NRS Mission Dry Suit Thoughts?

-- Last Updated: Oct-19-11 10:03 PM EST --

Anyone care to share their experience with the NRS Mission Dry Suits with the eVent fabric? In the interest of full disclosure, I already clicked the "buy" on the $595 on-sale version and am not considering a more expensive garment at this point in time. With the additional 10% "boater bucks" on the purchase, the overall price ends-up just shy of $540 so I was tempted enough to bite the bullet...

Curious if I should know something that would make me change my mind while the suit is still new and can be returned without a guilty concsiousness...

There are two versions apparently that only differ in the denier of the outer layer (and the lighter weight one being $100 cheaper on sale, only $30 when regularly priced).


My use will be year-round short day-paddling (a few hours at a time). That's in the DC area where I do wear dry wear from October to April and try to go out a couple of times per week at least. So I don't need a tough outer layer for the bush or to scrape rocks etc., but I roll quite a bit and want dryness from both sweat (as much as that is possible at all) as well as outside water getting in.

For WW I will probably still use my beat-up dry top for the convenience of a 2-piece solution, so this new suit will be mainly for my surf ski and sometimes for sea kayaking in more open water where a longer swim may be a possibility. Overall probably the suit will see light duty ab-use but I would hope it lasts ...

I gather from some research posted in the other thread on "breathability" that the eVent breaths better than most other fabrics (compare to GoreTex at low humidity levels - big difference, that gets smaller at higher humidity levels). So not really looking for thoughts about this aspect.

I've read about Kokatat's great customer service. And from what I gather on the NRS Web pages, NRS too are supposed to be backing-up their products 100% (whatever that means).

My main question is, if you have thoughts on the construction and overall quality of the suit and its durability. The only other NRS thing I have is a pair of dry pants that have held pretty well to date, but they are from different material and I suspect heavier weight outer fabric...

My current Leel Six dry top was great for the first few outings, then lost its DWR properties fast. Replenished a couple of times, but that lasts only a handful of outings... Any observations on the DWR layer on the Mission dry suit/dry top?


eVent drysuit
The eVent material is very good. I have a Kokatat GMER drysuit so I dont have anything with the eVent fabric but I know a few people that do and they love it. I have actually considered getting a drytop from NRS for when I just need one of those.

As far as NRS customer service goes, it is fantastic. I work in a kayak shop and for warranty issues they back up their product in my experience. I personally buy NRS gear because I know I wont have a problem with it.

Besides all that they are also based in Idaho so they couldnt be to bad. :slight_smile:

These suits do not seem to have sold in large numbers, going by how little info is out there from users… Only a handful of not very informative reviews out there and nothing on long-term performance. At least, I hope if someone was totally unhappy they’d post (since people with problems are more vocal, usually) and I did not see complaints online, so it could not be all that bad…

I’ll post my impressions once mine arrives and I have had a chance to use it a bit.

latex gasket
If the gaskets are to tight and they need to be stretched out. I use Nalgene bottles for the wrist a ball or small trash can for the neck. Stretch them out for at least 3 days.

NRS Warranty
I bought a drysuit from NRS. It took me about four days use over 2 months to realize that it was defective (leaking). I sent in back expecting the usual run around before I got satisfaction.

Four days after I mailed it out I got a call from a nice young lady who agreed that it was defective and asked me what I wanted to replace it with.

I thought it would have taken a week for the Post Office to get it from Boston to Moscow, Idaho.

My replacement arrived 5 days later.

You can not beat NRS for customer satisfaction.


The only issue I have seen with NRS drysuits is that the zippers are not as tough as those used in Kokatat Gore Tex suits. A friend of mine has had zippers fall apart on two NRS drysuits, one after about 2 years pretty heavy use, and the second after less than a year of use. NRS warranty doesn’t cover the zipper, but to their credit, they replaced the first suit for non-zipper warranty issues when he sent it in for a repair.

trim, don’t stretch
Bnystrom must be too weary from other threads to make his usual advice to trim rather than stretch neck gaskets. And he is right - it is is better to trim than stretch. As stated by the Stohlquist website FAQs, “Gasket latex has excellent memory, and in most cases does not stretch out enough with usage. We do not recommend trying to pre-stretch gaskets as some manufacturer’s do. Stretching on the molecular level breaks necessary bonds apart. Appropriate trimming relieves entry and exit stress therefore provides longer useful life, and allows the user to be warm, dry and comfortable from the first day.”

