I’ve pretty much decided on buying a Kokatat Dura drysuit…my only dilema is the size. According to the Kokatat web-site:
Large = Waist 36" to 38" height 5’ 10" to 6’ 2"
X-L = Waist 40" to 42" height 6’ to 6’ 4"
I’m 6’ 2", 190 lbs, waist is 34"…I’m wondering which one I should lean toward? Are the factory measurements accounting for wearing some warm clothing under the suit? The large seems to be the right dimensions but I don’t want to be walking around in “high waters” nor do I want to be swimming in the XL (40-42" waist!?..I’m gonna need to start drinking some beer!!)…
Any inputs from buyers out there?
I’ve pretty much decided on buying a Kokatat Dura drysuit…my only dilema is the size. According to the Kokatat web-site:
I think the height
is more important than the waist. I bet you’d get more freedom of movement from the XL.
I’m right in between their medium and large sizes, but feel more comfortable in large–I can twist and stretch better. Downside is that if your suit floods you’ll take in more water. The extra fabric doesn’t bother me.
Also, aren’t you from Fla? If you won’t be wearing a very thick layer under the suit, then L might be fine for you.
Given your height…
you’ll need the large.
I’m 6’,1.5" & 165 lbs. (I had a doc friend determine my exact dimensions for me as I wasn’t sure!)
I recently upgraded from non-breathable suit to a Kokatat Dura. Tried the medium but it was too hard to enter and standing straight up I was pushing the height factor. I started with the medium as I have a 33" waist and didn’t want a bunch of suit flappin’ about.
I exchanged the medium for a large and it is great. It’s not too bulky but allows plenty of room for base layers. ( I have to dress for 35F water and air temps often in the singles)
Where the large is slightly generous for my slight build, your structure should realise a perfect fit.
Also, most distributors of these high end suits are usually very good to work with in terms of exchange for fitment. I have to really thank NRS as I have definitely used their system to the 10th degree!
Good luck to ya.
Lol…I wish I were from Florida! I’m from Charlotte, NC…and our water is pretty darn cold right now (looking out at our ice covered pond right now as a matter of fact…) Last year I did a 5-day paddle down the Catawba River in March and the water flowing out of the reservoirs feeding the rivers was pretty darn cold. I wore a spring suit under my clothes, but I question how long I would have lasted if I had gotten stuck somewhere mid-river. We also did Lake Jocassee last year in January and there were some stretches of water that were “out in the middle” where again I feel a dry-suit was probably the safest way to go. Plus I’m hoping to expand my ocean kayaking a bit more down around Myrtle Beach…I never go out in anything but tame conditions (waves less than 2 feet) but in the winter I can’t even really do that. With a dry-suit I think I’ll greatly expand my paddling temperature range. I can do a paddle-float assisted re-entry and roll but without a dry-suit I don’t think I’d bet my life on that
I’ve been price-seeking on the net and pretty much everywhere I see $819 for the Dura…I figure it will be money well spent
Thanks for the help…any other people feel free to chime in with your size selection/fit experiences!
get the xl
i'm 5'11" 195# and am at the upper end for the large. i usually wear only midweight capilene and maybe a fleece vest underneath. i find that the large restricts me just a tiny bit when i really rotate using a wing. also noticed a tiny bit of restriction this past weekend using it with an outrigger canoe, reaching far forward for the catch. and don't worry about the waist- it's got a drawstring. you want it a bit loose anyway, so that it doesn't bind there and pull on your shoulders.
