quick question. kokatat super nova semi dry, or nrs extreme relief? using for protected paddling close to shore, mainly for safety in the unlikely event of an unexpected swim. anyone have an opinion? I’m familiar with the features of each, just haven’t had the chance to try either.

thank you.

I have an NRS on the way sans relief because I don’t have the extra $100 to spend right now and my trips are like 3 hours max. Everyone I have talked to really liked the value of the new NRS extreme. I’ve heard the material is super durable yet breathable. It’s also one of the nicest (least tacky) looking drysuit I’ve seen. I’ll post a review when mine arrives, should be next Wednesday.

For Close to shore

– Last Updated: Dec-30-05 10:24 PM EST –

The Nova maybe okay, but the Extreme Relief is Better.

Get the Extreme Relief. It is more immersion proof and a more versatile, all-round piece of paddling gear.


Check out the Palm Torrent—full dry suit with booties and relief zip, breathable as well—$489 on sale here:


With the front zipper on the extreme
do you really need to spend the extra money for the relief zipper? I do not have the relief zipper and find that I am not missing it at all. I do love the suit.

So can you urinate without the relief zipper? I just ordered it without the zipper.

OP Asked about Extreme Relief
Not the Extreme, so I assumed they are looking at the bootie/Relief Zip suit.

Personally, I think the booties and pee zip are worth the extra bucks. Ankle gaskets are a PITA IMO and not having to undo the entry zip to pee is a real nice.

What I like about my bootie equipped suit is that I can put on all of my insulation layers and then put on the suit. When I looked at ankle gasket suits, I had to put them on in basically barefeet to get the feet through the ankle gaskets. Getting the ankle gaskets off around my ankles was difficult. With booties, my foot slips in and out. There are somethings in life that are worth the $. This is one of those times.


both of the extremes come standard with socks now. So now you just have to choose if you need or want the relief zipper. I’m hoping I can just use the front entry zipper.

Must be new for this year as a few months ago, when I looked at them, Extreme didn’t have socks. The booties make this suit a real nice buy now. The quality of the NRS suit(s) is very good.

As far as pee zip, I think you’ll be alright without it. You’ll just have to shed your PFD and skirt to pee.


It comes at a price.

If your suit is large, I’m sure you will be able to pee out of the entrance zipper (though you may have to work on trajectory techniques and build up a good psi level.) Every time you have to go, the pfd will have to come off, the skirt will have to come off, and you will cause more wear on the big zipper. You will not be able to go while you’re in the boat. One of the best skills I’ve discovered is being able to go while in the boat. VERY convenient, sometimes necessary.

You may be tempted to skimp on fluid intake because of the inconvenience.

relief zipper
I have a relief zipper on my dry suit but I don’t really use it. If I have to pee I pull the suit down anyway… If its an expensive option I would say don’t spend the extra money.


price difference
Like I said, the price difference for the zipper is a little over $100. That seems expensive for a zipper. I would buy it if going on long expeditions but for just short trips, less than 3 hours I don’t think it’s worth it.

I spent(wasted) big bucks on kokatat goredura with relief zip and hood and booties. I hate the tightness of gaskets on neck and wrists and quit winter paddling and prefer kayakpro ex machine or wlaking or hiking. If you swim with relief zip open- you are dead.

Dave this is a good point
Dave I must admit it is a serious and potentially lethal event to be in a dry suit and have it become not dry. Wet suits have their problems but it is try the a open relief zipper could be so so dangerous. Rips in gaskets, a zipper that cannot be closed etc.

We all make priorities and set our own risks, but the issue of “risk creep”, initially being clear and careful and over time lulled into a false security by an absence of negative events is always a problem for more advanced paddlers. It is a good thing you mention this here, imo.

New Option - Tropos Meridian
I have a Kokatat Goretex suit that had no relief zip or booties. It was very difficult to get the ankle gaskets off at the end of the day so because of that and no relief zip - I sold the suit.

Bought the SuperNova. Booties + Relief Zip - very nice…until I went inverted then leaned back to do a back deck roll. The water shot down the front of my suit…ugh…no way!! Sold that suit too as 40 degree water is not fun. Took it into surf…came out with Frankenstein feet due to hydraulics and that leaky neck even with the velcro pulled tight.

Enter the NEW Tropos Meridian suit. Neck gasket so no leaks, relief zipper and booties so all the creature comforts. Price? $150 more than the the Supernova and $225 less than an GFER Goretex suit. Nice option. Not to mention it has the section around the waist that you can tuck the sprayskirt under to help keep your boat inside dry.

Try it…you’ll like it!!


i am puzzled, is there a troppos one?
Where is the troppos meridian advertised. is it not on the Kokatat web site yet? The only two Meridians I saw were the gore tex one and the nylon urethane backed one.


Would not want to be screwing around
with any zipper in the kayak anyway. Easiest thing to do is wear a condom catheter and a leg bag. Get them at a medical supply company or find a friend who is a nurse.

NRS with Relief
I’d go for the NRS because it’s a Dry Suit rather than a semi dry suit. Latex gaskets, foot socks and a metal entry zipper all will keep you warm and dry when the semi won’t.

Unless your budget is realy tight or your anatomy is very different than mine you will be quite happy to have the relief zipper. Without the zipper you will need to get out of your pfd, skirt and top half of the suit to go. With the zipper you just have to unzip and go.

I don’t know anybody who is sorry they got the relief zipper and a few folks who replaced a suit early so that they could get one.


Will you be my friend, Chuck?

“quit winter paddling”???
I don’t understand that. What are you saying? Surely you don’t go all winter without paddling! Is that even possible???