PALM APEX semi-dry suit opinions

-- Last Updated: Oct-18-09 11:19 PM EST --

I've kayaked many times before but have never owned a kayak until this year. Now I'm starting to collect the essential gear that I'll need and since colder weather has descended upon Upstate New York, I've got to purchase a Dry Suit. But I am on a limited budget so am wondering if anyone has any feedback on the PALM APEX semi-dry suit? I'm 6'2", 205lbs, 34" inseam, 36" waist. I've seen the Apex on eBay for $129 and that seems like a great value to me. My paddling will be near shore lake and river travel.

Wondering what else I might need?

Hood and Gloves
I don’t know the Palm suit, so I can’t offer any opinion on it - but our four-year old Kokatat SuperNova semidry suits have given us reasonable to good service - mine has had some problems (neck gasket, booties leaking due to delamination), while my wife’s has been trouble free. The suits are definitely a major step up from the wetsuits they replaced.

Whatever suit you get, make provision to protect your head and your hands. You lose heat very quickly thru the head, and cold water can render hands useless very quickly indeed. Polypro or merino underwear, with fleece layers to suit water temperatures, are also needed. Finally, be sure to swim-test your gear occasionally, so you know its capabilities and can detect any problems which may arise.

Palm Apex
I have the Apex jacket I combine that with some Stohlquest pants for a “semi dry” two piece top and bottom.

All two pieces will leak at the waist.

REI outlet had a good deal on Palm dry suit with neo neck for $300.

It’s really challenging to match the gear to your climate and rescue ability.