Dry Suits

Hello......looking at purchasing a new dry suit for sea kayaking and for whitewater, not sure which direction to go as they are so expensive. Is a two piece system best (top and bottom) Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


Two piece Dry suit
If you’re talking about a single suit (now with ability to turn the top into a dry top) that’d be the Switch Zip system on the Kokatat Radius, Idol and Surge. The later is a paddling suit, not the ideal for whitewater play boating unless you have a large neck size. Ok too much tangent.

Video review (no practiced script) at fb.me/theriverconnectiin

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



Check out Mythic Drysuits

– Last Updated: Mar-12-16 8:09 PM EST –

no frills but may meet your needs.

They are comparativly inexpensive.


Mythics owner firmly believes every cold water paddler ought to have a drysuit.
There was another fella in Maine that sold at cost but corporate Kokatat put an end to that.

I had gotten my Kokotat from him by then.. in 2000. Goretex.. cost $400.


pee zipper

attached booties



wait for an early spring sale online…begin looking now



dry suit
A two piece suit requires a seal between the top and bottom, not always an easy thing to do, it’s more of a dry top with paddling pants that’s water resistant than an actual dry suit.

A one piece suit is a real dry suit and yeah they are expensive. There are (or there were anyway, not sure) semi-dry suits available with a neoprene neck gasket that keeps about 98% of the water out, these generally are about 1/2 the cost of a full on dry suit and are much more comfortable. Latex neck gaskets are at best uncomfortable.

Bill H.

Not always
The Kokatat system Marshall wrote about uses a waterproof zipper to connect the bottom and top. Supposed to be totally waterproof.

I agree - the other ones are dry tops and paddle pants and they generally don’t seal well.

How dry do you want to be?
The only currently manufactured two piece that is likely to be dry is Kokatat’s newest offering, with the zipper around the middle, mentioned above. They used to have a bib and bottmn system that involved rolling at the waist, apparently that could could by dry but I never saw one without a second person helping the wearer with getting it rolled right around the waist.

The rest, water will get in especially in whitewater. You pay more for being dry. It can also save your life. Really depends on the water temps you paddle in, how far you are going to be away from a bailout point if something happens and whether you paddle alone.

two part ‘dry suits’ ? why is a 2 piece dry suit marketable ? where’s the consumer need for 2 pieces ?

The suit is easier to get in and out for aging paddlers.

Thus an entirely new market.

So if in/out is a serious problem then onward into the future with 2 parts.

Is the Koko suit 2 separate parts or merely a clamshell with hinge ?

I agree (I think)

– Last Updated: Mar-13-16 8:59 PM EST –

Datakoll's posts can be short, and often hard to understand, but in this case I think I mostly agree if I am reading his post right.

I would go for a 1 piece, with integrated booties (not gaskets at the ankles), a relief zip (for women, the suggestion generally is also to get the front relief zip and not the drop seat, and learn how to use one of those female funnels), and a breathable material. Kokatat is top of the line, and they are the only ones that use Goretex. But I have also used other brands just fine.

For whitewater, many use just dry tops. The belief is that if they swim, they will be able to get to shore quickly, so long immersions are rare. But a dry suit would work just fine also.

I have a big neck, so can get away with neoprene neck and latex wrists. Neoprene is leaps more comfortable, especially as stubble starts forming/after a few days paddling and dirt and salt starts collecting. I have 2 dry Kokatat suits - 1 neoprene and 1 latex neck. I find I use the neoprene more when the chances of swimming or rolling are slim, and the latex when higher risk (white water, rock gardening, surfing, etc.). The latex is a little dryer (though I make that up in the wrists, where they are a little looser due to stretching/trimming/age - need to fix that). But not everyone seals a neo neck as well, so you need to check this.

here’s a demo of the Kokatat 2-piece

– Last Updated: Mar-13-16 7:02 PM EST –


It is truly two separate pieces. Kind of clever design and eliminates the need for both the relief zip and the cross shoulder entry zip. And lets you wear the top alone as a rain shell.

>>two part ‘dry suits’ ? why is a 2 piece dry suit marketable ? where’s the consumer need for 2 pieces ?

While the Kokatat zipper takes some practice to get proficient with there’s desirable reasons for the two piece system.

  • Provides a separate wearable dry top in the case of the Radius Drysuit
  • For many, less of a hassle donning/doffing
  • Provides versatility in relief zipper options
  • No über zipper for women’s drop seat zipper
  • Slimmer tailoring through torso as there’s no cross chest zipper
  • Future versatility in other mix and match garments to the system.

    Other reasons exist but I wasn’t in on the design committee, I just carry the Kokatat goodies in my Showroom

    See you on the water,


    The River Connection, Inc.

    Hyde Park, NY


    fb.me/theriverconnection (with video reviews of the 2 piece system)

Item 5
could be a selling point for me that I never thought of. My current suit has the ENORMOUS cross-chest zipper and flap that gets annoying when you add your skirt and pfd. My only complaint.