Dry Suit Recommendations and possible Under Liner as Well

I’m back!!:slight_smile: About 8 Months ago I suffered a torn ligament and tendon on my elbow that extended all the way across my whole top forearm all the way to one of my fingers. I could do no kayaking for those whole 8 Months. After going to a rehabilitation clinic they have me all fixed up now. :slight_smile: Anyway I am Kayaking again at 100% and it feels great.

I have decided that I will start saving up for a nice Dry Suit for when the cold weather arrives…yes I know I long ways away but I adore Cold Weather God do I love it so much…I plan on doing more Kayaking during the Winter actually especially being in Louisiana where bugs and alligators are everywhere while Kayaking…Winter time they are all gone and it is much more peaceful…not to mention to me the cold air feel so much better…without a decent Dry suit I know I will be suffering from the cold weather though especially when we are down in the 30’s lol. By the time Winter is here I will definitely have enough funds to buy all the equipment I will need…this is why I am starting early.

I have been looking around and am looking to spend around $600.00 and here is a couple that I have ben looking at: Kokatat Hydrus 3 Meridian Dry Suit…and also a Typhoon Multisport 4 Four Latex Seal Drysuit here is the links:



Also it would probably be wise to have a layer underneath especially for those freezing days out Kayaking such as something like this:


Any suggestions are greatly appreciated…I would really prefer a one piece Drysuit as it would be more simple for myself and I do not mind wearing a decent under liner as well.

Again the Kayak bug is back. :slight_smile: I have gone through so much depression not being able to Kayak as it kind of changed my life but hey having a forearm with a tendon and ligament torn is kinda hard to do…but again I am 100% healed.

I am about 5’11" 215 pounds and yes I will be doing plenty of Kayaking this Summer but even more so during my favorite time of the year…Winter!!:slight_smile:

Again thank you for any advice on dry suits.

Good your back and healthy. I like kokatat stuff. I have a polartec liner by kokatat. I wear thin base layer below it. /Kokatat-Mens-Polartec-Power-Dry-Outercore-Habenero-Liner is what they call it now. Washes well comfortable. I see it for 125 now I think I paid 175 9+ years ago.

Off season for liners & drysuit s you can catch a deal now.

Exercise is good for depression. I find the water relaxing because it clears my mind. I like winter.kayaking also on Long Island. No sweat, no bugs, no boats, clearer water.

Skip the liner, assuming you have clothing for other active outdoor activities. I generally wear running tights and some sort of polypro/micro fleece/smart wool type top.

For drysuits, in general get ones with built in socks (not ankle gaskets) and a relief zipper. Both of the ones you listed match this.

The Kokatat you listed is actually paddling suit, not dry suit. The difference being the neoprene neck gasket (dry suits use latex). Not actually much of an issue for most - I actually prefer neo and that is what I mostly use. But it depends on how well that neck gasket seals around your neck. Latex is a better seal, but big neck people like me seal neo ones well also. Neoprene is MUCH more comfortable, especially after you get a few days of stubble going.

All Kokatat products with neo necks now are using “Neo Cinch” neck gaskets. These seal pretty well - I have one on a dry top. Kokatat used to use “Adjustable Punch Through” (or APT) neck gaskets on cheaper suits, and they don’t seal as well (I have a Tropos paddling suit with this). You may want to double check on that one to make sure it is the Neo Cinch.

Not sure why the other dry suit you listed is called a 4 gasket dry suit. I only count 3 - neck and both wrists. It looks to be an over the shoulder zipper (versus Kokatat’s front entry zipper across chest) - some prefer that, but I have never tried. Seems to be a thicker material, which bodes well for working in colder situations than the Kokatat. And a real dry suit with latex neck gasket. Note - the link you sent only had size Small, where you would likely be XL.

