Mating dry top and dry pants

I need help on mating My Kokatat dry top with my NRS Freefall dry pants.

I have read the second post in this thread …

but it doesn’t make sense to me. I think of the “tunnel” as a space (like a tunnel)??? Both have a draw string fabric on the inside and velcro enclosures on the outside. That video is not clear.

Any tips?



With my drytop and drypants, the fabric on the inside will come up far beyond the waistband for the pants, and the inner fabric is far longer than the outer fabric on the dry top as well. I see on the Freefall drypants they show pictures with plenty of material rising above the waistband. So once on, fold down the outside velcro and band at the top of the pants, and fold up the outside velcro and band at the bottom of the jacket. You’re left with the inside fabric - and a good excess of it. Pull the inside material on the pants all the way up, and pull the inside material of the jacket all the way down.
Now position this excess material so that you can start out by overlapping the two just a bit, probably under and inch. Then carefully fold down one fold, the same width of the overlap, all the way around your back, trying to keep a nice smooth fold. Then carefully fold again. Then once more. You have to use some care and dexterity in this folding process. Clumsy impatient fumble-fingers will probably fail to create nice folds, and therefore, waterproofness. But like all things, take a little time and repetition at first, and you’ll develop the dexterity fairly quickly.
At this point, position the folds so that you can flip up the waistband of the pants over the series of folds, and secure it up snugly with your velcro waistband. I usually just fold down the top and snug it up as well, but you can still pull your skirt up underneath first if you choose. If that involves a lot of firm tugging, you may end up unraveling your fabric folds in the process, so I’d say just decide which seal is more important. Who cares if a bit of water seeps in between the skirt tunnel and the drytop, as long as you’re going to stay dry underneath your suit.
Hopefully that make sense.

I have used bib style dry pants when mating with dry tops. With a bib, the tunnel is on the outside of the pants and can be oriented with the open end downward. In that case, the tunnel on the dry top is pulled down over the bib tunnel also with the open end oriented downward. The tunnels are aligned at the open ends, and folded up together.

In the case of the Freefall dry pants, it appears that the tunnel is inside the waistband of the pants and will need to be oriented with the open end upwards and mating the two together might be a little trickier, but the process described by CapeFear should work. Simply pulling the pants tunnel up and the dry top tunnel down over it as shown in the video, without folding the two together, will not keep water out if you are fully immersed. The key to staying dry is to get three clean and even tight folds, and it may help to have someone help you out with the folds at your back the first few times. Once you get three clean folds, cover the folds with the neoprene waist band of the pants and cinch tight with the velcro to secure. Then either pull the outer portion of the dry top down over the pants waistband, or over a spray skirt tunnel as the case may be.

I always light some candles and play some romantic music to set the mood :#

Thanks, guys.

I finally got around to actually testing it (waited for warm weather).

It failed. The water didn’t come in fast, but during practicing two self rescues, the clothes under the dry top and pants got soaked.

I made the folds as tight as possible. The water came in the back, so perhaps I just couldn’t get the mating done as well behind me.

Get a dry suit! Problem solved.

@shiraz627 said:
Get a dry suit! Problem solved.


Two piece will never be like a one piece period.

PianoAl, the bib system is different from the typical top and bottom separates that you have. The bib outfits, as long as you have both top and bottom, can be rolled to be quite dry.

But the typical dry top and dry bottom separates like you have will never be really dry in a swim. You can layer them well, cinch up all the things that can be cinched or pulled in, and they will still leak in a swim.

The only time these typical “dry” separates is likely to be dry in a capsize is if you can roll. In that case, with a neo skirt, you are not in the water long enough for the seep to get going.

This is the value of Kokatat’s Icon dry suit You can wear them as separates when getting wet would be OK, or wear the top and bottom together and zipped to be dry. It also happened to resolve the issue of relief for may women who never cottoned to the drop seat (like me) and provided equitable choices for men as well. This is a good thing.

Two words: Duct Tape.