I am looking to get a drysuit for kayaking. Mosty class I maybe class II. Do I need a drysuit with a tunnel or would I be ok without. Just looking for opinions, thanks.
Tunnel / Overskirt
A Drysuit or Drytop with an overskirt will mate with a good sprayskirt and will help keep water out of the boat. Doesn’t keep you any dryer but keeps the water from leaking into the boat between skirt and suit. Class I and II is not overly aggressive so I’m not sure it’s a big deal. Much more important in my opinion to have a top quality skirt. That’s the first line for keeping water out of the boat . . .
A tunnel will reduce the amount of water that enters your boat when you roll, or due to splash.
Without a tunnel a drysuit zipper tends to form a ridge in your skirt’s tunnel that allows some water in. You can reduce the amount of water that gets in by being careful about how you fold and arrange the zipper when you put your skirt on.
If you fold the zipper up, you can form a “U” shaped channel that allows all of the water that splashes on your upper chest to to drain inside your boat.
If you fold the zipper down all you get is a little area right were the zipper enters the skirt.
Bottom line, no a tunnel on your drysuit is not a necessity.
that is the question
OK, if that’s what he meant, “Yes.”
If you are using a neoprene sprayskirt then a Tunnel on the drysuit can add some dryness to your ride, provided you are taking lots of water over the deck or rolling frequently. I got rather fed up with the folding process of the drysuit Tunnel, overjacket, overskirt etc. and have been using a Stohlquist B-Pod without without Tunnel but with a neoprene sprayskirt for whitewater or just messing about with sea kayaks. Been very pleased with it in immersion of either me, boat or both.
There’s some on eBay! stores currently.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
missing summer paddling already. Pool sessions just aren’t the same thing.
Without any more parsing of your…
…question, my answer is: YES, you will want a ‘double tunnel’ and it is worth the extra $. If all you plan on doing is paddling flat water and don’t ever plan on getting wet, then you don’t need one, but you may not need a dry suit then either. Good luck.
I think a tunnel is a waste
It all depends on what you are doing.
I run class 2 or 3 rivers, and waves on the great lakes. My dry suit has a tunnel.
I would trade for a suit without a tunnel if I could. It adds weight, time to rig up, takes longer to dry, cost more money, and have a nominal effect on breathablitly.
These are all nomimal factors, but since I am not upside down much, I prefer no tunnel.
The tunnel is more time consuming…
but makes for a dryer ride inside your boat. I like my drysuit with tunnel, as I like to practice rolling and bracing, in both ww and flat/ocean kayaking.
How does drysuit mate with sprayskirt?
The references to folding process and being time-consuming make me think that I haven’t been using my drysuit overskirt as intended - I just tighten it over the sprayskirt tunnel with the velcro straps on the side of the overskirt- should I be folding them together somehow?