Best deals on Kokatat dry suits?

Bright sun and 40 degrees outside! The boat is still covered in ice, and there’s over 2 feet of snow on the ground, but I’m thinking spring paddling is on the horizon.

Having got back into this last fall, I’m re-building gear. It’s time to think about a dry suit. Kokatat GMER is what I’d like to get, if I can find some sort of deal out there. Up here in New England, the water is cold through late spring … even though the air temp’s will get into the 70’s on nice days. So breathability is important. I don’t want to have a wet suit as well, so one “garment” is the goal. So I’d like to go for Goretex.

Does anyone know if there are spring sales, or are these MAP priced?

Try Kayak Academy
I’m a huge fan of Gore-Tex and an even bigger fan of Kokatat for quality and customer service. However, if you’re willing to go used, I’ve heard great things about Kayak Academy on the West Coast.

Sometimes Rutabaga in Wisconsin has sales. You can also type in what you want on Google and see what you come up with. Dry suits aren’t cheap – even a GMER for men is running close if not over $900, but it’s worth it as Kokatat will replace the same suit you bought if the fabric delaminates. My husband is on his second replacement suit.

I’ll also be selling a Medium Woman’s GMER soon. However, it may not work for you as it has the rainbow zip and not a front one more suitable for guys.

look used
From time to time I see used kokatat gore tex suits for about $400 in good condition. Less if they need new gaskets, etc. And then there is the occasional rare deal - I got my nearly new GFER suit with booties for $200 from a friend of a friend who had gotten scared out of the sport (and subsequently took up motorcycling instead).

So look around for used over the next month. You’ll sometimes find sales on new suits, but generally they’re only a hundred or so below MSRP.

A couple years ago I found the sort of deal you could only come across if you weren’t looking for it. Got a new GFE (no relief, no booties) for $150 at my local LLBean outlet. They hadn’t had any luck selling them, and put them on clearance for about 70% off. Picked one up for my wife, and added booties for $40. :slight_smile:

If you were an XL woman
there’s always this:

regarding wetsuits
You’re wise to get a goretex suit, but if you paddle in summer and fall you’ll need a wetsuit anyways. Water temps really aren’t warm enough to go without any immersion gear in Gulf of Maine (north of cape cod), even during late summer.

But worry about the drysuit first. You can get a farmer john or shorty wetsuit for under $100 anytime. Much less if you look used.


one more thought
If you’re buying new, by all means get a GMER suit if that’s what you want. But I’d not let the minor differences between that and the GFER distract you from available deals on either suit. There are more GFE suits available used and new, so you’re more likely to find a deal if you look for GFE suits too.


You can catch a deal on them for like 20% off. Last year the local paddle shop had the Kokatat Rep for NE give a nice presentation on cold weather gear and they were offering a 20% discount on the GMER suits that day unfortunately for me I wanted a GFER. After scouring the net I was able to find a new GFER suit for 20% off.

Good luck

Kokatat NOT the only name
You might do well to look elsewhere :

You get what you pay for
I have tried other manufacturers. I’ve complained to their customer service folks about leaks, quality, etc. Then I bought a Kokatat.

It is expensive but one of the things you buy from Kokatat is not only good and responsive customer service but the Gore-Tex lifetime warranty.

I have an Expedition and I wear it probably 100 days a year at least. I’ve had it patched (by Kokatat, there were 35+ holes) and I’ve been very pleased with their products and I have many. Also, I have a friend who has a drysuit with more than 100 patches in it. This is not unusual, fabrics tend to break down at wear points, especially around the hips, shoulder and the socks. Kokatat pressure tested my suit and patched all of the pinholes for the cost of shipping; I was out of warranty and they didn’t need to do it but they did. Thanks Jordan!

Kayak Academy has a current sale
Kayak Academy in Seattle currently have some Kokatat drysuits on sale. They will ship. I bought mine from them, and they were very helpful spending time talking about drysuits on the phone.

Drysuits in NE

– Last Updated: Feb-07-11 9:10 AM EST –

The larger stores, EMS (unisex), LLBean (unisex), REI stock the GFER. In the past, LLBean stocked the GFE (no relief zipper)and I finally convinced them that no paddler over 40 wants cold feet and no ability to pee. That is why the GFE showed up in the Outlets at severely discounted prices.

As for who in New England stocks GMER and Expedition suits, it is a short list - Lincoln Canoe and Kayak, Kittery Trading Post, Charles River Canoe and Kayak and Collinsville Canoe and Kayak. Both Charles River and Lincoln have a drysuits available for demo/rent.

The value to a New England paddler in buying local is that if you need to return your drysuit for repair, you can always contact me for a loaner suit while your suit is in for service. Also loaners are available for anyone who purchases a custom suit from a NE store while they wait for their suit to be made (usually a 8-10 week turnaround).

As for sales, look for them at special events such as cold water workshops. March 5, I will be at Collinsville for such an event along with Danny Mongno of Werner paddles. Usually Kittery Trading Post has some sort of sale at the annual Paddle Show April 1, 2,3.


I Second the Great Customer Service
Not only do the repair/replace suits, their customer service people are well versed in their product and very pleasant to deal with.

And they are honest. Because my husband had his replacement GMER made up in black, there was a $40 charge. Kokatat made a mistake and charged our credit card the cost of a suit. The minute they realized what had happened, they immediately called me and told me about it, then removed the charge.

Just another reason, besides Jordan and Kate, to fork over the bucks for gear.

Cascade Outfitters
Sometimes they run some very substantial discounts.

+1 for Kayak Academy
I bought a used suit from Kayak Academy. They spent 45 minutes on the phone with me (I ask lots of questions). I got an excellent suit in exactly the described condition, for a good price.

They service the suits, too, albeit at the time cost of shipping to and from Washington State.

Their reputation is well established among many posters here, over several years.


Shop in New England that carries…
Try New England Small Craft, in Rowley…thereis a moving sale going on…and Joel does have suits inhouse…

Check local kayak club classifieds also

– Last Updated: Feb-20-11 4:21 PM EST –

I found an ad in a local club newsletter for a used Kokatat Gore-tex men's drysuit, $400 including a pile union suit. Happened to be my husand's size, and he did not yet own a drysuit. I noticed the owner was someone I had met before, and we bought the suit after I asked a few questions. Turned out to be a great purchase.

Used Gortex Kokatat
Read the first classified.

P-net classified ads
there are two used drysuits listed right here in the classified ads. one kokatat and one cheaper.

Northwest Outdoor Center
Seattle-based Northwest Outdoor Center is having a 15% off sale on Kokatat dry suits. I just purchased a Meridian from them. They have an online store, or you could call them for details.


Thanks for all the great ideas!
Not quite ready to make a purchase, but I am set on a the suit. Got a few items to sell, currently in the works, to off-set the cost. If all goes according to plan, late March or early April.

I will need to research the size a bit more … last suit I has was a medium, but felt a little tight in the “body” (torso to neck, not waist). I think a large would feel better, but the legs and arms would I think be too long.