Summer is ending and I don’t want to stop poling and paddling. I guess I will soon need a dry suit. I have noticed an occasional dry suit showing up on Craigs list. Is this a very risky thing to buy used? If not - what should I look out for when inspecting one?
used drysuit sources
Kayak Academy and Alaska Kayak School both sell drysuits used. Kayak Academy has a good reputation for standing behind their sales.
Definitely try to get one with the attached drysocks. Makes a huge difference keeping your feet warm standing or kneeling.
In addition to the obvious
(dried or cracked gaskets, torn fabric), also check for other signs of wear. My 5.5-yr-old Stohlquist Gore-tex drysuit has a mended tear and a patched gasket and still seals and breathes well. I need to replace the neck gasket and possibly the others due to normal drying of the rubber. But I figure I only have a couple more years on this suit because the elasticized gathering at the waist has abraded areas on the inside, plus there are some abraded spots on the outside of the left thigh (from contact with a pointy zipper reinforcement strip--not the zipper itself but just as bad). The outside stuff could be patched over, but the elasticized gathering is probably unrepairable.
So examine the entire suit inside and out, very carefully. Hopefully you will get lucky as my husband did, when I found a great used Kokatat Gore-tex drysuit for sale for $400 including a pile unisuit liner...for sale by someone I already knew.
Good luck, and happy winter paddling.
Thank you everyone…
I will keep all this in mind while I look. Thanks!