drysuit online?

OK, you can only get so far into a New England winter without the urge to go kayaking driving you to desparation.

I’m ready to get a drysuit, but there’s nowhere around me that has them in stock.

So, is there a reason one should NOT get one online?

Is it something you need to try on first, or do you need to compare material directly?

which and from where
Have you settled on which dry suit? Have you decided from whom to get it?

kayak academy if Kokatat

– Last Updated: Jan-14-07 1:19 AM EST –

It's good if you've tried a dry suit or dry top at least once to know that you're ok with the latex neck gasket. You get used to the tightness, and can trim to comfort anyway, going 1/4 inch at a time as you can't put material back. As long as no serious rash problems, then good to go. You sound like you may be past this point.

If you do go online, and want a Kokatat, Kayak academy is great. http://www.kayakacademy.com Once you commit to doing business with them, they will mail you suits to try, before you place the order. If you get your suit and still don't like it, they will let you swap for something else in stock, or order again. They have a very strong commitment to make sure you're happy with your suit. If you want extras, or size alterations, or the suit is otherwise on back order, they will provide a loaner until it comes in. Prices are very good too.

Paul S.

Found a good deal
on NRS drysuits at http://www.outdoorplay.com $383 shipped with a $50 gift certificate.

is it gone already?
I checked out the website and couldn’t find anything for $383


– Last Updated: Jan-14-07 7:42 AM EST –


They make them to order, I have one and it's great.

They are $490 USD at today's exchange rate plus about $15 shipping.

Ditto Aquaman

– Last Updated: Jan-14-07 8:33 AM EST –

Last Saturday night three of us sat around after a day of whitewater (the bruised bottom incident) and we compared a Kokatat GFER and a NRS Extreme Drysuit. For overall design the Kokatat looked like more detail was put into the manufacturing process. The Goretex of the Kokatat is not quite as beefy a material as the NRS Tri-??something?? material. I think we concluded in our informal sitting around the coffee table analysis that the Kokatat may be a a little more "breathable" than the NRS. All things considered, both are great suits. If you can afford the extra cost of a Kokatat usually at leat a couple hundred more than it is the better choice. If your budget is a bit tighter, than the NRS is a winner hands down. And, any drysuit is probably better than no drysuit.

BTW....The three of us that were comparing suits all ordered on-line. The two Kokatats came from KAYAKACADEMY and the NRS came from a store stock at a New Jersey paddling outfitter KAYAKFISHINGSTUFF but nonetheless on-line.

Good Luck


– Last Updated: Jan-14-07 8:50 AM EST –


I learned many things from my recent drysuit post here. I think what Jay has posted below might be true--Kokotat likely the best overall if price is not a afctor. I am looking for one on sale. many said Kokotats run a tad large, so that should be taken into consideriation for anyone on the fringe of their sizing charts. Also, TSC and others made this abundantly clear, that the footies are imperative--forget the ankle gaskets. You looking too, bohemia? Maybe we couold try them on if we can get up to at Canoecopia, for fit. I want one so badly, but hate paying "full price".


lowest NRS I see.

Outdoorplay members
get 15% off and free shipping.

You shouldn’t go online…
…IF you have a local dealer who can special order the garment for you. Think about supporting your local businesses first, and then go online IF that local person doesn’t stock, can’t or won’t order what you need. Your local shop would more than likely match any online discount (we do), and the business will likely benifit and continue to grow from your support. Why support someone out of your area, IF you have a local business that would benifit? And with the likes of Kokatat, your local dealer can get a custom dimensioned suit if your bod doesn’t match an off the rack S/M/L/XL one, something you are not likely to get from online ordering. I’ve seen a few customers beni(fit) from this service, from short stocky women to tall leggy guys. IF you don’t have a local shop willing or able, than shop online with a clear conscience.

I know price might be an issue, but I cannot say enough about the quality of their dry suits or how well the manufacture backs their product. After teaching all spring and the first week in the summer in my 4 year old Kokatat gortex suit, I noticed some leaking. I sent it back to Kokatat for inspection and repair. They determined it was delaminating and shipped me a completely new suit for $0. I use a dry suit constantly and it gets lots of abuse. IMHO it is a great produt. There are local dealer in RI and Eastern MA, who can special order something for you. If price is not a big consideration I would strongly recommend Kokatat. Email me if you need more specific information.

Will the local dealer provide

– Last Updated: Jan-14-07 2:55 PM EST –

a free loaner dry suit for the 1-3 months it can take to deliver the special order? And again if you ever need a repair? Mine won't.

I agree with the support-your-local-dealer, or eventually I won't have one. I've spent thousands this year at Alder Creek in Portland, and hundreds at Peak Sports in Corvallis. I'm glad you're out there with your shop, and on this forum, stickman. The community benefits for it. I hope you're rewarded with a reasonable income.

I also agree with the support of very exceptional companies, local or not. Some of the mail order companies have the ability to feel local, even if not. NRS, KA, to name two.

Paul S.

fitting for an online purchase
It’s something like purchasing a spacesuit :wink:

Since you will not be trying anything on prior to ordering, be sure to wear all the underlayers for the maximum coldest waters you might paddle, then take your measurements.

Expect the upper portion to be generously cut for paddling. Inseam and armlength can be very important since you don’t want a lot of extra fabric pooling down at your wrists and ankles.

If you roll a lot (or intend to be) get a neck gasket. If you are a recreational paddler, try the Kokatat Tropos Super Nova w. the thinner more flexible neoprene neck opening.

The Kokatat sizing charts are very specific & talking to qualified people like George or Barb at Kayak Academy gives you that extra layer of assurance (plus their 10 day return policy). They also have a very deep Kokatat inventory so you are more likely to score your optimum suit size and accessories than at a brick or mortar store.

I’m all about seeking out & patronizing good service, online or in the store.

FWIW I bought my drysuit in early December from the Kayak Academy. I’ve wore it seven times and could not be more pleased. Highly recommend them for the total package of quality, knowledge, and customer service.

I just ordered one two weeks ago from Colorado Kayak Supply. Received it in 5 working days…all the way to Ohio. Cannot wait to try it out.


NRS has good people to chat with also.

yes they do
I’ve enjoyed my chats w. them. They have great info on dressing for immersion as well.

NRS does need to carry more choice in women’s drysuits, though (which is not the fault of the salespeople).

With Kayak Academy I got my preferred size S,color, neck gasket style, booties in much needed XS size, relief zip and care kit, shipped free w. 10 day return. My size was a little uncommon, so that greatly influenced my decision!

It’s great to have this website to share the buying experiences though. It’s a pretty big outlay for some highly specialized gear.