Sailing Chandlery sponsored sailor Sam Whaley reviews the Zhik Robert Scheidt Hiking wetsuits which are available in Microfleece and Superwarm designs.
These World class hikers are the latest in the Zhik hiking range and were designed by 9 x Laser World Champion Robert Scheidt. They are very comfortable, sit well on you whilst sailing and with the pads already built in you don’t have to worry about them slipping down whilst sailing. Here I am going to review both the Microfleece and Superwarm variants and hopefully give you a good idea on which pair you should buy.
The Microfleece Sheidt Hikers are ideal in warm, summer conditions. They are very comfy and extremely light weight which makes them ideal for the lighter winds. However, they are also quite thin and being the type of guy who likes to slightly overdress and protect myself from the spray I found myself only wearing these from May-September this year as they can get a bit chilly in the classic UK wet and wild conditions!
The built-in fibreglass pads on these are the perfect size, large compared with others on the market but small enough to make you forget you have pads in. This gives you more support whilst hiking, making it less painful and allowing you to have better posture and focus on driving the boat through the water. They are also quite grippy, so I never have to worry about slipping around the deck.
There is also a reasonable amount of padding on the knee to keep you protected and adjustable shoulder straps to ensure you can find the perfect fit.
My top tip for these is if in doubt order the size below. They are incredibly stretchy and slightly bigger than you might imagine. They also stretch ever so slightly as you wear them in so its worth bearing this in mind when you order.
The Superwarm Scheidt Hikers are the same as the Microfleece hikers above, but made of thicker material and engineered for cooler conditions. Weighing in slightly more than the Microfleece hikers but providing excellent warmth these are ideal for the winter months.
One again we have the same large, built-in pads as the Microfleece hikers which provide a lot of support and comfort whist sailing. There is also thicker padding on the knee meaning more protection and overall a slightly more rigid and warmer build. Once again, we also have the two adjustable shoulder straps to allow you to find your perfect fit.
These do not stretch as much as the Microfleece hikers above so I would recommend you order your normal size.
I actually prefer the extra padding and warmth that these Superwarm hikers offer and think they suit my style more. Definitely at this time of year I would recommend these as your best option and given their versatility I think you could use them on all but the hottest days in the UK.
As always, if you have questions about these hiking wetsuits, or any other product please do get in touch - we're always happy to provide you with the best advice for your scenario.
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