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Old 04-24-2014   #21
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Originally Posted by mania View Post
No. There is nothing as good as Kokatat. search every thread it is always the same conclusion.

Sweet has a better drytop hands down. We'll see how the ICON stacks up to the new Sweet drysuit. Sweet does not have any U.S. service centers so repair work means international shipping. To me that and the higher initial cost would be deal breakers. When it comes to quality of craftsmanship though Sweet has shown it's a legitimate player.

The sunshine walked beside her
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Old 04-28-2014   #22
gdtrfb8's Avatar
Silverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 67
Originally Posted by glenn View Post
Sweet has a better drytop hands down. We'll see how the ICON stacks up to the new Sweet drysuit. Sweet does not have any U.S. service centers so repair work means international shipping. To me that and the higher initial cost would be deal breakers. When it comes to quality of craftsmanship though Sweet has shown it's a legitimate player.
I agree with everything you've said here glenn. The new Sweet drysuit (Intergalactic) was the ONLY suit that I seriously considered vs. the Icon. For me there were two minor concerns.
  • First, the Sweet IG has hook and loop closures on the wrist, as opposed to the punch-through style on the Kokatat, which I prefer.
  • Second, and my main concern, the Sweet is front entry. I know this can be more convenient for getting in and out, but it creates a zipper where you (or at least I) don't want it. In the case of the Sweet suit, they moved the zipper up to eliminate it interfering with your skirt tunnel (a smart move, and the main reason I didn't go with the Kokatat GMER). However, by moving it up, the zipper comes across your arm/bicep, and although it's a plastic TiZip, I was still concerned it would bug me.

This Unsponsored review (Sweet Intergalactic Drysuit – Review | Unsponsored) brings up both of these "issues," but seems to feel they aren't too problematic:
  • "...the wrists have hook and loop adjustable neoprene protection. I am not a big fan of such adjustment on the wrists as it can create quite a lot of bulk that I simply do not like. However I soon forgot about this feature, which must mean that the design is low profile enough to make it un-noticeable."
  • "I was concerned that I would not like the front entry zip and although I did notice its presence, particularly over my left arm the zip does not feel restrictive at all and the suit performs really well."

For me, these two issues made me question the Sweet. Combining them with the fact that the company is out of the states, and the fact that Kokatat is not only in the US, but also has a seemingly impeccable reputation for backing their products made the decision a fairly easy one for me. My custom Icon arrives TOMORROW!!!

"This river don't go to Aintry."
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Old 04-29-2014   #23
yourrealdad's Avatar
185 lb. waste of space, Keeping Glenwood Springs real
Paddling Since: 1864
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 917
I have a GMER. Love it. Great quality. Sent it in a year ago to get gaskets replaced and pressure test it. I have fallen or scraped rocks and expected to find a tear. Nope. USA made so you can take it to a NRA gun rally and feel confident. I see mine lasting at least another 5 years after the 5 it already has.
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Old 04-29-2014   #24
BV, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 56
drysuit options

Originally Posted by irishkayaker View Post
I am looking for a good drysuit but don't know what would be the best brand to start off with

Sent from my C1905 using Mountain Buzz mobile app
I've got a good NRS drysuit for sale here on the buzz, I'd take $450.00 size XL.

Kokotat makes a better product that will last longer. Years ago I had a Kokotat drysuit - it was a basic drysuit with ankle gaskets, no tunnel, gasket protection, or suspenders. It was a decent suit.

I've since had a couple of NRS drysuits and they seem to work fine; as I've added more gear over the years, my drysuit gets less use.

I don't know if manufacturers still make them with ankle gaskets or not, but "booties" (latex, gortex, etc..) are much, much nicer. Collars, or fabric around the gaskets is a good idea, and interior suspenders, I've found are a good feature as well.

In any event, latex gaskets will need replaced every few seasons (depending on use, storage, etc..).

IMO. It depends on how much (and to what degree) you plan to use the suit, and how much money you want to put up. Classic tradeoffs.
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Old 04-29-2014   #25
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 505
Originally Posted by GAtoCSU View Post
Just out of curiosity, why should a paddling product last 10-20 years? We don't expect this out of our skirts, helmets, paddles, life jackets, shoes, cars, etc., which begs the question, when a drysuit does last 5+ years of good paddling, is that not enough?

Always wondered this question when I get into the drysuit debate. Thoughts?

Disclaimer: I've owned 2 gor-tex suits, 1 palm, and 1 IR
I'm not sure you can make the comparison; skirts, PFDs and shoes are different than drysuits. They have different materials and quality control. Different expectations.

I do expect any vehicle I own to last 10-20 years, if not longer.

I think the biggest reason is you're paying around or over $1,000 bucks for a drysuit. No one wants to make an investment like that if it only lasts a few seasons. I mean, some of us already drop that much every other year for a stupid boat that can't stand up to some piddly rocks.
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Old 04-29-2014   #26
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
I love my NRS dry suit. It keeps me 100% dry and was under $500 on sale (with relief zipper but no tunnel). It will last for more than ten years with good maintenance. I would love having a Kokatat but $500 is a lot of money for the upgrade.

At full retail go Kokatat, but watch the sales on NRS and you may get a good value.
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Old 04-29-2014   #27
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
I have 20+ years on my dry fashion and still styling and 6 years on my NRS Extreme with no issues. 7 years on my Kokatat. I had the most issues with the Kokatat. Pin holes. Kokatat's warrenty rocks. I have tested it! I use the Dry Fashion on the coldest days and the Kokatat on warmer days. I loan out the NRS. For what its worth.
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Old 04-29-2014   #28
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
I would buy a used dry suit in good shape too. Negotiate the price of new gaskets into the deal, do a little repair if necessary, and pay under $500 too...
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Old 04-29-2014   #29
Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 19
We got Kokatat drysuits for a Coppermine trip more than a decade ago. For cold water the socks and relief zipper are key features. For almost half of that trip we got in the tent before we took the drysuits off and put them on before we went out in the morning. The patterning and fit makes them great for paddling-long enough in the arms and good space for full range of movement. I have replaced the neck gasket several times and the wrists a couple times each, otherwise no noticeable wear and tear through many trips and portages. And Kokatat has great customer service people. One of our paddling buddies says" the only thing between you and comfort outdoors is your wallet." The drysuit might double your boating season length, go for it.
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Old 05-08-2014   #30
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 7
Gasket stretch?

I just made the investment and got myself a new Kokatat drysuit. Took it on a town lap down the Yampa yesterday and was very happy! My question is, can I expect the neck gasket to stretch or is it worth trimming it. Obviously tighter is better but I hate the feeling of blood loss to my head...

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