I have been in the archives all morning but I am still undecided on a brand. Ravenspring Rapide is around $565 US these days but didn’t mention a relief zipper. NRS has a nice looking drysuit for $450 but no relief zipper (they say they will have one with the zipper in the Spring but I don’t want to wait that long). Kokatat looks nice but expensive and Stohlquist looks impressive but again, quite expensive with the relief zipper. The Palm Stikine looks like a pretty good value if the durablity is there.

We paddle all winter and in the spring the water around here is around 32 degrees even when the air temperature hits 80.

Any suggestions?

I promise I’ll get off the boards after this post.

I myself am planning on gettng a DrySuit in the spring. 1st choice would be the Kokatat Meridian GMER but probably out of my $$$ range. Have been eyeing up and researching the Palm Stikine and it looks like the best deal $$$ out there for what you get. Seems to have lots of nice features and should be fairly breathable. Would be ideal if it had goretex socks. Will probably be my choice when the time comes unless I decide to just bite the bullett and spend the $$$ on the Kokatat…

tells me that their relief drysuit will be available this spring and will retail for around $527 I think, maybe $547 but will come with the booties, too. I may wind up waiting for that as I like the quality of their products.

Palm socks
are availible on the Stikine.


Used Kokotat?


Stohlquist also supposedly makes a decent drysuit.

I didn’t know socks we’re an option. Now I’m really leaning towards the Palm Stikine…

If you keep leaning…
it appears to be cheaper here:


Still more than the NRS which you can check out minus the relief zipper at:


Socks are a must

– Last Updated: Aug-27-04 9:17 PM EST –

nothing beats dry feet in fluffy socks and no ankle gasket pinch. Well a few things do, but....

I paddle with a lot of people who use stohlquist, kokatat, and ravenspring. They are all quite good. I am into laminates rather than coatings. Out of the dozen ravenspring-suited paddlers I know one went bad. Ravenspring served them quite well, just sent them a new one before the old one was in England.

I got a great price on a old-style kokatat polyester goretex suit and love it and it is very durable. The old ones were thick, the new ones are lighter and more breathable but being nylon and lighter much more subject to UV degradation and wear.

Just get the relief zipper and socks, whatever you get.

I have to agree with Peter
I consider a relief zipper and booties of some sort and mandatory. Yeah, you can live without them, but they really do make it much more enjoyable to use a dry suit. Wait if you have to or spend the extra bucks to get them.

One word about non-Gortex fabrics in dry suits. Check the warranty carefully! There are several good waterproof/breathable alternatives on the market, but there are also some that aren’t too durable. The advantages of buying “the real thing” are:

  • Gore sets the quality standards for the garment construction and their standards are VERY high.

  • Gore Tex has a lifetime warranty on the fabric, which is over and above the manufacturer’s warranty. Even if the manufacturers goes out of business, Gore will replace a defective Gore-Tex garment with a comparable one.

    I’m not trying to push Gore-Tex, just pointing out what you’re getting for the extra money you pay for it. If you find a reputable manufacturer who stands behind their products and who you feel will be around should you need them, by all means try one of the alternative fabrics. I’ve got garments made of alternative fabrics and they perform well.

I think you mentioned considering Ravenspring in a post I came across in the archive. If so, is Ravenspring Gore-Tex? I didn’t find where they mentioned what material they use on their website.

Go with the Kokatat
I know it is considerably more money, but many will agree that they are the best. I got mine last fall when REI had a 20% off any one item sale. Final cost $665.00, not much more money than some of the lesser brands.

just wanting to vote for booties/relief
the ankle pinch is a pain but worse is getting them off the feet after the feet swell a bit…do the right thing and get the booties/socks …i shipped a kokatat back for retrofit wishing i had it from the beginning…

relief zip gives you relief-can i say more

hood- had one retro’ed but it is easily removable via velcro, dont know if it is a good thing or not but is warm, but in a rolling situation it is a bucket to catch water unless it is really cinch down tight to the noggin

my .02

I’d rather have a neoprene hood.
I can get rid of it when it’s not needed, layer it, replace it with little expense. I like using henderson hyperstretch (not titanium) in 3 or 5 mm and a rapidstyle survival hood for somethat fairer weather when I might need light protection.

The hoods that come with straps from Patagonia, Mec and others, rub my chin raw after a couple of hours.

Ravenspring doesn’t use Gore-Tex
If they did, they wouldn’t be able to produce them as inexpensively. I know several people with Ravenspring suits and overall, they’re very happy with them. I have heard of one or two complaints about the fabric, but Ravenspring dealt with the issues rapidly and to the satisfaction of the customers. I’ve heard a lot of good things about their service.

Kokatat Wave (Short Sleeve) Drytop
Does anyone either know a party that is selling or outfitters that have the SHORT-SLEEVED Wave Drytop in stock as Kokatat has discontinued it?