Stohlquist Body-Pod

A couple of questions regarding the new Stohlquist BODY-POD drysuit:


  1. Is it true that the relief zipper is NOT required because of the self-entry zipper design?


  2. Stohlquist says their bootie is a “fabric” material. Is this as durable as the Kokatat latex bootie design?


  3. What are the advantages/disadvantages of the spray skirt tunnel option?


  4. Any impressions on how well the Ecipse fabric will hold up?

Kokatat Booties

– Last Updated: Feb-18-06 11:01 AM EST –

My Kokatat booties are also fabric, Goretex like the rest of the suit except the Goretex in the booties is bound to a thinner fabric layer than the rest of the suit. Don't walk around in them, and if you have smaller feet you'll need paddling shoes that are a half size bigger to fit the thicker socks and folded up excess bootie material.

I have been very curious about how the front zipper in the Stohlquist works to replace the need for a separate relief zipper, but haven't quite figured out how to ask. I did look at the photo of the suit, and don't see any indication that the zipper gets to quite the right location.

So since this post opens it up - how does that front entry zip aka alternate relief zipper bit work? Am I missing something in the photos online?

Like Celia said,
Kokatat comes from the factory with Gore-Tex socks. They are great, one just has to be careful not to puncture the fabric by walking around on them. Latex sock are commonly installed after the fact, and I can only imagine that they are like wearing rubber socks. Eeeeww!



The double-tunnel is a great thing to have if you are going to be doing rolling and/or surfing, as it does a great job keeping water from leaking into the cockpit down the sprayskirt tunnel. The only downside of it I can think of is that it adds a small amount of bulk around one’s midsection. Small price to pay for a drier cockpit.



As for the relief zipper, look at where it is. If I need to become a contortionist to urinate, there is something wrong. I like the relief zip on my Kokatat suit, but it’s still not perfect. Then again, there is something about tender skin and huge zipper teeth that just scares me. :o)

So far
The way the zip cuts across the chest allows for the lower fabric to be dipped down below business level if you unzip it up over the shoulder. Not a perfect solution but it is a cheaper way to go than the $120 upgrade of adding a relief zipper. The material of the body and the booties is a fine denier checked ripstop exterior. Has a nice hand to it and feels durable. Don’t think that it’s made for grinding along rocks doing extrications on whitewater on a regular basis. For touring purposes = great. Lastly as to tunnel or not to tunnel, how often do you paddle with lots of waves comimg over the deck into your chest or how much time do you spend inverted as compared to travelling upright? If the answer to either is frequent then a tunnel is probably a good way to go. I have a tunnelled dry suit that I use for whitewater and love it, but the B-Pod is darned nice for winter long boating.



See you on the water,

Marshall

www.the-river-connection.com

b-podT
my review will be up soon…

suit #1

rob

@550
instead of a thousand dollars this might be something I will look at for next winter. I read about the B-Pod and it certainly sounds good. I will follow the reviews from owners.



Happy Paddling,



Mark

My impressions
"1. Is it true that the relief zipper is NOT required because of the self-entry zipper design?"



It sounds like BS to me. The only difference in the zipper is that the pull is at the bottom when the zipper is closed, the implication being that you don’t need to completely unzip the suit to take a leak. It sounds like BS to me. I have a Stolhquist Maytag dry suit (similar to the b-POD-T, but Gore-Tex) and I’m REALLY glad it has a relief zipper.



“2. Stohlquist says their bootie is a “fabric” material. Is this as durable as the Kokatat latex bootie design?”



Latex booties are not especially durable, but it’s hard to say whether they’re as or more durable than a particular fabric. Neither material will last long if you walk around in it without boots over it. Fabric has the advantage of being thinner and more slippery, so it fits into boots better.



“3. What are the advantages/disadvantages of the spray skirt tunnel option?”



A double tunnel helps to keep water out. I like it.



“4. Any impressions on how well the Ecipse fabric will hold up?”



Time will tell.



Another concern is the neoprene neck seal. It can’t be trimmed to fit the way latex can, so it either fits you or it doesn’t.

It’s Zipped Up
Thanks for the responses. This is the first suit that fits my price range and appears to have most of the creature comforts recommended of a drysuit. I’m thinking I’ll drive a couple of hours to a dealer who has the B-Pod and try one out.



I guess my only concern is the relief zip. My initial impression seemed to agree with Marshall’s comment, in that the Stolquist solution is not ideal but its an OK alternative to the Kokatat relief zip for those seeking price relief.



I recieved the Stolquist catalog this past week and it stated a relief zip was an option (it’s not clear if it’s available on the B-Pod or one of the other drysuits styles Stolquist makes).



I’ll wait on the anticipated reviews of this suit from Rob and others before commiting to a purchase.



Thanks again for everyone’s personal insights.

Relief zip
I’ve been looking into one of these as my first drysuit as well. The relief zip is an option installed by an outside vendor (Rainypass). This is the vendor that does repairs for them. So I plan on ordering it without the zip and will have Rainypass install one if I end up wishing I had one. I was originally thinking about a 2-piece system thinking it would be more versitile and convenient, but after reading a lot here it seems it would be the opposite. I just haven’t decided on the double tunnel. I guess it can’t really hurt having it and it’s only $50 more. Marshall, does yours have the tunnel and if so how bulky is it?

That’s a Great Idea!
Thanks rnd for that insight. Your suggestion to have an outside vendor add the zipper after purchase and tryout appears to be the best approach–the extra cost, if there is any will probably be minor. Appreciate the heads-up on the company (Rainypass).



As for the tunnel, I decided I will get one for a couple of reasons:


  1. The tunnel may help hold up the skirt when out of the kayak–I don’t like skirt suspenders.


  2. Keeps water from finding its way into my seat/boat.


  3. May be just a tad warmer during cold winter days (unproven theory).



    My only concern is the added bulk. I have a drytop that has a tunnel and it is a bit bulkier than the one without–but acceptable for me. The B-Pod material looks more suple and maybe a bit thinner than my drytop tunnel, so this may not be an issue.



    Again thanks.