can someone give me a quick run down of pros and cons with concern to full dry suits vs. a good dry top with dry pants. and is the cost difference between the nrs and kokatat products indicative of quality. I may use these products a half a dozen times a year, cost is a concern if I can save some money, however safety is paramount.any help would be greatly appreciated,thank you!

dry top and pants leak. alot. compared with a good drysuit.


thank you, I appreciate your thoughts!

Listen to flatpick.
I would add that I strongly suggest gore-tex. The gore-tex drysuits really do breathe and are very comfortable. I also prefer built-in booties.

drytop and pants
I will disagree on the leaking a lot. If you take the time to roll it smoothly it does not leak AT ALL. Also with the spray skirt over it it will also make a better seal.

There are some options
for drysuits. The newest thing that seems to give the most bang for the buck is the Kokatat Semi-Dry suit. http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=2253&deptid=1174

With some patience and constant watching of the various retailer there are sometimes some great sales. I got my Kokatat Gore-Tex during a 25% off sale at www.outdoorplay.com

If you are willing go used or to take some risk, I have seen some deals on E-Bay.

semi dry suit
how good of an option do you think a “semi” dry suit would be for me considering that I do not know how to roll? Can you explain what they mean by “semi dry” ,if you know? Thank you for your help.

My understanding
is that it is called “semi-dry” because it uses neoprene for a neck seal instead of a latex neck gasket.

From the reports I have seen, the suit will leak a very small amount around the neoprene neck seal. If you are only in the water a short period of time, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Hopefully someone here with one of those suits can tell of their experience. One of our local group members just ordered one and maybe will be able to give us his review next week.

semi dry
I look forward to his review of the semi dry suit,if the neck is the only difference it may be a reasonable trade off keeping in mind the protected water paddling I would be doing during the cold season. how was lake geneva?

Have both Kokatats
I have both the full Expedition Gore-Tex dry suit and the Super Nova semi.

There are many differences. In addition to those already mentioned, the zippers in the dry suit are heavier duty.

I bought my Super Nova as back-up for my dry suit should a gasket blow. I’ve worn the Super Nova in warmer weather and water. It does leak a bit if you are under water. I found each roll let in a little bit of water.

The booties on both are a must. I’ve got a pair of Stohlquist dry pants and the ankle gaskets are a real pain.

If one can swing a Kokatat expedition dry suit, there is nothing better. If it is a reach too far, the Super Nova is a very good deal.

What’s your risk level
I just recently purchased a Kokatat GFER because of It’s quality and life time gaurantee. I did not want to spend anymore more money than I absolutely had to. I do most of my paddling on Lake Superior and the spring water temperatures are very cold and I enjoy rough conditions so I could not risk my life with anything less. I will probably only use mine a dozen times a year but I know it will do what I need it to do, when I need it.

SuperNova Semi-Dry Experience
We have two of these suits, bought this past spring, and like 'em just fine so far. Did a review of the SN suit for p.net - check it out thru the Product Review link on the left.

The term “semi-dry” is used…

– Last Updated: Oct-10-05 3:11 PM EST –

...so they can tell people who complain about leaks that they never claimed it was a dry suit. I say that only half in jest.

One important point about the neck seals; neoprene neck seals are not meant to be trimmed to fit. Either it fits or it doesn't. Latex can be trimmed as necessary. For people with relatively large necks, there's no alternative to latex seals.

Additionally, latex seals are pretty easy to replace when necessary (I'll be doing two or three more soon). I would assume that any problem with a neoprene seal would require sending the suit back to the manufacturer.