How hard +/or costly is it to replace drysuit gaskets?

Do you think there are paddlers that use a diving dry suit for kayaking? Because I really do not want to buy two and I have God’s Pocket on my list to dive.

I have an older 5 and a 7 mil I used in Catalina but I can barely squeeze into them so I’m stuck for the fall-winter.

If I knew I could use the same one and it would be comfortable I’d probably pull the trigger.

The diving drysuits in the shop look pretty heavy duty AND expensive. Don’t know if these are great for paddling. I took my drysuit to the local shop because others have mentioned the shop’s experience with gasket replacements. Honestly, I have not worn a drysuit in over a decade. But, I found the gaskets of my Palm drysuit turned to mush in my closet. Figured that I replace these on the off chance that I might use the suit.

My Kokatat Goretex Meridian has been sitting in a storage bin in my shed for over 12 years. I had sent it to back Kokatat and had the gaskets replaced and the suit tested before putting it away. I checked the Kokatat early in spring. The neck gasket seemed mushy but still usable (maybe?).

The possibility of me donning a drysuit again is pretty remote (especially the Kokatat given how tight of a fit it is now for me). I much more prefer by wetsuits. I’m just too lazy to deal with posting and selling the drysuits.

PS. I normally switch to my 5/4 wetsuit sometime in late December to early March. I also have a 6/5/4 but I don’t use it anymore. I am just not up for surfing for 4-6 hours like I used to. My 5/4 works fine in keeping me warm for my usual 2-3 hour surf sessions these days.


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How would you compare exposure protection of a 5 mil to a dry suit? Is this information available anywhere?

Depends on water temps and your layering. Lots of past discussions, here is one back when I became more of a wetsuit than a drysuit user:


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I have a 5 mil wet suit I used for oyster diving in the winter and a Kokatat dry suit I use for kayaking. In the water the level of protection is pretty close, but I found the wet suit has several disadvantages. Full heavy wet suits are not really cut to offer the freedom of motion the a dry suit affords. Paddling for an extended length of time in a wet suit I found to be tiring and susceptible to chafing. That’s why people in milder conditions elect for farmer john style wetsuits. In addition, a wetsuit is designed to keep you warm once you are in the water. Out of the water you tend to get cold if not exerting yourself or taking a break on a beach and overheat when paddling hard. When oyster diving people were always anxious to get in the water because they were getting cold on deck. They were warmer in the water. A dry suit with the proper insulating layers is much easier to adapt to the current conditions.

Diving dry suits are designed to provide not only thermal protection with the proper insulating layers underneath, but buoyancy compensation as well. Most tend to be much more expensive than a kayaking dry suit, often $2,000 to $3,000+.


What size are you looking for, by chance? I have a 2009 or new drysuit that’s been sitting unused since I bought it. It’s an XL. I’ll check make/model/condition this evening. I know it’s an E-vent suit and I believe it’s a Kokatat. My former paddling buddy “retired” from the sport just as we were about to start winter paddling and I’ve never found anyone who was interested. Also, life in the way, motorcycle touring, etc.

Pittsburgh, PA

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Just know that the topic of what “immersion wear” to wear for cold water paddling is an ongoing discussion/debate here. I don’t there is absolute “right” or “wrong”, just a relative solution that is dependent on the specific paddler his/her skills, physical attributes and venues anticipated. Unfortunately, it’s a much tougher decision for newbies who don’t have enough time in the seat and paddle through enough in diverse conditions.

Here are some more threads that go into the pros and cons of drysuit vs wetsuits, vice versa:


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Tom, If you don’t find a direct buyer for the drysuit, you might consider consigning it to 3 Rivers Outdoors Company’s used gear department in Regent Square. They pay 50% cash on sale value or 60% store credit. I’ve rolled over more than $5000 worth of my old outdoor sports equipment and clothing, including excess kayaking gear, through them since they opened.

Or, if you decide to keep it, I’m in Pittsburgh too, and equipped for cold water paddling.

I think I need a M but I am not sure. Today I cut the arms off a nice Scubapro 3 mil because I have a lot of wetsuits. I think I might use it like a Farmer John and then get a dry top. I demo the boat on Monday a few hours away. The water is not bad now but our summer is short. The water was maybe 45F -55 F early this season.

