It was a cold early December morning, and I was assisting with Mod 2 water training on the River Dart. There had been a moderate fall of snow on the upper moor the previous day and the water we were getting in to was going to be part snow melt.
On first inspection the Hammond Survival Wear CoreTek X undersuit looked like it meant business. The suit is a thick and tight fleece layer that is instantly reassuring from the warmth you feel the moment you put it on. The quality seems very good, and the lining extremely comfortable next to the skin even when worn for a day. The stirrups at the bottom of the legs are tight on the foot so put the leggings on with bare feet and the CoreTek X socks on the outside.
So, five hours were spent in and out of the water and wearing a laminate surface drysuit. Comfort and flexibility did not falter throughout the day. Temperature wise, this was a cold day and very cold water and after two hours in and out of the water I was starting to get a bit chilly. It was a bit of an ask for any thermal layer to keep the cold out in these conditions. I added another fleece layer to my top half and was warm for the next three hours.
The CoreTek X alone kept my legs adequately warm and my feet have not been so warm in the water for years. I love the product but as with any outdoors activity in a variety of temperatures you need to layer accordingly. When really cold CoreTek X should be viewed as a very effective part of a layering system.
Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team Ashburton is a Devon charity of 60 volunteers on call 24/7 dedicated to assisting the emergency services with the search and rescue of the lost, missing, injured and vulnerable including those with dementia, mental health illnesses and children. Find out more about the work they do and make a donation via their website - click here