Ravenspring vs. other Drysuits?

I am planning to pick up a drysuit this week…either purchase a Kokatat Drysuit with zipper/booties that is on sale…or…order a Ravenspring Rapide in order to be ready for this Fall’s New England paddling weather.

For those who have used Ravenspring Drysuits for awhile…how have they held up? How has your experience been dealing with the company in GB?

Many thanks…


I had a great experience with Ravenspring. They were delayed in responding so they gave me the wrist covers free. The suit was exactly how I ordered it and has been problem free since.

I have the Rapide with the front relief zipper, and have been very happy with it. I’ve paddled through the two winters and spent a month wearing it in Newfoundland last summer after which I had to replace the neck gasket. Ravenspring was always very responsive and the price can’t be beat. I’ve frieds with Kokatat and they don’t seem to be any better off than I except that they are poorer . One last thing–get the latex booties. They’re probably a bit harder to put on inside of NRS mucklucs(I cover them with polypro socks)but if you puncture one they’re easy to replace than the Kokatat Gore-Tex socks.

gortex socks expensive to replace but
much more durable than latex. Time/money/comfort/dependability equation. plug in different values, get different solutions.

Two years with my Rapide and it
works fine. I would have bought the Kokatat, but the one I ordered did not fit properly. The tailored Ravenspring did. I have the latex socks. They are rubber and you need to put a thin pair of regular socks over them so they slip in and out of your muckluks. Don’t walk around in just the socks. Also buy the extra zipper lube and use it religiously. They have a fleece farmer john style underwear and pull on shirt that is wonderful. A matching hood is also great in cold weather. Don’t buy their regular blue longjohn underwear. No fly and you have no idea where the back and the front of the tights and shirt are.

Don’t be too quick to cut the neck gasket to fit. I felt like I was going to pass out from blood restriction at first. Then I adjusted to it. If you have to cut it, turn it inside out and use a sharp (new) scissor to cut along one ring at a time. You don’t get a second chance here. You can also stretch the neck gasket on a can or a ball if your neck gets tired.

Allow about a month to have them build and ship your suit. Expect to have to pay US Customs a chunk of change and then another payoff to your local postoffice for allowing you to pay US Customs through them. Also check the exchange value of the dollar now. You do this on a credit card, so you will get the best exchange rate.

Have the Rapide for a year…
and have been very happy with it. Relief zipper and latex booties are a MUST. I would have prefered the top of the line Kokotat but custom adjustments are limited and even if they were available the suit would have cost me about $400 more. Ravenspring was very easy to deal with and while I have not had a problem with my suit I have heard nothing but good things about how the company has dealt with those that have. If you can buy off the rack you should look at all the options carefully but if you need a custom fit suit, Ravenspring is going to be hard to beat.—Rich

“Other drysuits”
In the category of other drysuits, does anyone out there have the NRS Extreme? There must be a bunch out there because the 2004 version just came out and is already sold out. It is inexpensive but NRS usually has high quality products. They will have the Extreme available this Spring with relief zipper and booties for $545 or so and I am trying to decide whether to wait and give the NRS a try or buy a kokatat with relief and booties now or order a Ravenspring. I hate to rely on my wetsuit and luck another winter season, especially after reading the wetsuit/drysuit debates on this forum.

I didn’t know it would have booties as well! Hmmm… tempting. I’m currently trying to decide between NRS, Ravenspring, or Palm. They all seem to have breathable full-featured drysuits which are comparable to in quality and cheaper than the big guns (Goretex Kokatat and Stohlquist). I’m really leaning toward the Palm Stikine right now although if the price was right, any of the above would work for me.

the only question you need to ask yourself is do you want to pass on paddling this winter so you can check out the NRS Extreme in the Spring? Probably not! You have all the info on this thread that you need to make your choice. Carpe Diem!—Rich

Kokatat booties

– Last Updated: Sep-02-04 12:52 PM EST –

I recently bought a women's drop-seat Kokatat at a really good price but it didn't come with booties. The ankle gaskets are really tight. I inquired about retrofitting it with booties. The choices are latex for $80 or Gore-Tex for $130. I have only seen the latex. Does anyone have a good opinion on which is the best? Also consider the cost difference.

Which suit?
To complicate things, I have been told that Kokatat is coming out with a new drysuit that uses neoprene at the neck vs. latex…and that it is far more comfortable…only lets in a ‘few drops of water’. I was told this by a shop owner who has used the prototype for about 10 months. This is apparently supposed to become available in the next few months. I believe it is called either ‘Orion’ or ‘Super Orion’. It will be a breathable (not Goretex) suit at around $500. Will see?

I am leaning towards Ravenspring…

Great thoughts…many thanks to all…/


tells me that they’re coming out with some cool new colors, too. I don’t think I’m willing to wait though. From what I’ve read on the boards, I think Gore-Tex is the way to go. I’m leaning toward Kokatat and their customer service is excellent from all accounts. They were certainly helpful when I called them with questions.

If you need
a custom fit Ravenspring is hard to beat. Have one for 2 years no problems good value. If you can fit off the rack then you have many choices that you can get the same day.

If money is an issue, and you
will put them on yourself latex booties are OK and OS systems is a cheap source.

On the other hand goretex booties are comfortable and more durable. but more expensive.

Either is way better than ankle gaskets.

Latex vs. neoprene
Just make sure that the neoprene seal can be trimmed. I bought a dry top with a neoprene neck seal that couldn’t be trimmed, but had to return it because it was way too tight. Latex can definitely be trimmed to fit.

Installing latex socks is easy
There are instruction in one of my Webshots albums at:


They’re on the second page.