The Quick Tow Belt is part of a new range of towlines and belts by Palm, the Quick Belt range, however the Quick Tow Belt stands alone as a sea kayak specific towline. In many ways this is just an updated version of the highly recommended Palm Ocean Pro Towline, however the updates are good ones.
The biggest change is the quick release belt with adjustable ‘clean tail safety release’. All the new Palm belts feature this ‘clean tail safety release’. Palm sponsored some research into safety harnesses and found that quick release webbing tethers set at 3cm length guaranteed a correct release. By moving the size adjustment and stowing of excess webbing, to a side release buckle, these belts are a safer more user friendly product. This also means that once you have initially set up your belt, you simply clip it on and off each time.
The rest of the belt is a padded, vented mesh liner. As well as making it comfortable to wear and tow with, this also provides flotation for the bag. This keeps the towline nice and simple as there is no need for any additional floats to be fitted.
The pouch is a made of a light but tough ripstop nylon. This really keeps the weight of the towline low, especially when it is wet. It is a low profile, clam shell shaped pouch, with a velcro closure. It’s big enough to easily fit the towing system whilst still being a very compact shape to paddle with. This will be particularly attractive to paddlers who find the other towlines bulky.
The rope is 10 meters of 6mm floating line. It has the plastic sea dog clip, which floats, further reducing the need for extra floats to be added. There is a section of bungee cleanly enclosed inside a webbing tube. The whole system is simply tied together which means you can untie and remove bits to adapt the line for your personal needs. On either side of the belt is a plastic split D ring to attach the clip too which is great for easy access to the clip when you need it.
Retailing at £70 this towline is almost the same price as the Ocean Pro Towline it replaces, which is impressive. This makes it one of the cheapest sea kayaking towlines you can get.
So to summarise this is an affordable, low profile, lightweight and comfortable towline. It is designed to be simple to operate however in its design it has some very clever features. I would recommend it as a first towline for beginner sea kayakers, and I do think experienced paddlers will be able to recognise that it also has all the features they need.
For more information head to the Palm Equipment website.
By Philip Clegg
With over two decades of working in the sea kayaking industry, Phil can be found on a daily basis coaching for Sea Kayaking Anglesey. That's when he's not expeditioning, playing or putting kit to the test.