Kokatat SuperNova

I guess I know the answer to this question, but how dry is a Kokatat SuperNova suit? (Like Scully and Mulder, I want to believe.) Those of you who have owned or worn one, how wet or dry are we talking about if you roll or were to find yourself in the water in an emergency swim? I like the idea of the neck, but don’t like the idea of the neck. If you know what I mean.

Fairly wet for me
Much drier for a friend of ours. If you have a chicken neck like me and are sculling or spend any amount of time splashing around, that neo neck isn’t much against water. Thicker necks do better.

I should add then
my neck has never been described as a chicken neck. Elephant leg neck, maybe.

My experience
has been that it is dry and lets very, very little water through, but I have a football player neck and that was the huge draw to this suit. However…after four years of use the seam tape began falling off. I have been trying to keep up with the Aqua Seal, but I would have to say, this is not a long life product. But it is comfortable. I would like a higher quality suit with the same neck gasket PLEASE. The Tropos fabric has been fine, just the seam tape falling off.

How about Gore-Tex suit w new neo neck
First will say that the Supernova is “dry enough” for safety but the skinier the neck, the more it lets in.

For the person interested in the same style suit but made out of Gore-Tex, it is now available and Kokatat started shipping it out Jan 15. It is not on the Kokatat website yet as they are in the process of updating it.

Check in at your local paddling shop for more info.


Like all else “it depends"
I am 6’, 185 pounds and wear shirts with a 16” collar. My Super Nova is a large. It is my back-up suit to my Kokatat Expedition suit. The collar lets in a noticeable amount of water when rolling or sculling. I would not be comfortable swimming in my Super Nova. It is better than not, but not as good as a true dry suit.

Those with larger necks find the collar of their Super Novas more effective in keeping them dry.

Good to know!

Mixed Review Here
We have two SuperNova suits, both purchased at the same time. In general, they’ve been decent gear, and we haven’t had any real complaints about the neo neck seal’s ability to keep water out for our purposes. We don’t roll, but do test the suits occasionally by swimming - yes, the seals do leak a little, but it’s in the order of spoonfuls over 15-30 minutes in the water.

Mine has had problems. The neck seal was replaced by Kokatat free of charge, since it had started shedding dime-sized chunks of neoprene about a year into the two-year warranty. Mine is also showing signs of delamination of the white inner liner - no leaks yet, but little puffs of white snow-like material come out whenever the suit has been stored for a while, and diving friends tell me that’s the beginning of the end. The booties leak along the stitched seams - should Aquaseal ‘em, but I’ve since picked up two Reed ChillCheater suits which I like much better, so the SN is now relegated to “spare spare” status.

On the other hand, my wife’s SN has needed only one repair - a blown wrist gasket - which I did with no problem. Otherwise, her suit has been trouble-free, and she’d still be using it if she hadn’t hit a peach of a deal on a Stohlquist B-Pod which she likes far better.

The SN is what it is - a decently priced item of gear which does the job, but has its limitations. They were certainly a major improvement over the farmer john wetsuits they replaced, but both the ChillCheater and the B-Pod are tougher, more capable and more comfortable. If you look around, you may be able to either for not a lot more than you’d pay for a new SN. (Chris’ B-Pod cost about $150 LESS on a super-sale than her SN did…)

Hi Suz,

Are the new neoprene gaskets compatible with the old Gore Tex suits?

Thanks, Nate

I have a Palm dry suit with a similar neoprene gasket for the neck. If I have it seated right on my neck, it is basically dry (even in rolling or when getting maytagged in surf). if not seated right, it lets a tea spoon or so of water in per roll. I suspect the Kokatat would be similar.

Another issue
I have a thick neck and the gasket works well, letting in just a bit with repeated rolls. On the other hand, I don’t find the material to be particularly breathable and body moisture accumulates. I’ve had the same issue with other brands and materials, but this places a little below average.

Thanks for the replies
I’m still on the fence. But it’s not for lack of good advice. Thanks.

As for breathability of the materials available from Kokatat:

Gore-Tex - Paclite - most breathable but sacrifices a bit of durability as it is not a 3 layer (not used in drysuits or paddling suits)

Gore- Tex - Performance shell - less breathable than PacLite but more durable. (used in drytops and the new light weight paddling suit)

Gore-Tex - Evolution 3.21- used in drysuits and more durable than above but loses a bit of the breathability.

T3 - Less expensive product, 3 layer, less durable and breathable than Evolution. Used in drysuits and pants.

Tropos - 2 layer product and less durable and breathable than T3 but less expensive also. Used in drytops/jackets and Supernova.

The Tropos is most breathable when used in winter months rather than “cusp season” paddling. It can be overwhelmed when used in warm air environments.

The Gore-Tex is a superior product and is backed by a lifetime warranty. The T3 and Tropos have a 2 year warranty.

Do your own cost benefit analysis of what product works best for you.

Also - for 2011, the neck on the Supernova has been changed to a Neo-Cinch Collar. It is no longer the neo with the velcro flap.

Hope this info helps.

neo neck
I have a Palm drytop and Kokatat short sleeve gortex with neo neck. The Palm doesn’t let in much water. If I roll 10 times it might be wet on my shirt but less than heavy sweating can cause. The Kokatat neo neck lets in more water. It is also more comfortable. I don’t know if it is the same one as the SuperNova?

My full dry suit is a Stohlquist Gpod with tunnel. The latex neck is completely waterproof and comfortable. You trim it down to fit. The Stohlquist also breaths really well with tough fabric. I have had a pair of Stohlquist pants with the same fabric for 3 years and I can feel the wind though them if I’m just wearing shorts. Same breathable fabric in the socks. Lifetime warranty with great customer service and very reasonable rates for repairs out of warranty. I also like the TiZip.

Some seepage around the neck probably won’t matter unless you have an extended swim. So I guess it’s what is more comfortable for each person.

Old APT vs New Neo Cinch Collar

– Last Updated: Feb-25-11 8:04 AM EST –

"I have a Palm drytop and Kokatat short sleeve gortex with neo neck. The Palm doesn't let in much water. If I roll 10 times it might be wet on my shirt but less than heavy sweating can cause. The Kokatat neo neck lets in more water. It is also more comfortable. I don't know if it is the same one as the SuperNova?"

The neck on your Kokatat (Knappster - my favorite top!!) was the same neck that was on the Supernova up until Jan 15. The new collar is different and is "cinchable"and has a cord lock.

The neck of a Knappster or a Supernova would let more water in than a drystop of any brand. They are "paddling tops" rather than drytops...

The Kokatat short sleeve Knapster has been great. As you said some water gets in but I also use mine a lot and it hasn’t been an issue for rolling, surfing, etc. Before I got my dry suit, I even used it in the winter to avoid the extra bulk around the waist. I just got the full dry suit so I’m sure it will be just the dry suit or the short sleeve.

As you mentioned in a previous post the gortex light is only one layer, breaths well but not as durable. I’ve had mine almost 3 years and still holding up well.