Which Dry Suit

I am interested in buying a drysuit and was looking at the NRS Extreme that has a breathable material called TriTon. They also sell a drysuit by Kokatat that has Gore-Tex but it cost $200 more. Does anyone have any experience with these products or know of any features I should be looking for in a drysuit? It’s a big investment for me and I would appreciate any help on my options. Thank’s.

I am presently using the Kokatat Dura dry suit. This is a Gore-Tex suit with the relief zipper and Gore-Tex booties. I consider it to be the best gear money that I have ever spent. If I lost mine today - I would be working out what I had to sell tomorrow to buy another suit. JMHO.

Don’t get a Sola
I bought this British piece of junk on ebay. It is purportedly a “breathable dry suit”. In fact, it is neither. It is ugly. It is heavy. It leaks. And it stinks.

Other than that it is a delightful $200 suit.

Stay with Kokatat
Kokatat is a one of a very rare breed of companies with know how, integrity, and dependable service. Their version of immersion gore-tex breathes very very well, it is tough, it holds up, yet the design allows you to move. The zipper is top quality and if cared for decently will not leak or fail for a long long time. Get the botties ande relief zipper. Many times one wil not be able to use the regular zipper to relieve oneself.

These suits are about survival not just comfort. This suit has saved my life. Thus I am loyal to it. I ask myself how much my life is of value to me, and I go for this suit. There are deals out there and it can be bought if careful here on paddle ads and ebay (do be careful there, but it can be done).

I am NOT saying other suits can not be good, but if you go out in frigid waters this is the one imo.

gee, if you don’t like it, just say so .

An excellent suit from the UK and a genuine alternative to the kokatat. Not gore-tex but quite a breatheable laminate all the same–i survived some hot days in early may as well as anyone else in my group. Every suit is custom made to your measurements so if you have unusual proportions it’s a real benefit.

Quality is excellent and the company stands behind the product.

I got one last year before the dollar took a nose-dive against the UK pound. It worked out to be $590 bucks with a pee zip and booties–a no-brainer. Today it’d be more like $650+.


I have a Ravenspring also
great product from a great company. And every one is made to order.

IMO- having been in a Gore Kok since I tested one of the first prototypes back in the early days I can say they are very nice, durable suits built by a company that will seriously take care of you. their CS is outstanding!

relief zip and booties are a must!


Check out the warranty
This is huge - you could chew up the diff in price in the first year or so of having a drysuit if you use it hard (I do) just on the warranty terms. Kokatat is quite good - you can send the suit back to them at any time you think there’s a leak and they will do a dry test, retape it where needed, and even wash it. (Mine came back looking better than when I sent it out.) This is all for free, as long as you have the suit. I am not sure all companies are that good about followup service.

There are some complaints about the thinner latex that Kokatat uses for their gaskets, and they charge for repairs for that, but the price is really right. It was $44 for them to replace my torn neck gasket. I checked out doing it myself (the right way, a full replacement) and the glue etc alone would have cost more than that for me to buy myself. Plus the time to do it would have been quite significant. I probably will pick up a repair kit for emergencies, but based on this last experience I’d probably send it back to Kokatat whenever possible for repairs.

The Kokatat gaskets are considerably easier to get used to and more comfortable than my Stohlquist drytop for example, so there is a benefit to the thinner gaskets. And the heavier duty zippers in their GoreTex suits are very, very robust. Once you get the hang of using two hands to grab and start the cipper from over your shoulder, it is pretty easy to work.

Palm Stikine is often recommended…
Although I have no first hand experience with this particular suit, the Boatertalk crowd (WW boaters) all love this suit even moreso than the Goretex Kokatats. It is made out of an extremely durable breathable material, it comes with booties and a relief zipper, Palm has excellent customer service, and the cost is only around $650.

Although I may hold off getting a one piece dry suit for another year (I have a two piece system currently), the Stikine is on top of my short list.

Mine Short List Too…
until I found a kokatat on sale for $650 at the end of the season last year, complete with booties and relief zipper.


that’s a good deal.
I’m not sure what I would choose if they were the same cost. Kokatat is 3 ply and the Stikine is 4 ply. Kokatat has a better long term warranty thanks to the Gore warranty. The Stikine suit is articulated for the paddling position and the material is tougher when it comes to scraping against rocks. Also the Stikine just looks cooler.

I think if they were the same price, it would be a toss up for me. As it currently stands, the Stikine is the clear winner in the value category.

Do you know if
Ravenspring sells their suits in the U.S.

Keep an eye out for sales
I got my Kokatat (love it) at REI during their fall sale a couple years ago. They were offering 20% off any single item. My final cost was $680.00. Great deal on a great suit.

Stohlquist is good, too
I bought one in January 2003 and haven’t done any “maintenance” on it yet. I figure after this winter I will want to replace the latex gaskets and repair one place where the seams for the zipper cover-flap (no exposed metal teeth) are unraveling. But the suit is still leak-proof and breathes well. It is Gore-tex.

You should also look at what the various sizing schemes are for each maker. Stohlquist seems to run a little slimmer than Kokatat. The reason I know this is I once rented a Kokatat men’s small and it was baggier than the Stohlquist men’s small.

Their new suits have changed
I’ve had a Stohlquist Maytag for five years and it’s held up really well. Unfortunately, it appears that Stohlquist no longer uses Gore-Tex and no longer makes a size “medium large”, essentially a “medium tall” that fit tall (~6’), thin people well. Bummer.

I’d also go with Kokatat. Their quality
is outstanding and they have a life-time warranty on the gore-tex. I have a friend who bought a used dry top on eBay. When she got it, one section was delaminating. They replaced that section for free. It makes it convenient for me that they’re in my home town, but even if I had to ship it across country, I don’t think they can be beat. Since I live on the northern California coast, I wear mine all year round and only have to vary what I wear under it according to the weather. Also, I second the booties and relief zipper. If you amortize the additional cost over the life of the suit, it’s silly to be stingy with something that adds so much comfort and convenience.

Also may be able to bargain
Local shop reduced the price by $100 after brief discussion.

Also, REI members receive a discount, check out their website for details.


Must be ordered from the UK

– Last Updated: Sep-21-05 11:50 AM EST –

but it is very easy, no hassles at all. Full instructions are on their website.