Drysuit brands

Does anyone have any preferences between a Kokatat Super Nova Semi Drysuit vs. a Stohlquist bPod drysuit? they’re both in the same price range and seem to have about the same features.

We Have Both…
…and much prefer the B-pod. I’ve had a fair bit of trouble with my SuperNova - neck gasket replaced under warranty, booties leak, starting to see some delamination. (To be fair, tho, my wife’s SuperNova, purchased at the same time, has been trouble-free.) The SN material seems very light, as do the zippers.

My wife’s B-Pod’s fabric is much sturdier, and the Glideskin neck seal is a more comfortable setup and provides a better seal. She purchased it with a neck seal that was uncomfortably tight; Stohlquist replaced it free of charge. I’m now using a Reed ChillCheater, which I also like better than the SN.

If I had our time back, we would have passed on the SuperNova suits and gone for the B-Pod or ChillCheater. The SuperNovas did do the job for several seasons, but the others are, dollar for dollar, a better deal.


– Last Updated: Jan-10-10 10:15 AM EST –

thanks for that comparison...I think I will get the bPod from your experiences with both......That the suit is made in the USA, which is very important to me, seals the deal.....thanks again

Bpod likely drier
I haven’t tested a Bpod on my chicken neck, but I do have the SuperNova and for me it is VERY semi practicing stuff like deep braces or sculling, anything that puts my head partway into the water. Most people who I have encountered who have the Bpoid have better things to say about the relative dryness of those suits than I can say about the SuperNova. I do know someone who is at the outer reaches of the SuperNova neck sizing and finds it much drier than I do, but I don’t know if you’d have the same experience.

I think I’m set on the bPod then…

I’ve been canoeing most of my life, kayaking for the last 2 years, and in any weather. I am interested in getting a dry suit next winter but I know nothing about them. What does the b-pod mean by semi-dry?

Semi-Dry Suits…
…are generally those with non-latex seals, especially the neck seal. A latex rubber seal is quite snug, and usually doesn’t leak at all.

The SuperNova has a neoprene neck gasket, the B-Pod and the Chillcheater use a Glideskin neck. My SN leaks a little, measured in spoonfuls, when I spend any amount of time in the water. The ChillCheater neck seems to leak less, if at all. The B-Pod, according to my wife, doesn’t leak. We find the non-latex seals far more comfortable, but then again, we don’t roll or spend a lot of time in the water…

All the suits will do the main job of keeping you protected should you land up to your neck in cold water

If you get your head under…
water may come in thru the neck seal in stuff like rolling, sculling, or a swim. The latex gaskets that come on something like the Kokatat Meridian suits are considered to be dry (until they fail anyway). Most non-latex neck seals are presented as more likely to let some water in, though there are those like the Bpod that seem to be as good as an official dry suit for many.

So they are only partially dry.

For me it is a piece of safety equipment
For me, it needs to be dry. I want protection from a prolonged immersion in cold water which will likely include rolling, swimming, waves, etc. For me, I am not going to go through all that buying and wearing a dry suit entails and then being “semi-dry”. There is no such thing as semi hypo-thermic or semi dead. I want all the safety a piece of safety equipment can offer along with no gaurentee of anything working when I need it. This is one possible attitude about the use of drysuits which seems to bring on some heated discussions here. Bill

I bought the Stohlquist
B-Pod based on cost and review/recommendation. I have not tested it yet on the water but it fits/feels great and seems to be well made. It is a little snug in the neck (I have 26" neck) but wearing it around the house, it feels better already. I will paddle mostly class I/II WW so do not plan to spend a lot of time rolling or swimming. I look at it as an insurance policy that will allow me to step up from the wetsuit and three season paddling. In the unlikely event that I become a hardcore class III/IV paddler, I may have to consider a goretex suit if the B-Pod doesn’t hold up. I will cross that bridge when I get to it. Will update this report after I break this baby in.

Thanks for the info. I think the semi-dry will more than likely be ample for what I do. Most of my winter paddling is small day trips, 8-10miles and in creeks and rivers. Not a lot of room for long periods in the water. I do most of my open water paddling in the summer. Thanks again.

I’ve had my Bpod suit for 3 years now and works fine. If you’re buying a drysuit for safety the semi-dry suits work fine. If you spend alot of time rolling might want to invest in a full dry suit, and spend the bunch of extra money.

Bill H.

My Gul dry suit has glideskin seals and keeps me dry even when I’m rolling. They are not that flexible, so you have to choose the right size and may have problems if your arms are rather small. But they last much longer and are more rugged, which is also a security issue.

You can’t beat their warranty and service.

Especially if you

– Last Updated: Jan-12-10 8:52 PM EST –

purchase a Kokatat GORTEX model.

You'll get Kokatat's warranty plus Gore's warranty.

Kokatat is made in the US too

“There is no such thing as …
semi-hypothermic …”

Since there are many stages of hypothermia, actually there is.