Test driving new drysuit

I got my new drysuit a couple of weeks ago and the first chance I’ll have to use it is tomorrow - but it’s supposed to be sunny and 73 degrees! Any other time I’d be thankful, but I was really hoping for some exceptionally nasty conditions in which to give it the full shot.

For anyone who wears a drysuit regularly, is this TOO warm to be wearing a drysuit? Looks like the water temp will be around 45-50. I don’t think I’ll be doing any rolling or wet exits and don’t want to get overheated. So should I stick with the wetsuit?

I am in Seattle, BTW - probably just heading out on Lake Washington.


not too warm
You may have to play with the underlayers to balance comfort in the air with survival in the water but a breathable drysuit shouldn’t be that bad at those temperatures.

If you get warm just dunk your head or roll.

sounds like
wet suit weather to me. Maybe even a daring swim in trunks.

not too warm
As long as the water temp is under 60 it is not too warm for a dry suit.

Sculling, rolling, or dipping off a bow is very usseful for cooling off it you get too warm.

Spring is definately a killer
It can be a challenge in the spring to wear the drysuit. I think a lot of paddlers weigh out the risks like sea conditions. paddling partners and water temp.

The 40’s are still cold shock territory and I don’t drop the dry suit until it hits the 60’s. Even 50’s can suck the breath right out of you.

Also your skills and having a relieble roll is part of the equation. Most seasoned paddlers in CT start dropping the drysuit in mid to late May. But I see paddlers wearing them in early June if it’s going to be nasty with air temps in the high 70’s.

For me it goes from drysuit to drytop with hydroskin pants. I can’t handle neoprene farmer John’s any more.

what kind of test drive is it then if-
you are NOT going to wet exit and roll???

c’mon put it through its paces…thats why you sehlled out the big bucks!!!


Not too warm.
Last weekend I paddeled the Mill Stream Gardens section of the St. Francis River in MO (class III). It was 65 and cloudy on Sat. and 74 and sunny on Sun. I wore my drysuit both days. Good thing too, because i had my butt handed to me on “Cat’s Paw”. I spent a lot of time in the water on Sunday. The point is, I really was never burning up hot. I wore my carhart shorts and a t-shirt underneath and was really quite cool.

At the take out on Saturday, it started to rain really hard. It was 6:30pm and starting to cool down. Everyone was standing around waiting for shuttle and were shivering and miserable in their Neo. I was toasty and dry. When the shuttle showed up, I stepped out of the drysuit and into shoes and headed out.

You might be surprised how comfortable you will be. Take both and see what you think. That is the whole idea anyway.

Good Luck,


Tried to roll, but couldn’t
so it’s a good thing I wore the drysuit!

I didn’t think my rolling skills were good enough to roll this boat, anyway (beamy folding kayak with inflatable sponsons), but I wanted to test the suit. I also swam around quite a bit and did some wet exits. Suit held up great.

The strange thing I noticed was that even though the air was warm, the sun hot, and my shirt soaked when I eventually took the suit off, I wasn’t uncomfortable while wearing it. Not at all, and I’m a person who gets warm reeeeeellly easy (Vermont born and raised, hence the screen name :)).

I also noticed that when I was in the water, it was pretty darned cold. I wasn’t wet and the suit did its job well, but I was only wearing some polypro long underwear bottoms and a Nike Dri-fit t-shirt underneath, so the adage that the drysuit will only keep you as warm as what you have on underneath is 100% accurate.

But like I said, it did its job: not an ounce of water got inside, which is why I paid the bucks for it. It’s a Palm Stikine, in case anyone was wondering.

Thanks for all the replies!