Opinions on this dry suit

Toying with the idea of getting this drysuit.

Appreciate any opinions or comments.




pricey but…
you’d be hard pressed to find a better drysuit. The Kokatat Goretex Meridian would be my choice of drysuit if money wasn’t a factor.

If Price Is Within Budget…
can’t go wrong. I have the older version which has no zipper pocket (nice addition) and the the velcro secured overlapped collar instead of the “punch through neo” collar on this new model. The overlap collar with the velcro (hook material) was actually pressing/wearing through the goretex material underneath (against my upper chest). I put a swath of duct tape to protect the area from being worn through. The reason this was happening is that I cannot fully close the overflap since I’m built “stockier” than the cut of my small suit. So, the velcro hooks constantly rub against the goretex underneath.

My new Palm Stikine has the so called “Punch through neo” collar. I like this but I also have a large head. So I had to stretch out my collar to get my head through. Hopefully, you don’t have a big head for your size because trying to get your head through the neck gasket and the Neo collar will be a challenge.

Other than that, I think the Meridian is a pretty good suit (for the taller/thinner built folks). My performed well for 4 plus years of pretty intense winter paddling. I am sending it in for overhaul soon. Hopefully, I’ll still fit it in the future when I get it back. My problem is the middle age trend of gaining a pound a year. The Meridian is fairly tight now and will only get tighter. Thus, my purchase of the wider cut Palm Stikine (I didn’t want to spend another $900 plus).

I have a love/hate affair with drysuits. Twice my kokata goretex goredura kept me dry and warm when I swam in icy water. But without the very expensive drysuit I would have been hiking or maybe taking kids sliding down a hill and once did wet exit and boat blew away and had to be rescued and many people saw pic of me being rescued so now in winter I do normal winter stuff and never use the drysuit because the neck is miserably tight and the wrists cut off circulation and then cold hands. Drysuits are dumb and wish had not spent the $ on it. Wetsuits are slimy but at least do not have the awful tightness of it. Booties on drysuit are good. xc skiing is better than winter paddling and helps you keep in shape while resting a set of muscles.

Please, Dave…

– Last Updated: Jan-04-06 10:36 AM EST –

sell your drysuit so we don't have to keep listening to you about the dangers and horrors of winter paddling.

We know you're not a winter (or rough water) paddler. You don't have to keep saying it everytime a drysuit/dryglove topic shows up. It really is not relevant to the question being asked.

We know you like/love to paddle fast on relatively flat water in warm temps and then switch to your kayakpro and x-country skiing in the winter. It's cool. It works for you.


after a lot of research, Ifinally ordered mine. I highly recommend George and Barb at kayakacademy.com. They could not have been more helpfull and they told me about options in suits I had no idea were available. No I dont have any affiliation with them, just that happy with the service.

did you trim the gaskets??

How effective is the neo neck collar?
Compared with the latex neck, how do any of you find this neo punch thru collar to be? Is this the same or different material and design as the super nova?

My hope is it is truly effective so I can recommend it to students. However, if like the super nova, it has a use and like everything know its limits.


Thanks for responding. I value your opinion for I know and have read of the type of paddling you do.

I’m fortunate in that the price is not the issue. I will gladly pay more for good quality than end up regretting purchasing an inferior product.

I tend to mull over purchases like this for a long time before I actually buy. My mind tends to argue with itself. I need to convince myself that I will in fact paddle in cold water on a regular basis. Currently I do so on select days, and select places. I have a wetsuit that works well but Safety is paramount.

If I go ahead and make the purchase, I’ll get this too.



I’d buy it
if money where no object.

I’m still wearing my 10 year old Kokatat Goretex. Wouldn’t be without the booties or relief zipper.

From what I’ve seen the newer suits are better with reinforcements in the seat and knees and gortex booties instead of latex.

The GMER has the tunel which is nice for decked boaters. I get water in between my skirt and suit rolling the C boat. My drytop has the tunnel and the boat stays dry when I wear that.

Kokatat has a well desrved rep for good customer service.

IMO that’s the top of the line paddlers drysuit and I doubt you will regret owning it.


I’m convinced!
Just ordered the dry suit and a liner.

Supposed to ship today UPS Ground. Should see it next week.

Thanks all for your input!


The Neo Neck Collar
is not the gasket, which is still latex, but the protective “cuff” that protects the gasket from accidental scapes, punctures, etc.

The old Meridian had a neo protective collar and a diagonal flap of material that closes with velcro.

Evidently, they have taken to the “mock turtle neck” design for the protective collar that is used by Palm and Bombergear, et. al.


You have made
a great choice! I purchased one late last winter and didn’t need it until this winter. I have been out on Lake Michigan almost every weekend, where the water temps are now in the 30’s. I roll and swim (purposefully) every time I go out. I would never consider winter paddling in this part of the country without it.

You will most likely need to trim the neck gasket to make it fit properly and comfortably. There are plenty of good tips here in this forum for doing just that. Don’t bother trying to stretch latex- it will not work. (BTDT!) The wrist gaskets are fine for most people without trimming. It might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, take some time to get used to it.

Happy winter paddling!

"Drysuits are dumb "
That’s true. Mine has never spoken a word, but that’s a pretty harsh assessment of something that saved your life (and will ask for nothing in return.)

Cool Suit
But why would anybody want to paddle in winter? :+)

Because Chuck
when I grow up, I want to be just like you!

Wait a minute, I know too many nuns and my brother in law is a priest.

No, I can’t use you as a role model, maybe Sing or Tommyc1.



Wrong website
"X-C skiing exposes participants to idiot drivers on mountain highways in snowstorms, avalanches, hypothermia, frostbite, injuries from falling. Why not take up running in winter; it’s safer and costs less…"

And drysuits are baggy, not “awful tight”!

Quit whining already, it’s YOUR fault!

– Last Updated: Jan-05-06 9:29 AM EST –

Who's fault is that you haven't trimmed your seals to make them comfortable?

Who's fault is it that you can't roll reliably?

Who's fault is it that you can't hold onto your boat when you wet exit?

Who's fault is it that you overspent your budget?

It's time you took a hard look in the mirror and quit blaming your problems on your dry suit. If you can't do that, at least take Sing's advice. Sell it and quit your bitching!

BTW, in case you haven't figured it out, you don't have to choose between X/C skiing and paddling. We do whatever is most appropriate for the prevailing conditions, adding mountain biking and snowshoeing to the mix for additional options.

Mock turtleneck downsides
1) It makes it more difficult to get it over your head.

2) If you have a large neck, the neo turtleneck can be tight around your neck, creating discomfort even if the neck seal is properly trimmed. I have this problem with my Bomgber Gear short-sleeve dry top. I’m not sure if stretching will help, but I’m trying it while I’m not using it. and we’ll see what happens in the spring. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to cut a slit in the front and be done with it.