Dry Suits

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musicasrevolution

Dry Suits

Post by musicasrevolution » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:35 pm

I'd like to purchase a dry suit for packrafting but I don't know where to start. Any tips? Thanks!

Paddling Regression
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: In AK

Re: Dry Suits

Post by Paddling Regression » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:12 pm

Having had numerous dry suits, dry tops, dry pants/bibs over the years, my only recommendation is Kokatat. There is simply not a better product on the market and kokatat customer service is one of the best in the business. I've had them all from Stolquist, Palm, Nookie, Bomber Gear, NRS, and Patagonia to finally Kokatat. While you might take a serious hit if you go with their top of the line, you will not be disappointed. You get what you pay for. Oh, and one last thing, a relief zipper is a must! Kokatat also has one of the most "Stripped down" options available as most are over engineered with heavy fabrics that are not needed.

Edit: One thing to keep in mind when shelling out for a Dry Suit, especially for pack rafting, is the amount of portaging/bushwacking you're likely to do. Portaging through devils club definately takes a toll on your suit. However, unlike most companies, Kokatat can and will fix it for you! Even those impossible to find seepers.
"If it ain't high, it ain't quality"

andrewallan
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:56 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Dry Suits

Post by andrewallan » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:55 am

Also suggest you look back at the previous correspondence regarding "poor man's dry suits" - of course this is all dependent on your use, the season, and your other interests during a trip.

Poor man's dry suit = goretex waders, with either neoprene top and waist belt, or kayak dry top over this.

My primary backcountry intention is fly-fishing and backpacking, where the packrafting provides the "downhill mode" during and at the end of a trip, and therefore we have used the poor man's dry suit approach (using thin neoprene tops over waders) when rafting out of rivers we've walked into and fished in NZ in summer, and it has worked extremely well, with little additional weight to carry.

Another option is wetsuit and booties, which would be cheap, but heavy on a long trip, but it would be perfect for me for a winter day or weekend trip (in Australia).

Beyond this I also agree that you are probably into the Kokotat range of stuff, which I have never used, but it looks like perfection in terms of dry suits for cold conditions. Personally I'd need to be rafting a lot in rivers with ice on the edges, or to be going on a particularly long wilderness trip in low temperatures to justify one.

A

Shaggy
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:51 am

Re: Dry Suits

Post by Shaggy » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:42 am

On the poor man's drysuit, I've noticed it seems to work quite a bit better with a kayak spray skirt on than just with the waders and a drytop. At least on the size/configuration I used, I believe the spray skirt's neoprene waist band is a part of what really seals it. It may be a little ahead of it's time for us packrafters, right now.
All posts are personal opinions only.

"Boldness has a genius, power, and magic." -Goethe

andrewallan
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:56 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Poor man's Dry Suits

Post by andrewallan » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:17 am

Andew, I can't get my head aound this...............waders/kayak top and kayak skirt, and then in a yak...........in this scenario, the kayak skirt essentially only provides a neoprene waist band, but that's all..........were you inadvertently talking about using a poor man's dry suit in a kayak?? (where the skirt is then a useful option?).

We use the dressing sequence of polypropylene top, full length waders, neoprene top, and then waist belt, which leaves the only leakage points your wrists and neck. With a kayak dry top and waist belt, you be laughing, and very dry.

A

Shaggy
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:51 am

Re: Dry Suits

Post by Shaggy » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:56 pm

Hmmmm, Actually I think I had the top on wrong... something like that... bah! Anyway, it filled up in the course of a quarter-mile swim, so I can't complain too much, can I? :D I still floated fine, I just felt like I'd gained about 50 lbs.
All posts are personal opinions only.

"Boldness has a genius, power, and magic." -Goethe

bradmeiklejohn
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:16 pm

Re: Dry Suits

Post by bradmeiklejohn » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:08 pm

I want to respond to an earlier comment from Paddling Regression about Kokatak Dry Suits:

" One thing to keep in mind when shelling out for a Dry Suit, especially for pack rafting, is the amount of portaging/bushwacking you're likely to do. Portaging through devils club definately takes a toll on your suit. However, unlike most companies, Kokatat can and will fix it for you! Even those impossible to find seepers."

I learned a painful and expensive lesson about exactly how damaging Devil's Club, roses, and bushwacking in general can be to a Gore-tex dry suit. I bought a top of the line Kokatat at the beginning of the 2008 boating season, and by the end of the year sent it back because my butt, arms, and legs were increasingly wet at the end of a day of paddling. Kokatat returned the dry suit with a nasty note, suggesting that I had abused their product beyond its intended design and voided any warranty. They had done a pressure test on the suit and identified hundreds of microscopic holes, undoubtedly caused by Devil's Club, and had determined that the suit was beyond repair.

I am one of the lucky few to own a prototype Alpacka 2-piece dry suit, which is far lighter, more comfortable, and drier than my Kokatat sieve. I keep nursing it along, hoping it makes it through until Alpacka starts to market these gems.

Richard295
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:43 pm

Alpacka Semi-Dry Suit

Post by Richard295 » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:54 am

What is the total weight, fabric material type, and gasket material type used in this garment? Are ankle gaskets or booties used for the feet?

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