Stohlquist bPod vs. Kokatat GFER

It might be useful to those considering the purchase of a drysuit to have a side-by-side comparison of these two models. If anyone can provide such a comparison, please do so.

One obvious difference is material: TTL Eclispe vs. Goretex. Are these materials comparably breathable? Another is price: $500 vs. $900.

Zippers: The bPod has no additional zipper for relief, the claim being that the downward opening front zipper serves this purpose and that none is needed.

Look: to me the bPod is better. The GFER looks “over-zippered”

Thanks in advance.

I and my husband have the GoreTex Kokatat suit, know people who have tried on the Body-Pod. AS to breathability - when you are dressed for water that is 20 degrees colder than the air, or it is quite sunny, the only way to restrict being sweaty inside is to roll or take dunks off of someone’s bow. If it’s real breathable fabric you just may have to do it less often.

The claim that the longer zipper in the BodyPod works as a relief zipper for guys is interesting but maybe not universal. At least a couple of guys I have known have put one on and tried to test that theory. Their conclusion was that it would take someone configured decidedly different from themslves for that to work, at least without a specialized device. Then there are those who say it works…

The concern about having two zippers rather than one is, in our experience, overstated as long as its a good heavy duty zipper. I have the men’s relief zipper in mine, have beat the hell out of my suit and probably used the relief zipper more than my husband because of my ostomy. The only problem I found with it is not the zipper at all, but the user’s failure to zip it up. It’s like falling down the first time you go to clip pedals on a bike - you will walk into the water once forgetting that it is unzipped. So carry a change of paddling layers and hope that you do it in warm water. I forget whether the zipper in the GFER is the heavy duty one - that’d be my only zipper concern.

There are two weak points to the Kokatat suits, just not the zippers.

First is that the neck gaskets are of a thinner latex to be comfy and so have a marked tendency to fall apart from things like suntan lotion or just some people’s chemistry. I am one of the latter - the neck gasket will tear in less than a year looking brand new, while my original wrist gaskets barely show wear and are still fine. But that is easily resolved by getting a heavier duty one from a dive shop when you go to replace it.

The other issue is, with the Gore suits, that the Evolution fabric seems to be prone to pin-holing and delamination to a untoward degree. Aside from a few seams needing to be retaped on my Semi-Nova, I can honestly say that the unguaranteed Tropos material has resisted leaks and delamination as well or better than the Gore Evolution.

That’s not necessarily bad, because Kokatat will honor the guarantee and send you a new suit. It is just an incovenient guarantee, because it means that you will be put into a queue to wait for a new one. So if you think the material is going, you want to carefully time when the suit goes in to Kokatat for dry test and patching.

I’d also watch the neck. A chicken neck like mine really needs the latex collar to stay waterfproof once twisting around upside down. A bigger neck won’t have such an issue.

Some B-Pod Details
Update on the B-Pod;

Relief Zip:

They now come wtih a relief zipper. No more contortions trying to get the opening of the diagonal zipper to where you need it. This feature does put the price up to $570 but you know, when you gotta go …


Softer hand to to the exterior shell than the GFER and the fabric is vapor and liquid permeable. Works exrtremely well on the suit I’ve had for two years now.

I think there are some of the Releif Zip B-Pods on the eBay! stores.

I’ll let someone else put in more $.02 on the GFER as my expience lends itself to the old Radiator Drysuit by the now defunct Bomber Gear and currently Stohlquist & Immersion Research garments.

See you on the water,


body pod
I agree that if the suit fits just right as mine does, that it would take some contortions.


i wrote up a review
on the bpod-t when i got mine in January…love it…great suit…i added a relief zip cuz-well ya-that was not happening…

i have used the supernova semi dry from K…and a handful of OS systems drys as well…

love the bpod

I read that when you first posted.
I’m actually interested in the b-pod. The only thing that concerns me is the neo neck gasket. I’ve got about a 17" circ. neck. What’s the relaxed circumference on yours?


17" = ok

Good question. I have a 16" neck size so I just grabbed a B-Pod off the rack and stuck my head thorugh the neck gasket. Very comfy with plenty of stretch room.

Hope this helps.

See you on the water,


Sweet! Thanks a bunch!

interesting question…

wha is the cirumference usually of the neck not stretched???

i have not had any leakage issues at all with mine…i am actually thinking about picking up the freeryde jacket as well…


tasty neoprene

4" Diameter

OK, now that’s an original question.

