RC Long Johns by Slam

These comfortable, agile salopettes could become a permanent resident of your gear bag. "Gear Up" from our July 16, 2008, /SW eNewsletter/

GURCLongJohns368

Courtesy Slam

Here's what happened the one time this year I went racing without my Slam RC Long Johns: a cool breeze blew in, my butt got soaked, and, on the rail in between shivers, I vowed never to leave the dock without these indispensable salopettes on board.

Slam's RC Long Johns-- which complement the RC Spray Top, also designed with input from Russell Coutts--are well suited for around-the-buoys racing because they get the job done without too much fuss. The use of Slam's special Advanced Technology Fabric not only makes the RCs waterproof, windproof, and breathable, it also makes them lightweight and easily compressible, so they don't occupy too much real estate in your gear bag.

For cold-weather sailing, the generous, ergonomic fit integrates well with base layers. In warmer weather, slip the wide-cut legs over your sailing shoes and shorts whenever conditions call for a last-minute costume change. Elasticated mesh shoulders provide reassuring comfort and allow full range of motion. Tough Cordura material reinforces the seat and knees, providing a layer of protection when scrambling across the deck. Thermo-taped seams prevent leaks. I haven't used the RCs enough to confirm long-term durability, but halfway through the season they don't show any signs of wear--surprising, considering their feather-light feel.

In terms of function, my only gripe is that the thigh pocket requires two hands to unzip. The chest pocket works fine. The RCs come in two color schemes, silver/red and yellow/black. I chose the silver/red, which looks fairly modest...from the front. On the back, SLAM, a big company logo. On the seat of the garment, a big red patch dramatically increases the probability of attack by charging bull, and, as I mentioned in my review of Sebago's Plunge sailing shoes, draws funny stares in Thai restaurants.