Doesn’t that neck gasket choke you or chafe your neck?
in a minor way. Not an issue when clean shaven, a day or two of stubble is the worst for me, after that it becomes a non-issue.
But it keeps me warm and relatively dry regardless!
Neo Neck Seals…
…are perhaps a bit of a misnomer (they don’t seal as well as the latex ones), but they are far more comfortable. There’s a growing range of options re seals, and the neo/glideskin, etc. types may find a solid application in the paddling world. We’re quite happy with the semi-dry suits; despite minimal neck seal leaking, they suit our purpose, which is to provide enough thermal protection to recover from a capsize within a reasonable distance of shore. If we were doing long crossings or paddling more demanding coastline, we might well opt for the latex gaskets.
Clean shaven a must
Otherwise I get pretty good neck irritation. I also get what looks like a hickey from the velcro gasket protector flap if I don’t fasten it correctly, or it comes loose during a vigorous paddle.
I’ve also found that different brand gaskets have different qualities in that regard. I’ve found that NRS’ replacement gaskets are the most comfortable, and happily, the most durable I’ve used to date. I’ve had others last one wearing before they split. My current NRS gasket is heading into its third season and still looks great.
not if you trim the gasket…
I trim them until it doesn’t feel like it’s choking me. Also, I try to shave as well beforehand so that I don’t get that chafing feeling.
vk1nf - I disagree
"are perhaps a bit of a misnomer (they don’t seal as well as the latex ones)"
Not sure what neo neck seals you’re referring to but some, like the Stohlquist Body-Pod has proven its seal worthiness upside down in up to class III so far. Works even right side up. (rusty at ww playboating)
This is given my dimensions. A smaller or hugely larger neck diameter will find that the latex neck gasket seals will provide more versatility in sizing as they are trimable to fit.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
My military-surplus drysuit has a bellows gasket. I didn’t even know what it was called until I talked to a Kokatat rep at Canoecopia who knew exactly what it was. It’s made from light flexible material and is very “puffy” and loose except at the point where it contacts my neck. That puffy fit means that the contact area provides no resistance at all to turns of your neck. It’s supremely comfortable because the gasket just moves with you. Unfortunately, that old military drysuit is losing the sealing tape from the seams, and it has an entry zipper which is positioned all wrong for comfortable paddling, which is why I was talking to the Kokatat rep in the first place (I’ve got a Kokatat suit on order and I’m anxious for it to arrive).
at the hickey observation…
Last week when I showed up at work, one of my female coworkers gestured to my neck, and mischievously observed:
“I was going to ask you how your weekend was, but it seems pretty self-explanatory…”
but if it did you are supposed to suffer and enjoy the experience. It should remind you of emerging from the birth canal.
Seriously you will find all kinds of tips in the archives about fitting the neck gasket to you. You can stretch it out gradually or trim rings slowly and cautiously. Both schools of thought rage here, pick one and try it.
Many use a little pure talc to smooth the way. Some put a stocking over their head to help it clear their hair.
If the chafing is a result of latex sensitivies take the neck gasket yourself and replace with with neoprene. Or have a good dive shop do it.
If you get hickies smile and wink when anyone asks you.
I actually find a dry-suit neck to be less irritating than wearing a dress shirt and tie.
Maybe because I enjoy what I’m doing while wearing a dry-suit far more than what I’m doing while wearing a tie.
Neoprene necks have gotten MUCH better
than they used to me…i have been selling off my latex drytops in favor of neoprene ones…just as dry for me and a LOT more Comfortable!!!
Stohlquist is not the only making them…
there are a handful of them out there now…
def. try them!!!
latex versus neo/glideskin
With the caveat (as Marshall points out) that they must fit your neck, the newer neo/glideskin neck gaskets (I have both IR and Stohlquist) seem noticeably more comfortable than my older latex gaskets even when the latter are carefully and properly trimmed. They also eliminate the worry about ripping a gasket. Just seems a better technology akin to replacing latex booties with fabric booties.
Agreed, Perhaps, …
…for the newer ones - we’re using the SuperNova suits, which have a light neo seal - it’s good, for sure, but we will get a few spoonfuls down the neck if we’re active in the water - no big deal, just enough to dampen the neck of an undershirt. Still rather have that than a latex seal.
Thanks for pointing out the improvement.
a little pure talc to smooth the way
I use talc on my gaskets both for ease and comfort and for absorbing oils to help preserve the latex.
Some trim the neck, some stretch.
And there are plenty of people on
this website who like to argue the
merits of both.
I’m with Mint Julep above,
I forget all about what’s
round my neck in the thick
of the fun. Hickies are a
badge of honor unless you
have a latex allergy.
(And personally, I prefer
proper stretching to a bad
I Trimmed Mine
No way would I wear the dry jacket or drysuit without trimming first. Trimming eliminates that red-faced strangulation feeling we all know and hate. It chaffes a little. Not too bad.
You won’t have to worry about
latex gaskets anymore. The next issue of Sea Kayaker magazine, that's coming out in a couple months, will have a DIY article for replacing latex gaskets with a neoprene gasket that you can make yourself to fit you just right. The neoprene gaskets are much more comfortable and very water tight. Hang in there.
I like the way you think
I tried Body Glide, just apply some to your neck prior to putting the drysuit on. Good results- less gasket rash! Available at any running/sports and most outdoor shops. Active ingredient is Allantoin. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I think it’s safe to use on latex…
KY jelly should work until the first