skip and I on the Yukon 1000; but with whom we now have an ongoing partnership with.
Back in August 2023, we both joined Mustang Survival, SUP Lass, and Reel Nomads (credits for pics!) on a shoot in stunning North Wales for their PFDs, drysuits, and other clothing items. We had to keep most of this under wraps as the PFDs were waiting for final safety approval and their official announcement at METZ in November.
I've been a big fan of the UV long-sleeved hooded tops (I wore these exclusively on the Yukon 1000 and SUP 11 Cities as my base layer/sun protection) and Callan shorts. I also love my Torrens hooded mid-layer - this top stays warm even when wet, as I found out when I took an unexpected swim on the Yukon 1000 on a particularly cold day. So I didn't need to do much testing on this trip for these items!
We also got to try out the Hudson drysuits - I had the suit with the closed comfort system (CCS) neck - which is an alternative to a latex gasket neck seal. I found it so much more comfortable against the skin and it wasn't like trying to push your head into a balloon when putting the suit on!
The suit was loose enough to be able to layer up underneath in the winter months without being too baggy. The suit also has removable knee pads on the inside - I preferred to remove these, but perhaps for longer expeditions where kneeling to eat/drink/do any kind of admin on the board might be needed they may go back in to give some protection and comfort.
I tried the Kazan Dry Liner which was incredibly comfortable and well thought out with openings to make it easier to 'go about your business' if you get what I mean! Although it was August, so it is hard to comment on how warm the liner would be in the cold and how much additional layering I may want to consider. Watch this space for some winter testing soon.
Mustang Survival recently launched their minimalistic waist belt pack PFD which we had for testing for a while. The pack is pretty simple (which is really what a pack needs to be!); it's small, with an easy-to-locate yellow pull tab to inflate the pillow. I still prefer a body-wearable PFD mainly because of the kit storage space they can provide, but this one will be in my kit bag for those inland water days or short lake/river races where I don't need the extra storage space or restrictions of a body PFD. You will need to buy a rearm pack if you pull the cord to inflate the PFD so it's a good idea to have a spare kit in your kit bag.
The two new PFDs were also great to try. What we all liked about these were the low profiles - they sat snug against the body and were so low profile if you struggle to get back on your board with the bulk of some other PDFs these could be for you. Also the shape and cut meant there was lots of space around the armpits where some other PFDs can rub. At the time of writing this post, they are not available as yet, I believe they are due Feb / March 2024.
I got a chance to try a little sea fishing under the expert guidance of Reel Nomads, and tried the Mustang Survival Meris Waterproof bib and Meris Waterproof jacket. I was warm and dry all day long, even after some proper funky wave bashing in the rib!
WHY LISTEN TO ME?
Hand on heart; the Mustang Survival kit is incredible. I know it's easy to say 'Yeah sure you will say that!' but please understand, that my credibility, integrity, and reputation are based on my honesty. There are too many 'ambassadors' telling anyone who will listen just how great 'X,Y,Z brand/kit' is and offering up affiliate codes to make some cash. You won't find referral codes on any of my posts. I'll tell you what I like, and what I don't and link you up to where you can go and find out more info. If you decide to buy then awesome and if you tell them I sent you then great.
I would never recommend something I wouldn't use myself. I have high standards when it comes to equipment that ultimately is being chosen to be part of my kit to see me safely through some pretty testing and risky environments and expeditions.