Drysuit Refurbishing

-- Last Updated: Apr-30-05 5:21 AM EST --

Been noticing that my drysuit seems to be getting a little more damp inside during a session. Figured that it was perhaps seepage through the neck area from rolling in the surf and or getting pounded from waves.

I checked the interior of the suit yesterday and found several areas around the torso where the white interior layer that is bonded to the blue nylon is worn through. I am assuming this is the goretex laminate. If so, I'm getting more seepage right through the suit.

The suit is three years old. The last two years, it has really seen a lot of action all winter. So, I am not really disappointed about the worn spots though I do think it's going to be PITA to get it repaired. Has anyone sent a suit in for refurbishing? Wondering how they deal with the worn spots, add tape? I'm pondering whether it is worth sending it to kokatat or doing a home job? Probably still need to use the suit until the water hits 50 degrees before I switch to drytop and neo farmer john.


Dry Drysuit?
Hey Sing,

I’ve been patching my 8 year old Kokatat myself for a few years. Can’t say I’m realy dry in there anymore. Still I had a pleasant swim up on the Ammo last weekend where only my hands got cold and I was fine for a second run. So even my not quite drysuit is way better than a wetsuit.

Dan B sent his two year old suit to Kokatat to get a neck gasket replaced and it came back with 29 new patches as well.

I’m thinking it’s time for a new suit for me. When I get it I’ll probably let the pro’s do any repairs from here on.

No sense sending it somewhere. AFAIK, no way to “relaminate” the PTFE, so they’ll probably just seal it with a non-breathable option. You can do that yourself. I wouldn’t imagine that an area great enough to significantly affect breathability is at stake, so just seal them off.


If it is a Kokatat and if the fabric is Gore-Tex, it is warranteed. Call Kokatat and explain what the problem is, they may want you to send pictures…


The warranty doesn’t cover wear…
…just delamination and other defects. Sing probably has nothing to lose by sending it in (other than time), but I wouldn’t hold out too much hope that it will be covered under warranty. Then again, who knows?

Noting your lack of pride in your equip.
It may be time to break out the duct tape.

Test and repair procedures
Obviously the mfr is the first choice for repairs upon which your life might depend, but if they’re not helpful or horribly expensive, I can outline the basic repair procedures for you.

You’ll need a Shop-Vac, some soapy water, typing correction fluid, an iron and Gore-Tape.

$30 will make it good as new
Open http://www.kokatat.com/topten.htm and then open the form http://www.kokatat.com/RArequestReply.doc.

After 5 years of heavy use I was becoming increasing damp during rolls and rescue practices. I sent mine back to Kokatat with the form marked for them to do a “Water Test and Non-Warranty Repair: @ $30.00 per hour. (Dry tops usually take about a ½ hour, and dry suits usually take up to an hour.)”

My dry suit came back in a week with about 2 dozen internal Gore-Tex patches. The patches were of various sizes. For the past year it has been performing as well as when it was new. It is a little scary to look inside and see all of the patches, but they breathe and they hold.


Sounds Good, Thanks!

actually have a duct tape piece already on a worn out spot just under the neck gasket. I don’t really care what it looks like as long as it doesn’t leak. I suspect a better and more thorough job from Kokatat. They can use pink patches for all I care, so long as the repair holds and there is no leakage. :slight_smile:


Check local gear repair shops, too
You might be able to find an authorized Gore-tex repair shop. We have one here in the Denver area (Stitchlines). When the time comes for mine, I’ll compare rates and turnaround times before sending to the manufacturer (which in this case is also in Colorado).

My Kokatat drytop that I no longer have came with some defects. I sent back to NRS who sent to Kokatat. SIX WEEKS LATER I got the top back, and the major defect was still there. Don’t know if it was the fault of NRS or Kokatat. I know they both generally have good service but I never want to wait again six weeks for a simple repair.

Mail order and repairs
I suspect that the long delay was due to the garment going from you, to NRS, to Kokatat, back to NRS and ultimately back to you. When dealing with a mail order company, insist on a replacement for defective merchandise. If they can’t or won’t replace it, go directly to the manufacturer for the repair, if possible. That saves a lot of shipping time and delays. It also improves communication between you an the people doing the repair, since it doesn’t have to pass through a third party.