Stohlquist vs Kokatat drysuits

How would you compare the Stohlquist Bpod with the Kokatat GFE (Gore-tex front entry)?





I’ve heard good things about the Stohlquist neoprene neck opening (comfort-wise)vs the Kokatat latex gasket.

Stohlquist EZ
Deals will be found on Stohlquist Body Pods as they are going to be phased out by the new Stohlquist EZ and the new (I didn’t make up this name) Elvis. The EZ is a tunnel-less (currently) black drysuit good for all round purposes and the Elvis (mango/black - no sequins or bellbottoms) will have a detatchable hood, more reflective piping and pocketage. Next week when the Elvis is in I’ll make a write up of it.

In the mean time info on the Stohlquist EZ is here;

Plenty of info abounds on the Kokatat side of your posting.

Hope this helps.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

…I’ll be interested to get your report on the new Elvis suit. Sounds good!


Kokatat makes a Gortex “paddling suit” with a neo neck. It’s the neo neck that makes it a “paddling suit” rather than a dry suit. Because the neck gasket is neoprene, rather than latex, you will take in a small amount of water when you are upside down (maybe the new Elvis suit will do better). Last week I did a couple of rolls in 33 degree water and didn’t take in more than a drops of water but when the number of rolls starts getting up there, say 30 or 50, you will end up with a very damp chest.

OTOH, the suit breathes very well and I’ve been comfortable in weather conditions like last week (air around 40 degrees) and good to go with the air temp around 70 degrees.

But whatever end up with, you will likely love your drysuit.

I can’t comment on the Kokatat.
But I found one of the early close-out B-Pods for $375 (last one at that store, I think). Had to send it in to get the neck seal replaced 'cause it was too tight. That’s a free service for a new B-Pod. Came back prompt and perfect.

I’ve worn the B-Pod a couple times so far while poling upriver, with a fleece layer underneath. No problems with breathability of the fabric. I’m a heavy sweater, and even after a long upstream climb my fleece liner is only slightly damp on the surface - unlike the sogginess I experienced with the Kokatat Tropos material (not T-3 that’s available now) that I was using before. The zippers work good and I haven’t noticed any leakage, although I have only tested that briefly before getting in the boat - no actual swims yet.

After reading…
…all the reviews, talking to a couple of people and reviewing options and warranty, I went with 1k USD Kokatat. Crazy money, but… I feel it is worth it - the material, quality, warranty.

Latex gasket seems OK to me. I was a bit worried that I develop a nasty rash on my neck since I always have that with wrist gaskets, but so far so good.

you using tye Kokatat paddling suit
When you talk about not taking water in - are you using Kokatat’s? I have bee using a Palm paddling suit, but that finally needs to be replaced. Looked at Kokatat’s angler suit (only paddling suit the shop I was in had) and the neoprene looks quite a bit thinner than what Palm (and Stohlquist - they also had there) uses. Kokatat also had a flap with Velcro, which the others don’t.

Does your Kokatat paddling suit have this thin neoprene neck and velcro flap? You find it works for you?


Yeh, it’s the Kokatat
paddling suit and the neo collar has a little pull-strap for snugging it down. I have rolled a couple of times before tightening the strap… and that did let in a little more water. But when adjusted properly, it seems to do a pretty good job and it certainly is easy on the neck.

Very comfortable suit and it is great to have dry feet at the end of a cool day on the water.

Sticking with OS Systems
Had my OS Systems paddling drysuit for years now.

If they protect underwater scuba divers with dry suits

in ice cold conditions where their lives depend on it;

then that’s about as good as it gets.

I cant say anything about the Stohlquist,but my Kokatat Expedition suit is top notch,very happy with design and use,wearing this in frigid winter waters has really extended my paddling season and allowed continued practice rolling/bracing sessions in adverse conditions making for a huge jump in confidence levels,no leaks,nice fit,fabric is very quiet compared to other materials,I tended to heed the advise of others on theblogs on my purchase,John M.