Go through a local outfitter if you can. or you can do it through outdoorplay.com and still get the thing for about 730 + the custom fee, (reflecting the aca discount). Maybe your local outfitter will match that price! (Best of all possible worlds for you, and still plenty of margin for them) If you are going to pay for a new, top of the line suit, and you have an unusual body type, then why not spend a tiny bit more and go whole hog, and get something that will be a joy every day you use it, (not to wish it on you but a tiny bit of extra around the waist will keep it that way). You may not even need to go full custom perhaps a small alteration will do. If the lower size has all the torso room you need but the legs are too short, you can just get them to add a bit to the legs, should be far less than a full custom! Inseam is crucial, especially cause you are ordering socks. Make sure the socks can accommodate your shoe size! Measure your foot with a thick wool socks and give them that length and girth, or size without pressing the brannock device (foot measuring thing). If I had done that I would have gotten a larger sock than they recommended. (They have two sizes). (begin rant)They are not sized proportionally for feet in thick socks (like a thick liner and expedition mountaineering socks). Not wide enough, I do not think that is great design aspect of what is a great suit. In the sock department, they are thinking too much about the ww market (very sexy, stuffing the feet into tiny places) and not enough about survival at sea, (dull, unthinkable, and the reason I buy a suit)(end rant)
Fax them all dimensions before they do any custom work. Save a copy of the fax or of the document that the fax was printed from. That way if there is a problem there are no big questions.
Make sure that the suit you buy can handle a layer of polartec 100, and a layer of 300 under it, with extra room for minor(waist) expansion!!! Shame to go to Alaska, (or Boston), and not have a suit for that really cold water :-( .
So get your measurements, ask kokatat, go join ACA, then call your vendor, (kindly let me know if you find a better price). Get a P.O number from them then go to kokatat with the PO number and those measurements and set it up yourself if you can. If not, have them copy you via e-mail or fax; get the dimensions straight!
If the extra money is a drag, just get the smaller one from someone with a good return policy who you want to buy from (tell them what you are doing first), put it on over maximum appropriate of insulation, put on a skirt, sit down with legs out front, and go through paddling motions. Stern rudder motions, rolling contortions! Not work? Reconsider the extra bucks or get the larger one.
BTW, Make sure you can burp a suit properly before you start to paddle with one!!! Inverted with 70 pounds of air in the feet and legs of your suit is no place to be! I believe scuba divers have died from this. I once was unable to get to my good rolling side because of too much air in my suit and went swimming in a lake! (How mortifying )
I hope we are still friends!
Kokatat Good - Take Clothing Change
On rivers, I have a couple dry bags with extra clothes. I'll admit, however, that I usually am in my Kokatat RAIN SUIT rather than my Kokatat dry suit. I'm usually on small, rather tame rivers. Watch it, though, they swell at ice out. I'm 5'10" 210 lbs. and wear XL.
Buy the best dry suit you can, which, in my opinion, is the Kokatat which breathes and has two zippers. The gaskets are a bit tight for me (thick neck, etc.), but I've hesitated to trim them. I wear this suit when VERY cold or when I am not sure how long it would take to break the shore ice to get to shore.
I DON'T DO LAKE CROSSINGS during winter, even with buddies along. Not worth the effort of trying to get back in my canoe or kayak (I don't have a "bomb-proof" roll). I'd rather be safer and shore paddle.
I like extra clothes, even in a drysuit. Could tear it, you know, or forget a zipper.
Wear clothes under your drysuit according to the air temperature if you are close to shore. Like I said, I don't do big crossings in cold weather or cold water (unless I have drysuit and the wind is blowing towards shore).
Just bought an XL
Just bought a used one after trying it on and was pleasantly surprised at the fit. I’m 6’4, 215lbs, 35"waist and had concerns that the suit would be too loose in the torso and not long enough for my height and 37 inch sleeve length. It fit perfectly with room for layering and was long enough for any contortions I could put it through. Wore it for 2 hours around the house when I got home ( I really like it ).
I think I would rather have it too large than too small. Like Peter said, burp the excess air out of it or you can end up swimming with a lot more bouyancy than you want.
Mine Kokatat Dura is an XL
I’m 6’0" 190#. Tired a L and darn near had to cut it off of me. I have wide shoulders and apparently a bigger chest than the L is built for. NRS has a sizing chart in their catalog that takes the chest measurement into consideration. I used the chart which directed me to the XL and have been very pleased. The suit is long in the rise but you will need that to get the neck gasket over your head. I had to cut 5 rings off of the neck gasket to fit a 18" neck. Don’t be afraid to cut the gaskets but go in small increments, as the last couple of cuts made a big change.
