What is the best drysuit for the money?

I’m looking for a decent drysuit (with attached drysocks) that won’t cost a small fortune. I’d rather buy new and have a warranty that means something (i.e., NOT eBay).

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


a warranty that means something
Gore-Tex warranty is the most meaningful – lifetime for real!

Most I know, self included, use Kokatat dry suits. I have an expedition and am very pleased with it.

No complaints with NRS Extreme

Dealer counts for a lot too
an outfit like Kayak Academy (George & Barb Gronseth in WA) has been using & selling Kokatat drysuits for years. They carry a deep inventory of Kokatat and have great rapport w. the Kokatat people. Hard to put a price on an outfitter with those kind of connections who’ll go to bat for you on warranty issues.

They also perform their own inspection before shipping yours, and, if you need a loaner while yours is in for repairs (warranty or otherwise) has used drysuits which can be loaned to you at no charge. Finally, they stock a lot of replacement genuine Kokatat gaskets.

Guess where I bought mine :wink:

NRS and Stolhquist

– Last Updated: Jan-29-07 11:39 AM EST –

NRS and Stolhquist are the best buy (in my opinion). Both of these are three-layer fabric and the outer layer fabric seems heavy-duty.

I've heard good things about Palm but I've never seen one. Sierra Tading Post has some overstock Palm on sale.

The Kokatat Tropos material is only two-layer.

The Kokatat Goretex suit is well made (and expensive) but the fabric seems to me to be a bit thin.

For the money, I think you’d be hard pressed to beat the Palm Stikine. WAY less than a Kokatat, same (IMHO) quality. In the northeast WW community this suit is a favorite. Rave reviews all over on NPMB.com. I have had no problems with my Stikine, and for several hundred dollars less than a comparably equipped Kokatat, I ain’t complaining!

Second Palm Stikine…
There’s been an issue with the customer service and quality shops Palm USA has partnered with for quality repairs, but I think this is being dealt with. I raised a ‘big stink’ with Palm USA and Palm Europe about this issue last year and I think they’ve really worked hard at changing this since. I waited about a year and sent them another email last week to find out the status of this issue should I need a repair soon. Here’s a recent email from Palm USA Operations & Customer Services Manager regarding this issue:

“Thanks for your input. It is greatly appreciated. The issues you raised last year were, in fact, the driving force behind our developing the in-house inventory of Palm parts. I had just joined the company about a month earlier, and made that project an initial priority. I’ll admit that we are at somewhat of a disadvantage since our manufacturing is done overseas and Kokatat is manufacturing here in the US. That’s not going to change anytime soon, so we need to continue to provide the best service we can through our relationships with the folks at Rainy Pass, Outwear Repair and others.

With regards to the process for getting work done, we prefer to have our customers contact us directly so we can have a conversation about the issues at hand and work with the customers to develop a solution. Although it does happen sometimes, we would prefer that the customers not go directly to the repair shops without discussing the issues with us first. I believe the repair shops would prefer it that way as well.

Thanks again for the dialog this morning. Your continued feedback is welcomed.”

Joseph LaGambina

Operations & Customer Services Manager

MTI Adventurewear / Palm USA

65 Spring Street

P.O. Box 210

Plympton, MA 02367

1-800-783-4684 local: 781-831-6011

fax: 781-582-3951


So, they’re working on it. I’ve asked Joe to make a very clear section on their website regarding instructions for repairs for Palm drysuits as that is something that is still missing. It’s still not Kokatat, but with clear directions on their website and quality (Gore-tex certified) repair shops in various regions on the US, customer service/repair is heads and shoulders above what is was even a year ago.

Not Stikine But…
If you’re looking for something similar, but more economical, check out the Palm Torrent. Same features as the Stikine (socks, double tunnel, relief zip), but a lighter weight, breathable fabric. Sierra Trading Post is giving 'em away at $360.00 - but hurry, there’s not many left at that price.

Bang for the buck.
Stohlquist Body Pod comes in a tunnel & non tunnel version. Vapor permeable 3 layer laminate, socks, relief zip, cordura reinforcement on knees & rear, soft smooth side mock neck style neo collar that works very well. Nicely tailored. Women’s $530 & Men’s $570. I think that there are some in eBay! stores that might be worth looking for.

See you on the water,



Palm Closeouts
I bought a Bombergear close-out last year for $300 from Sierra Trading Post.

They have Palm Drysuits on sale for about the same right now. The sizes have gone quickly.

NRS Extreme

More popular with WW than Sea?
Is there something about the Palm drysuits that make them more popular for WW use than for Sea? Just wondering as you mentioned popular with WW community, and Google brings up a lot of WW forums in review of Palm.

Paul S.

Personally, I think it speaks volumes about the durability and quality. WW boaters are most definitely harder on drysuits than the average sea yaker. They roll way more frequently (combat, not practice) and in the company of rocks, timber, etc, that aren’t in the average sea yakers environment. Excluding those who frequent the surf zone in radical conditions, of course! And the price is just a bonus.

Palm Stikine in particular…

– Last Updated: Jan-30-07 4:46 PM EST –

...was designed as a whitewater drysuit. It is particularly 'robust' in it's design. Other Palm drysuits, if I recall correctly, use less robust zips, fabric, wear points. I'm a sea paddler, but I tend to expect alot of a product, so I got the Stikine and have been quite happy.

Edit: Here's a product page talking about the various fabrics used in Palm drysuits giving stats on 'waterproofness' and breathability. Interesting that the thickest material manages to have the best breathability according to their tests.


Extremely pleased with my extreme
This has nothing to do with the fact that I also have a boat named “Extreme”.

I’m starting to feel bi-polar.



Here’s one fr anyone interested.

– Last Updated: Jan-29-07 8:09 PM EST –

Pee zip, Gore-tex, Kokatat with booties. And a descent color. Go for it and bid if anyone's in the market for s size medium (check Kokatat website for sizing instructions).


the best drysuit
is the one you will actually wear

Portland, eh?
Grew up in Salem/Bend - miss the west coast and the ocean there. Good deal on this Kokatat - too bad its the wrong size!

I would personally like to find a great deal on the Palm Stikine suit and/or swap my new Kokatat Tropos Meridian for it in LARGE. I just want the beefier material…


beefier material
Haven’t compared it to the Palm Stikine, but my NRS Extreme is certainly built with heavier material than my buddies’ Kokotats. Zippers are of similar weight but by different manufacturers.

The NRS suit is breathable - more or less breathable than GoreTex I don’t know, but it’s much better than coated nylon.

Yeah, the darn things cost too bloody much - but mine was paid for the first time I swam in a January river…


My new bpod came today,
and I just tried it out in the living room. Lubed the zips, and tried it for fit. Everything is working fine, and the size large fits my 5’10" frame perfect. The neck is snug, but not overly tight, and my head didn’t turn red. I never liked tight shirt collars, and the stories of rubber compression ring gaskets semi-strangling necks turned me away from them. The rubber latex seals around the wrists are ok. I like my new red bpod and recommend it. I will wait for the water to become a little less frigid before putting it to the real test, though.

Oh, and at $499.95 for total costs from paddleshack.com and their ongoing winter sale, it’s a great deal! Happy paddling!

http://paddleshack.com/DrySuit_Specs.htm - Stohlquist_b-POd_Body_Pod_Dry_Suit