Thanks both of you…I still have many more dry suits to look into…that was just 2 that I found in my price range but there are many more…as far as sizing for a drysuit it seems like xl may be too big…I am 5’11" and again barely hitting 215. It looks like the XL is for people up to 6’4". Well…the cool thing is I can return them for the right size if the XL ends up being too big.
The good thing is that I have a long time to figure this all out before Winter is here because Winter is definitely not just around the corner. :slight_smile: lol

I don’t know how cold your water temperature gets, but my first paddle this year was in Lake Michigan. Water temp was 34F. I wear a Kokatat GoreTex drysuit with GoreTex booties (those booties are the best thing since apple pie). My base later is Mysterioso M-Tech top, bottoms and socks. It’s made of a stretchy Polartec fabric which is soft inside, warm, and keeps me dry. Because of the coldness of the water that day, I added a couple of layers on top, one merino wool and the other fleece. Layering depends on the water temp.

I chose a two-piece suit because I can use the top as a drytop and for the overall convenience the suit offers.

It’s expensive gear, but your life is priceless.

@SilentWaters said:
…as far as sizing for a drysuit it seems like xl may be too big…I am 5’11" and again barely hitting 215. It looks like the XL is for people up to 6’4".

I am 6’ and 215 pounds and fit XL. Supposed to be a bit baggy, as it allows you to do different amounts if layers below as temperatures require.

Spend the extra money to get a Gore-Tex Drysuit. No other waterproof/breathable fabric has proven to be as durable and if you ever do have problems with it, their lifetime warranty is iron-clad. It makes a dry suit a one-time, lifetime investment.

As for underlayers, I agree that if you already have base layers and fleece for other activities, use them rather than buying something specifically for under your dry suit. While a kayaking “onesie” may have some comfort advantages, I find that I often wear different thicknesses of insulation above and below the waist. I’d say putting the money you save toward a better dry suit is the way to go.

Vortex is the way to go if at all possible. After 8-9 years they sent me a new suit for the cost of me shipping it to them one-way.

How cold do air and water get by you SW?

The Kokatat is a drysuit. It has latex seals with a protective neo cover.

@Steveey said:
The Kokatat is a drysuit. It has latex seals with a protective neo cover.

My bad. Steveey is correct. The Kokatat is a dry suit, not paddling suit.

I live in Louisiana where it gets in the mid to upper 30’s Fahrenheit at the coldest and on average in the mid 40’s Fahrenheit around November up into about February I am not sure how cold the water gets…so not much of a Winter but still it does get cold. A dry suit may be overkill but I do need some gear to keep warm during those Months…perhaps just a separate dry top and dry bottom pants and then wear what Paddledog recommended such as a polartec liner underneath? Sounds like this would be much cheaper.

I’ll try talking to some fellow Louisianaian Kayakers next week when I go kayaking again and see if they have any recommendations but I must say…not many people in Louisiana like to Kayak during the colder Months…me I LOVE the cold Months this would be my favorite time of the year.

Here are some coastal water temperatures estimates for LA: https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/cwtg/egof.html

You can get water temps for the Missippi at Baton Rouge at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=07374000. I pulled up for end of January last year and it was around 40F.

You’re dressing for the water temp, not the air temp, so it’s important to know what the water temperature is.

Where do you paddle? Ocean? Large lakes? Rivers?

I paddle in swamp areas mostly as swamp tours are my favorite…we call these the “Bayous” but sometimes the lake as well.

Probably not below 60° water temp I would think?

@PaddleDog52 said:
Probably not below 60° water temp I would think?

A couple fishing sites state bayous can get down to 40F in the winter. In the mid to high 50s in February.

@Rookie said:

@PaddleDog52 said:
Probably not below 60° water temp I would think?

A couple fishing sites state bayous can get down to 40F in the winter. In the mid to high 50s in February.

That means drysuit to me

Just remember that its the underlayer that prevents hypothermia, so that will vary depending on conditons. In Louisiana you might get by with pretty light underlayers part of the winter, but not in really frigid waters.