Drysuit Fit

-- Last Updated: Oct-24-05 11:43 PM EST --


I broke down and got two drysuits; one during the recent EMS sale and the other I ordered from NRS. I plan to only keep one, so the question of fit comes into play.

I haven't got the NRS suit in the mail yet for comparison, but the EMS suit(Kokatat GFER) is sitting on my table. I tried it on, with a pile suit of mine, and it appears to fit okay, but when I sit down on floor, the process of getting up and down puts tension in the legs, specifically when doing squats or seated knee bends like you would do when bending your legs when getting in or out of a kayak. The tension isn't extremely bad, but it is there and definitley "straining" the fabric. The "tension" starts occurring rougly halfway into a deep knee bend and along the length of the top of the upper leg. I have plenty of leg girth so there is not tension in that direction.

Hiking up or down the legs doesn't relieve the "strain" or puts the strain somewhere else in the suit. Once seated or standing (legs straight), the suit is relatively loose and accomodating to twists, paddle motion simulation, etc.

I tried on the next size up, XXL, in another store (not on sale), it was significantly better fitting in the legs when doing knee bends/squats (no tension at all), but huge in the chest area. Had EMS carried and stocked this size, I would have been tempted to go with it and dealt with the extra volume in the upper body, but wouldn't buy at at it's current retail price ($900). The XL at $664 was a good deal.

The NRS suit comes in an XXL ($605), which I ordered, but is more similar to the XL size of Kokatat than the XXL Kokatat but has bigger socks. The socks on the XL Kokatat just fit with one pair of thick wool socks and a little difficult to get off, but doable. The XXL Kokatat socks are enormous and a breeze to get off.

So after my long winded verbage here, is it okay to have a little tension/tightness in the drysuit legs during knee/squats. How does one want the socks to fit, loose or somewhat snug?
If the NRS is not any better, will Kokatat lengthen legs on an already made suit? I probably only need an inch at most. NRS will not "customize" the suit.

Thanks in advance.


Extra leg room not a problem
except when walking around. In the boat it isn’t noticable. I have a 48" chest and 38" waist with 30" inseam. 6’ 0" tall. I had to go to the XXL to get an upper body fit which means 5-6" of extra leg. Chota speed laces over the booties keep all of the extra length from dragging on the ground. Have to remember to hike up the crotch before taking a extra long step though. Great tool for winter paddling.

Kokatat Custom Fitting
Kokatat will shorten legs or arms on some of its drysuits.

My wife had both shortened on hers.

nrs suit
once you get some perspective on that nrs suit, a review would be greatly appreciated. all these dry suits, sizes and prices have got my head spinning. I also fit better into the size guidelines of the nrs suits than the palm or kokotat sizes.

Initial NRS Extreme Relief Suit Review

– Last Updated: Oct-28-05 9:44 PM EST –

Today I received my NRS Extreme Relief Suit. Here are my intial impressions regarding sizing, construction, and overall value.

Fit: This is a big chest and thigh suit. I'm not a small guy length wise, but pretty thin (44 inch chest) and big (cycling) thighs. Even though I have decent sized thighs, there is still plenty of girth. The chest is very big on me. The arms are plenty long enough for my 36" arms. Even though the NRS size chart says, max 6' 4", I have no problem fitting my 6' 6" frame in it.

The pee zip is in the right place. Leg length for my 36" legs is ample. No tension when doing deep knee bends or getting up or down. The waist is generous for my 36" hips.

There are some downsides to this suit. The latex neck gasket is huge as is. It is comfortable for me (16 1/2" neck) without trimming or stretching. I am concerned that I am not getting a great seal, but it holds air under pressure and doesn't leak until I burp it. However, I can relatively easily slip my finger between my neck and the latex gasket. According to the NRS website, this is sized for an 18" plus neck. Although this doesn't make this suit bad, if you have a smaller neck 16 to 17, you may want to replace it with NRS Large gasket, which goes up to 18". NRS really should make this gasket a little smaller to have some overlap with the Large size.

The stocking feet are not as big as I thought they would be. The fit my size 12 feet with thick wool socks, but I am not real loose in them. Again, they are a little stiffer than the GFER Goretex socks.


The Triton fabric is stiffer than the fabric used in Kokatat's GFER suit and is pretty tough. It does have some "crackle" to it when you walk. Cordura reinforced in the right areas (seat, knees, elbows). Zippers seemed okay, good tension when pulling and sealed shut. My suit arrived with the zippers closed. The coated fabric around the pee zip has a little thinner coating over the fabric compared to the Kokatat pee zip. Probably not really an issue, but a slight difference. The main zip appears to be about the same. These are the fabrics attached to the zippers, not the main suit fabric.

Stitching is on par with the Kokatat GFER suit. Stitch count and thread size appears to be the same. A plus for the NRS suit is the reflective tape near the wrists.

The protect gaskets over the latex gaskets are all neoprene on the Kokatat suit, whereas the NRS suit has most neoprene but the velcro portion is on a fabric (Triton) flap. Again nothing bad, just different. The NRS suit has little wrist attachment loops for attaching gloves, the Kokatat suit does not.

I have yet to try this suit (NRS) in the water yet, and will have to see about the neck gasket. If I do, I'll provide an updated review.

Another plus for the NRS suit, the price is very attractive, $605 and with a NRS promo deal, you get $60 credit for future purchases, so effectively, your getting the suit for $545 + ship.


The Biggest Negative
with the NRS is the lack of a double tunnel. When you roll, water comes through between the suit and the skirt tunnel. If you do white water and/or surf, you’ll be coming back in to drain the boat 3-4x as much.


Double Tunnel? - Don’t Follow

– Last Updated: Oct-28-05 10:43 PM EST –

I'm confused, the Kokatat GFER doesn't have a tunnel either. I don't know of any Kokatat or NRS drysuit that has a tunnel. Some Kokatat's have a neoprene waist band for mating with the spray skirt.

Am I missing something?


Look At The Pics

on the high end, Meridian line, you’ll see a band across the waist. This is actually the end of a over an overhang that comes from the chest level down to the waist. You lift/flip the overhang up, pull you your skirt tunnel up into position, and then you flip the overhand piece back down over the spray skirt tunnel. There is a velcro adjustment strap on that overhand to tighten. What the overhang piece does is to provide another barrier to minimize water from running down between the skirt tunnel and suit.

If you don’t play in rougher water where capsizng and rolling are givens, it really doesn’t make much difference. You will likely only notice the water seepage, however, if you do sculling and/or rolling practice with the suit on.


I have a Gore-Tex Meridian which comes with the double-tunnel. After some heavy bracing and rolling sessions, my boat is way closer to dry compared to when i’m not wearing a tunneled top. I used to think my sprayskirt was leaking through.

A lot of places seem to carry the Meridian, but not in Gore-Tex. I got mine from outdoorplay.com

and a great repair shop will add on
a second tunnel for under $150 last time I priced it. I have not done that yer bt If I take it to the next immersive level i’ll go there.

anybody know about theswe?