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Old 04-11-2013   #1
JCKeck1's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,471
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Best union suit?

Kokatat - IR - Stolquist? Compare/contrast.

I've had the IR one for a couple of years but recently sold it. It moved really well with paddle strokes and seemed to wick moisture as well. I did like the stretchy neck entrance which never got too stretched out. I didn't like the underwear look when the shuttle rig hadn't arrived and we're chillin drinking beers. I didn't find myself too hot in it often, but it would happen occasionally on a big portage.

I just moved to Seattle and I'm thinking maybe the warmth of the Stolquist is the way to go. Does the zipper bother people that don't wear anything under it? It looks kinda baggy, as if it might bunch up under your drysuit. Anyone delt with that? Is it too hot for portaging? Wicks moisture pretty well?

The Kokatat one is newer. Any reviews? Everything else they do is sweet, so I bet their union is too.


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Old 04-11-2013   #2
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 31
No butt flap on the stohlquist.

I bought that bunny suit sometime last fall and have used it all winter. It is pretty form fitting. The sleeves tend to bunch a little. Other than that, it's a nice fit to go under a dry suit.

It is very warm, almost too warm. It's fleece, so it's cozy, cuddly, great for wearing around the house, but it also makes it a little too bulky. The volume and grip of the fleece make it somewhat cumbersome to use with a drytop/dry pants combo.

I use it commando and the zipper doesn't bother me too much as long as I'm careful taking a whiz. There is no butt flap, so going #2 is a ridiculously involved process, requiring the removal of all layers. You basically have to get naked. I know it may not seem like a big deal as long as you take care of your business before suiting up, but if there's an emergency: DEAR GOD you do want that butt flap. More essential than any other piece of safety gear in your boat.

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Old 04-11-2013   #3
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Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 887
Agree with the comment about the bunny suit, it's super warm, but does seem to wick well. Could see myself overheating on a portage, but thats CO not WA. I wish the zipper dropped a little lower, but I'm 6'3", otherwise its not that noticeable. Even used it a few times this winter under the mountain gear for riding and was impressed. Luckily no emergency exits needed yet but can see the need for a drop seat
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Old 04-11-2013   #4
Durango South, 4CRS
Paddling Since: 07
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 173
I wear a merino wool ninja suit. It wicks moisture, minimizes boater funk, and is really thin so it doesn't get in the way. It also has a waist zipper that goes almost the entire way around, so pooping has never been easier! I'm not sure if it would be quite as warm as some of the thicker options, but it keeps me toasty during ski season. Drawbacks: the hood isn't removable, and you will still look like a 6 year old at a slumber party while drinking your beer at the takeout.

Airblaster Merino Wool Ninja Suit - Men's |
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Old 04-11-2013   #5
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Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
I picked up the NRS Men's WaveLite Union Suit - Polartec® at I have not tried on any other suits, but this one is quite comfy. My GF made fun of me on my last trip because i did not remove it all weekend,
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Old 04-11-2013   #6
Renaissance Redneck
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 988
I have the Stolquist and can only stand it in the coldest of conditions. Also the hand and feet cuffs are way too small for my extremities and ripped out long ago.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 04-11-2013   #7
Mad Scientist/Creeker
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 803
Dude, Kokatat.

The union suit is bomber, no worries on the zipper - ultra low-profile. I also have their merino top and bottoms for warmer days - best river under layers I've ever owned. They do not smell. Hard to believe but it takes some serious funk to stank them out and they wick way better than any union suit out there.
Evan Stafford
Cub boater: "What do the spiders mean?" Old fart boater: "Trust your intuition." CRCII
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Old 04-11-2013   #8
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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Posts: 690
Originally Posted by JCKeck1 View Post
I've had the IR one for a couple of years but recently sold it.
i just puked in my mouth. who buys a kayaker's used underwear?!
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Old 04-12-2013   #9
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Seattle, Washington
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Haha. It was dirty too! A scumbag kiwi kayaker - that's who! And everyone knows I don't smell like roses

Thanks everyone. Gotta give the Kokatat a shot
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Old 04-12-2013   #10
San Jose, CA, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 433
Stolquist modification

I have had my stolquist for two seasons. The seem in the back ripped out.

This is a good because I do not haft to take it off to poop in the cold winter mornings on overnights.

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