Dry Top Help

I received a dry top for Christmas. I can’t even get my hands through the hand holes or my head through. The shirt itself would fit if I could get through these holes. How do I stretch these out???

If your gaskets were only a little bit
tight, then stretching might be an option. But when they’re unbearably tight, you need to use the trim option. You should find little trim rings on the neck gasket, and probably on the wrist gasket. By neatly trimming off rings of latex, you will get to where the gaskets feel OK.

Now, I’ve never trimmed. I’ve always stretched. But by the grace of Neptune, when I’ve bought garments with latex gaskets, the fit has been close enough that I was able to stretch them within a few weeks, a couple of months at worst.

“A couple of months?!?” I hear you say. Yes, if you want to get into that suit before winter’s over, you’ll do better to trim those gaskets.

Because I’m not a trimmer, I’m going to let others tell you the details.

It depends on the closures
State brand and style.

Try some 303…
To lubricate the gaskets, might help get it on and off more easily…

Sounds really tight
I have had to trim the neck gasket on my suit and drytop BUT I could at least get my head through them to start. Never had a problem with wrist gaskets but I don’t have large wrists. But do have a thick neck. I suppose its possible to trim the neck gasket enough but once you start you cant return the dry top. What brand and size is it and give your size like height, chest size, neck size and weight.

agree with dc9mm
If you can;t even get in at all, kit sounds like the gaskets are too small. Stretching or trimming make gaskets that are too tight when you get in work better, but can’t fix too small.

In general, for a slight loosening, you can stretch the gaskets by pushing something smooth that is a bit wider than your wrist/neck through and letting it sit for a while (overnight, etc.).

For more space, you trim rings off the gasket. trim carefully, as you don’t want any rough edges or nicks. gaskets break easily, and a nick or rough edge could be the start,

But in your case, I am wondering if you just need a different dry top with larger gaskets?

hard to interpret this
You sound like a first-timer with this type of garment.

The first thing to keep in mind is that a seam is a seam. When you put dry tops on and take them off, it cannot be done like a typical soft stretchy shirt. The slightest failure of a seam due to undue stress is a complete failure in a drytop.

2nd, I don’t try to just sqeeze my hands through the cuffs, or squeeze my head through the collar. Putting it on, I put one hand through each cuff, 1 at a time, using the other hand to work the latex cuff back around the wrist. This leaves both hands free, after I lift both arms and get the rest to drop down around my body, to work the neck gasket around my head to my neck.

Taking it off, I work the neck gasket up over my head first, with my arms still in the sleeves. I get the body of it completely off over my head. Then I work the cuffs over my hands one at a time last.

Don’t even think about trimming anything until you know how the gaskets fit your actual neck and wrists. Obviously, your head and hands are much bigger, and no real indication.

Agree with capefear
It isn’t a shirt. It is a dry top, or a paddling top or similar.

I bet you are expecting the latex gaskets to act like something they are not, like a stretchy knit rather than latex. You are supposed to have to hold the neck gasket and wrist gaskets open with your hand (or in the case of wrist gaskets other hand) at least a little to get them on. If they are so loose you don’t have to do that, they will not be tight enough to actually keep you dry.

And don’t trim until you have given the garment a chance, like gotten it on and tried to paddle in it. Someone might have spend an easy three digits on that present. It’d be hard to explain that you made a dry top into a soaking wet top because you were unfamiliar with the thing.

Just have to ad
I agree with the last to posters to a point. DONT try and paddle with a drytop that’s so tight you could pass out. No kidding as my neck is apparently big enough that would actually happen with me. I ALWAYS have to trim the neck gasket or pass out. Stretching is never even close for “ME”. First time I put on my NRS drytop I bought last year my face turned red and I got light headed and quickly used my hands to pull it away from my neck before I went by by, but still had no problem getting it over my head which makes me wonder about how the OP said he couldn’t get it past his head. My kokatat drysuit the neck wasn’t nearly as tight but that also needed 2 rings removed. The NRS needed three rings cut off.

Like I said in my first post I would post what your neck, and chest sizes are, plus weight and then what size drytop you have and what brand and model it is. It might just be to small for you. What size is it?

It is a level 6
Gaskets are so tight my 8 year old can’t get over head or her hands through the holes.

You are right that it is my 1st drytop. I do have dry pants (Kolkat), but just got the top.

How was the size decision made?
Or who made it…

I just looked at the Level 6 web site. I think you should start by emailing Level 6 - there is a link on their site - with your dimensions and ask if the size dry top you have is correct for you. I looked for a sizing chart like some manufacturers have, but no luck. You will want to give them chest size, waist, belly if you are more apple shaped maybe, neck and wrist size would not hurt, and sleeve length.

The neo gaskets are .5 millimeter, maybe those aren’t the lightest weight ones around, but then again the thicker ones usually last longer.

If I am guessing at what you got correctly, someone spent nearly $200 on that top no matter what sale they got it on. It is worth contacting the manufacturer to check size.

Just checked
Well NRS sells level 6 drytops. Just did a quick look. They only have the one but it comes in sizes from small to xx-large. So maybe you have the wrong size.

How do they match gasket size to
the size of the garment?

Fact is, drytop manufacturers do very little to see that the gaskets are “close” for each customer. Especially for the neck, the garment size is not a good predictor of the neck gasket size.

We get much better service from shirt manufacturers.

The top itself looks like it should fit
Or even be too big. I sized it myself based on dimensions on website and hubby bought me for Christmas. Weird how tight/small the gaskets are. I will try contacting the manufacturer, thanks.

Gasket to suit/top size
I have never had a problem with that part, across a number of manufacturers and dry tops as well as dry suits.

I think part of it is that there is a surprising bit of wiggle room in how a gasket can fit and still be dry. That is partly from trimming, partly from where on your neck you set the top of the gasket, partly from options like rolling it. Between my various suits and dry tops, and my squeezing my flabby personage into outfits that worked better when I was more trim, I have probably used them all.

My experience is that manufacturers do that well. If we had any Level 6 dealers around here I’d swing by and take a look at the actual gaskets. They may just be heavier weight and/or cut on the small side with the assumption that most people will want to do some trimming.

In any case, the Level 6 folks can probably answer a sizing question better than anyone on this board.