Mine will be XL as well
That was the answer I was looking for pm_river_rat. I am 6’ 210lbs with a 34 waist, wide shoulders and large chest. I was wondering what size to order and you have provided me with just what I needed. Thks
XL for same frame
I have your same dimmensions; 6"2’ & 190lb.
I bought the XL, and find that the leg, shoulder,
and arm lengths are just right. It does have
some extra room in the middle, and I have even worn
my PFD inside the suit once (when wearing very
thin insulation). I have found that the extra
room has one big advantage for me, I can pull the
front zipper opening low enough to relieve myself
without taking the suit off (no relief zipper necessary).
NRS sold me my drysuit
and I’m glad I called them to discuss sizing-I would have bought the wrong suit. My suit is actually a man’s suit-due to my height and small size they suggested this one and I’m glad I got it!
you need the room.
I am 5’ 10" 180 and fit well in the L. tho, I have to make sure I pull the wrist gaskets smooth and up to make sure I have freedom in reach. IMHO, I’m very close to XL. @ 6’2" you need the room.
I wear XL in my Kok drytop, paddle jac, Tech-tour, all patagonia fleece, T-shirts, etc.
Roomy’s better than tight.
Me = 6’2" 205lbs 36" inseam
I wear the XL. At 6’2" you are comfortably in the middle of the XL size range while you are at the very limit of the L. overall height and Leg inseam was the main driver for me.
Check out Stohlquist also
If their small drysuit is any indication, their suits run a bit closer-fitting than the Kokatats.
I bought mine directly from Stohlquist. They got the suit to me the day after I phoned them (but I live in the same state they are in) and said try it on and if it doesn’t fit, just send it back.
Hey good information…
PeterK…I’m curious…I went to the ACA site and signed up for a membership and it said they would be sending a “packet” in 4 weeks…I’d like to order my dry-suit this weekend if possible…so how can I get my ACA discount code to enter into the Outdoorplay.com web-site when I order my suit? Also…what do you guys think of the fleece liner they sell specifically for wearing under the dry-suit? I have both fleece pants and shirts already…is there any advantage to buying a once-piece?
Thanks for all the info…everyone has been most helpful!
Call outdoorplay and see if they
Can help. I’m sure they run into this thing all the time. Maybe the ACa can give you a temporary number?
One piece insulators are nice, you never have the small of you back exposed. Hard to fix with the suit on. The polartec 100 thing fron kokatat is not adequate for my Bostonian needs if used alone but would make a nice inner layer combined with the adf fron stohlquist I would be a temporary polar bear.
I do not own one not spending a lot on paddlin for a while. What do I use? A polartec 150 powerstretch bib with a zipper that runs fron chest to small of back, a polartec 100 or 300 top and silk as a wicking layer. Polartec 100 pants as well if things are really cold. Big thick wooly socks.
While I am here let me recommend a rapidstyle survival hood in your pocket year round. You never know when you might run into, (or even be) an underprepared paddler. It is nice because it protects the neck. That is layerable under a henderson hyperstretch wetsuit hood (perhaps a 3mm) with the bib cut off! Fit it tight cause it really stretches!
Definitly go with the larger size. Kokatat will do some alterations, but not everything, however it is still easier to live with some extra material than being cramped. Being 5’8 I would have really wanted a med, but with a 42" chest there was no way I could fit in it with anything thicker than a tee shirt.
I’ve been checking some of my back emails for the name of the company in Alaska, I think it’s Orca something. They had the dura suit for $699 and they would go through kokotat to get it altered correctly. It’s also less expensive to have the alterations done when first purchasing. the cost almost doubles after that. I’ll try to find the name and if I do, will email it to you.
Yes…I e-mailed outdoorplay.com and they responded back that the ACA discount would be no problem and to give them a call on Monday…although I also took that last hint by rstein and did a search and came up with the Orca Bay Trading Post:
They list the Dura w/ Gore-Tex socks & relief zipper for $699…a pretty competative price. Only thing is if something requires an exchange or something shipping to Valdez, Alaska might not be all that wise…hehe…I’ll probably stick with outdoorplay.com if their price is within $50 of the Orca Bay price…
Thanks again for all the tips…