Duluth Wear Union Suit under drysuit?

Has anyone tired the Duluth Wear Coldfoot Union Suit as an insulative layer under their drysuit?

This Duluth offering is appealing because it is currently on-sale. Several reviews indicate that the crotch hangs low, which would obviously be problematic under a drysuit.

On the positive side:

  • 8.2-oz. 88% polyester/12% spandex
  • Two-way front zipper
  • Back panel zipper
  • Foot stirrups

No relief zipper? Forget it.


No better have mine 10 years it’s great.

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Huh? It has two relief zippers as stated above and in the provided link.

Yeah the Kokatat looks nice, but is apparently lighter in weight (per square yard) and over twice the cost of the Duluth (on sale).

I don’t see why not, especially at the price. The 2-way front zipper is a relief zipper. I think the low crotch reviews won’t be an issue in a drysuit. The comments were directed at wearing them under jeans, and every drysuit I’ve ever worn has a much lower crotch than a pair of jeans. I say go for it.

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I like light fleece.

I don’t know of the Duluth suit but at 8.2oz fleece I fear I might be in my own sauna. I’ve been plenty happy with my Stohlquist Vapor Drysuit Liner. No zippers design. $139. I even know where there’s a stock of them. :grin:

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100 is 6 oz per square yard so I am guessing 200 a midweight fleece. Drysuit pants are droopy any way and what droops when standing does not when sitting
I have a 200 weight union suit and am happy with it.

I will answer my own question. I just took delivery on the subject union suit and it’s going back.
It might work for someone else that has a more oddly shaped body than I or is looking for a lightweight fleece.
Things I didn’t like:

  • Odd fit. It’s rather baggy and the cotch hangs at least 6" too low. Comment from wife: “You have to be much better endowed to wear that.”
  • Weight of the fleece. I wanted something a bit heavier. It’s definitely not a 200 weight, or 8.3 oz material, more like 100 weight.
  • I suspect the fabric will also be a Velcro magnet. That’s not a great feature for a garment to be worn under a drysuit.

Of course YMMV.

That’s why kokatat is in business. Usually you get what you pay for.

For really cold weather I find it takes two layers under a dry suit, the first something like thin polypropylene or capilene. Because the layer that warms you well is often going to be sweaty if it is closest to the skin. So the listed options under fleece.

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Too bad Mysterioso M-Tech didn’t make a one-piece.

Even more too bad is it seems they’re no longer in business.

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Agreed. I happen to have several Mysterioso pieces. One can pair the M-Tech LS top and tights, but I do prefer a onesie under my dry suit.

In the end I ordered an Immersion Research Thick Skin Union Suit. It is available in both women’s and men’s sizes. I already had their Thick Skin top which I purchased from Marshall at The River Connection several years ago. I really like IR’s Thick Skin fabric. My tolerance for cold water/air has decreased quite a bit as I have aged and I figure this will be the heaviest and warmest of my dry suit undergarments.

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Sorry, I missed your out-of-business comment. I appears you are correct. I last did business with Mysterioso in early 2017, but I can not longer find them online. That’s really too bad. At one time their clothing was available from a number of brick-and-mortar shops, but when I made my last purchase they were only selling directly from their website.

Update: I have since found that Mysterioso closed up shop on January 1, 2020. I have no clue as to why?

The one positive is that my Mysterioso wears like iron; I have a long sleeved top, pants, and even a pair of their socks. With a bit of layering under my drysuit I’ve no problem staying warm. Wish I could say the same about my hands. Still my weakest link.

BTW, it was your comment back in 2016 that led me to purchase it. Still appreciate that advice!


My trip yesterday was standard Under Armor black wicking layer, then Crewsaver fleece onesie, then Crewsaver Atacama dry suit. I had two pairs of SmartWool socks on. Coldest thing on me in 33 degrees was my hands. I was wearing Kast Steelhead gloves. I have used Duluth products before and have found them to be extremely well-made, but I have no experience with their union suit.

I really like my Immersion Research thick skin union suit, it has no zippers just a stretchy neck so nothing to jam or break.

I wear it with either a pile vest or jacket under my semi-dry suit and I am fine with swimming in 40 degree water.

– Andrew

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Hi Andrew, Since I already own an IR Thick Skin top I decided to purchased their Thick Skin Union suit back in December and give it a try. This union suit is comfortable and beautifully made. I also thought I would like the no-zipper design. Simply put, it didn’t work for me and I sent it back.

I’m not that big a guy: 5’ 9"; 140 pounds; 33 waist and trim athletic build. I believe that if I was 20 years younger it would have been perfect, but I’m now approaching my late-60s. It may work for many paddlers, but I found the IR union suit exhausting to don and take-off.

My two ‘old-school’ farmer john style fleece/pile union suits with their long entry/relief zippers are far easier for me to get in and out of. Regrettably this style of garment is no longer being made. I would recommend the IR garment to other paddlers with this qualification: if you buy one make sure to leave the manufacturer’s tags attached and try it on several times. I really disliked trying to ‘fight’ my head, shoulders and arms in and out of the comparatively small neck entry.

Of course YMMV.

Sure, what has worked for me may not work for others, so definitely people should try it before taking the tags off. I am the same height but a bit heavier and I haven’t had any trouble with getting it on, but my shoulder mobility is pretty good. It took me a minute to figure out how to put it on, but once I did, no issues, but that’s just me. There are plenty of other options with zippers if you prefer that style.

I find it more difficult to put on my semi drysuit as the neoprene neck requires me to bend my neck uncomfortably and I actually pulled a neck muscle putting it on a couple years ago.

I don’t see any way around that as I do not think a 2 piece suit is as dry in case of a wet exit out my surfski or canoe.

I am glad I did not get a latex neck. Since I don’t roll, do surf or heavy whitewater I decided that was overkill and I have had no issues with leakage.

– Andrew

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