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Old 06-25-2014   #1
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 135
Kokatat Bibs

I have the Kokatat bibs with dry top. The kind you roll up.

I thought at first they were a great idea they were great on the grand to be in and then put dry top on before big rapids.

But now I worry they are a huge hazard if they were to fill up for any reason you would be weighted down with this huge amount of water stuck in these waders.

Am I missing something here? All of the sudden I think they are just a hazard and I don't want to wear them?


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Old 06-25-2014   #2
jakebrown98's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 165
Yeah, waders are a hazard. So are the bibs worn without a top. In Alaska we called it rowing at "half mast." The Kokatat bibs, at least the Gore-Tex ones, are a great system if worn correctly and in the proper conditions. You MUST don your drytop and roll it together with the bibs before any significant rapid or you would get destroyed if you fell in.

I've moved to one piece suits for most purposes--they are drier. But if I'm doing multi-day foul weather boating the bibs were awesome. I can put them on straight out of the tent and be comfortable. I can wear them with a rain jacket all morning long through breakfast and rigging. Then I put the drytop on before we launch. The top can come off at lunch and comes off quick at camp. I can wear the bibs all evening--comfortably. They pack well in a drybag with no zipper to kink and break. I sorta miss them now.

But I can't even imagine trying to swim with them full of water or stuck around my ankles and a log or something. Do yourself a favor and wear your drytop in rapids....

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Old 06-25-2014   #3
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 227
Jake is right, they are a great system, when you use them with a drytop. I have the Tropos (non Gore-Tex version), and they have the same tunnel system as the Gore-Tex ones. I would have loved to get the Gore ones, but there were 3x the price, and I couldn't justify that for a pee zipper, booties and Gore shell.

I swam in Browns off a raft flip in these at 4k this season, and got out bone dry after a fairly long swim. If you have the pee zipper, they are great, but they are kind of a pain in the A to deal with when needing to take a piss. They are great for when you already have a dry top, and don't want to shell out the money for a drysuit. And they are the typical great Kokatat quality, and still bead water for me five years later.
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Old 06-25-2014   #4
DoubleYouEss's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
Originally Posted by jakebrown98 View Post
Yeah, waders are a hazard. So are the bibs worn without a top.

But I can't even imagine trying to swim with them full of water or stuck around my ankles and a log or something. Do yourself a favor and wear your drytop in rapids....
I would to argue against waders being a hazard. I teach swiftwater rescue to the Bureau of Reclamation and one of the things we have incorporated into class is swimming with waders; which is what they typically are wearing when they are doing field work.

Through this we have found that swimming is just fine, the only issue we found was climbing out of the river.

As far as the bibs go, they are great. I went that route for years prior to buying my drysuit. I am actually regretting selling them, as I would love them for rafting and playboating.
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