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Old 11-23-2014   #1
Hood River, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2163
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 295
Dry top battle: Kokatat vs Sweet

I just wrote up a review of the Sweet Supernova comparing it against the Kokatat Rogue. Check it out and let me know what you think. Both tops have big price tags, so I went in depth on all the nitty gritty details. Questions/comments welcome.

Link: Supernova Review

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Old 11-26-2014   #2
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Silverthorne, Colorado
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
What about quality/durability of gaskets? And ability for major repairs to be done by the manufacturer?

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Old 11-26-2014   #3
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. ., Kairotic
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Great review! I appreciate your comments about specific details and overall performance for each top. Nice pic of you in the World Championships also.

I have a few comments to add.

I have both of these tops, a black Rogue and a catsup red Supernova. I have used each extensively. I'm 5'10" 165 also, but wear an XL large in the Rogue and a L in the Supernova. The Rogue fits tighter in the shoulders, and the L Rogue is far too restrictive. Definitely try on the different sizes of each top.

Here are a couple of other considerations about the Supernova. While I do appreciate the Velcro wrist cuffs, these fill up with water and have to be drained every so often, which is a pain in the ass. Sweet needs to add some sort of drain hole. Additionally, and more significantly, the seams on the outer neoprene neck cover came apart on my Supernova. Sweet needs to glue, stitch, AND seam seal the outer neck covering. The neoprene neck cover delaminated after only a few months of paddling, with the neoprene held together by only a few threads. BUT Sweet warrantied the entire top, giving me a brand new one with no questions asked. Sweet's warranty service was top shelf.

In the end I'd buy both brands again.
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Old 11-26-2014   #4
Hood River, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2163
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 295
fullmer- thanks for adding your experience. That is interesting, because I have not had any issues so far with the wrist cuffs filling with water. I agree, however, that a drain hole would prevent this problem entirely. I also haven't had any problems with the neoprene neck cover yet, but I am only 30 days in with the top. Do you know approximately how many days you had it before the problem started? What was the timeline like for the warranty?

Yeah, the Sweet L definitely has a more generous fit than the Rogue. The Rogue's shoulders/chest are tighter like you said, but I'm still able to wear a large Rogue just fine.


The gaskets are of good quality and are well attached to the GORE material. I haven't been doing anything special to keep the gaskets in good condition (no 303, no special storage) and they are still in good shape so far.
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Old 11-26-2014   #5
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. ., Kairotic
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David, there are three or four seams on the neoprene neck cover of the Sweet drytop. Two of these split open. I showed the drytop to Tony at 4 Corners River Sports. He took a pic and sent it to Sweet. Sweet shipped a new top, and I had it in one week. I paddled with the old one until the new one arrived, and then I traded tops.

I used the top about 30 days before I noticed the delamination. This problem could be easily solved at the factory by gluing a strip of seam seal on the seam on the inside of the neck cover.

Tony at 4CRS and Sweet really took care of me.
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Old 11-28-2014   #6
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
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Great article David thanks for writing it. I've paddled with Shawn a bunch and others sporting the Sweet tops and drysuits and have been real curious about the gear. The stuff looks and feels great Good to hear that the performance is top notch too. Gore-tex has pretty stringent requirements for companies utiizing their fabrics so the fact that Sweet has access to the Pro material means they're doing something right for sure. I'm a Kokatat fan and have been for years so when I hear there's something out there rivaling the dryness and quality of Kokatat's Gore-tex line, I'm keen to hear about it.
Right on David and see you on the river.
To air is human, to get big air divine.
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Old 03-23-2015   #7
Vancouver, BC
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 13
What do u think about NRS dry tops ?

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Old 03-24-2015   #8
All over, The USA
Paddling Since: 1920
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 37
one more thing to consider..

Great write up and comparison! I think you covered just about everything possible except for maybe long term use. Check back with us in a couple years.
One thing to consider when spending almost $500 for a dry top is not only how well it works, fits and warranty but how about how the company you are are buying from gives back to the local community. This was probably not on your radar because you were given this dry top? Even still you might want to consider supporting a company for principle alone but if you get if for free /discount then you like most sponsored/pro athletes throw principle out the window. After all it's free just like health care now!
Anyways I tried looking this info up and was not able to find anything on Sweet here in the U.S. Please correct me if this is wrong but I did find that Kokatat has been a constant partner with American Whitewater for years and years. They donate thousands and thousand of dollars to American Whitewater every year. I find this amazing and very commendable that a company gives back so much to an organization like AW. I totally get it if one dry top fits/ feels better than the other. If that's the case you have to go with what feels right but if you can't decided then why not honor the company that is helping us actually have the ability to use that expensive ass dry top!
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Old 03-24-2015   #9
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 79
I've had Kokotat dry tops and dry suits for many years. Bought one time and both have been replaced by Kokotat. Goretex does not last forever. All it takes is a bit of rubbing here and there and leaks will develop.

So warranty/customer service is critical. For $20 you can send Kokotat product back and they will water test and patch any leaks. Last year I sent dry top in for 2nd time in 7 seven seasons. They called and said signs of potential delamination. Set me brand new Rouge top on their own initiative.
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Old 03-24-2015   #10
All over, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Asshole, Fuck Yeah!!!

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