What is hyrdoskin and is it waterproof?

I’m seeing claims that it is and reviews that say it isn’t. It feels like a thick spandex, rather than a rubber. They claim it’s a calcium carbonate, non-oil based synthetic rubber, similar to neoprene. Neoprene is and feels waterproof, while hydroskin gloves, for example, feel more natural and better, but don’t seem as though they would be waterproof.

I realize that nothing is waterproof unless it’s a sealed dry suit. But short of that, is this Hydroskin (Terraprene) truly like a neoprene rubber in its properties?

Should I trust Hydroskin gloves (which feel better than the thicker neoprene) to function the same way (regardless of wrist seals)?

Imagine a very thin wet suit. I use mine all the time and love it.

it is essentially neoprene
That is totally worthless because it is too thin. I have owned hydroskin pants, shirts, and gloves. Whenever I was cold while wearing them the quickest way to warm up was take them off.

Lots of people buy the stuff and love it. I threw all of mine away because I would have felt guilty if I gave it away.

hydroskin has evolved
The original hydroskin shirt I owned was essentially neoprene. I used it in the pool in the winter or under a farmer john. When I replaced it the new version was greatly improved. It has a coating on the outside that is waterproof and the neoprene is higher quality. Now I have the problem that it is too warm in normal conditions, even if I get it wet. In any event comments about hydroskin are worthless if they do not specify when they were purchased since NRS seems to change it every year or so.

Seams will leak
From your question it sounds like you want a waterproof material. The neoprene gloves I’ve used allowed water in through the seams even though I was careful to keep them out of the water as much as possible. Once wet my hands got and stayed cold until the gloves were removed.

Mother nature…

– Last Updated: Dec-01-11 11:32 PM EST –

"Mother nature always sides with the hidden flaw".

It has been my experience that no single piece of paddling clothing will keep you toasty warm & bone dry by itself, including a dry suit.

It a lot like keeping toasty warm & bone dry off the water when it's raining, sleeting, or snowing & the temp is at, or below freezing. You had better have some layers on.


P.S. A "puffy down jacket" ain't warm when it gets wet. Duh!

Have had it for 15 years . . .

– Last Updated: Dec-01-11 11:28 PM EST –

... in a farmer john and in socks. To me, it's a thin wetsuit. The material itself is waterproof, but water will leak in around the edges of the garment and eventually through the stitching.

I find it a good choice for warm air/cold water situations, such as the Maine ocean in June. I wouldn't wear it as my primary protection in WW in March.

How about for gloves?
I kayak in the SF Bay Area. Water stays above 50 even in Feb. and air about the same. (True, it gets colder out on our ocean, but I’m not usually out there.)

I have a good neoprene FJ for main body, neoprene booties, and will have a good semi-dry top from Kokatat and other layers. So it’s not my body I’m considering it for, rather for just my hands.


Do you need waterproof for hands?

– Last Updated: Dec-02-11 7:18 AM EST –

Just as a basic question - are you looking for waterproof or warm enough? One is not the same as the other when talking about neoprene-based stuff, whether or not it is jazzed up with layers like newer hydroskin.

At water temps 55-60 I like the hydroskin gloves, below there I start craving something thicker. But that's me.

Threw it away?
Is it still in the trash? Where do you live?

I like the hydroskin but it’s not a cold water garment. I use it in the early summer on through the early fall in CT. I have the shorts and the long pants and I keep the long pants in the hatch for when it’s chilly.

Warm is the goal.
I currently use ordinary polywhatever work gloves just to keep blistering from happening. Obviously they get soaked. So far they’ve been OK and my hands are OK, but last week before paddling the air temp was cold enough with fog that I needed warm gloves. Once on the water the soaked gloves did enough.

I’m figuring it gets much colder (even here) over the winter and I’ll need something warmer. It’s not the arctic, however!

So if it keeps my hands warm, but still lets me feel teh paddle properly (which the thicker neoprene don’t), then “warm enough” might beat “waterproof”.

Neither the ocean or the air is warm in June.

That is fog month. I do wear Hydroskins for very brief rescue practices on Moose Pond in Bridgton but after 20 -30 minutes things are getting cold. Fresh water warms up much faster than the ocean (because of the name POND, its big in area but shallow)

Mine are about 13 years old and not waterproof. Someone rightfully mentioned about discussing only the newest model

Ryan L.

Sorry, but not looking for pogies.

HydroSkin Info
As has been shared earlier, HydroSkin material itself is waterproof but the seams are not. The great thing about HS is that it does provide some warmth protection while being so stretchy that it doesn’t restrict your mobility. Truly, by itself it’s best used for cool water/weather wear. But it works well to layer with other garments as temperatures drop.

Gloves have come up in the discussion. Anyone looking for waterproof neoprene gloves can take a look at our Maverick and Rogue gloves. They are 2-mm neoprene, with watertight sealed seams and the snug HydroCuff wrist.





Cold Sensitive
You sound like a bit cold sensitive, if you check out fellow paddlers in the bay area you see most paddle barehanded year round.

Go get yourself some real warm gloves made for winter paddling, you don’t sound like hydroskin will be enough.

I use hydroskin gloves
when the temp. is around 45 to 55 degrees. I love them but they tend to come apart at the seams, I have come to accept this and just sew them myself.

if neoprene is waterproof
…then why do I have to wring out my wetsuit?

Your sweaty.

I was thinking the same thing, but it does seem like I stay dry until I feel it seeping in the seems.

Ryan L.

Cause it’s covered with nylon