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Old 08-18-2008   #1
Ryanrugger's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 248
LEvelsix Mack Verse Stohlquist freefall

I need a new top and these are the two that I am looking at. What are all your thoughts on each ie. performance, fit, customer service. Any feedback would be awesome.

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Old 08-18-2008   #2
Big Building with Gear
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 112
We've had both the Level 6 and the Stohlquist tops in the shop. We had a few problems with leaky seams in the Freefall but aquaseal fixed it all right up. We've sold several of the Mack jackets and haven't had any complaints yet. I haven't tried one myself, but I would be wary of breakage/slippage of the friction buckles that cinch down the outer tunnel. Both of them are pretty bomb though with the regular upkeep of 303 on the gaskets and nikwax on the fabric. Both companies have been great to work with and are usually quick with warranty and customer service concerns.

2510 47th St #A1, Boulder
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Old 08-19-2008   #3
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by Ryanrugger View Post
I need a new top and these are the two that I am looking at. What are all your thoughts on each ie. performance, fit, customer service. Any feedback would be awesome.

I haven't used the stohlquist top, but have been using the Mack Drytop for the last 2 seasons. It is a great Dry top. The Cinch system at the waist is great it creates a super tight ( and comfortable) seal with your skirt. The gaskets are a lot thicker then my previous tops and I have yet had to replace them. My lowers arms tend to get wet after a lot of playboating/wholeriding, but other than that I keep dry and warm. I hope this helped!
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Old 08-19-2008   #4
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062
Owned both.

The Stohlquist drytop is the wettest leakest top I have ever owned. The zipper around the neck was a good concept, but it never lets up and is tighter than the latex itself. Most of the time I left it un-zipped.

The Level Six top is one of the most durable tops on the market. The fabric is bomber, the latex is top of the line, the lines and cuts are simple and they work. Comfort is key with top, and the tunnel tightens up nicely around the skirt tunnel. Becareful when ordering a Level Six top they have two that look alot alike. The Mack and Duke, both are quality. But, I like the heavier farbic better for Colorado on the Mack.

I really like Stohlquist as a company, but I think the Freefall top is too much fluff and not enough substance. Elbow and shoulder fabric, and neither really equal more protection. Save the money buy a Level Six and a pair of Fox elbow pads. It's the perfect Colorado drytop.
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 08-19-2008   #5
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 208
Go For The Mack Daddy

I'm with Golden River Sports and have paddled in both tops 20+ days each. Stohlquist should have never changed up their "Tao Top" cause it was bomber. Although the "Free Fall" doesn't suck, no complaints thus far, Dry, good seams shoulder & elbow reenforcements are nice features. However, I got a Mack this year and love it! Tough as nails and DRY! Come to the shop and someone can show you both side by side. Make sure to try it on, if the Stohlquist fits better and is more comfortable go that route
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