2015 Affordable Drysuits

Hello Everyone,

I am starting to come to terms that Summer is half over… sigh … and I want to begin looking into Dry Suits to extend my season to mid-November before the Ice comes. I see that here in Canada there are some dry suits in the $500-650 range, which I would feel comfortable spending.

The suits I am currently looking at are the “Kokatat Tropos SuperNova - $575CDN” “Level Six Orion Front Entry Immersion - $650CDN” and the “Ocean Rodeo Heat $595-CDN”.

Of the three, I see that the Ocean Rodeo Heat seems to be the only one with a proper latex neck seal. But I do realize that this is a dry suit intended for SUP and wave surfing so I am not sure how good it would be for kayaking.

The Level Six is of course endorsed by Ken Whiting so I would think it should be decent, but I read one reviewer that claimed the zipper leaked water. I really like the look of this suit, and the hood/relief zipper would be a bonus.

There are still some Bomber Gear suits as well here. The Gauley $635 and the Onedia $507. Not sure if the gaskets will be available forever if I need replacements?

Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!


Kokatat neoprene neck seals
I’ve found mine to be a bit leaky if I’m hanging out upside down. It doesn’t seem to be a tight as my NRS jacket. Other than that though I’m glad I bought the suit (similar to what you are looking at) and it does what I need it to do and the price was within my range.

gaskets are pretty generic
I had kokotat gaskets on my old NRS.

Mythic Gear

$250 USD

Yes they work. No bells and whistles. Just latex gaskets and waterproof breathable fabric and zipper These are not designed for multiweek expeditions but for most paddlers and occasional use are fine.

False economy?

– Last Updated: Aug-12-15 7:24 AM EST –

While I certainly understand the desire (or need) to keep the price down, it seems to be the case that either you spend a lot for a Gore-Tex drysuit ONCE, or you buy other suits over and over again. In the long run, it's cheaper to spend the extra money up front for a suit with a lifetime warranty that's backed by both the suit manufacturer and by Gore.

Kokatat Hydrus
Kokatat’s Hydrus dry suits are completely dry and cost considerably less than their Gore Tex counterparts. My understanding is the Gore Tex suits are slightly more breathable. Not sure if that’s the case (seems to depend on whom one asks), but I’m very happy with my Hydrus suit and like the Gore Tex suits it comes with a lifetime warranty. I paid $500 for a brand new one from Kayak Academy, and in addition to highly recommending a Hydrus dry suit for a less expensive option I highly recommend Kayak Academy as a vendor.

Mythic Gear
Looks really interesting. I have read some good reviews on this product in the past as well.

The USD is high compared to Canada so it would be about $400 by the time I get it here with shipping, and I am not sure if I would get dinged with Duty as well. Still the cheapest option though.

I am just wondering if it would be worth it spend a bit more and get a bit more. But it is on my maybe list.

Would you recommend buying a full suit over a dry top and dry pants?

I see at MEC for example that the Hydrus Drytop is $275 and the hydrus dry pants are $159. Where as the entire suit is $950.

My guess is that the top/pant combo could leak around the waist?

I will checkout Kayak Academy.

Go with the one piece…

– Last Updated: Aug-11-15 11:48 PM EST –

if safety in cold water is your main concern. Mating the two halves to get a decent seal every time seems very time consuming, not to mention a big question mark when you're going into cold water.

I was in the same situation trying to extend my paddling season. I looked at new/used and ended up getting a fantastic deal on an NRS drysuit on Kijiji. It sounds like you've done your research so it all comes down to what you want to spend vs product quality/warranty. Good luck.

NRS Extreme
I have an NRS Extreme that I have been very happy with. Looks like they are being discontinued so you can get them at close out pricing.

NRS Extreme


NRS Extreme Relief


Have you talked to an outfitter?
Try talking to a Paddlesport biz owner and ask if they have any leftovers that could use a good home. At worst they’ll say no.

