The Arch Rival series was created with the goal of making affordable dry suits that were simple but remarkably durable. By “durable” we mean able to stay dry for season after season of whitewater paddling- one of the worst environments in the world for waterproof breathable fabric. The interior of a dry suit or dry top in use is sweaty, acidic, and usually full of bacteria or mold. Additionally, the fabric is under constant stress with 10’s of thousands of fabric-flexing rotations in the armpit alone in a single day of paddling.
The first step to this process was choosing the right waterproof-breathable mid layer. Our choice is a proprietary, PU based laminate that we developed after 10 years of hard earned lessons about what works and doesn’t work in paddlesports dry wear. The result is a barrier that will not crack, mildew, or peel off the outer shell fabric or start to disintegrate even after years and years of abuse (and proper care). We introduced this laminate in the first generation of Arch Rivals, and we’ve been so pleased with it that we now use it across our entire dry wear line.
The next step is the shell fabric- the fabric you feel on the outside of the garment. We want the Arch Rivals to be simple, strong and affordable so with this in mind there is one place to go- nylon. The nylon we use is a 188 gram per square meter taslan that’s soft and supple but has great abrasion resistance.
The 2016 Rear Zip Arch Rival has a brand new fit. Starting from the ground up to make an articulated pattern that reduced extra bulk and hard to heat empty air pockets. The result is a suit that fits a wide variety of body sizes correctly- close fitting but without binding.