Dry Jackets


Presently I do not have either a wet suit or dry suit. I tried on the wet suits (3/2mm) but thought they were a bit tighter fitting than I wanted. I wanted something more loose fitting. If one gets a dry jacket, what can be worn with it to cover your legs? Or do you have to go to a full dry suit? Can you wear a light weight (1mm) wet suit underneath it? I am thinking that would not keep your upper Torso dry. I just wanted something that would be loose fitting on the top. I do not care if my legs get wet. Thanks

where and what?
where and what are you paddling?


Your biggest concern should be what the temperatures are of the water and the air.

A paddling wet suit is for swimming in water temperatures in the general range of 50-70F If it does not fit reasonably tight, it will allow water to flush through. Flush-through means cold. Wet suits do little to protect from cool air or wind.

A dry top will keep your torso dry while you are in a kayak, but not while you are swimming. They are great for people who have learned the eskimo roll, as then they will not be likely to swim. Insulating layers are worn under a dry top.

A dry suit is a full-body suit that keeps you dry no matter if you are in your boat or swimming. Insulating layers are worn under a dry suit.

There are also “splash tops” which is a jacket that will protect you from drips and splashes, but will do nothing for you when you are swimming.

As for bottoms, there are splash pants, neoprene pants, etc.

For warm water paddling, I might be in swim trunks and a rash guard shirt. For cold water paddling, I might be in a wetsuit or a drysuit, depending on how cold it is.

this was sent to me directly and should be here.

I am paddling a Perception Pirouette and I believe I am going to get

a Eddyling Merlin LT soon. I live in Iowa so it would be mostly for

around here. Although I am planning a trip to the Apostle Islands the


personally I’d get the Tsunami (opps wrong thread!)

wetsuit farmer john and good paddling jacket would be my minimum for a Superior summer trip and a drysuit for fall/winter/spring. drytops/jacs are not designed for dry swimming and your legs and torso are going to get cold.


Wet Suit vs Dry Shirt
I have paddled in Anchorage during the summer when the water is very much like the Apostle islands. I had a wet suit on and a dry top. I had a feeling I might get wet, and I did because I had not yet figured out how to roll. The wet suit did insulate me, but it does have to be tight fitting in order to work properly. The dry shirt or jackets are great if you know for sure that your bottom half is not going in the water. They are great protection from the elements while paddling.

Dry v. warm
Forget dry unless you are going to spring for a proper (and expensive) drysuit or really good two piece system. And you are in a kayak anyway - dryness is not really relevant.

That said, you need to retain your core temp and block wind however you do it. The usual paddling wetsuit, or tops and bottoms of the same material, still needs something that’ll block wind if it gets wet or you’ll be cold. So if you do go the wetsuit route, the most important feature of the top is that the material it made of and the overall fit can be tight enough at the neck and wrists to trap some air around your body. A good splash jacket will do that as well as a full drytop.