It was right about this time last year, we equipped ourselves with On-Line kayak tops. Now a year later I can finally tell you that I am a satisfied costumer. I bought a semi-dry jacket, (ab)used it for a year, and yet I still come from my adventures almost dry.
The main material used to make most of the jacket, is a Gore Tex-like, lightweight, durable 4-layer breathable fabric, stretching 20 m (20000mm) in the air on the watercolumn, but still breathable so you will not feel like in a Turkish sauna. The elbows are reinforced with condura and the cut is very comfortable even with elbow pads underneath.
Then we get to the spray deck part. It is definitely high enough in fact it might be a bit too high causing the lower back part of the jacket to scroll up a bit letting some water in the second compartment, which after 5 or 6 hours of paddling tends to get through and into the boat. But we are talking drops, much less than the amount of water coming through the spray deck.
Now we get to the main difference between a dry and a semi-dry top, the wrist and neck seals. With this semi-dry they used stretchable neoprene coated with a bit ticker layer of latex, making them pretty close to latex seals used in dry tops, especially when they are new. Water does get in to the jacket, usually through the hand seals, making, from a small wet spot on the wrists (normal kayaking, you know splash, splash, some capsizing once or twice) to something that can be described as a sweat stain, under the armpits (tested when play-boating).
That was the technical part, now the personal experience.
After a year of misuse the jacket is holding up very well. The seals show no signs of tearing, they did stretch but still providing an almost waterproof seal, the colour has lost a bit of it’s brightness, and I do have a small leak on the shoulder, where I have crashed in to a granite rock while paddling in Lipno CZ. So there is still some room for improvements, for which the people at On-Line are open too. Upon purchase you also get a warranty, but for more information you should go to their website, www.On-Line.si, they have a range of products that might interest you.
Stay safe and keep shredding