Sorry, the Kokatat Expeditions and Idols don’t fall into the price range you’re looking for. A GTX Paddling suit might work though for a non latex neck gasket style.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



$975 is way too high for a Hydrus dry suit. Something doesn’t sound right. Should be around $750 brand new. Also, check ebay and Boatertalk. You’ll find KA and private parties selling them both places in a range of conditions from brand new to needing repair. With a little dililgence there’s no reason you can’t get yourself into a perfectly servicesable dry suit for $500.

wait wait
wait for a sale maybe February January ?

get the credit card

wait for the 20% off one item sale

hang out there to see what once a week.


some questions

– Last Updated: Aug-15-15 3:30 AM EST –

Before seeing this post, I never even considered getting a drysuit. I have done some reading, and have two questions: Is it worth getting a non-breathable drysuit, or are these just as hot and uncomfortable as a thick wetsuit? Should a drysuit be purchased a size or two larger for layering underneath?

Not to derail things, but with wetsuits there are several parameters: height, weight, chest, and weight. I am 5'6". This would suggest a certain size suit. However, I have a gut that makes me fatter than this suggested size. One manufacturer recommends that at 5'6" I wear a size "small". For a size small, a 30" waist is the spec on the suit. I'm larger than this. Thoughts?

Never had a non-breathable drysuit
And never would. I have the NRS Extreme, which is breathable, but if am paddling hard the inside still gets soaked with sweat. I wear wickable fabrics underneath, so it never feels clammy. The only time that I ever get cold is when I stop for lunch. I don’t have personal experience, but I think it would be much worse with a non-breathable suit.

Sizing can be tough. In the NRS sizing chart, I am a L for height, an XL for waist and chest, and an XXL for weight. I probably could have fit in an XL, but I got the XXL. It has worked out fine. It is comfortable, and there is plenty of room for insulating layers. Once I burp the air out, the suit fits tight to my body anyway. I’m an open boater, so a little extra fabric doesn’t matter to me. If you are a kayaker and need a watertight seal at the skirt, it may be more of an issue. Best solution is to try them on.

go with breathable fabrics

– Last Updated: Aug-15-15 8:12 AM EST –

the "new" generation of breathable fabric dry suits are much more comfortable than the old suits- which were true vapor barriers that left you drenched in sweat and a bit stinky. They did do their job though which was to keep you warm.
I've had 5 different manufacturers on dry suits, tops, or pants- been the most pleased with kotatat and stohlquist for construction and durability. My Palm semi dry was very breathable but also you got a bit wetter in it after a swim. Durability hasn't been as good with the Palm but I paid less than 300.00 for it new and I'm definitely getting my money's worth out of it. I think you got some really good options right now on price- bomber clearance, marked down nrs suits all look attractive. Might even try the mythic suits. Sometimes you just have to pull the trigger. The drysuit is more important than the boat or the paddle in terms of your overall safety. Buy with extra room for insulation underneath. Fleece pajamas from walmart work fine for me. A wicking layer next to the skin can also be found at local retail stores. A balaclava from local sporting goods store. It's important to protect the head as well- don't want to flip over and see nothing but giant spots along with an excruciating ice cream headache. Feet I kind of think personal preference. I actually prefer the built in fabric feet (more durable, less gaskets) and use my own layers- stockings, wool socks or neoprene socks, and of course booties. Some booties are much warmer than others. I bring a mat to stand on to put my suits on and off. I'm not an ocean paddler, my exposure times are limited by what I choose to paddle in the winter (small creeks) but I consider a drysuit essential for true winter paddling in wv. I also own a couple of farmer john wetsuits that I use in the shoulder seasons.

farmer john
with the farmer john style wetsuit, it seems that the advantage is lack of tightness around the shoulders compared to a full suit. How much of an issue is this? Regarding the full wetsuits, is a hooded version worth considering, or would these be too hot/uncomfortable? A hood can be added, of course.


try Gronseth and REI eg


I blundered into an XXL from REI when an XL was sizeable finding the extra room was cooler. But I’m skinny and ura fat so ?

The motion is swinging torso with arms held out in front while sitting down kegs outstretched…where does extra volume discomfort your motions ?

There may be extra drag when swimming esp against the tide but makes for a good ferry.

Where do you live
and when do you paddle? If you live in the north and paddle in the winter (like me), then there is no comparison between a drysuit and a wetsuit - go for the drysuit. Otherwise, lots of options are possible. Help to know more about you and your paddling.

i live
in the northeast, and will not be out on the water during December, January, or Feb. I wouldn’t need this for the summer. So, the early and late shoulder season is the concern, especially march.