Reed Chillcheater

-- Last Updated: Aug-14-13 10:40 PM EST --

Thinking of getting a dry suit for the cold weather paddling seasons. Anyone try the Reed stuff and the Aquatherm material? If so, what are your impressions. I have weird sizing, and like the fact Reed builds suits to my measurements.

I have & love my Kokatat drysuit, but…
I also have and love my Reed spray deck and storm cag.

Still, for a dry suit it’s hard to beat Kokatat for customer service and quality, you just pick up the phone and they’re there if you have a problem or want to discuss a fit issue. They’ve also replaced two of my dry suits at no cost due to delamination when I had no idea that there was a problem, I just sent it in for annual maintenance.

I’ve had no experience with Reed customer service but do know that they are harder to make directly contact with.


have some reeds kit
couple of tops…one has a fuzzy interior…warm as hell, fantastic…same with the top sans fussy inside, a little lighter but dry and comfy. the cag is excellent. fan of the pants too. skirts nice but i don’t think it’s rugged enough for working if you’re going to be doing a lot of rescues. in all some quality kit.

Good stuff
Most of my drysuits/drytops and similar garments are by Kokatat, which is first-rate, but I have a few pieces of Reed, as well.

My aquatherm drytop was purchased in 2007 and is still good as new. The interior is fuzzy and warm and the jacket is flexible. Although the neck seal is stiffer and perhaps not quite as dry as latex, the fact that it is original and still going strong is incredible, especially when you consider that my (non-Reed) drysuit has gone through 3 different latex neck gaskets in the same time-frame.

When I was paddling in the UK, there were some expedition kayakers who felt that the Reed neck and wrist closures were safer on remote trips due to their durability. On my Newfoundland circumnavigation, I suffered a ripped latex neck gasket (which is not easily field repairable) after being out about a month, so that logic does makes sense to me.

I have found Chris Reed to be easy to work with, including spending the time to show me around his shop when I dropped by unannounced several years ago.