So we tested if we could use the orange bag as a buoy and that worked just fine. But what about those claims the orange bag will slow down your temperature decline in the water? The goal of the test was to dive in with regular kayaking clothes (long-john and PFD, but no anorak) to see if the orange bag would help.

The air temperature was 18 degrees Celsius, the upper layer of the water was 16 degrees Celsius and deeper water 14 degrees Celsius. For this first test we used our local paddling water – not at sea. The idea was to fill it with water and then see if the temperature of the water would rise by the temperature lost by the persons body in the bag. But before there was any noticeable temperature rise we had to end the test because the first stage of hypothermia set in; shivering. Our volunteer Alex however was able to feel the changes. The plastic did give him more warmth. One thing the test immediately made clear is that it is possible to get into the bag without getting to much water into it. If you are in a cold water / warm air situation filling it up with air will give you better protection. The other way around (water / colder air) and you want to start filling it with the warmer water.

There is one big downside to using it. It will give you far less freedom to move around and this might result in panic. Best to test this yourself to get comfortable with using it and feeling at easy being ‘trapped’ in it.

We will continue this test in colder water and in windy conditions with some waves to impact on us as well.