The Bomber Gear Bomb Dry Top is positioned as “one of the highest-quality dry tops on the market,” and it certainly performs well right out of the box. Of course long-term durability is the true test of a quality dry top, so I’d love it if you would scroll to the bottom and comment if you have experience with longer-term use of the Bomb Dry Top. With an MSRP of $389.99, The Bomb competes with the Kokatat Rogue (MSRP ~$424.95), IR X-Jacket (MSRP ~$424.95), and Sweet Shadrach (MSRP ~$349.95), among others.
-The Bomb Dry Top is made of a fabric called Toray 4-ply Entrant HB, which is a durable, breathable, comfortable alternative to Gore-Tex. I don’t know much about the material other than to say that the top was, indeed, dry and breathable during long, hot days on the water.
-Ergonomic Cut: at 5’8″, the Large size was cut just right for my build
-Effective Wrist Cuff System: The Bomb’s neoprene wrist cuffs feature “Sub-Screen” neoprene cuffs, which are less absorbent than standard neoprene. I really liked how little the wrist cuffs held water. Some tops have velcro flaps with a pocket-like space inside the cuff, which fills with water. The Bomb’s wrist cuff system effectively avoids this design flaw.
-Comfortable Gaskets- Bomber Gear uses their own, “cone-shaped” gaskets for maximum comfort and easy trimming for size adjustment. Unlike most new gaskets, I was comfortable (i.e. not choking) from day 1 on the water. I also liked how low-profile the neoprene neck region was.
-The hidden whistle inside the neck “cuff” is a nice touch
-Sticky material on inside of tunnel section did its job well. It adhered to the skirt tunnel nicely, reducing water inflow up the skirt tunnel.
-Reinforced Seam Junctions: I was impressed when I turned the Bomb Dry Top inside out. The seam taping was neat and clean, and every single seam junction had an additional seam tape patch over it. Only time would tell how dry this top is, but clearly Bomber Gear has paid attention to the details that matter in terms of seam taping.
-No Pockets: I would like at least 1 small pocket in the top to stow my earplugs or sunblock stick. As a freestyle boater, I often use a PFD without a pocket, so this left me with nowhere to stow things without popping my skirt and stashing my sunblock in my shorts pocket.
-Bunchy Bungie: I didn’t love the bungie system at the waste line of the top. I understand that the goal was to reduce water inflow, but I found the bungie and its buckle cumbersome. The velcro system is nice, and is similar to the Kokatat Rogue or Sweet Shadrach, but the bungie resulted in bunching of the material at the bottom of the top.
The Bomber Gear Bomb Dry Top is a great offering from a company recently acquired by Confluence Watersports (Confluence also owns Dagger, WaveSport, AT Paddles, etc.). It fits and paddles well, breathes nicely and feels great right out of the box (without gasket trimming). At $390, The Bomb is competing with some high-end, established products like the Gore Tex Kokatat Rogue. Personally I would like to see some more information from Bomber Gear about their fabric (Toray 4-ply Entrant HB), particularly since I could purchase a Gore Tex Sweet Shadrach for less ($349.95). Gore Tex obviously has the name and reputation for being the best breathable fabric on the market, and I’d like to see some more information from Bomber Gear about their fabric and explaining why paddlers should pay more for their top.