I have the Kokatat paddling suit and it was well worth the money which was around $400 at the time. Since my wife and I both needed them we could not afford anything high end. I paddle year round and roll a lot. I have found that there is some seepage around the neoprene neck. I also sweat a lot and the tropos fabric doesn’t seem to breath as well as Gortex. Now after several years of steady use I’m getting wet inside. Luckily I have found a used Kokatat Meridian so an upgrade is well deserved. Bottom line, a paddling suit is fine if that’s all you can afford. It’s not perfect but it will work.

Hey OSL…
…you are in my neck of the swamp. I’m near Akron and alternate between West Branch & Lake Erie. Probably going out tomorrow. Last week was my first experience at rolling in near freezing water. Didn’t like it at all but I’ll probably do it again on Friday. Then, when the water is in the mid-40s, it’ll feel (almost) warm…

Have a bit of both
I have the Stohlquist G-pod (latex neck) very comfortable and very dry. I’ve had it one year now and it has been a good investment for the $504 it cost me.

I have the Kokatat neo neck on a semi-dry Goretex top, just had it replaced as the original one wore out, it is the exact same neck as they now use on the semi-dry suits. For me, it leaked a lot on the very first wearing,I had a wet chest after four rolls. Brand new it leaked as much as a three year old neo neck from IR.

I would not get it (neo neck) on a full suit. Whatever brand you choose, just get a latex neck and stretch/trim as required to make it wearable. Otherwise it isn’t dry, might as well wear a wetsuit.

My semi-dry top will be used for warm weather surf, river, and pool practice, not for cold air/water days when I need to stay dry.

The biggest difference…

– Last Updated: Mar-02-12 7:11 AM EST – that the Kokatat suit is Gore-Tex, which has a lifetime warranty. With any other fabric, you can pretty much expect that it will start leaking in a few years and you'll have to buy a new suit. If Gore-Tex ever starts to leak, the suit will be replaced under warranty. No one else in the industry offers that level of warranty.

I have a b-pod. I cant compare it to kokatat since ive never had one but the b-pod neck seal does not leak one single drop if it fits. If it does not fit, stholquist will swap it out for free. I have no problems with breathability or comfort. It is a dry suit

I forgot to mention…i dont usually see anyone comment about it but stholquist has a liftime warrantee. I can’t say how good it is or if they will honor everything since I havent had a need to test that yet.

Paddling drysuit and…
scuba drysuit are so different that one can not possibly compare the two. Built from different materials, used for different purposes.

Stohlquist EZ
My independent research (thanks Marshall)shows that the new Stohlquist EZ is going for virtually the same price as the Bpod which it seems designed to replace.

The EZ looks even better than the BPod and that is saying a lot.

Warranty "depends"
In Jan. 2003 I bought a Gore-tex drysuit from Stohlquist. The suit itself worked well, but when it needed repair they referred me to Rainy Pass (in Seattle). Stohlquist said they no longer worked with Gore-tex and would not do repairs even though I offered to pay for it. The rip was from catching the fabric on a sharp corner, so I did not expect or ask for warranty coverage.

Paying for the repair didn’t bother me. What turned me off was that they had completely washed their hands of anything Gore-tex, including drysuits that they had sold with a lifetime warranty.

A few years later the drysuit developed leaks in several areas along the seams. It also was abraded on the inside waist area where the elastic was gathered, exposing parts of the Gore-tex membrane. Time for a new drysuit.

I had heard many stories of K-tat taking a proprietary interest in their products long after the actual sale. That plus the fact they’re the ONLY manufacturer of Gore-tex drysuits now made it an easy choice for my 2nd drysuit.

it is a scarey story. I had a long talk with stholquist on the phone about their warrantee before I bought the suit. They did tell me they life time warrantee their proprietory?? material for a whole list of situations as seen on their web site including delamination, etc. they should have covered your suit though…that bothers me.

Keep your tags
I didn’t try to get Gore OR Stohlquist to cover the leaking and abrasion under warranty because, although the leaking should’ve been covered (the seam tape had started peeling away from the seams), I figured the abrasion at the waist made the suit history from normal wear and tear. It was 7 years old then, not exactly ancient but not that new, either. If it had happened early on, I would’ve pushed for warranty repair/replacement.

Since you already bought the drysuit, just keep all your paperwork and tags in case you ever need warranty coverage. Don’t worry about it–go paddle.