Kokatat Whirlpool Dry Bibs


I’m considering purchasing one of the Kokatat Whirlpool dry bibs (Goretex, Tropos, urethane coated) to mate with my Kokatat TecTour anorak. I’m wondering if I could get some feedback from folks who have tried this type of system. Two things that concerm me are, 1. my TecTour anorak does not have a latex neck gasket, but rather a rubbery neoprene neck closure that stays in place with velcro–this will eventually leak, and, 2. I wonder how well the mating between the bibs and anorak keep out water.

Experiences would be appreciated. Thank you.

Ddry bibs
I have a pair of whirlpool dry bibs and they do create a waterproof seal. After I got them I floated around in them and they stayed dry. It is kind of hard the first time you roll them, and it does create a little bit of a bulge, but it doesn’t bother me much. You may want feedback from other OWNERS on how they feel about the bulge. You have to have 2 tunnels on your top, and yes, the neoprene will eventually leak. I used to use these with a Navarro top with a neoprene top and it worked well, but let a couple drips in every now and again if I rolled a couple times in succession. I now have a latex neck gasket on a Stohlquist top, but don’t think water is going to come rushing in if the neoprene is tight enough. DO NOT GET THE DRY PANTS. They only keep you legs dry and do not create a waste seal, no matter what the guy at REI may say.

for most not dry
Although some folks find a combination that stays dry most often, 25 years of watching folks balk at the understandable huge expense of dry suits, and hyper stretch neoprene methods of cold water immersion protection

KNOW that for most paddlers one cannot find a top and bottom that will alwasy stay dry and most leak quite allot. Remember, this can and is sometimes life and death when it leaks. The problem is usually in the swimming and re entry moves not just in the roll up.

The best results were with really high quality matchings like Kokatat Wave top and a really tight fitting over the bottoms. Even so beware. Being stubborn of course I listetned to no one and tried all these things before going beyond them.


I have Kokatat and Navarro Bibs.
And they do keep out water with a dry top as long as they are mated properly. Trouble with using it with an anorak or other non dry piece of gear is your legs will fill with water and you would need to cut your bibs if you went for a swim.

Don’t get the nylon ones…
as you will sweat like a Georgia chain gang in July. Better to get the Goretex with at least a zipper and preferably booties. The zipper saves you unimaginable contortions for the simple act of peeing. The booties are really nice as youget to load up or down for foot warmth.

I swam in flood stage class 3 rapid for 3/4ths of a mile or more and enabled about 8-10 ounces of water in with a full drytop. Usually when doing rockgarden rescues and so forth, nothing gets in. When I did take in water on the river, I noticed that my neoprene spraydeck tunnel wasn’t centered on the rolled up inner tunnels. I think that was why, so don’t get sloppy like I did.

Anyway, the anorak will allow some water in longer swims, but shorter swims not much if you have everything rolled tight and zipped. I prefer the versatility of the gore tex bibs and dry and semi dry tops. Add a piece a year and you will have excellent coverage.

Look out for specials this time of year. Oh, I heard a rumor Kokatat may be lowering the price on the full set up.


Augustus Dogmatycus


Some people find them acceptable for skirted activities. I canoe.

I used mine, with gaskets, and with a neoprene back support to help secure the mating, and it would still leak where it bridged my spine. It was good for a couple of light swims/rescues, better than a wetsuit, but, for me, definitely not “dry”. And a pain to get in and out of.

I think there’s others threads on this too.


Your lower body is inside the kayak anyways so breathability is limited. Also, I would guess that most people sweat more on their upper bodies while paddling than their lower body. Now I sweat a LOT and I have been fine using nylon Kokatat bibs (with goretex socks and relief zipper) paired with my breathable NRS Revolution dry top. This system has been 99% dry for me even swimming in freezing water (for fun) and over the course of 100-200 rolls every time I’m out on the water. You just need to be extra careful when mating the bibs and dry top and have a nice tight sprayskirt to hold everything in place.

Ugh! Nylon, no thanks…
they are sweat shops in name and deed. Say no to the '70’s era sauna suit. Never been so dry since I got rid of my nylon and embraced the textile revolution.


Augustus Dogmatycus


I have no problems with Nylon
maybe because the humidity arounsd Tahoe is low

if you say so…
Dogmatycus’ leg sweat > schizopak’s leg sweat

Probably true,
I tend now to operate on the principle of why spend 350 to get what you need when you can spend 550 to get what you want. Upgrading to Something down the road to what you want is more expensive in the long run. Over the years I’ve accumulated a functional system for Sea/Surf/WW, but a lot of mistakes were made. Most of them were when I tried to pinch some dollars on things, that in retrospect cost me more to replace.



Relative dryness?
I find that a spot in my low back cannot be kept fully dry, but this may vary from others’ experience. I also have velcro closure waist on my skirts which could contribute. My drytop is an excellent one, albeit Stohlquist rather than Kokatat.

There is a small hollow that opens up over my lumbar vertebrae as I twist around for sculls, rolls etc. Nothing short of maybe going to a tight neo skirt tunnel seems to protect that spot from being a point of entry for water, and I am not sure that would work for me either.

The OP never mentioned REI or nylon so where did other posters get them???

Yesterday 3 canoes paddled a class II run at near freezing temps in the rain. One in a drysuit, one in a wetsuit, and one in roll-together bibs & top (me).

Interestingly, the guy in the drysuit was the cold one, just because he wasn’t enough layers underneath.

We were fine in the other gear, but paddling more conservatively, because we were less interested in testing our protection.