Drysuit Preferences

I’m considering purchasing a drysuit this spring and currently considering the Kokatat GMER or Expedition Dry Suit. I can’t decide if I want that hood always there or not - sure would be handy sometimes but might get in the way.


if you might need it get the hood
The hoods on my jackets tend to get caught under the PFD when I put it on. The hood stays there, out of the way, unless I need it.

have friend with one
He almost never uses the hood even when it is windy, rainy or snowing as a baseball cap or other hat/neo hood simply works better. Occasionally, he’ll put the hood up temporarily if cold from wind or rain, but as soon as he can he’ll take it off again. Other drawbacks: when down, the hood catches rain water and funnels it onto your neck and it fills up with water when rolling or bracing in surf. I’d only get one if you plan to use your drysuit with the hood up 90% of the time.

one more comment
Rather than a Kokatat, you might want to consider something like the Stohlquist BPOD. I traded in my latex gasketed drysuit for one and love it. It’s beautifully made, breathability is terrific, the neck gasket is more comfortable, and you don’t have to worry about trimming or ripping, plus it is a third cheaper. Search the messages and you’ll find a lot of good information on the relative value of various products. Given a lot of endorsements (and few thumbs down) for the higher end suits, you can be sure that the technology as a whole is pretty good and that no drysuit is head and shoulders above all the others. To my mind, that means price can become a major driver of what to purchase.

love mine
after years of NO hood I splurged and I’ll never go back

it fits over my Sweet helmet and provides TONS of protection.

a baseball cap works better???

yeah right.

steve (PNW storm paddler)

All personal preference
If you think you’ll need a hood, get one. I don’t have one and can see where it would be handy, but I have other headgear to cover that situation. Also, I wouldn’t wear one regularly because I don’t like me hearing muffled and/or my peripheral vision limited (I realize that not all hoods may do that, but just stating why I don’t normally use hoods, in general).

Of course, my suit didn’t have one as an option, so that kind of helped make the decision for me!


– Last Updated: Mar-21-08 2:36 PM EST –

I say IF I had gotten PRO Purchase from Kokatat I would definatly have the hood.

In rain or snow a hood is a must.

I don't have one but the next suit I get will .

If you can afford it and travel in less that optimum weather for getting a tan....get the hood

(comming in from Outer Island (Apostle Islands)the day the roof blew off the church in Bayfield)

Best Wishes

hood - thumbs up
Hi Mike,

The Expedition suit for 2008 has a new improved hood over prior years. It addresses some of the complaints that others have had about hoods over the years. It has a drain thru on the front and back incorporated into the suit. That way if water is scooped or splashed it drains out.

The other plus is that the hood is now made our of pac lite which is much softer and suppler than the old hoods made out of XCR. Now with it on, the hood will turn with your head rather than your head turning inside the hood. In addition, you can roll the hood down and fix it there while still being able to deploy it one handed. Really well designed hood with a bonus of fleece on the front inside where your mouth is for comfort as there is nothing rough to abrade face skin.

The Expedition suit also has loads of reflective tape on it.

It will be my new suit this year.


(NE Kokatat Rep)

ha ha
hey, mea culpla. only explanation i can offer is that it is march madness, and this is north carolina where it is important to declare whether you’re for Duke or UNC. besides, we don’t get much rain or snow, so baseball hats do work pretty well most of the time. with what suzannah said about the new kotatat hoods it looks like the problems have been addressed. if i lived where there was real winter or cold rainy weather like in the PNW, i might opt for the new hood, but is is probably overkill for many paddlers and for this neck of the woods.