Do you stay dry under your dry suit?

Sounds good, Thanks!

It’s amazing how much I sweat in my dry suit, all of my friends do.

I recently applied new DWR onto my dry suit, water rolled off of it and at the end of a 25 mi. paddle I literally had sweat pouring out of my suit.

I bought a used…
…IR Drytop on E-bay, and I have the same problem! I guess I’ll have to try something to renew the DWR as well… I’m pretty sure it is Gore-tex.

A little more info on 303 High Tech…

– Last Updated: Mar-22-09 10:33 PM EST –

...Fabric Guard from some earlier posts in this thread. A friend of mine emailed Kokatat re this product and they said they don't specifically reccommend any product--just use what works. In my (albeit) short experience with this 303 product but a fair amount of experienence trying many different DWR products over the years applied different ways, I haven't found anything that works as well as 303 High Tech Fabric Guard. It might work for you.


This product has worked well for me in saltwater in rough conditions keeping the suit beading the entire time of paddling and only 'wetting out' in areas that are being rubbed like under my PFD shoulder straps. In my experience, I haven't had any other DWR product work well (basically at all--others have pretty much immediately wetted out with the first wave) in saltwater, but this has. Just my .02. Good luck.

DWRs are a joke
A friend who owned an outdoor shop once showed me an interesting experiment. He took a brand new waterproof/breathable garment and dripped some water on it, which beaded up nicely, as one would expect. He then proceeded to rub his finger across the area half a dozen times or so. The water immediately saturated the fabric. The moral of the story is that DURABLE Water Repellent is basically a lie as the coatings are defeated with even minor abrasion. My personal experience with them has born this out.

It is important to remember that beading is just the first line of defense of a waterproof/breathable fabric and it DOES NOT mean that the fabric will leak or that it will no longer breathe. I can’t remember the last time I saw water bead on my dry suit, but it still works fine.

I have tried several of the DWR renewal products and they all work for a short period of time, then you’re back to where you started, but with less money in your wallet.

I have tried ironing and/or machine drying as instructed by the manufacturer and that works about as well as the renewal products. However, you can’t put garments with Latex seals in a dryer and ironing can melt the fabric if your iron’s setting aren’t accurate or the heat is inconsistent across the sole plate.

Since the fabric seems to be leaking…
…you probably have a case to complain. You will get some condensation collecting inside the garment, but that should dry when your activity level drops. If you’re actually getting wet, it’s probably leaking.

303 info
I spoke to someone at a paddle shop about that and he advised me against using the 303 - waterproof it will b, he said, but it will diminish the breathability of the suit. Use Nikwax he suggested…

But I’m not taking his word as gospel … Do you have any observation on the breathability after you used 303?

The manufacturer mentioned they used a teflon-based DWR from Dupont and that there was “nothing better on the market”. Not sure if Nikwax or Skotch Guard (both of which he recommended) are the same stuff or not…


That’s good to know
Perhaps 303 has come up with a product that actually works. My experience with other products has been like yours with the Graingers product, they’re basically a waste of money.

You have to be careful about which…

– Last Updated: Mar-23-09 10:49 AM EST –

...303 product you are using. They make many products. The '303' most folks know about is a spray on UV protectent that SHOULD NOT BE USED on w/b's. This product, 303 High Tech Fabric Guard, is a COMPLETELY different product. It very likely that the paddleshop you refer to doesn't know about it as it's not yet that well known.

Edit: Just so you know, as I've said and bnystrom alos attests to, Nikwax and Granger's products don't seem to work well enough to spend the money on them. This product, however, is working so far. It uses the same 'DWR' main ingrediant as Grangers, just has a very different method for application.

The DWR is the first line of defense, as bnystrom said, and the w/b will still breath if the face fabric is wet, but it'll perform much better and keep you warmer if it's not wetted out. The wetted out surface area of your suit will evaporate the moisture in the face fabric and cool you down potentially faster than if it remains dry with a DWR that really works. Good luck.

Don’t know if it’s leaking or not
I still have to dip in water before sweating to test it and I don’t seem to find the time to do it - I’d rather paddle than test this :wink:

But I’ll take a shower tonight with the drytop on to see if I get wet under it…

Followup on the 303 treatment

– Last Updated: May-15-09 5:24 PM EST –

I got and applied the above mentioned 303 water repelling treatment. Worked quite well the first time I used my dry top, repellin almost all water, except from a few spots where I apparently missed applying the spray.

However, after only a couple of outings I can already see the treatment is wearing out and I expect after another dozen or so outings or so it will be back to where I was before...

In conclusion, there seems to be some benefit to this aftermarket treatment, but for me at least it seems to not hold-up all that well.

The 16oz spray bottle I got from Amazon at a reasonable price should be enough for probably about a dozen treatments of the dry top I think, so not too bad and applicatino is easy enough so I'll probably do it again before the cold weather starts next season - just spray, wipe if you overspray, let dry overnight (in a warm place).