Reviewer: 5’10’’, 170 lbs.
Size Reviewed: Large
Technical Info from the Manufacturer:
- Evolution 3.21 oz. nylon 3-layer GORE-TEX® body
- GORE-TEX® 3-layer (2.2 oz.) side panels
- Integrated GORE-TEX® Cordura® reinforced shoulder, elbow, and forearm
- Latex gaskets w/superstretch neoprene, self draining cuffs and collar
- Dual-adjustable outer skirt incorporates “hook & loop” compatible neoprene
- Lightweight GORE-TEX® Performance Shell inner skirt with added length
- Self-draining, zippered chest pocket with key lanyard
Test Duration: 25 days
Test Conditions: bigwater, creeking, park and play, playboating.
The Rogue is Kokatat’s top-of-the-line dry top and, therefore, is widely regarded as one of the best dry tops money can buy. Personally, I have to agree with this statement, with one small addition: it is the best dry top that a lot of money can buy.
The Rogue comes in at $100+ more than other brands’ top offerings, which has many people debating on forums and heatedly discussing at the put-in whether the Rogue warrants the extra cash.
As the owner of not just the Rogue but also the NRS Revolution ($329) and the Immersion Research (IR) Comp LX (~$320), my aim here is to compare the three and give my take on the Rogue’s hefty price tag.
Fit / Materials
The first thing I noticed about the Rogue is how light and flexible the fabric is. It’s constructed with a top-of-the-line 3-layer Gore-Tex fabric with reinforced Gore-Tex Cordura on the shoulders, elbows, and forearms. The NRS Revolution is made with a 3-layer TriTon fabric, while the IR Comp LX is made from a “4 layer breathable entrant.”
The lightweight feel of the Rogue is nice when winding up my torso for a big sweep stroke. I never feel constricted or end up with bunched up fabric, while I’ve found that the other two fabrics have more of a tendency to make my movements feel restricted.
Some of this, however, is also due to the fit of each top. The NRS, for instance, has longer sleeves relative to the torso. For me, this means a bit of extra material in the arms that sometimes leads to bunching. The IR, on the other hand, seems to fit my arms very well, so I attribute any minor movement restriction there to the relative stiffness of the fabric. The Rogue also has a bit of extra length in the arms, but thanks to the flexibility and weight of the fabric, it doesn’t really feel restrictive. In fact, I barely notice that I am wearing it.