Has anyone tried a Tropos Drysuit?

Hey I was shopping for a drysuit for the spring and saw that Kokatat has one made of Tropos now. I had a tropos drytop and liked it a lot…has anyone ever used a tropos drysuit. Is it actually durable and waterproof enough for the real cold water (I mainly kayak in prince william sound). Any input is appreciated



– Last Updated: Feb-07-06 1:24 PM EST –

I'm using one from kayak academy until mine comes in. I'm very impressed with the fabric quality and find that the only place I get quite a bit of moistire inside the suit is under my pfd. I've found that if you wear the right stuff under the suit you wont feel any dampness on your skin. The tropos socks are nice too. By the way, kokatat will build you anything in the tropos fabric, from a swift entry to a meridian with socks,pee zip or dropseat and skirt tunnel.

SuperNova Reviews on P.Net

– Last Updated: Feb-07-06 1:34 PM EST –

There are a couple of reviews of the SN suits in the Product Review section - check out the link to the left, then go to Kokatat SuperNova...
We've used ours for a full season, and are satisfied with them - they're comfortable to wear and haven't developed any problems. There is minimal leakage around the neoprene neck seal if you're in the water thrashing around, but not enough to bother me; I've also had a few drops leak thru the ends of the zippers, but a dab of lanolin seems to solve that. I'm looking for something that offers good thermal protection while re-entering the boat in the event of a capsize, and the SN suit certainly does that. The Tropos fabric does breathe well - I've worn it on hot days (our water is almost always cold), and had no problems with sweating within the suit. Can't say how it compares to Goretex re breathability, since I've never used a full Goretex suit.

SuperNova is semi dry suit
The Super Nova is a semi dry suit and as such functions well. We use ours as back-up for our Gore-Tex dry suits. Recently we’ve been using them because our dry suits are at Kokatat for some maintainence.

The SuperNova is what it is and very good at that. It is not truly a dry suit and is much lighter weight in all aspects than the Kokatat dry suits.

If one can afford to spend the money, the Kokatat Gore-Tex Expedition dry suit is hard to beat.

Tropos Meridian
I have this one as my SuperNova leaked too much around the neck - especially where hydralics were involved…

IMHO, the Tropos Meridian is the best of all worlds as it has the features of the high priced Meridian with relief zip, spray skirt section, booties, etc but also is slightly lighter thickness and was just over $600. Love it!!

Got mine in Yellow/Black.


To be fair to Kokatat, they are up front in telling you that troppos only has a 2 year return on defects problems.

What does this mean. If you understand that the polyurethane is not protected and will wear, and that the seams are exposed and will wear, OK.

IMO this means that it cannot be used as often and as hard as the Gore-tex suit. It will wear out faster, just how fast no one may know yet.

On the plus side, the fact that the material and seems are exposed allows you to Aquaseal them as a repair if and when get leaks.

I have the Super Nova and so far so good. However, I also the the Gore-tex model for big conditions and very frigid water.

Kokatat warns against use in frigid waters remember.

OP not talking about SuperNova
Kokatat warns about frigid water for their semi dry suits (supernova) but they have come out with full drysuits (gaskets, relief zipper, booties, etc.) with the Tropos material to reach a midlevel price point. It should be perfectly suitable for the coldest conditions and it’s a smart move on Kokatat’s part.

Durability of Tropos
I have an extra-large Tropos shell that I have had for probably three years now, which spends the majority of the year in the day hatch of my boat as an emergency cag. Also have the Super-Nova semi-dry suit, since last early fall, and a full Gore drysuit. (After I blew a neck gasket on my Gore suit two thirds of the way thru a vacation in Maine we grasped the value of a backup full suit.) I’ve used each suit in colder air temps, 30’s to mid-40’s with just above freezing water.

I feel that the Tropos material is a bit less warm than the heavier materila used in the full Gore suits once the wind starts blowing. But it’s pretty close between the two as long as I beef up the under layers enough, and the Tropos does seem to breathe decently. The shell has put up with a huge amount of abuse and still cleans up just fine.

The one consideration between the two is lifespan. Because the Gore suit has a lifetime warranty on the material, it’ll last a good long time and Kokatat will repair leaks etc under that warranty. Once the Tropos suit starts to wear I don’t have that kind of security. So in some respects it’ll be a shorter lived suit under heavy use. But it still beats the heck out of a soggy wetsuit.

Another option to check…
In the same category of garment would be the Stohlquist Body Pod. Very nicely tailored. Wore it for the first time in conditions yesterday and was very pleased. Nice punch through smooth skin neo neck gasket. Be worth putting on the “To Try” list whilst your shopping about.

See you on the water,