Convert Ripped Gasket to Booties?

I HATE my drysuit (Bomber Gear Radiator). It had this baulky over-tunnel arrangement that made it difficult to use, but I took a scissors to it earlier this winter and liked the drysuit a little better. But it was way too much effort to put on and take off. If I thought about paddling somewhere I was going to need a drysuit, I usually rethought the plan and switched to a smaller stream where I could get out if I needed to.



Last week I went kayaking with CanoeDancing over on the Sassafras River. That puppy is a mile wide and the water was 42 degrees. Drysuit conditions, ugh.



I ripped one of the leg gaskets. Taped it up with some nifty, stretchy, waterproof tape Andy had, and we had a good outing on the Sassafras. Grey sky, temp in the 40s, no wind…beautiful. But now I need to decide whether to keep this drysuit I hate. They are nice to have when you need them.



I think if the suit had socks or booties instead of gaskets I’d like it more. Booties would eliminate 40% of the gaskets, and the leg gaskets were the most difficult to get on and off.



Can I sew my own boots out of rip-stop, sew them on in place of the gaskets and then seam seal with tent sealer? Or are there commercial suppliers for gasket-replacement socks/booties? I think I have seen latex socks. Are they sturdy and easy to get on over socks? Please advise.



~~Chip

Chip, you might check with Kokatat
and with dealers that carry Kokatat, Palm, Stohlquist, etc. They may be able to get breathable booties that you could install. The ones on my Palm bib are nice and roomy, hold my size 15 feet with socks. As for making your own, I think sealing the seams is problematic. The seams are going to be stressed when you walk, etc., so it’s worse than sealing tent seams. See if you can avoid having seams anywhere near the soles.

what’s this nifty tape?
“Taped it up with some nifty, stretchy, waterproof tape Andy had, and we had a good outing on the Sassafras.”



Can you tell what this tape is, and where you got it? Sounds like a useful addition to the repair kit.

Latex bootie installation instructions
I have pics and descriptions in my “Dry Suit Repair” album on Webshots at:



http://community.webshots.com/user/brian_nystrom-reg



It’s a pretty easy job. I’m planning on replacing the latex booties (which are now worn out) with waterproof/breathable fabric, but I haven’t done it yet. Currently there aren’t any commercial W/B replacement booties available, so you have to go the DIY route.

Reading through the replies here…
It occurs to me I have not emptied the trash can where I threw the over-tunnel I removed from the drysuit. I’m wonder if I could salvage the material and make socks.



Use tent sealer on the seems? Don’t sew at all, just use aquaseal? What are you thinking you will do on your d-i-y socks?



~~Chip

Tape
Canoedancing might know more specificly what it was. Resembles band-aid in color and feel. Stretchy, marketed as water-proof, sold inexpensively at CVS per Canoedancing, and easy to peel off. About 1" wide. That exhausts my knowledge on the tape.



~~Chip