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Old 02-17-2016   #11
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 329
Just for the convenience a dry suit wins. But you can find deals for new to practically new quality suits for 650+. Retail is hard to chew, but for 700 it's worth the extra bit of cash

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Old 02-17-2016   #12
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
Originally Posted by Randaddy View Post
I used to think this too, but it's been tested and proven wrong. The water in your pants would have to be heavier than the water in the river for them to "pull you down." I've been taught by very knowledgable rescue instructors that the buoyancy is actually neutral during the swim.

The said, get the dry suit.
If this is true then how do so many fishermen in waders drown because of them? I am curious to hear more, I would agree in a pretty mellow situation, but not if you are actually trying to locomote and the river is working against you. You still need to move the water in your suit against the water in the river. But I have never tried it to confirm. I don't dispute that it is neutrally buyoant, just that the point is irrelevant in moving water. I think "pull you down" is more a reference to making it harder to get out or stay above.

What level of water do you run? If it is much over class 3 I would avoid a separated set. In a big swim nothing is neutral (I don't believe) if you are getting shoved around trying to get up to the surface to breathe.

And on top of that, it would SUUUUCK to have them come apart and get wet. A suit is user comfy too without more bulky binding crap on the waist.

I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 02-17-2016   #13
Duluth, Minnesota
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 175
Think of a swamped kayak. Like your body its positively buoyant (your body is naturally, the kayak because of float bags and foam). The water doesn't weigh it down but it adds mass. Ever try to tow or push a kayak after a swim? It weighs hundreds of pounds but its buoyancy is still the same. Basically water in your pants makes it harder to move. Now fisherman are likely to be wearing clothes that negate some of their natural buoyancy so when they fill up waders its that much tougher to swim or stay afloat.

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Old 02-17-2016   #14
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I used to have a pants/top setup, and took a couple pretty long swims in fairly heavy water and never got a significant amount of water inside my pants. Usually it would burp and allow some water in when bouncing off rocks or going deep. Now I have a Kokotat GMER and it is SO MUCH more comfortable. Worth every penny.
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 02-17-2016   #15
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
Sometimes all ya need is a dry top. When I'm kayaking (mostly playboating) I go with a drytop/boarder shorts/poly pro longjohns in the middle of winter. I know that in the event of a swim, it wont be long and I'm not far away from ppl or the warmth of my car.

So buying just bottoms for a few times a year might be the way to go. especially if your busting up drytops every two years and pants ever four?

If you are a rafter/catboater then the suit is a not brainer.
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Old 02-17-2016   #16
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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What Laura and Brian said,you may not sink but it is like swimming or trying to pull yourself out with weights on your legs.Drysuits are way better once on ,but am I the only one that has a hard time getting them on and off.It is like trying to get out of a straight jacket and when it's hot sweating like a pig...the relief zipper is worth the extra money,unless you can get the suit off easily....someone said to hold a bottle inside the suit for guys to pee in,so you have to carry a pee bottle..
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Old 02-17-2016   #17
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
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Some of the nastiest swims I've seen have been ppl in drysuits. Too much air in suit and they just float on top of the water, even if burped. Can't get any traction with the swimming motion of arms. Its like watching a marshmellow trying to swim out of the river. Check out mike in the video.

Did the dry suit save his life or hider his rescue?? You make the call?
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Old 02-17-2016   #18
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I'm having trouble with this one. If properly burped you can basically get the drysuit to suction on to you like a vacuum sealed bag. It usually happens to me naturally in the course of boating from water pressure pushing air out of the suit. It is good to make burping the suit part of the gear up routine.

Re original question: just get the drysuit. Do a search.
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Old 02-17-2016   #19
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Bazzaro, World
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Originally Posted by KSC View Post
I'm having trouble with this one. If properly burped you can basically get the drysuit to suction on to you like a vacuum sealed bag.
There is a lot of air in a dry suit from your socks to tee. Nobody can get all that air out without a shop vac. No matter what you do there is going to be air in the drysuit. as soon as you are in the water all that air goes to the highest point and balloons. You can see it in all drysuit swimmers. Even in the video I posted.

Its been my experience that ppl in drysuits take longer to get out of the water.

Next summer when the water is warm, burp your suit as good as you can and then swim. then swim in a drytop only, then in pants/drytop combo. Swim across a river. You'll find that the drysuit is more work than originally thought. Give it a try. I have..... drysiuts are not the best in the event of a swim.

Nobody has talked about what if your suit rips. I seen a suit get cut accidentally and that was a mess.
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Old 02-17-2016   #20
Sacramento, California
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 232
I find that if you go into the water and get most your body submerged, you can burp a good enough amount out to not have to worry about it. But yeah, a dry suit will never allow you to swim as well as without. If you could, they'd use for a lot more water activities. I'm not sure if it hinders you enough to not use a dry suit.

Another somewhat common setup I've seen and was wondering your thoughts about, is a wet suit bottom and dry top combination.

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