View topic - What dry suit(s) to buy?

Canadian Canoe Routes

What dry suit(s) to buy?
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Author:  cheryl [ March 5th, 2019, 1:56 pm ]
Post subject:  What dry suit(s) to buy?

I am in the market for dry suits, as our 25 year old suits have bitten the dust. Any opinions?The only place I have seen them is at Trailhead in Ottawa.

I am thinking I am ready to have one with feet in is- my feet are always freezing, and a rear trap door if it is not a two piece (females do have it tougher). Hubby doesn't care as long as he can out of the thing when he needs to in a hurry. :D

Author:  Paddle Power [ March 5th, 2019, 4:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

I'm a Kokatat dry suit fan.

Yes, get the sewn in feet as well as a zipper for bathroom breaks.

Author:  Peter K. [ March 5th, 2019, 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

I'm also a Kokatat fan. My first lasted 10 years. My second is starting to push that number. Definitely want feet and a relief zipper. But you have to exercise some care with the GoreTex feet. If you walk around on a rough surface -- even a wood deck -- it is easy to get small punctures. Also, I would look for a model with a metal zipper. Most of the suits that fail prematurely is because of a plastic zipper than just wears out.

There is an interesting thread over at C-Boats that provides some useful brand comparisons.

Author:  cheryl [ March 5th, 2019, 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

Thanks. And I agree about the feet. I will also need a good set of paddle booties to put the feet in, with strong soles.

Author:  recped [ March 5th, 2019, 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

I'm not willing to pay the prices that Kokotat go for these days.

I have been happy with my NRS suits made from TriTon (fake Gore-Tex). Still expensive but NRS do put them on sales once or twice a year. You missed the Black Friday sales (30% off I think), they sometimes have a clearance in March as well.

NRS have some Canadian dealers but it would be rare for them to stock anything much in the way of dry suits.

Author:  guyfawkes041 [ March 7th, 2019, 6:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

Cheryl, you may want to have a look at Ocean Rodeo dry suits.

Canadian made and marketed, feet attached, pee zip (women can use a She-Wee or similar device), and they have a nifty "stand-by" mode that allows the wearer to pull the neck and chest portions down over their head to lie flat against the chest.

This is possible because the main zipper for putting these suits on runs from shoulder to shoulder. They look much more like a hard shell jacket and pants than a dry suit. A bit less expensive than Kokatak, but of equally good quality.

I've had their Soul model for several years now, and I think it's great. I got it on sale for about $700 even.

Author:  cheryl [ March 7th, 2019, 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

all good ideas to look into. Anywhere in the GTA to buy?

Author:  Corbeau [ March 8th, 2019, 11:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

Thanks for the tip in my WTB thread guyfawkes! I've checked out their suits and they look interesting! Question though (not to hijack cheryl's thread...), does your model's hood zip off? Did you buy yours with the booties, or ankle gaskets?

The Heat model looks nice, only issue I see is that it lacks the relief zipper...though I wonder if the suit is simply easier to get on/off, if that is even an issue... ?

Cheryl, I'm also in the GTA, so I've been searching around and found a few places I may try to check out: (this place carries NRS suits as well..the "Extreme" model doesn't look bad for the price, seems it just doesn't have the waist tunnel...which is superfluous for canoeing anyway!) (their small size of the Heat model seems to be on sale for $599...)

Author:  guyfawkes041 [ March 8th, 2019, 2:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

Corbeau, my Ocean Rodeo Soul drysuit does have the zip off hood, which I never use, and it has the sewn on booties.

I wear a fleece onesy under it, and because they were designed for kite surfing, they have extraordinary range of movement. I like the sewn in booties because they keep my feet much warmer than they would be with only ankle gaskets; but they must be cared for properly.

I make it a rule to never walk in only the sewn-in booties either on the ground or in the water. I always wear water shoes (first Keen Georgeous Water Shoes, and now Chota Hybrid 800 portage boots, which are excellent) over the booties so that they do not develop leaks from gravel etc.

In the Stand-By mode, people generally don't notice that I'm even wearing a drysuit as it looks so much like a hard shell jacket. The knees, elbows, and butt are all reinforced against abrasion wear, the "jacket" has hand warming pockets, and other smaller ones, and there are some hi-vis accents on it, but not to the point where it looks like an ocean survival suit, and it has suspenders to distribute the weight (which is barely noticeable), and both the over the shoulder entry zip and the relief (pee) zip are German made "T" zips which are top tier.

I doubt if there is a brick and mortar outlet anywhere other than the factory in Vancouver, but they are easily ordered online. All in all I think it is an excellent product, and reasonably priced considering all the features. Cheers.

Author:  Dave_k [ March 10th, 2019, 1:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

I am following this thread keenly as I've been considering a dry suit for early spring trips. My HH drysuit I bought for sailing over 30 years ago wasn't save-able. I'm just curious why no one has mentioned Level 6. Does anyone have any thoughts on their suits?

Cheryl, not to hijack but Level 6 HQ is in Ottawa so I thought it would be an option for you beside what Trailhead was offering.

Author:  Neil Fitzpatrick [ March 10th, 2019, 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

I know a pair of people who purchased Level Six drysuits because their pro deal was good. They like them so far.

I bought an NRS eVent suit used. The previous owner claimed they washed or rinsed it after every use (this is important with waterproof breathables). My second season with the drysuit it began to fail. I had been told eVent and may other waterproof breathables were not as durable as Gore-Tex. I thought that meant they would have a greater chance of tearing while bushwacking, wearing through knee/butt/etc but this wasn't the case. Creases and sweat areas (under pfd) are what wore.

I replaced it with a Gore-Tex Kokatat Meridian. I couldn't be happier with it. The material is so much softer/flexible which is probably why people call it more durable. There aren't hard creases like with other materials. It's significantly more comfortable than the NRS though my Kokatat has a plastic zipper which is much more comfortable under the PFD I have.

In the US there seems to be some deals where significant savings can be had with non-Gore-Tex but if you miss Level Six's Black Friday sale there isn't much opportunity for saving a lot by going non-Gore-Tex. I can't speak for Ocean Rodeo as I'm unfamiliar with them.

Author:  cheryl [ March 11th, 2019, 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

Thank you all, I am getting lots of good ideas here!

Author:  ivanriem [ March 11th, 2019, 5:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

Kokatat Radius - the top zips into the bottom so venting and peeing is easy. You can wear like a rain jacket or waders on days when that makes sense. for about 10-15% more - you can get a custom fit.

Author:  ice-breaker [ March 15th, 2019, 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

I have 2 piece (dry top and dry bottoms) dry suit from Level Six. Not nearly as waterproof as a single piece but I have found that it works well. Have had mine for nearly 10 years with light use and they have worn well and are still in great condition. Biggest risk with the 2 piece is that you can occasionally get a bit of water leakage into the suit between the tops and bottoms if you are doing a strenuous swim. On the other hand. it is quite easy to peel out of your suit if you need to make a quick bathroom break!

Author:  Paddle Power [ March 15th, 2019, 6:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What dry suit(s) to buy?

Used one for sale

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