DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Decked Canoes, Open Canoes, as long as they're canoes!

Moderators: adamin, kenneth, sbroam, TheKrikkitWars, Mike W., Sir Adam, KNeal, PAC

Post Reply
User avatar
valhallalongboats
C Guru
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:40 pm
Location: Klamath River, CA

DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by valhallalongboats » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:12 pm

So, for reasons unknown, I've always just toughed it out with wetsuits/polypro/and generally been cold while paddling in spring/fall.
I've decided I've done that for long enough, and I'm going to go with a drysuit, especially since I now live on the ocean and I've been doing some surfing in my canoe, and the water temp of the Pacific where I am is a balmy 48-52 degrees and you're in it...a lot.
I just discovered that there are far too many choices when I looked up drysuits online.
So, I turn to the experts, who makes a good drysuit for canoeing?
Looking to spend up to 600 bucks or so...prefer to spend less...but not interested in spending less and getting a lot of headaches.

Thanks!
Canoeing isn't a sport...its an art. Unfortunately, I am not exactly Michelangelo.

Ron R
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:41 am

Re: DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by Ron R » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:07 am

Not a specific make/model recommendation, but suggest saving your pennies until you can get a relief zipper and booties. Relief zipper so you can drink (and then pee) and not get dehydrated. Booties so you don't have ankle gaskets constricting blood flow to your feet... results in warmer feet. Get goretex booties not latex; latex is hard to get on and off. My experience is that coated nylon (non-breathable may be a bit warmer in the coldest conditions... you don't loose heat by vapor evaporating through the suit. But in milder conditions, you will be swimming inside a non-breathable suit from the condensation. For "only" 48-52 degrees, breathable, relief zipper, and booties probably is the way to go.

My $0.02.

User avatar
dixie_boater
C Guru
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 6:46 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA USA

Re: DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by dixie_boater » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:38 am

A good drysuit can last many years and provide the best comfort in a wide range of weather conditions. I've owned several suits over thirty years of canoeing and have found that a breathable material is the most comfortable when the air temperature is 32 degrees or 50 degrees. The layers you wear under the suit can be tailored to the weather conditions you're paddling in. Thinner layers on a cool day and thicker ones on a colder day. I agree with Ron on the gore-tex socks. They are the best. I've had a gore-tex suit with a relief zipper and gore-tex socks for 13 years. While it costs more than the price range you mentioned it will last a very long time if taken care of. I've replaced latex neck and wrist gaskets, but the suit has never had a leak and the gore-tex socks are original. At the end of a day of paddling my feet are dry. I wash the suit once or twice a year and keep the zippers lubricated for easy operation.

User avatar
valhallalongboats
C Guru
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:40 pm
Location: Klamath River, CA

Re: DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by valhallalongboats » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:10 pm

Thanks for the advice!
I don't like spending extra money, but I always will for quality. It's why there's now a Clipper-built Viper 12 in my garage. That will narrow my search quite a bit.
Any specific brands that stand out though?
Canoeing isn't a sport...its an art. Unfortunately, I am not exactly Michelangelo.

User avatar
dixie_boater
C Guru
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 6:46 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA USA

Re: DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by dixie_boater » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:50 pm

My 13 year old dry suit is a Gore-Tex Kokatat GMER. I have open boater friends who have had good experiences with their suit. The Gore-Tex suit came with a life time guarantee. One paddler I know got a new replacement gore-tex suit from Kokatat when his old suit had a delamination problem. Great warranty!

Ron R
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:41 am

Re: DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by Ron R » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:39 pm

My suits have been Kokatats. Started with a coated nylon, shifted to Gore-Tex, then had to go from L to XL. No, the suit didn't shrink. :x I know other kayakers have had good results from other brands. Sold my coated nylon, still have the L GMER... but it has a sprayskirt tunnel that you probably don't want.

You do want to fit-check a suit. They don't stretch, so a bit too small is really too small. Occasionally there are weird issues like one area being too small, and too big can leave you with lots of extra fabric flapping around. The stock sizes I've seen are cut for a long, lean athletic build, so if that's not you you really do want to do a trial fit. I'm told some companies will shorten sleeves and legs for little cost, but I don't remember which.

I second the notion of spending enough to get the "right" solution.

johns
c
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:48 pm

Re: DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by johns » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:45 pm

agree with advice offered by others.
I and friends I winter paddle with regularly have used both NRS and Kokatat drysuits for the most part. NRS are a reasonable choice especially if bought on sale, but will not last as long as Kokatat which we are all using now (goretex with socks and relief zips). sizing quite different, NRS does not work as well for me as Kokatat. both places offer good service and back their warranties in our experience.
there may be a different, better answer for ocean paddling, which I have not done in drysuit conditions.

Paddle Power
C Maven
Posts: 1000
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 2:18 am
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Contact:

Re: DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by Paddle Power » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:44 pm

Good points so far.

I'm a Kokatat user and fan. I've got years as in over a decade on my first suit. Well made. Plus good service.

There is definitely the possibility of buying a used dry suit.
Brian
http://www.JohnstonPursuits.ca" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
sbroam
CBoats.net Staff
Posts: 3965
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 2:12 am
Location: Lexington, SC
Contact:

Re: DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by sbroam » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:19 pm

I'm on my second Stohlquist - all the features and a great price. My first one lasted almost 8 years and was made in the US. They have since been bought by Aqualung, I think, and it's made in Mexico, but... same features and great price...

ClassFive Boats
C Guru
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:17 pm

Re: DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by ClassFive Boats » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:14 am

Bang for the buck, These suits are hard
To beat.
https://www.mythicdrysuits.com/products/sobek

RodS
Pain Boater
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:28 pm
Location: Worcester, MA

Re: DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by RodS » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:35 am

Check out the used dry suits offered by Kayak (I know...) Academy. My wife has purchased two from them and is a satisfied customer.

https://www.kayakacademy.com/pages/used ... suits#mens

User avatar
valhallalongboats
C Guru
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:40 pm
Location: Klamath River, CA

Re: DRY SUIT RECOMMENDATIONS

Post by valhallalongboats » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:45 pm

Thank you all for the recommendations. Its been a great help!
Canoeing isn't a sport...its an art. Unfortunately, I am not exactly Michelangelo.

Post Reply