It is easy to trim and the fit needs to be only snug but not tight to do the job. With proper trimming, you will not even be aware of the gasket after about 10 minutes. (But note that neoprene gaskets are not meant to be trimmed).

Two thumbs up! (nm)

You will be drier in an eVent suit because it breaths much better.

Don’t forget to get some kind of poly insulation layer. You dont have to buy an expensive suit designed to work with dry suits. Polartec tops and bottoms work fine. Stohlquist makes a cost effective one piece suit.

Zipper Wax
Zippers need maintenance and some TLC from time to time

Zipper Wax is a good idea


I have the bought the older Revolution drytop this spring and the Kokatat GMER a few years back. I think NRS uses higher count denier (70x160?) material on the newer versions. My drytop has not been used too much. The Kokatat and NRS seem to perform very similar in breathability. The NRS may have the edge. The NRS drytop is made in China and has sturdy construction. Kokatat holds the golden bar for support and quality. I use McNett zipper cleaner and lubricant to clean the zippers regularly and a 2 inch chip brush and towel to really clean them. I use McNett Zip Tech zipper lubricant for lubrication. Since you need an XXL how are they handling your flappers? Make sure you get the relief zipper. EMS and REI have an occasional 20% off 1 item.

Good luck,


They still have the Revolution dry top with eVent in both deniers: 50x100 and 70x160. What do you think of the 70x160 on yours? Would you be fine with a lighter-weight fabric? The Mission dry suit also comes in the same deniers but I opted for the 50x100 since it was cheaper compared to the 70x160 version. Problem is, I have no idea if 50x100 is sturdy enough compared to 70x160… Maybe we can compare since I opted for the 50x100 version and will have it by the end of next week.

My 3XL “flappers” may or may not fit the booties. I got a pair of US size 14 neoprene socks that fit and my size 14 NRS shoes fit me too. But for regular (non-water) shoes I never fit in 14 so I know I am a solid 15 and sometimes fit even small 16. I have a slim chance the XXL size suit may fit my feet but I am prepared to take the knife (to the booties, not my flappers, though chopping-off an inch or to from my feet may be more cost effective in the long run -:wink: ) If I have to upgrade the booties, I’ll either put gaskets or sew my own fabric booties somehow…

2 more thumbs-up -:wink:
Stretching did pretty much nothing to the gaskets on my drypants and drytop. I trimmed and have had no issues due to this. The neck gasket on the top did crack but not due to the trimming - just aged visibly. The wrist gaskets are also about to split - the rubber is all in small craters due to age. My ankle gaskets on the other hand seem in perfect shape despite being the same age - I guess different material and a lot less exposure to the elements compared to the dry top, which I use more, plus I often remain dry from the waist down while the top is always in/under water…

Use 303, don’t trim
Apply 303 before you stretch it, it will definitely stretch. I trimmed my gaskets when I first started paddling and they all stretched out too loose after a couple of years.

From Kokatat
Since I have a Kokatat drysuit I asked them what they recommend. Said not to cut but to stretch. Appears to be different schools of thought and I am sure it comes out that each work just fine. So I’m going to say do what you think works best for you.

Wax is good, but when the fabric between the teeth tears just a tiny bit, the zipper is inoperable, wax or no wax. This happened twice on my friends NRS suits, and the suits were then junk. I had more use on my Kokatat suit, and it never had that problem. The Kokatat zippers appear heavier duty, and they do appear to perform better.

Well, I have applied 303 regularly to
the latex wrist and neck gaskets on my Kokatat Meridian Gore-tex drysuit and Kokatat shorty G-tex dry top for over 8 years now. It does seem to work in promoting gasket protection and longevity, but I never had ANY success stretching gaskets. I have now trimmed two sets of neck gaskets and numerous wrist/bicep gaskets and I would never bother with stretching again.

Of course, ymmv.

so far so good
I have the Mariner suit from NRS. Got it last year and have used it probably a dozen times. Love the eVent. Not a lot of time in it yet, but so far so good.

From what I’ve seen…
…Kokatat is the only company in the business that recommends stretching. Even the seal manufacturers recommend trimming.

replacing booties
If you need to replace the latex booties, that’s an easy task, and costs $35. (Just make sure you get the toes pointing forwards)

OS Systems sells XXL latex booties that fit up to size 15.