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Old 10-22-2014   #11
spack171's Avatar
Sylva, Western North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 66
Drysuit. You won't regret it.

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Old 10-22-2014   #12
silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 69
Go dry suit. I have a Kokatat Gmer and it's been one of the best purchases I've ever made. It's always summertime in a dry suit!!!!

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Old 10-22-2014   #13
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3
Thanks for the responses! In 15 years of kayaking, my threshold for cold water has never increased especially being a south eastern boy. Good call on the bibs, I used to have a pair way back when. I will most likely opt for a dry suit. Sometimes one just needs a push from socials media for major purchases! I can't wait to be in the ditch!


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Old 10-23-2014   #14
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 728
You will experience many days where you will not see direct sun, and the water temp is cold enough to keep beer tasty during the SUMMER months. If you have any concerns about being cold, drysuit up! Keep in mind that your stuff doesn't dry out in cool shade, so plan accordingly. Bring a down coat for camp. Either way you will be working hard to keep warm, so stay ahead of the cold curve, and a dry suit is a good start.
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Old 10-23-2014   #15
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 141
Personally i would go with the Kokatat dry bibs. I have a drysuit and i am about to get a pair because they are so versatile.

I have done three December trips. Two as a kayaker and one as a rafter. The last one was in a semi dry top and bibs (as a rafter). If you bring the down jacket and plan on having fires also bring a textile jacket to wear over your down clothing. The fires down there like to spit embers.

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Old 10-24-2014   #16
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 13
There is one other option. The Kokatat Whirlpool bib. The tunnel from this rolls into the tunnel on your top. I use it for kayaking and more importantly i have used it for SUP surfing in April. You stay dry and warm and its slightly less expensive than a dry top. Its bomber and what I use.
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Old 10-24-2014   #17
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 312
So I just finished my first trip in my new NRS Crux drysuit . ( that I received for 55% off, or 450 dollars) it is the 2014 model. and its still on sale, jut not as good of a sale. )....

Man I could not more highly recomened having a drysuit for the Grand!!! Its gonna dry out faster at camp. and be bombproof comfort and safety for the trip...

I have never had a more comfortable day on the water than today, in October... on a snowmelt river...

I will never go back. Hooked on a drysuit... I will probably wear it most months of the year in Colorado.

Its simply amazing to finish a trip and be totally dry!!! wow!!!

Stoked on the Crux as well!!! I hear the 2015 has a new zipper and will be upgraded ... but the 2014 is on sale... and it was 100% dry on two swims and a few rolls today...
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Old 10-25-2014   #18
stupka's Avatar
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 60
"I'm so pissed I bought this Drysuit"

.....said no one, ever

Enviado desde mi iPhone con Mountain Buzz
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Old 10-25-2014   #19
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
There are some that run the Grand Canyon in dry top or paddle jacket and some sort of dry pants or a similar combo and do just fine. I know some raft captains that have made multiple runs in shorts and tee shirts. If a person is lucky and do not swim, it is a good thing. There are a few that swim (hopefully a short one and in warm sunny air temp) and emerge from the river OK.

Based on personal experience, a long GC swim in shorts and tee shirts even in warm sunny weather. Is not fun.

If a person wants to stack the odds in their favor, they will have excellent for them "swim wear" for the weather and the rapid. For some this will be something as simple as dry top and neoprene shorts. This combo is pretty easy to put on and take off in a raft for rapids and the flats. My opinion the best insurance especially in fall, winter and spring cold, rain, windy, overcast days is a dry suit or combo with what ever fleece that person needs to stay warm underneath. One benefit of a nice fleece bunny suit (or even just a fleece top) is they dry out fast during the unload activity and you have a really nice warm garment if it is a cold night. If a person is a raft rider normally they need more warm layers under neath an appropriate dry layer on top.

To me, it is a decision on personal (and group) comfort and safety. Getting in and out of a dry suit or even a dry top can be a bit of a hassle and a good dry suit or top costs big bucks. Floating the GC is for most of us a one time, expensive (even if it is a private trip) and depending on travel/trip length it takes up to a month's time. Renting a dry suit or similar set up for the colder months is just another good thing to do if you want to be warm on the Rio and one heck of a lot safer if you swim.

Bottom line it is a personal comfort decision most of the time, but can be a life threatening decision if things go really bad. Each of us who float the GC makes a choice.
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Old 10-25-2014   #20
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 312
Truth Stupka!! well said! lol.

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