Took off the Surfskin Cap off one of the display heads. Set a Freeryde and a B-Pod over top without pulling the head through and the relaxed neoprene collar inside diameter is 4" as close as I can measure.

See you on the water,


B-Pod Zipper
I bought mine with the tunnel last year and have used it only maybe 4 or 5 times so far. I am 6’2" about 260 and wear the XXL. It fits me nicely with enough room to layer garments underneath as the weather/water temp dictate.

Guess I am fortunate in that the main zipper works just fine (as advertised) without needing a secondary relief zip. Yes, I have to bend forward from the waist in order to go but I would NOT consider it as having to be a contortionist or going through various gyrations to go to the bathroom. And no, I am not in Uncle Miltie’s category as far as physical plumbing length is concerned. Just an “average Joe” as far as that goes.

That being said, I have only ONCE been successful in getting the suit OFF of me at the end of a paddling trip WITHOUT assistance from either my wife or my paddling partner. I can get INTO it by myself without too much difficulty but getting OUT of it??? Ha!!! I feel like I am giving birth!!

The neck is very comfortable and dry. I have a 17.5 inch neck in dress shirts. I have never owned anything made of Gore-tex so I can’t really comment on that but the breathability seems to work well.

If I get too hot, I don’t need to “roto-cool” or hold onto the bow of someone else’s boat to dip my head in the water. Amazingly I am able to reach my hand down into the water, scoop up some water and then touch my hand to my head. Not very high-tech but surprisingly easier than the other two methods.

i had just been thinking that
we measure our necks by inches…and if we worry how an 18" neck will fit then what did the neck start from…

(and i did not want to go to the basement at this point)…that was all…


I like my b-pod a lot, even though the so-called relief zipper doesn’t work for a woman (duh). I have bought one of those travel pee-tools for women, but I haven’t tried it yet. The neck leaks a few drops when I roll, even though it feels too tight (of course, a loose cotton turtleneck feels too tight on me–I don’t like anything around my neck). Once I trimmed the wrist gaskets a tiny bit, getting the suit on and off by myself became much easier. The zipper is hard to shut that last little (crucial) bit, so you have to make sure you’ve done it. It breathes very well, which was a big factor in my decision to buy the suit.

I’m a little surprised you aren’t refering to the GM rather than the GF. Isn’t the Meridian more specifically for kayaking, with the overskirt to mate to the tunnel of the spray skirt?

I don’t own one, but I was thinking I’d be going for the GMER when ready. Wondering if I’m missing something.

Paul S.

GFER vs GMER vs wetsuit
Have not gotten to the issue F vs M issue yet. My focus is at present on Goretex vs other fabrics. Goretex I know works well in raingear, having bicycle toured thousands of miles occasionally under wet conditions 24/7 for a week straight (Pacific NW). I am unfamiliar with the the peformance of the other fabrics as far as breathability when exercising.

My other focus is wetsuit vs drysuit. Folks here seem to strongly favor drysuits over wetsuits. Seems like the ratio is 10 to 1. I tried a GFER on once and had a panic attack trying to get it off with all the latex snapped tightly around my wrists and neck. My face was red in no time from the neck gasket. This experience has me looking at wetsuits but listening to advice here favoring drysuits.

I know that gaskets can be cut to fit. The problem is that trying that out to see if it is OK costs $500 to $1000. A good wetsuit costs $200 to $300 and less if on sale and does not seem to have the problem. They distribute the tightness over your entire body.

My current near purchase involves a Henderson Hyperstretch full 7/5 wetsuit (jumpsuit) for winter kayaking. Goal is to exercise for an hour or two, a few days a week, paddling around a local reservoir. I want to be protected for the worst case scenario of Nov through May immersion.

What everyone said
There’s a good reason why everyone recommends buying a drysuit. You will cook in that wetsuit plus it will be unomfortable due to binding–the BPOD will be much preferable for comfort (much wider temp range, depending on layering) and for safety and not that much more expensive.

Cost to try
If you’re really concerned about fitting & getting used to a neck gasket, you could buy a replacement gasket and experiment with it before making an investment.

I had the same reaction the first time I tried on a drytop. Now I’m comfortable wearing it for fishing on a rainy day.

great idea

or pick u pa cheap used top…