More drysuit questions

Just purchased a 2010 Kokatat Meridian on clearance. Bought it online so I didn’t get a chance to try it on. It’s an XL and I am 210, 6 foot. The XL seems a little big on me. The waist is actually fine, but the legs, chest and arms seem a little baggy. (I tried it on ower a sweatshirt and a thin pair of flannel pants). How big is too big?

I’ve been looking at the McNett products. There seems to be two relevant products. Zip Tech and Zip Care. The first appears to be just lube, the second is cleaning and lube? How frequently do you use either/both of these? How frequently do you use 303 on the gaskets? It will probably be 4 weeks or so before I actually get out and use the suit.


Big is better
than too small. I’m 6’ and 195 lbs and use an XL GMER Kokatat dry suit.

you’re all set
I’m 6’0, 180#, and I just fit in a GMER size Large. I might add an inch or two to the sleeves next time I order a suit. In my opinion you would not fit in a size Large if you’re 6’, 210.

I think you have the right size

– Last Updated: Feb-13-12 4:14 PM EST –

I suspect that the large size would limit your arm and shoulder movement.

With Latex gaskets if you thoroughly burp the air out of the suit it will tend to cling to you better. To do this, you might have to actually get into the water and squat down so that the water compresses the suit and expels most of the air.

Use as needed

– Last Updated: Feb-13-12 11:56 AM EST –

I didn't see a profile and that matters to the question of maintenance. You should do a good job of lubing the zippers before your first use - they tend to arrive a little dry to move freely.

After that, it depends on where you paddle. Salt water or sand will require that you rinse and relube the zippers quite frequently - after each use is not excessive. You will have a longer time between needed cleanings in fresh water.

303 depends on how much UV the gasket is exposed to. Store the suit away from light and heat sources. But most importantly, get some baking soda or unscented talcum powder and use it religiously just before and after each use. It'll take up skin oils that would otherwise shorten the life of the gasket.

I say you are fine
I am 5’ 10" and about 185 pounds. I have a Gmer L and it fits me a bit tight at the waist when I wear a fleece jacket. The pants are just a tad long but fine. If my weight was 170-175 It would be about a perfect fit. At 210 I do not think it would fit you.

relief zipper can kill you
I am often in a hurry and running late becuase of stuff to do after paddling,etc. I went for a nice ride on the st lawrence in winter. maybe the water and air were 35 degrees.There were a few nice small pieces of ice floating down. Then at home I took off the suit and the relief zipper was all the way open. IF YOU SWIM WITH THAT ZIPPER OPEN, IT MIGHT BE YOUR LAST

But had you burped it …
… you’d have probably realized it

I try to ask at the put in about people checking their p-zips


– Last Updated: Feb-13-12 9:11 PM EST –

I'm an inch taller at the same weight and have been wearing an XL Meridian for some years. I think you just need to get used to it.
They don't fit like a flight suit, and you do want some room for layering underneath. Once you get the air out of the suit, it seems smaller too.

I use the zipper lube a couple times a season. Come to think of it, thanks for reminding me.

talc OK but baking soda???

I have heard you and others suggest the use of talcum powder but here you suggest baking soda. This is the first I have heard of that usage.

I suspect you may have meant corn starch which is sometimes recommended instead of talcum powder.

Either way, I personally never use talc as I just find it is messy and I don’t want it on me.

I 303 my gaskets and keep them clean. When rinsing my suit, I rinse the gaskets to get my body oils off them.

303 on the gaskets is suggested at a 4-6 week interval. I find that the people that do this get longer life span out of their gaskets.

As for the zipper, metal tooth zippers should run smoothly and freely and should not be hard to move. This includes the drop seat zipper on a women’s suit. To keep that happening, I use beeswax and keep it in the car so I have it handy when I am getting ready.

What not to use - chapstick (sheesh, it is so sticky, it will certainly attract sand and debris into the zipper), OK to use beeswax candles but not all candles are beeswax and who knows what’s in those. OK to use the McNett product or other zip waxes but really, you can’t beat the cost of a chunk of beeswax for $2.00 that will last you until you lose it!

I wonder if she meant baking powder, not baking soda? No idea if it works well.

Interesting thing about cornstarch that probably does make it suitable (no pun intended): Cornstarch plus water makes a food thickening agent, like wheat flour for gravy. It absorbs some water. But UNLIKE flour, adding more starch to the goo does not make it something you can shape into an object that stands up on its own.

Just get some talc
Why mess with products that are more suited to cooking than lubing a dry suit seal? I’ve used regular baby powder with no problems, but if you want unscented talc, it’s available through auto-parts suppliers (it’s used on truck and small vehicle tubes).

Whoops! Sorry, not baking soda
Love that post-55 word switching…

Thanks for the fix!