Question about drysuit sizing

According to the BMI height/weight charts, I’m about a foot or so too short…

Yep, I’m fat. Well, maybe stocky, with some extra around the middle. Due to this, drysuits that would fit my chest and waist (50" chest, 38(ish) waist) measurements are sized for people 6’4+, which is troublesome with me being 5’7.

My question is, are sleeves and legs that are too long going to have a negative effect on a drysuit, or will them being bunched up a bit not be much of a problem? As much as I’d love to buy a custom made suit that will fit me perfectly, I don’t have the finances to be able to spend that kind of money on one.

And before anyone chimes in with “just lose weight fattie,” even at my most fit I still have broad shoulders and chest, and thick legs. I could be anorexic for a year and still not fit into a drysuit for my height, and the money for custom sizing would still be an issue.

Thanks in advance.

I have a Kokatat and a Palm (back shoulder zip) drysuit. Back when I used to wear these, I found the small Kokatat seems sized better for folks slimmer and taller than me @ 5’3" and 145 lbs (now 150 lbs). I favored my Palm more, especially for winter layering, as it afforded a better fit for my shorter and stockier body type. I didn’t feel as restricted in the Palm as I did in the Kokatat.

Good luck. Of course, I believe Kokatat is willing to customize if you are willing to spend a little extra.

PS. Just saw a XXL “base” Palm Drysuit here:


I have no clue what they charge for custom fit at kokatat.

Suits have a good bit extra room for you to sit and move. I can’t imagine it would be good for someone 5-7" to be in a suit for a person 6-4". I don’t think it being bunched up on you arms, legs, and torso would be good for you or the suit. One size up may be bearable but this seems more than one size. Sleeves may come over your hands. Have you tried any on?

I haven’t been able to try any on, because I haven’t found anywhere local to me that stocks drysuits. All I can go by is the size charts online, and everything that will fit a 48-50 inch chest will have an inseam that is 4+ inches too long, with other dimensions also too long. The closest I have seen in short/wide person off the rack sizing is NRS XXL-G, but that has a 58+ inch chest, WAY too big.

The XXL on this one is pretty much what I’ve been finding, made for people 6’1 to 6’3, so the legs and arms would be too long. :confused:

Thanks for asking this - I’ve been meaning to ask the same question, but on the other end of spectrum. I am 4’11", so even a small or x-small is often several inches too long according to the charts. Maybe a kids size might be possible, but I think I might have problems there with waist and chest measurements. I was also wondering how bad it would be to have it be sized for someone 5’3"+ Hoping I might get a chance to try one on this weekend at a local outfitter - even if not my size, I have never worn a drysuit and just want to get a sense of what the gaskets around the neck, wrist and ankles feel like.

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What area do you live in?

so I have this same problem going between a large and extra large suit. Sometimes I can make the large size work ( 5’10" and 220 lbs in the winter) In the summer months and shoulder seasons when I wear less layers and if the suit is a backzip suit. I can make a large work better than if it is not a front zip… Front zip suits are harder to put on and bind more over the shoulders because of the zipper placement when you put them on. If it were me, and wanted to use it in all conditions I’d go with the larger size, like xl instead of a l, and just stuff the excess under the sprayskirt.

Palms do fit me better than Kokatat and Stolquist. Cut wider in the shoulders

I have one semidry suit I call the oompah loompah suit- it is short, wide and baggy even for me. It is made by Typhoon, see link below and notice that some of their suits are sized LB.

here is an example of a suit that is sized LB

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@PaddleDog52 Concord, NH

Kayak club where you may get to try one on possibly or someone here or a meetup group? It’s tough because not many dealers have them hanging around because of the expense.

I am 5’6" and stocky. Like sing I have an old Palm drysuit that worked well enough for years. Last month I got a new IR drysuit which I like so far. There is some extra fabric where the legs and arms bunch up slightly, but not enough to cause any problems in the kayak. It’s not bad enough to make we want to get a customized suit.

BTW, this IR suit is polyester instead of nylon. I haven’t had a polyester suit since the 70s. Thankfully, this one does not have wide lapels or flared legs. No frills on it, just the things needed for stayln’ alive in cold water.


You could probably fit well in the Kokatat’s women’s drysuit. Their small is pretty small. That said, I’m 5’ even and have the youth semi-drysuit (size L) and it fits great. It’s the tiniest bit tight in the chest, but not even restrictively so. It’s got the latex wrist gaskets & integrated socks, just with the cinch neck. I’ve never had an issue with more than a drop or two getting in the neck. The much cheaper price doesn’t hurt either!

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PaddleDog52, if you are asking me, I am in the metro DC area. Planning on stopping by Annapolis Canoe and Kayak tomorrow.

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Was asking NH but good luck.

Take a look at the Kokatat sizing for a women’s XLS size. Double check the sleeve and leg length but I think the torso dimensions might work.

Have you looked at Kayak Academy? They seem to have a pretty good reputation for fitting Kokatat Brand suits. I haven’t dealt with them personally with dry suits but have seen some positive comments on other forums. I have purchased gear from them but not connected/affiliated with them.

Good suggestion (Kayak Academy) and one I was about to make.

Besides being Kokatat dealers who specialize in getting people sized right, they have often sold used suits that they have retired from the rental ones that they provide to people who take their skills courses or book guided trips. They test them and provide any repairs and I think have a short warranty period on them. I have often seen them list unusual custom sizes from their used stock like extra tall and short extra husky.

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I have the opposite problem as you - very long limbs for my weight. And quite a short torso. So I had to go with a women’s medium, which is absolutely huge on me. But once I burp the air from it, it adheres to me like a vacuum sealed plastic bag and the extra roominess is not a problem. Honestly I like having it larger than I need - it’s easier to get into and out of it (mine is a front zip). So based on my experience, I think you’d find the extra length to not be an issue.

Kokatat’s custom fees are not that steep, though. At least they didn’t used to be. I’d give them a call and ask what they recommend. I’ve talked to them a few times over the years and they’ve always been quite knowledgeable, and helpful.

Agree a call to Kokatat is cheap start for info.