For the last few months I have been testing the Yak Conquest Cag. It has been put through it’s paces in a range of weather/sea conditions and performed exceptionally well.
The conquest is a hooded, sea/expedition Cag which uses a three layer, ripstop fabric throughout.
The Cag has fully taped seams, a deep zipped neck with inner velcro fastening neck seal , latex wrist seals protected by adjustable PU outer cuffs and twin waist seals.
The inner breathable fabric skirt has a rubberised elasticated hem and the adjustable Neoprene outer waistband has wide velcro fastening tabs to ensure an tight seal over trousers and deck.
The hood is a fully adjustable peaked hood that can be completely stowed away inside the outer storm collar when not in use. It has a volume adjuster on the rear along with reflective patches for low light/night use.
The Conquest also features 3-way pre-bent arms and seamless underarm panels which aim to allow full arm rotation, without dragging up the waistband.
Additional features include high visibility reflective print on shoulders and hood, and laser cut reflective backings on all zips. A large twin zipped hand warmer pocket with fleece lining and two separate arm and chest pockets for extra storage.
The zips are water resistant and feature zip garages that hide the zip sliders out of the way and ensure the zips are properly closed.
I have found the Conquest to feel lighter to wear and the fabric seems thinner/softer and more flexible than other 3 layer cags.
Initially I was worried this would mean a less sturdy top, however this does not seem to be the case at all. The Conquest has stood up to some rough use and handled everything impeccably. In some ways, I actually prefer the ‘lighter’ feel of Conquest as it does not seem so ‘restrictive’ and stiff to wear as some cags and is therefore more comfortable in day to day use. This is enhanced but the little features that are often overlooked such as comfortable fabric on the ends of the cuffs to avoid chaffing.
I find the neck on conquest quite high which on one hand provides good protection paddling in adverse conditions, however for me it is a little restrictive when done up fully whilst the hood is rolled away. When the hood is not stowed in the collar, the fit is great.
The hood is good – I like the reflective patches and it is large enough for a hat/helmet underneath. It does not rotate with the head, but the design allows for good side to side vision. I can deploy the hood without removing the jacket although this takes a little initial manouvering.
The overall fit is excellent and the design of the arms/shoulders allows full range of movement with feeling restricted. There is enough length in the arms to allow you to fully extend for strokes without the Cag pulling up or restricting your stroke.
I really like the waterproof zips and the pockets are well placed. I use the fleece lined front pockets on the shore before/after paddles and they are great for warming up cold hands. The arm pockets have not been used but on along trip/expedition I can see them becoming useful for small emergency items.
The cuffs are less robust looking than the some other Cags but I think are really well designed. They are extremely comfortable and I have just got hold of the excellent Lomo paddling gloves which fit over the cuffs perfectly due to the ‘slim’ design of the cuff seals on the Conquest. The dry seals under the cuffs do their job very well. Once again, the cuffs have stood up to some hard graft with no signs of damage.
I am paddling in the dark more this year as I have to fit paddles in around a young baby & a 3 year old. The large number of refelective strips/patches around the jacket are very welcome in these situations.
I have found the Yak Conquest to have very good breathability – significantly better than the Palm Aleutian I reviewed a few months ago. During the winter, the thermals worn underneath remained almost completely dry.
In the recent, more humid weather the Conquest’s breathability has really come into it’s own when I have had to ‘dress for the swim’ rather than the paddle and there has been minimal condensation left after a paddle.
I am very impressed by the Yak Conquest Cag. Softer, quieter and extremely comfortable – it is proof that hard wearing, expedition standard kit does not have to be as stiff and ‘rough’ to wear as some that I have tried. With a very reasonable price for this standard of cag it also represents very good value for money. It has proved to be extremely durable and breathable in a wide range of conditions and I now find myself reaching for the Conquest over other cags when heading out for a paddle. Highly recommended.
- Medium weight, waterproof ripstop fabric, fully taped and breathable
- 3 way pre-bent arms and seamless underarm technology
- Fully adjustable stow away hood with PU collar and storm flap
- Inner Latex cuff seals with adjustable PU outer
- Fully adjustable Neoprene waist band
- Inner breathable fabric skirt with rubberised elasticated hem
- Large twin zipped fleece lined hand warmer pocket
- Water resistant reflective zip technology and moulded zip pull
- Reflective shoulder and hood print
- New tri-laminate repair patch kit
Available in Black or Orange.