Advice: Tropos Super Nova semi-drysuit

Anyone have one of these? Basic drysuit but with neoprene neck, making it more comfortable but not completely waterproof. Gotta admit, I hate the rubber gasket around my neck and I find myself wearing my suit less often than I should. This might be a reasonable alternative – if it will keep you reasonable dry, which I’d say would be maybe an hour in the water, enough time to self rescue or get help from your partner. I don’t paddle alone and I don’t do long crossings, but the water up here is cold. Anyone have one of these and go smimming? How did it do?

Thanks. Clang.

Have one
Normally I find it to be pretty semi-wet when sculling or swimming, though for whatever reason it was relatively dry the other night when I ended up swimming. Just a baaad night where everything went south except the darned neck closure. (I’d have rather had the wet neck than the embarassment of not being able to do just about anything that has been reliable for a few seasons now.) But - for the concept of an hour’s swim, for me that wouldn’t be a secure enough neck. And, a matter of wear and tear, the material isn’t as hardy as the GoreTex suit.

I like the suit a lot for warmer days or those where I don’t plan on doing a lot of wet work, and do find it fills a very useful niche. But it is what it is. If you are thinking about hard use and/or handling a long swim in Alaskan waters, you may want to stay with a more robust neck gasket.

Dangit. Guess I’ll just keep chafing.

Stohquist body pod
Check out the Stohquist body pod.

2nd The Pod
Stohlquist Body Pod is also tailored a bit more so it doesn’t have as much bagginess to it.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Highly Variable
Though I find the Super Nova pretty wet for rolling and wetback sculling, at least one friend with a bigger neck has found his very dry.

Tropos Does The Job…
…for us. We’re heading into our third season with them, and they’ve done what we need them to do.

We paddle alongshore, and need the suits for protection in our always-cold waters should we capsize. They work just fine for that - the neck seals do leak a little -it’s spoonfuls, not cupfuls - but I don’t know about spending an hour in the water. We have deliberately swum in bitterly cold water in ours, and found that hand and head protection was a far bigger factor in comfort and survivability than the minimal leakage thru the neck seals for the relatively short times - perhaps 15-20 minutes - we’ve spent in the water.

I wouldn’t want to have to test the

– Last Updated: May-17-08 7:56 AM EST –

Super Nova's velcro neck in either very cold strong
current, or whitewater, for any prolonged amount
of time. And does anyone really know how long such
time will be if things happen to go drastically wrong in
water below 50 degrees F?

I'm sure more than a spoonful of neck leakage
could be probable during such unplanned instances.
Other than that, the SN Tropos seems like
a nice, reasonably priced suit for just about
every other type of usage. But if I lived
and boated in Alaskan waters, I'd stick with
what I already know as the safe bet.

third the BPOD

I have one & like it

– Last Updated: May-17-08 9:53 AM EST –

and can't stand to be choked by the latex neck gasket,so I want the SuperNova route. The few times I went in I have gotten a damp neck,but nothing I would say soaking wet. My neck size is 17.5 so that may have something to do with the neck dryness like the other poster.Only complaint is the bootie size. I have size 13 feet,and still have to fold over leftover material in my chotas.


We tried a lot
George and Barbara at the Kayak Academy helped my wife and I. They use suits in their school and rental program and have a large supply for demo.

We both thought that we would like the Supernova paddling suit, but wound up buying conventional drysuits. The latex seal was way drier and way more comfortable WHEN PROPERLY SIZED.

The latex seal does not need to choke you. I tried one that had several rings removed, and it was so loose I was sure that it would leak, but it didn’t. I hardly knew it was there.

For some reason, many people are reluctant to trim the rings. When I first tried an untrimmed drysuit, I was sure I would never own one - and then I learned about trimming.

If allergy to the latex is an issue, I too would suggest the bpod. Several friends use them and all happy. They don’t leak much, maybe not at all. I don’t know of a better suit without latex.

Thanks all
I think part of the problem I have is that I am in the larger neck size category – funny how that happens – and I never have worked up the courage to trim the gasket. If that doesn’t do it I’ll give the bodypod a try.

I appreciate the input Clang.

No need for chafing …
If you getting red/raw neck from multiple days in the suit try lubricating you neck with KY Jelly. It’s water based and won’t hurt the gasket. Or you can use talcum powder to help you get in and out easier.



how does it seal with a hood?
Just curious if a hood that came up through the neck would help prevent water leaks.