what dry pants really work with dry top?

I have a dry top and hesitate to get a dry suit due to expense of adding relief zipper. What dry pants do you recommend to keep out water? My dry top has a tunnel, not breathable

If you’re looking to paddle in cold water, there’s no way to keep the water out if you swim.

Now, there is a practical solution: Kokatat makes a set of bibs that mate with just about any double-skirted drytop to make a drysuit. I used that system for years. You just have to be really anal about mating them right every time.

You can order them with a relief zipper if you call Kokatat last I knew.

pants & bibs
The bibs/drytop combo works well, but do not get the bibs without a relief zip. Without the zip you have to take off you pfd, drytop, etc… it is a long and pain full process when it’s cold and windy out.

Kokatat just came out with these, I would love to try them out. No relief zip needed since they would be easier to take off than bibs.


…well, someone had to say it.

Tempest pants

– Last Updated: Aug-08-09 11:05 AM EST –

Kokatat now has the Tempest dry pants (link above), which I have and like. I have not mated them to a drytop with tunnel (no tunnel on my drytop), but they are designed to do so. Much better than other pants as they have feet, probably not as good as bibs, but don't require a relief zip. The waist band is wide and works well enough that the pants have to be burped to get the air out when you put them on. I have not gone for a swim with them yet, however. Marshall at the River Connection was the source, and I know he tested them when they came out and liked them well enough.

NRS Blackrock Dry Pants.
Not perfect, but they mate well with a double tunnel. I took a 5 minute swim in April, and was held down several times in a class 5 rapid wearing mine with an NRS semi-dry shorty top. The top only has neoprene neck and arm seals. When I got out, I had maybe a tablespoon of water in each ankle. I suspect that came from the arm and neck gaskets, not the seal between the top and pants.

I’d suggest wearing something underneath ANY dry wear that retains warmth even if it gets a little wet when paddling in cold water. There are plenty of options. The key to staying warm in cold water is not perfection in the dry wear, but what’s worn underneath and the ability of the dry wear to prevent full water contact while in and wind shear when getting back out. That’s my opinion, anyway, FWIW.

Note that the pants have tight fitting ankle gaskets. They work, but because they can be uncomfortable, I’d suggest the Kokatat pants listed above with socks. No experience myself, but only slightly higher price, more comfort and the Kokatat reputation would have led me to buy those had I seen them prior to my purchase.