Just curious, when it comes time to replace my laytex neck gasket, can I have it replaced with a neoprene one for more comfort? thx for advise, I heard one of the members here works for them so maybe they can chime in?
Gasket replacement is normally done at local shops, not at Kokatat. You may want to check with your favorite loal shop.
Sea Kayaker Magazine had an article on how to do this yourself, if you are a bit handy. Not supposed to be that hard to replace them yourself.
A neoprene gasket won’t be as water tight as far as I know.
Neck gasket repair isn’t too hard but is a bit of a pain. I found wrists harder. After a few repairs I decided to send the suit in to Kokatat for testing and complete replacement.
George Gronsleth (sp?) at the Sea Kayak Academy sells a nice set of plastic forms/clamps for neck gasket replacement. You can make your own but it was worth it to me.
Anyone know why they don’t make silicon gaskets?
I would actually like to test a drysuit with neoprene during warm months to see how much water does leak through before I change it over. Wrist gaskets don’t bother me just the neck. I actually think when I was 15 lbs lighter the neck wasn’t so bad. Hmmmmm, guess i know the answer to that.
I have a drytop by NRS that uses their neoprene GlideSkin. It stays pretty dry. A few drips make it through, but not that many.
Yes you can
A neoprene gasket can be completely water tight, much more comfortable and very dependable. Drysuit manufacturers have tried many types of neoprene gaskets with mixed results. The gaskets I have made for myself and others works very well and might be an option if you want to try making them yourself. I’m not sure what else is out there as far a good neoprene gaskets but it seems like I remember reading about someone who is making and installing neoprene gaskets. Here is a link to a photo gallery of how to do it yourself if your interested.
I don’t think we have a local source for drysuit repair
and two years ago had the gaskets replaced by Kokatat.
It looks like that option is still open for folks lacking a full service local paddling shop.
I have worn drysuits (kayaking-kokotat) and diving (DUI) for years and have replaced all seals on both. It’s not complicated, but it is labor intensive. A properly trimmed seal is something that you can wear all day in comfort. There is a lot of confusion about trimming / stretching the seals.
Neoprene seals get stretched, latex seals get trimmed. There are guide lines molded into the latex seals. If you have a 17" neck, trim the seal to about 16" and try it for size.
One of my dive buddies saved the life of a diver that had not bothered to trim the neck seal of his new suit. He was choking and had to have the seal cut in order to let him breath.
There’s controversy, but no confusion
about trimming versus stretching latex. Most people should trim, because they won’t be patient enough to stretch today’s thicker gaskets. But some of us get very good results with stretching.
Some latex wrist gaskets may lack trim rings. Stohlquist said in their instructions not to trim the wrist gaskets. They stretched nicely after being over 20 oz plastic soda bottles for a while.
As for neoprene semi-dry gaskets, I have only one such set, on a Palm drytop, and they don’t yield much to stretch. They are double layer, and I’ve considered removing the outer layer, and just using neoprene cement to put a cuff on the edge of the remaining gasket. If I ruin it, I can put on latex gaskets.