Tips for Buying Dry Top

I’m very happy with my NRS Dry Pants. Any advice for getting a dry top to go with them? I might buy a used one on eBay.

Buying used I would have them turn it inside out and look at condition of the seams inside the top.

I’m considering this, but perhaps it isn’t a true dry top?? It has gaskets at the wrists and neck.

What I want is something for if I capsize. I’m rarely that far from shore (lake only) but the water can be cold. Think that will do it?

I’m going to presume you don’t roll. Dry tops don’t keep you dry in a wet exit. They don’t seal up tight enough neck or waist. They keep you dry in wind and spray/splash if you stay upright. Even in rolling that Peak I have on in my photo ships water through the neck. It has wrist gaskets though. In cold conditions I have drysuit.

To me it’s paddling jacket to me. How cold is the water and how big is the lake.?

On coldest day, air temp 55, water temp 55.

Click here for a similar semi-dry top.

I have a NRS drytop plus I have kokatat dry pants plus a full kokatat drysuit. The link posted above is not a drytop but a semi drytop as it doesn’t have a latex neck gasket. If you swim with drypants and a drytop water will leak in. Depending on how well you have the two sealed together will depend how fast water gets in. It will leak no doubt. Since I have a drysuit I rarely ever use my drytop. I think I used it twice in 2 years. I should sell it. I would get a drysuit if you plan on swimming very far. Look now they have deals in the middle of winter in the 500 range sometimes even less for new full drysuit. If you want to spend even less this is the least costly drysuit. I have a friend who has one and she likes it ok.

I’m liking the Yak Galaxy Cag:

What is the company that makes those? Are they a good company?

Same for this:

55° water is cold. Spend some time researching the affects of it. Personally for me 55° water is drysuit time only. I’d rather stay on shore than lose my life because my gear is wrong. If you get in trouble you will see how big that lake looks with your chin just above the water. Submerge yourself in a bathtub of water at 55° fir 10 minutes up to your neck. Then go for 20 minutes. Now if your swimming your body will get colder even faster. What especially will you be wearing with the yak top? Have you ever been swimming in 55° water?

I look at things like this. The dealer wants to make 33 bucks on something they sell for 100. Manufacturer wants to make money too. So now your left with a live saving garment that cost what?

I couldn’t find any reviews on the company or it’s products online or where they are from.

Both products listed above are NOT drytops. the first at least has latex wrist gaskets but NOT the neck. the second has NO latex seals. They will both leak. As Paddledog52 has said 55F water temp is COLD. If you were just going down a creek then no drysuit not a big deal as you can just climb out and change into dry cloths. Out in the middle of even a small lake not so much.

A question for dry-suit owners: Do you ever not wear them because they are uncomfortable/too hot?


@PianoAl said:
A question for dry-suit owners: Do you ever not wear them because they are uncomfortable/too hot?

H2O temp dictates the drysuit wear for me, and there have been times air temp has made wear a bit stuffy.
I can roto cool for that. 55F H2O and Higher air temps, day paddle, I would probably wear the farmer john or hydro skin and a semi dry.

@PianoAl said:
A question for dry-suit owners: Do you ever not wear them because they are uncomfortable/too hot?


I have worn mine up to 65° water temp and higher 75° air. Never go out without drysuit below 60° water. Have wetsuit but feel better in drysuit. Also use paddling jacket and kokatat pants over 65° water temps. Usually alone in winter as partner quits at 65° water. Cell and two VHF radios in winter. Like crossing the street one mistake and you’re gone.

Safer to sweat that freeze. Proper layers keep you comfortable.

@PianoAl said:
A question for dry-suit owners: Do you ever not wear them because they are uncomfortable/too hot?


Never not wear it when the water temp is 62F or below. If I get too warm I can dribble water down my neck. If I’m getting overheated I can paddle to shore and remove one underlayer (I have a two-piece drysuit). That’s happened only once.

I have worn just the top as a drytop in July and August for the opposite reason. The water was warm but the air temp wasn’t and it was breezy. One of those days was in class where we were in the water quite a bit. I was glad I wore it.

Here’s a link about cold water, if you haven’t already read it:

Last spring I had my drysuit on it was really warm at 80F but water temp was about 45F. I rolled many times to cool off. A little ice cream brain freeze the first roll but after that it was quite refreshing.

I appreciate the advice. Now considering a true drytop: