I’ve just started paddling here, but winter has started and the water is rapidly becoming damn cold, so I’m looking to get a drysuit so as I can paddle all year round, but want to find the most breathable material because on the other side of winter the air temps will warm up but the water temp will stay cold for far longer due to the river being fed by melting snow from the mountains. I know that there are the goretex materials like Kokatat use, and the Neoshell from Bombergear, but are there others out there and which is the most breathable?
It’s more important…
…that the material is waterproof and durable. I haven’t seen any credible tests of breathability, but Gore-Tex is guaranteed to be waterproof and it’s long-term durability is unmatched. If any issues do occur, their lifetime guarantee takes care of them. It breathes well, but how it compares to anything else out there is anyone’s guess.
pump air with the suit as bellows, the suit breathes.
Go over the online data. You see $$$ equals performance and durability. A light rain jacket is coating, a life saving device is not.
“Many laminates use membranes made from a superthin film of polyurethane. It is the same hydrophilic monolithic material used in Gore-Tex to form the protective wall connected to the ePTFE membrane in its laminate. On its own, a PU film performs the same waterproof/breathable function as it does when combined with ePTFE—moving moisture in an adsorption-diffusion-desorption “monkey-bar” process (described earlier).” >>>>>>>>>>
do your own photo search there I gottta change plugs
Save your money
In my opinion, the significant premium you pay for uber-breathable vs. breathable fabric isn’t worth it. Where is your suit going to breathe? Your lower half is ensconced in a sealed, damp capsule (kayak) with no air flow. Your torso is tightly wrapped in a non-breathing sprayskirt tunnel and PFD. That leaves just the arms exposed to open air, and the density of sweat glands there is among the lowest on your body.
Manufacturers of the expensive fabrics devise a variety of laboratory tests to “prove” their product is worth the significant upcharge but the difference in field performance isn’t that much. From “Waterproof Breathable Fabric - Explained” by Dr. Mark Taylor and Matt Fuller, “Manufacturers know that jackets made from Gore-Tex, eVent, NeoShell and all the other well-known fabrics can be sold at a premium cost. Thus, manufacturers make their best-designed jackets from these fabrics and they sell well. It is uncommon to see flagship designs from the major manufacturers made from their own cheaper fabrics, even though the differences in performance are small.”
Agree with BNystrom and wavespinner
If you can afford it buy Gore tex. Not so much because of “breathability” but but because of durability.
Although you will find “data” suggesting that other materials are more “breathable” than Gore tex, you will find there is no practical difference once you are encased in a decked hull, neoprene spray skirt tunnel, and PFD.
if there is
a breathable breakthrough out o the market, you will here of this in these forums.
Until then …pumpair ! say, sew a loop or 2 for billows action en route ? ergonomic that is.
I could use an upgrade on a Redledge ($45/8 years old) windbreaker with breathable poly spray film…any suggestions ?
no see-um mesh
(you didn’t say it had to be waterproof!)
In My Opinion Gore-Tex
Is way overrated. It’s more an example of successful marketing than being a practical consumer product. People pay good money to buy Gore-Tex lined low cut hiking boots. That’s just plain stupid.
sort of agree
It can be an effective (combo of breathable and durable) AND also be misused in marketing. I agree that it is.
Good for wet grass & shallow puddles.
Nice not to get wet feet while walking through wet grass or stepping in shallow puddles.
Each unique application is, well, unique.