I’m considering getting a gore-tex dry suit. Is a relief zipper a necessity? How about connected booties?
Yes to both but
everyone agrees getting latex gaskets off over your ankles is torture and/or requires more flexibility than most have.
As to the relief zipper - most I know have either gotten it or gone back and had it retrofitted, but I’m not a guy so…
YES to both…
I am grateful every time I put on and take off my dry suit for having the booties. I had dry pants before without booties and the latex ankle gaskets are the biggest pain. Also dry feet are happy feet.
As far as the relief zipper, why not? The times I have been in a dry suit all day, I am very grateful for the relief zipper. The only down side is that it is the zipper that one most often forgets to close when suiting up. Almost everyone I know has once gotten in the water with their relief zipper open. Most only do it once
A goretex suit is rather expensive. If you were really price concious, you should probably concider some other high-quality suit (eg, NRS, Stohlqist).
How much are you saving by not getting the extra features? You can add them later but it will cost you more.
If your trips are short, you may not need the relief zipper. Boots make the suit much easier to put on (and they are more comfortable).
Imagine having to take a leak when it’s 45degrees and windy and you have to undo the top half of your dry suit, fold it down around your knees and NOT piss on it. Warm feet are nice. Don’t walk around on the booties.
are you a big coffee drinker?
If you are, you may want to consider that fact as part of the relief zipper calculation.
My dry suit has no relief
zipper and the zipper to get into it is on the back of my shoulders. Do i manage without a relief z - sure. do i want one - yes. Am i envious of those who have one - yes. Do i drink many liquids while paddling - no. Hope this helps.
Since You’re In MA
I say that the relief zipper and the booties are very nice to have. Attached booties will save you from having to invest in Mukluks for coldweater paddling.
Yes to the booties no to relief zip
if your suit is a front entry with a diagonal zipper and you are a guy, you can easily take a leak by unzipping and bend slightly at your knees. For peeing at see, use a condom catheter and a leg bag.
Hey, Chuck, that catheter/bag thing is an argument for wetsuits. I am loving my wetsuits right now. 48/9 water this past weekend. No worry about stinkin zippers.
Water temps are warming up here.
But since I gave up paddling, it really does not matter.
Give Me The NoKrap!!!
Good way to keep your leg warm