River Store Staff Top 10 Gear Picks

Silver shiny icons - six colors vector set - eps10-River Store’s Top 11 Gear Picks-

Who uses and loves them…



Gear: Dagger Nomad 8.1 & 8.5

Who Loves it? Jason Bates, Gigi McBee & Dylan Nichols

Why we love it? Super Stable, Good distribution of volume in the nose keeping it on the surface through hard steep drops.  Boofs well, mantains its speed in boils relatively well.  Paddles well loaded down, comfy outfitting!

A bit more… There is something to be said about a hull design that has gone unchanged in almost 10 years. The old saying stays true with this one, “Don’t fix what ain’t broken!” The Dagger Nomad comes in two sizes the 8.1 for smaller paddlers and the 8.5 for everyone else. This boat design is extremely diverse, whether the paddler is stepping up their game into creeking or you are firing off 1st descents in far off countries. The only bummer is that doesn’t make a bigger size Nomad 9.0 for folk who need a 90 gallon boat due to size and desire to paddle on harder water & be able to carry gear for overnights.



Gear: Kokatat Rogue Dry Tops

Who Loves it? Gigi McBee, Jason Bates & Dylan Nichols

Why we love it? This drytop has a awesome cut allowing for great range of motion. Super dry, with excellent warranty. Most of Kokatats products are made in the USA.

A bit more… Kokatat is pretty much as grass roots as a company can get. They have been based out of Arcata California since 1971 and produce some of the highest quality technical water wear on the market. Not only can you guarantee you are getting a bomber product from them, but also customer service that is bar none the best in the industry. All Kokatat Gortex & Hydrus wear has a life time warranty on workmanship and materials + Kokatat has a fantastic repair facility to boot.  So if your dry top is getting a little damp send it in and they will water test it for a nominal charge + patch for free, if it turns out the fabric is delaminating you will be back up and paddling in no time with a replacement top free of charge.


GEAR: WRSI Current Water/Pro

Who Loves it:  Jason Bates, Lisa McAlpine, Gigi McBee & Dylan Nichols

Why we love it?  Solid design doesn’t move around on your head, comfortable, covers the temples, inexpensive!

A bit more…. Who wants to drop hundreds of dollars on a helmet that you will eventually need to replace every 2-5 years? WRSI took this thought to heart when they designed the Current Water and Current Pro Helmets. These helmets are on the leading edge of development, specifically with a superior multi-impact design, which are super adjustable and affordable both coming in under $100 after tax.



GEAR: Stohlquist Descent Rescue PFD

Who loves it? Jason Bates, Gigi McBee & Dylan Nichols

Why we love it? Comfortable Comfortable Comfortable!

A bit more… This efficient design provides ample flotation located on the chest and back of the paddler leaving abundant arm room and minimal material around the elbow area that dose not hinder your range of motion. This rescue vest features a side zip which makes it easy to throw on quickly or remove if paddler is injured.  This vest has wide shoulder straps reducing chaffing and making that long carry into the river a lot more comfortable. It also boasts a large zippered front pocket for your added gear and snacks and another large drink pocket right up front for those who need refreshment while geared up!  You can add a additional 5 lbs of floatation to the large zippered pocket to make the vest a high float option if you purchase the additional air bladder that fits inside.

Note.. Not looking for a rescue vest?? No problem try out the Rocker, same comfortable design as the descent with out all the additional rescue features and hardwear.  We use this vest with our students at Current Adventures Kayak School, contact us if you would like to give either of these vests a try we have both available to test out with some notice.

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GEAR: 5.10 Rubber

Who Loves it? Jason Bates , Gigi McBee , Dylan Nichols, Alex Horangic, & Julie Mitravich
Savant – Water Tennie – Guide Tennie – Rassler – 2013 Brewer, Nemo, Canyoneer

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Why we love it?  Stickiest rubber for running on wet granite rock!

5.10’s Stealth Rubber has proven to be the stickiest rubber of any technical water shoe around. And it comes in many different shoe models for you to find the right shoe for you! “With my 5.10 Water Tennies I feel like I can walk straight up extremely steep slabs of granite without any worry of slipping back into the river below. It is great being able to trust your shoes for those sketchy portages when you just want to focus on that friction climb you have to do” says Dylan. And for those of you who love your current pair of shoes but the soles are wearing out, come on in and grab the 5.10 Add On Kit. Put their Stealth Rubber soles on any existing pair of shoes you own!


GEAR: The Best Whitewater in California

Who Loves it? Every serious California paddler

Why Love it?  This book is commonly referred to as The Bible for California kayaking. Albeit this was written between the 1970’s and early 1990’s the beta is still almost completely credible. Not only does this book give stories about most rivers throughout California but it is extremely thorough with shuttle logistics, flow ranges, number of portages and much more. These guys went on a trip paddling almost every drainage in the state and recorded it all for us to read and to help plan out our future adventures!


GEAR: Prana Zion Stretch  Shorts –

Who Loves it? Dan Crandall, Jason Bates & Dylan Nichols

Why we love them?  Durable, Dry fairly quick, Gussetted crotch for movement which is YES vented discreetly :O) Did we mention Durable!!!

A bit more… These durable yet quick drying shorts have been put to the test and have come out still in great shape and looking fresh. Jason wears his shorts for fishing and kayaking as well as on the town has 4 pairs of them and the pant version and finds them to be the best of both worlds. Dylan hiked over 900 miles in his pair of Zion Shorts and you can still find him wearing the same ones, and you can barely tell how old they are!

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GEAR: W’s Skirt Sport Lotta Breeze Capri 

Who Loves it: Gigi McBee

Why love it?  Nothing like having a capri that you can run in, chill in or wear on the water.  I LOVE THIS for paddling because it protects my legs and knees from my thighhooks in my kayak, its comfy and the skirt is cute and warm.  Love the skirt finally some womens wear that isn’t just cut down to size and colored PINK (although they do make a pink option if you so desire)

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GEAR: Cablz Zipz

Who loves it?  Dan Crandall, & Gigi McBee

Why We love them? They stay ON!

Cablz Zipz are the newest technology to hit the eye wear retainer world. Their durable long lasting adjustable design is meant to keep your glasses on in the toughest conditions. Keep them loose around your neck or zip them up tight for a rough ride. Best part is, you cannot even tell they are there! With or without your helmet on they are secure but unobtrusive. Wherever life takes you, Cablz will keep your favorite pair of sunny’s safe and secure!

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GEAR: Mirazyme

Who Loves it?  Everyone should… & we applaud all that do ;O)

Why we love it? It kills the stink in your gear!

A bit more… Does your polypro or synthetic under layers stink? If you say no, ask your friends… Then come in and buy some Mirazyme. This enzyme and Microbe-Based product gets the odor out of the stinkiest of materials. You can treat anything from clothing and technical wear to tents and backpacks. It’s as easy as dunk, soak and hang. This may save the noses and relationships with your non-paddling friends or significant others, this small investment is a smart choice for any boater.  This product is enzyme based, destroying the odor causing bacteria and scent.

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GEAR: Aquamira Water Bottle Filter

Who Loves it? Dylan Nichols, Gigi McBee, Jason Bates

Why we love it? How cool to be able to dip and drink right from the river, not to mention when you hike in to giant gap this bottle is a life saver you don’t have to carry extra water.

A bit more…. “I keep in my kayak for every river trip”. – Dylan.  You can filter straight out of any river and instantly consume. No more need of filling up or buying a new jug of water before every trip out to the river. Just leave one in each one of your boats and you will never go thirsty again! “I have used my bottle all over the world and have never gotten sick!” – Dylan (Knocking on wood…)

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