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A Wetsuit Alternative

Gul Evotherm Clothing

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    Advice, Product Review
09-Nov-2013 /  written by Ian Cross
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A Wetsuit Alternative
“ Cosy, fleecy lining which doesn't irritate the skin. Tight fitting but easy to get into, and off. Takes the edge off when it's cold but doesn't restrict your movement like wetsuits. Makes me feel like the man from Milk Tray."
It's not very often I get excited by new products these days. I still like Aqua Sphere's Kaiman goggle 13 years after it first came out. The only earplugs I use are the Zoggs Aqua Plugz, silicone and shaped like the ear, similar to the Ear-ex ones I discovered in 1993. And I'm very thankful for the innovation of Jammers (men's knee length trunks). I do cringe when I see old photos of myself in trunks the shape of women's knickers! But we do still sell them.

If I used a wetsuit, it would be Aqua Sphere's Aqua Skin because it's well made, good value and not so thick you can't move. The trouble is, neoprene irritates my skin and I'd prefer to suffer a dose of hypothermia than a sleepless night scratching the bits my rash vest hasn't protected. But I do like to swim outdoors in west Wales, pootling around in the water like a Victorian poet, drinking in the surroundings, putting a few strokes together and playing with my dog. On holiday abroad, I enjoy swimming with the fish but don't want a burnt back, and outdoor pools can be cold if unheated. So I need a wetsuit alternative.

Luckily, I've found something which meets my needs perfectly: the Gul Evotherm range, with 'core insulation technology' – oh yeah!....

Gul say: 'Lightweight, hollow fibre, stretch fabric which provides optimum warmth through thermal insulation.... Fabric is 8 oz, four way stretch, thermal fabric with fine brushed wicking inner surface.'

I say: Cosy, fleecy lining which doesn't irritate the skin. Tight fitting but easy to get into, and off. Takes the edge off when it's cold but doesn't restrict your movement like wetsuits. Great for teachers who want to keep warm when working in cold water (though it isn't specially treated to be chlorine resistant). Makes me feel like the man from Milk Tray.

I used an Evotherm short sleeved top in UK and abroad in the summer and thought it was great. But on a recent trip to the Swimming Without Stress stockroom I discovered a long sleeved top, even better, and Cheryl has just given me, as a 22nd wedding anniversary present I think, some Evotherm Longjohns, which I'm over the moon with. So I've got the full Gul Evotherm set and I'm off to Lanzarote at the end of November where I'll be doing a bit of teaching and lots of swimming. I'm so excited, I might go to bed in my Evotherm kit the night before I go, and wear it on the plane!

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