Most-breathable drytop?

I’ve been paddling in a Goretex drysuit since last fall. Expensive, but for sure the best money I’ve spent on kayaking. I’m thinking of switching to a drytop and light neoprene bottoms for later in the summer (ocean off Massachusetts). Used to use an NRS Mystery shirt in the summer, but afte using the drysuit, I like staying dry when rolling, and don’t notice the neck gasket once I’m on the water. My question: what’s the most breathable drytop available? Goretex? Anyone tried the NRS Revolution Drytop made of “eVent”? It’s a bit cheaper, but is it as breathable as Goretex? What about the NRS TriTon fabric?

if you want breathable
wear what Georgia_Kayaker wears

eVent is more breathable than Gore-tex
fabrics, Gore-tex fabrics are more breathable than Triton.

Gore-Tex is the brand name everyone associates with waterproof breathable fabrics, but they don’t make the most breathable waterproof fabrics. eVent and Entrant DT are more breathable than the Gore-Tex family for fabrics.

Then there’s Eclipse
Stohlquist’s drysuit is made with a fabric called Eclipse Twin Sensor. I have a drysuit made from this fabric and I am pleased with its beathability. YMMV. Here’s what the fabric manufacturer says:

Eclipse™ Bi-Component Fabrics:

Bi-component “balanced” waterproof breathable systems are the most effective systems on the market. Hydrophilic systems do not transport perspiration vapor, but only the liquid perspiration formed when the vapor condenses. Microporous hydrophobic systems transport vapor, but do not transport condensed perspiration. By using a Bi-Component System that uses both hydrophilic and hydrophobic microporous elements, we have developed the most balanced, most effective and most versatile waterproof system available.

I own a few various types of material
in paddle jackets and rainwear from a bunch of different manufactures (perks of owning a store and prodeals). Can’t tell a lick of difference between any of 'em. They all breath about the same and are all waterproof. A scientific instrument might be able to decifer some level of difference, but I sure can’t. I find for the most part, what ever an individual owns, is the most breathable in his/her own mind.

Sounds about right
If what stickman says is correct (I would guess it is), then the best bet is to go with quality materials, well thought-out design and good customer service, which probably means Kokatat. My semi-dry top by them is really nicely made.

The breathable materials work best if it’s cooler and dry.

Goretex was the first and it’s still good stuff. It’s also expensive.

It appears that eVent is very good (more breathable than Goretex). If it’s being used by a reputable manufacturer, I would not rule it out.

thanks to all - good information. I may try an NRS drytop made with eVent.


– Last Updated: May-20-08 12:16 AM EST –

That Revolution drytop looks quite nice, probably a good choice. I recently picked up Kokatat surfskin pants and I like them a lot. They are more stretchy than regular neoprene, have a nice fleece lining, but are not as hot as neo. They seem to breathe a little, and if it's cold I put boater's pants over them. I think they're worth a look since you said you were looking into light pants.

PS on sale here:

Feels dry
Take a look at the Immersion Research Session (less dry, more comfy neck gasket) and the Comp LX Drytops. They put a nylon mesh lining in them that keeps the shell off of your skin so even with just a tee shirt it doesn’t feel like a clammy bag against your skin. Adds a little air space for wicking and insulation so it seems to add to the comfort all round.

'Course this comes from someone whose perspiration rate can easilly excede most breathable materials transpiration rate. That being said my Body Pod, XJacket and Mooners Drypants do their level best to keep up.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

eVent is by far the most breathable fabric. That’s the reason there has been a surge of compressible, waterproof drysacks using eVent material to purge excess air. I cannot wear eVent in the winter, it lets out too much body heat, but it is a great summer fabric.

drytops that breathe are really good…

…not so good are the ones than sneeze and fart.