drytop fit.

i wear a drysuit reasonably comfortably for almost 6 months a year–i’ve gotten used to the neck gaskets and the mild struggle of getting it on and off.

this year i pledged to wear a drytop during the “shoulder” months to avoid the hassle and heat of the full suit. so, like a lot of people, i bought one of many closeout drytops availble online this offseason.

here’s my question:

how the hell do you get these things on and off?

i nearly suffocated trying to get my first one (which was a touch too small)–i was reaching for my knife before my wife came home and helped me out. the second one which has a looser fit is also incredibly hard to get on and even more difficult to get off without help. once on, it’s relatively comfortable.

but as a fairly fit, flexible, and trim individual, should a drytop be this difficult to take off?

What have you done about the gaskets?
Have you trimmed them or stretched them? I stretch them using 20 0z plastic soda bottles for the wrists, and 2 or 3 liter plastic soda bottles for the neck. Some people swear by trimming, but I have gotten five years on a stretched neck gasket.

Anyway, if the gaskets have been relieved by stretching or trimming, then you should have no problem. You may need to insert a finger into the neck gasket while lifting it over your chin and nose.

corn starch
or baby powder will help. Use it liberally. You can also cut the sleeves off an old windbreaker to stick your hands in. They’ll go through the cuffs more easily.

it’s not the gaskets…
it’s the tunnel (or should i say tunnels).

it’s really hard to get off without help – or suffocating inside the suit once you get your head under the neck gasket.

I also
bought a drytop on sale - great bargain and very well made. The gaskets were not the problem - it WAS the tunnel. I was ready to call 911 when my sister stopped by and it was STILL an effort to drag and peel me out of it! (She thought it was hilarious!) I returned it. I usually paddle alone and there’s no way I could cope with getting out of it by myself!

that’s it

– Last Updated: Jul-22-06 12:18 AM EST –

so, is that just how they're supposed to be?

Yup, most of them are like that
There are a few dry tops on the market that have Velcro waist closures that open up enough to make them easy to get on and off. Bomber Gear and Stohlquist make them, and other brands probably do, too. I’ll never buy another dry top without Velcro at the waist!

BTW, I’ve found that the best compliment to a dry suit is a short-sleeve dry top. It’s perfect for use in warm spring/summer/fall weather. The short sleeves provide cooling, but it keeps your torso warm and dry.

Once more with feeling…
…I remembered how a girl friend used to take

her bra off without taking off her blouse.

It takes a bit of practice, but it works for me.

Grab the right wrist gasket with your left hand.

Pull your right hand up out of the gasket and

wriggle your right arm out of the sleeve.

This is the hard part. And it takes a little

practice, but trust me, you won’t dislocate your

shoulder or elbow doing it.

Now you look like a one armed person wearing a

dry top. If you are familiar with the old

joke, “How does a one armed man count change,”

this is the time to do it.

Stick your right hand out of the botton of your

dry top and lift the right side of your dry top

so that the right side of the top is on top of

your shoulder. Grab the left wrist gasket in

your right hand and from here it’s pretty simple.

CAVEAT: Don’t let anyone stand behind you while

doing this. If your friends are like mine,

you’re likely to get a wedgie or depantsed while

you can’t defend yourself.