Dry Suit: Most Breathable Fabric?

So, is gortex the most breathable fabric for people who sweat a lot? What other breathable fabric options are there? Thanks!

Cheaper, lighter, more breathable than Goretex. You will see it in paddle gear soon. It is sweet!!!

is eVent a drysuit fabric?..
not sure I understood the post.: are companies making suits out of this now? Thank you.

Breathable is silly
Are you going to use a sprayskirt and PFD? If yes, then what is left to breath is your arms. Short of a NASA or NASCAR style suit ventalation system, a little more or less breatable isn’t going to make much difference. My opinion, your results may vary.

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD

not yet
there is no mass produced paddling gear made out of eVent yet.

Right now the three most breathable waterproof fabrics are eVent, Entrant DT, and Gore-Tex XCR. Each has strengths and weaknesses. The biggest weakness to breathable fabrics is what is on the outside of the garment. Any part of a breathable fabric that is covered by a PFD is no longer breathable because the PFD isn’t breathable. Any part of a breathable fabric that has higher moisture on the outside than the inside is no longer breathable.

I love my drysuit, but it doesn’t solve all sweating problems.

your legs will breath…
but how well depends on the moisture levels inside the cockpit of your kayak. I have a nylon drysuit and a gore-tex xcr drysuit. There IS a difference, but I get damp in the qore-tex suit, sweat pools at my ankles in the nylon one.

I have a paddle jacket that is non gore-tex, basically a rubber lined nylon material. I SWEAT big time in it, to the point that i wear it in very limited situations. My Gore-tex drysuit i can wear nearly year around, and stay relatively comfortable in it because the water vapor does escape. Much more comfortable on a hot air/cold water day.

I don’t know of anyone using it for paddle gear yet. However, I have an ID Thru-Hiker Jacket and it’s great. http://www.integraldesigns.com/product_detail.cfm?id=840&CFID=8953085&CFTOKEN=70615626&mainproducttypeid=1

Also, compare the price to Gortex. Me thinks the Gore “advantage” is finally disappearing. Hopefully this will translate into more reasonable pricing for us…


I’m actually surprised at how comfortable my spectacularly-expensive Kokatat Goretex suit is.

I find that I get a bit damp in the chest but the rest of me says dry.

There are certainly times when you’ll be in conditions that overwhelm the breathability (eg, when there’s high ambient humidity).

I paddle hard and sweat a lot…
and so the question above.

Around here, the air can be 80 degrees or more, but the (sea) water stays around 50. So, I’m trying to solve the obvious problem with that as best as possible, i.e., comfort v. safety. these posts here help. thank you.

I find my Kokatat Goretex suit

– Last Updated: May-11-07 5:13 PM EST –

quite comfortable. I can get some condensation in it, but that is far better than being cold and wet. I have worn it in air temps close to 80 F. Note that a G-tex dry suit is only part of the formula. I find that the key to "comfort" is adjusting the insulative layers you wear underneath.layer
I have a dresser drawer full on various weights of pile and wicking underwear. Some is paddling specific, but many are not. I just used my suit three days in a row. Airs temps were 55 to 60 F, but the water was running 36 to 38 F. If I layed my legs flat on the bottom of the boat I could feel just how cool it was. I put on double layers of pile under the dry suit. I few times I warmed up a bit. If I exceed my tolerance level I either sculled or rolled for auto-cooling. If you don't have a roll yet you can self-dunk off the bow of one of your paddlng partners.

Me too
Just having my arms free is a big difference for me. If I didn’t, I’d be sweating like a whore in church.

I’m not sure what the actual fabrics are, but other than Kokatat using Gore-tex, Stohlquist supposedly uses the Chinese-made “copy” and Palm uses the British “copy.” I haven’t heard anyone complain about any of the three not breathing.

I have a Palm Stikine and it’s been rock solid so far. I wore it today for a rolling class and spent a couple of hours getting in and out of the boat with the sun beating down on me. The air temp was probably pushing 70. I hate warm weather because I always sweat easily, so I only wore a set of polypro long underwear underneath. Other than a little bit of perspiration, I was fine.

It does work
It’s no “miracle fabric”, but it does keep you drier than a non-breathable suit. I used to have a coated nylon drysuit years ago, and I would pour the sweat out of it after a hard paddle or on a warm day.

I’m just wet after the same paddle in my goretex suit. No half cup of water in the feet/arms afterwards. So I guess it does work.


Goretex is the most breathable …
… Out of what’s on the market today. The new eVent fabric sounds interesting … if it get’s used in drysuits and tops it will hopefully bring some competition and drive prices down.

Just bought a Kokatat Tropos … only used it once so far … air temps somewhere around 75 - 78 degrees and sunny. With 100 weight fleece I was a little damp around the chest and shoulders (basically under the PFD). Not bad…

Had a NRS suite prior to this … probably about the same for breathability … hard to say after only one time.

Tropos - C+
I bought a Tropos dry top last year. I had a Gortex that was beat to death. I just didn’t feel like spending the extra money - mistake. It doesn’t breath anywhere as nicely as Gortex. You can feel the difference. it’s also not as flexable.

Jay, consider this:

Very breathable and well designed. The back zip is comfortable but not the easiest to do by onesself. I also have Kokatat Goretex stuff and love them too.


my $0.02
If you sweat a lot, like me, nothing is going to keep you arid inside. But I do notice a difference between my breathable gore-tex drysuit and my old nylon one.

the Double D IR dry suit is
also breathable with Entrant faric


Stohlquist has TTL Eclipse fabric that works VERY well in my opinion…it is in the bpod dry suits…http://www.stohlquist.com/PDFs/ECLIPSE.pdf


sounds like gortex is the winner…
on this one. thank you.

,or maybe not the winner?
two more candidates to research. thanks.