I was looking for the Susan Conrad book to see her gear list and her commentary about what she wore up the inside passage. I think she wore a wetsuit Farmer John with a top but I can not recall.

Today I watched a few YTs on the topic and the shop has Kokakat so maybe I will try some pieces on. I just was trying to find out a little bit before I am around salespeople.

I think wetsuits will work for now, maybe till next season.

This is the boat I hope to buy (if I can get the VAT forms in time) Skims Braveheart.

I plan to use it in alpine lakes like I have my CD Solstice but I want to roll and edge and get more “wet.” I won’t be in a group but my husband will be around and probably not suitable dressed and looking the other way at his drone.

part of my anxiety about drysuits is I know I can climb back in the kayak in my wetsuit but I feel a drysuit would be too bulky.(for me)

My priority is getting back in the boat :wink:

Hi Tom,
Thanks. Not sure if you were asking me (OP) or MohaveFlyer, but I’m definitely not an XL.

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I’m asking anyone that’s interested! I have my eye on a decent electric bike that’s selling for a good price. I have a kayak listed, and I’ll list the drysuit soon, to help fund the purchase.

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Hi, Willowleaf!

I am a great fan of 3ROC! I’ve consigned tons of stuff there since our sons moved away. We were outfitted for hiking/cycle touring-camping/camping for all four of us. I’d love to say that I made tons of money with the consignment, but somehow it’s just turned into newer gear that my wife and I can use for the same exploits, as well as my motorcycle touring. I’d love to get out into the cold on the kayak again. Fond memories of a 20F paddle from Sewickley to Beaver, PA years and years ago. It was wonderful, and that was without my dry suit. Just lots of neoprene and staying in the boat.

I know what you mean about the consignments just turning into more stuff! I have only ever taken one small cash disbursement from 3ROC during these years of consigning. I do periodically “buy” something out of their stock to keep my credit balance too low (under $1000) to tempt me to buy another boat (I have an even dozen in the fleet now). It has also proven handy to have a credit line there for wedding, birthday and holiday gifts.

I figure it helps 3ROC’s bottom line to keep the cash flow from the used gear department in house for a while and I want them to survive. I am so grateful to have them here in Pittsburgh 5 minutes away from me after the departure of so many of our local wilderness sports indie outlets in the past 10 years.

Exactly everything you said. Right there with you. I’m down to two boats and hoping to get to one. Need a 17’ 2009 Perception Essence for your fleet? Tom

Nice boat, but an Essence 17 is a bit too big for me. Already paddling an '04 Perception Avatar 16 (one of the last composites Perception made and a perfect fit). You should have no trouble finding a new home for that one.

You might consider a used dry suit, I picked up my Goretex Kokatat as used about 10 years ago for $400 and replaced the torn neck gasket myself. It’s still serving me well.

They frequently turn up for good prices on Ebay. There is a British made Gill (3 layer breathable like Goretex, though not as great a warranty) listed right now for $280, that appears to be in very good shape in a men’s medium. I find British men’s sized gear tends to fit me better than standard US men’s sizes and even some US women’s size ranges (i am rather flat-hipped anyway). The post does provide measurements. Things may have changed but per my past experiences shipping used gear from the US to Europe I have not run into VAT hassles and postage was manageable.

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Today I found this brand Hiko (made in Prague) and they quoted me under 500. (Less the 19% VAT for Americans)

I tried one on but I was hungry so I couldn’t decide.

The guy that just did the 100 mile river trip told me he likes them because more comfortable at the neck and his never leaked even when he rolls. It was all one piece with feet. They are not made in China but in Czechia :czech_republic:.


Cool! Always better to be able to try on in person.

There seems to be a lot of good paddling gear coming out of Eastern Europe in recent years. i really like the 2-piece Greenland paddle I got this summer from EastPole in Estonia. I don’t know how Neris, a folding kayak maker in Ukraine , is doing since the war started.

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Diving dry suits are not optimal for flexibility and, depending on type, don’t do well with abrasion from paddling.

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