Does anyone have experience with the NRS women’s Inversion drysuit? Looks like a good value, but NRS quality has decreased in some areas.
is more than the cost of the suit. If you consider the life of a suit then, in my opinion Kokatat is the only way to go (if the initial cost isn’t truly prohibitive). They stand behind their suits 100% so your initial investment may well be your last. NRS is a great company but I’m not sure if they’ll replace the dry suit for no charge if it delaminates in 5 years.
Kokatat’s gortex suit is wonderful the company is too, but it’s also a thousand dollars.
I got my Stolquist bPod for about 1/3 that, I can replace it twice for that cost.
I have a friend who sent his well-used NRS suit back to them because the zipper had broken (zippers are NOT covered under warranty, so he was going to pay for the repair). NRS called him back and said the suit was delaminating and they would send him a new suit.
That was really great news, and he was impressed with NRS. Unfortunately, about a year later, the new suit has developed the exact same broken zipper. He is no longer impressed. He's saving up for a Kokatat
I think the NRS suits are good, and the company stands behind them well, but I don't believe they're made for using 50-100 days a year.
Kokatat uses a higher quality zipper, and I know a number of people who are getting over a hundred days a year out of their suits year after year, and no zipper issues.
use and location
Will obviously depend much on how much use you’ll really get and where you live. Around here normally we have a month to about two months between the time the water gets cold enough to use drysuit till it’s frozen. If you paddled every day (most are never going to paddle every day) it might be 50 times a year. I wear mine several times a year, I suspect that’s more average use than one that will use it 100 times a year.
I agree that average use of drysuits is probably much less than 100 days/year. I'll bet average use is probably about 5 days a year, considering that most drysuits are probably sitting in a closet somewhere for their entire lives.
However, for $600 or $900, the companies should put together a product that meets a higher standard than most of the users demand. My experience is that Kokotat does stand up to many hundreds of uses, and the NRS suits that I've seen also do well, but the zipper appears to be an unfortunate weak spot. To be clear, my experience with the NRS suits is limited to just a few suits, one of which had a broken zipper after probably a hundred uses, and another which had a broken zipper after just two dozen or so uses. Maybe they're anomalies. But they're unfortunate either way.
For comparison sake, our climate in eastern Maine provides plenty of opportunities for wearing a drysuit. If I'm practicing/teaching rescues I wear a drysuit even in the middle of summer because the water is about 60 degrees. Or if I'm doing paddling that involves a lot of getting wet and it's a cooler summer day I'll wear a drysuit. During the spring a drysuit is a requirement, right up through early June when water reaches 50. Fall, the days are cool enough that a drysuit is much more comfortable and safer as the water starts cooling off. Wintertime, the water stays liquid here, but you definitely want a drysuit. It's not hard for a reasonably active paddler to put over 50 days on a drysuit every year, and pros could be doubling or tripling that number.
stohlquist is a good company also. It also has a lifetime gaurantee.