Palm Stikineelement drysuit feedback?

I just received a previously owned, but never worn Palm Stikineelement drysuit and would like some feedback regarding care, feeding and entry and exit. The most recent post regarding any kind of Stikine is 4 years old.

The price was too good to pass up.

It has a plastic zipper with about a 2" tether with about a 1/4"x1" long “T” handle on the tether. It seems pretty difficult to pull either direction.

No relief zipper (bummer)


This is my first dry suit.

I haven’t tried to put it on yet.

It seems to be build pretty sturdy.

I may need a head shrinker to fit through that neck gasket.



– Last Updated: Apr-13-11 10:59 AM EST –

Get some zipper wax for the zipper and it should smooth out with some use. The zipper on my Kokatat Gfer suit was very tight when new but has since loosened up with the zipper wax and use.

Wax The Zip…
There are special waxes, but I’ve used plain old beeswax in a pinch and it works just fine. If the neck gasket provers too small after you’ve stretched it a bit, they aren’t all that hard to replace. MOstly patience and a drop of glue…

TI Zip

– Last Updated: Apr-13-11 8:35 AM EST –

Sounds like it has a TI Zip zipper.

The manufacturer provides and recommends a gooey silicone based grease.

Also, they recommend storage with the zipper zipped closed, but not to the end.

As far as other care:

Hit the neck and wrist gaskets with 303 once in a while.

After each use rinse the outside, turn suit inside out, rinse the inside, dry.

Ti Zip
It is a Ti Zip and it does require silicone in order to seal properly.

OS zippers (the zippers on the Kokatat and many other brands) function differently and require wax to make the zipper move smoothly.

Be aware that Palm is not available in the states any longer and will not be coming back. Why is that? Well, having been to their W. Coast authorized repair center (Kokatat won’t use them as their repairs are sketchy)There are a LOT of Palms in for leaks and repairs. My wife had the same suit and it came with 7 leaks from the factory and mine delaminated. Palm/MTI made me wait 4 months before there was even the possibility of replacing it. Now I have a Kokatat.

Geez, I hope I don’t have any problems
with mine!

Any particular type of silicone for the TIZIP?


Yep, it’s the TIZIP

The official stuff
The official stuff is obscenely expensive for a tiny tube.

It’s also messy to apply.

I suspect that this is fine.

don’t replace, just trim

– Last Updated: Apr-13-11 11:45 AM EST –

If the neck gasket is too tight, you can just trim about 1/4" off the edge all around with sharp scissors or a razor. Make it a smooth cut to avoid little nicks which could tear.

Since it sounds like a suit that's been sitting around for a while, I'd recommend inspecting the gaskets, and look for places where the surface is breaking apart. If you see that, it might be wise to preemptively replace those gaskets. There is a shelf life for gaskets, and even if unused they do wear out eventually.

BTW, in regards to your search for a smaller boot, you can just get a water shoe or neoprene ankle boot that fits in your boat, and wear it with your drysuit, to avoid needing a big knee-high boot in the smaller boat.

My head may not fit through the neck
gasket. It was really pulling my three remaining hairs on my size 7.5 head and my head was barely beginning to start stretching the bottom of the gasket.

I’m starting to think that I may not have the right stuff to wear a dry suit.

If I do manage to get my head through the neck gasket, how do I get it back off?

donning a drysuit
I agree it takes some getting used to, so I wouldn’t give up so quickly. For one thing, it sounds like you’re putting it on the hard way.

With hands already through the wrist gaskets, spread out your fingers, and hook them in the neck gasket opening from the outside, stretching the gasket wide. Then put your head through. Less stress on the gasket, and less claustrophobia.

Take it off the same way - hook a few fingers inside the neck gasket, and stretch it wide to pull your head out.

After you’ve tried it on for a half hour or so, if you’re still feeling dizzy, or having trouble swallowing, you can trim the gasket to make it fit better.

…and use talc on the seals
Simply applying a bit of talc to the inside of the seals makes them DRAMATICALLY easier to slip over your head, hands and feet. In fact, you’ll probably find that you don’t need to stretch the neck seal at all, just pull it down over your noggin. Once it’s on, you may find that it’s too tight for comfort. After removing it as explained by Nate, trim the seal to fit comfortably, either with SHARP scissors or a razor blade/utility knife. To do the latter, stretch the seal over a plastic bottle and try to cut it without lifting the blade from the material. Take off a little at a time until you achieve a good fit. It should be slightly snug, but you should be able to easily pinch the seal and lift it from your skin.

I’ll look for some uncented talc.
I can’t tolerate the perfumed talc.