kokatat dry suit

I’m looking to purchase a Kokatat dry suit from the local paddle shop. I’m about to demo a XXL Gore-tex suit, I have a Pyrex bowl stuffed in the neck gasket right to pre-size (as per the shop’s advice).

I’m 6’-3", 215lbs, 36" inseam 36"-37" arms so I think I’m right in between the XL-XXL sizing criteria on the Kokatat sizing chart. I tried on an XL this summer and felted constricted but mostly because of a tight neck gasket. Any insights on what size to go with?

Also, what do you wear under a dry suit?


I’n 6’2", 185, 33 inseam. and use an XL with no problem at all with any tightness.

What to wear under it? Anything you want but no cotton. Try to use wicking things and polortec types. You have to experiment with outside temperatures, water temp and your ability to be warm and not overheat when paddling.

Watch overstretching that gasket
Often people new to dry suits don’t take enough time to get used to the feeling of a latex gasket and oversize it or cut it so loose that they later regret it. This is a recoverable mistake but it’ll still cost you 100 bucks.

Kokatat’s sizing charts are pretty accurate, and assume one medium weight layer underneath. As to what that layer is, the same stuff you’d wear under a GoreTex shell and/or pants for activities like snowshoeing. Polypro, wicking fleece, coolmax are common ones. Obviously a warmer layer for cold weather and a lighter weight one for warmer stuff. But each person tends to find a slightly different combination of layers works best for them. Experiment a bit and you’ll figure it out.

Neck gasket

– Last Updated: Nov-24-11 10:53 AM EST –

When time came to replace a neck gasket on my dry top (not Kokatat) I bought a Kokatat-sized replacement gasket from the Kayak Academy. I am size-wize b/w the two available neck gasket sizes and I got the "larger" size. Despite my neck circumference being at the lower edge of the large gasket (meaning it was supposed to be very relaxed), the reality was that it was so tight I could not tollerate it! Had to cut it to make it lose enough to not make me red in the face (and it is not a matter of preference - it was simply constricting the blood-flow visibly and unnecesarily). No amount of stretching helped (I tried) so it had to be trimmed-down. 6 months later it still feels good, so it has not really stretched much with use, but I'd still start with a little trimming (leaving it a bit tight) and see how it feels after a couple of weeks of use, then trim again if needed. That is what I did for my ankle gaskets on NRS dry pants - I had to cut them 2-3 times progressively more as they apparently do not want to stretch at all, even after almost 3 years of winter use...

So, my conclusion based on this 1 experience is that the Kokatat neck gaskets sizing is *not* accurate and tends to run tight -;) Of course, as far as I know, the Kayak Academy makes their own gaskets so it may just be their way of sizing and material that caused that and Kokatat's original might be all right...

I am 6'4" at 185lb and due to the length of my limbs must get into the largest sized drywear. So, they are baggy on me but may feel well on you. Test with your arms fully extended forward and cross them infront of your chest as if hugging something. That would stretch so that you can feel if there is any pull on the back or at your wrists. If you feel a pull, go the next size-up as you would be constrained in motion range otherwise.

As to what to wear under, in freezing temps I usually wear 2 relatively thin fuzzy layers plus a wool sweather. For my usual few hours at a time outings this works well, so really there is not that much added thickness from my layers ...

I've heard about custom-sized Kokatats and for me that would probably be an ideal option as I am tall but thin. But I don't have that luxury, so I went with an off-the shelf NRS eVent and so far-so good. And the neck gasket is ages more comfortable without cutting and still waterproof, so there are definitely differences b/w neck gaskets and brands...

Trim the neck gasket a little at a time
till you no longer feel strangled! I refused to do this thinking stretching the gaskets would work. It does not! Then when putting on my suit one day a gasket tore so i proceeded to trim the gasket back so it was even. Thinking it was not tight enough to seal I swam in the local lake to see how much it would leak. Much to my surprise it did not leak at all. So I then trimmed all the gaskets a small amount and they feel MUCH better and no leaks! I wish i would have done this a long time ago. i know some think trimming gaskets is a big no no but it worked for me as stretching never did.

I always trim my neck gasket. It does not need to be tight, it just needs to make contact with your skin. No need to be uncomfortable in your drysuit.

Kokatat sizing
The people at the kokotat factory are a lot of help. I was not happy with the standard size suit and they custom made one for me. There was an extra charge,but well worth the result.

Trim your latex seals.

The XL is the one to try
I’m 6’2", similar weight, and I’m in an XL with plenty of room. My ams and inseam aren’t quite as long as yours but I know my XL has leftover room there if I needed it.

Custom Kokatat dry suit
I just bought a Kokatat Drysuit. Kayak Academy had the best customer service and has sent me a loaner until the custom one is finished (10 weeks).

I am a short fat woman so sizing is difficult. Kayak Academy is very good about working with different dimensions.

Only thing left is to find polartec pant base layer in a fat women’s size, still searching.

Kokatat has some new colors for 2012. You can see them if you google Kokatat 2012 workbook.

My custom drysuit, front entry (SOT), will be lichen & plum.

Have been reading all the drysuit threads on paddling forums for years! This is a MAJOR purchase. Very expensive and needing care.

Me too
I’m 6’3", 185#. I use an XL Kokatat and it fits just fine, with extra room for more pounds. The neck took time to get used to. I should have cut a ring off, rather than suffering the first 2 or 3 times I wore it. I use an auto window washer fluid jug for stretching the gaskets.