First Drysuit - how snug should it be?

I just received my first drysuit - a Stohlquist B-pod. Nobody local caries it so I had to order based on measurements. I tried it on in the living room and it’s a pretty snug fit. I tried it on over regular fitting jeans since I figured it would be similar to light-weight fleece and I have a hard time getting it passed my hips. I’m not a big guy at all and it seems I’d have a hard time getting this over some mid-weight fleece. In stretching the knees start to bind just a bit.

Question: Does this sound too tight? I’ve never used one before, but it seems to me it should fit similar to a gore-tex parka you’d use winter hiking - not real big, but with enough room to have insulation under it and still be able to move freely. Is that accurate?

The neoprene gasket is a little tight too. Not real uncomfortable, but might become so after I start generating some heat. I guess maybe I’ll have to order a larger size and see if that gives me the room while keeping the gasket snug enough but I’d like to know if I’m on track on the fit expectations.



Loose is good
You should be able to comfortably perform any movements in the suit: situps, squats, jumping jacks, lunges, hi-jump, pole vault, iron-man triathalon etc.

Need room for…

– Last Updated: Apr-04-06 11:11 PM EST –

a couple of layers anyway, and ability to move with that. The whole point of a drysuit is to extend your season, so you'll likely end up paddling into temps that will demand two layers under the drysuit. I look a little like the Michelin tire guy, but I can get a tight midweight layer as well as thicker polartec 200 top and bottom under my drysuit and still have enough fabric left to get my head thru the neck gasket.

My drysuit is particularly loose thru the torso for what people would assume I take, because I was (I think correctly) concerned that the women's sizing wouldn't give me the room I needed thru my shoulders. But it has never been a problem - just means I have to burp it with more care than if it fit tighter.

…in between sizes
I know what you mean. A size XL Kokatat floats way to big on me so bought a size L. It gives me enough room around to layer well, but my height makes it a little bit snug height-wise to be able to get my head back out of the neck gasket unless i first hike the suit up as high as it can go before trying it.

Good thing I got the relief zipper!!!


Thanks for the advice
I’m pretty sure it’s too small. I just tried it on with a tshirt and underwear and the inseam is right up there when I lift my knees up. No way I’d get 200 weight fleece under that. When I look at the sizing chart it looks like the next size up will be too big so I hope the gasket is still snug enough. Just have to wait and see. Thanks again!


Agree with the others…
you should experience no restriction in movement with layering under it if it fits right.

The neck gasket really does not need to be tight at all. I can burp the air from my suit with the tip of my pinky finger, and it does not leak in the slightest no matter how much I roll or swim. A lot of folks are paddling with tight neck gaskets in fear of trimming it to a proper level of comfort and functionality.

Thanks again everyone
I’ll be calling today to order the next size up.

And when it comes to wearing it.
A trick that so few companies seem to post is how to put the thing on. I find the best way with suits that have a diagonal front zipper is to put the non-zipper side arm in, then the neck, then the zipper-side arm. Reverse to get out of the suit. Much easier than doing both arms then the neck.

I like the Palm Stikine
for ease of getting into and out of the dry suit. I tried the diagonal suits and did not like putting them on because I had to cock my head which put a lot of strain on my neck.

I have the XL Kokatat GFER. All my dimensions qualify me for a L size, except my height, I’m 6’3". So I went with the XL. It fits great, and there is plenty of room for a lot of layers underneath should I want to paddle around Antarctica. I didn’t even have to trim any of the gaskets. I did stretch the neck a bit, it feels pretty snug but I can still breate and it’s not at all uncomfortable.


Well, I ordered
the next size up and should get it early next week. The neoprene gaskets are not trimable so I hope this next size up is not too big in the neck. The extra room in the rest will be nice though. It was funny trying to get the first bit of me out with next to no wiggle room. I too found that getting the zipper arm out first seemed to work best.