bought me a dry suit and (questions)...

what a bloody pain in the ass it is to put on!

I got a Palm Torrent dry suit:

Ok … I am 140# and 5ft 6inches … skinny upper body.

Well … questions:

  1. I am not sure if it fits. The bottom fits well … its the top …feels …baggy. The back zipper feels bulky (stiff) … is this normal for drysuits.

  2. The zipper is not a problem …used sing’s recommendation of using a beaner. … but the neck is a pain in the ass to put on. Any recommendations of easy ways to put it on?

  3. I could breathe but my face was a bit red. How do I know what comfortable is (how much gasket to cut off)?

  4. How do I test the suit out so that if it leaks I can return it? (no bath tub in the house).



1. Better a bit baggy than tight. You want room to layer. Drysuit keeps you dry but the underlayers keep you warm.

2. You must have a big head like me. With my stikine, I found if I tried to get my head through the gasket and overcuff (neoprene) at the same time, I was more likely to strain my neck or suffocate to death. The trick is push your head through the gasket and overcuff up to the crown of your head (make sure your mouth isn’t cover or you’ll suffocate and die!). From there proceed to work on roll the overcuff down past your head to the neck area. Then finish getting the gasket down and then straighten up the cuff. If you decide to keep the suit, do what I did. Stretch the heck out of the neo overcuff some the above task becomes easier. This doesn’t do anything to the suit since the overcuff is just to protect the latex gasket from damage. When you take off the suit, go in reverse. Pull the overcuff up and past your head. Reach inside from the unzipped back, gently slide your fingers under the gasket and roll it off your head.

3. Tight gasket. Two camps of thought – stretch it or trim it. I belong to the latter camp. Stretch gasket over a plastic bottom. You’ll see concentric rings on the gasket. Trim as ring off at a time and test. Should be snug but not cutting off your circulation. If your face turns red, think of would happen when you’re actually paddling and exerting yourself. Not pretty.

4. Find a body of water to sit up to your neck. If you find a leak, send it back. It’s still under warrantee.


handy hint

lube neck gasket
303 or dive shops sell something to lube neck gaskets will make it easier to slip on,after necessary trimming of course.

The Palm Neo Overcuff
is a really problem for folks with a big head. They should make it wider or go to a flap configuration like Kokatat.

Getting a gasket down over my head is not a problem with any of my other drytops and Kokatat Drysuit. With the palm, it’s the combination of trying to pull down both the neo overcuff and the gasket. For me, it’s impossible. I basically ended up deliberately stretching the neo overcuff to the point of no return resiliency. Now putting the Palm on aint’ much different than any of the others.



If anything like a drytop…

Get your arms in before, then use upper arms to provide the downward pull together with the head push…


I just got one too…
off of Sierra Trading Post. I got the Med (I’m 5’9", 160 lbs). Just got done paddling with it on for the first time and it worked out great.

I had the same impression when I first put it on too. Legs fine, baggy on top, feels like that zipper is trying to push out the sides like wings or something. But once I was paddling I didn’t notice it at all. Maybe because of how your arms are positioned while paddling. Also, I slid the waist up or down to fix any bunching once I sitting in my boat.

I too have a big melon but by putting the arms in first and following the directions on the Palm brochure to stretch the gasket with your hands as you slide it over your head worked for me.

The first time I put it on, my face was as bright as a tomato in less than a minute, but I trimmed off two rings and it fits well now. Seems a little tight when I first put it on, but like most discomforts you stop noticing and I can breathe normally now and am able to turn my head fully. When I rolled I didn’t have any leakage either.

As for testing, like someone else said, jump in a body of water. It’s under warranty and STP has a no questions asked return policy. Hope it works out for you.


just curious
Just curious… jarraa

Where did you purchase the dry suit from?

Did you order it online from the web site you mentioned at

I would say that both wet and dry suits are hard to purchase online and there is a major buyer beware factor involved in doing such. The sizing of items like this are often hard to figure and are best purchased locally if possible.

I am sure others will disagree, butt…

small head …
Actually sing, my head is fairly small.

I am stretching the suit overnight (using vegetable tin cans).

Tomorrow jumping in the pool with it!


stp as well
yup got one from STP. Love their cs. Having all the same symptoms as you went through! :slight_smile:

Hope it works out because I think the
Palm quality will pay off in the long run. I guess I got lucky with Palm in that both the Extreme drytop and Stikine dry suit gaskets are perfect for me. Now the top and suit are both a bit tight in the upper body but I have some control over that if I would just stop ordering pizzas! Fortunately they are not too tight so I can layer. One con is since I did not special order ( I don’t know if you can with Palm) the booties are a bit large although I can put on a sock, actually several socks for that matter. Unfortunately the local shop in Mountain View where we got our Romanys, drysuits, lessons and other stuff closed.