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Old 07-22-2016   #21
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4

I found that "most" companies have tech reps that will speak with you about what you're trying to accomplish. How are you going to use it? Rafter of Kayaker? Huge difference. Looking for a "Warm when Cold" suit or all-around? Do you hike to you launches in your suit? If yes then maybe Devil's Club is the suit. If you are jumping into your suit at the put in then it doesn't need to be as tough on the outside. I would first consider what your breathability needs are. Gore typically opens its pores around 70% humidity. I heat up like a microwave oven and find that many suits get soggy from my own perspiration if I am paddle vs a float. I find the IR 7figure to be the best yet at breathability! Next I would consider fit, inseam, body makeup, wingspan. Different "Lines" even within a brand can be cut differently. I am 6'2' 185 34" inseam and wide wingspan. certain suits don't fit well.

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Old 07-26-2016   #22
Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 384
I switched from a front zip to a rear zip suit a few seasons ago & I love it! I wouldn't claim it to be more dry, but it is way more comfortable. Not having a thick metal zipper between you and your sprayskirt across your ribs is really nice! If you can touch your shoulder blades with your fingertips then you can put it on by yourself. Not everyone has that range of motion unfortunately, but if you do it's pretty simple. My trick is to wait to put my hand thru the wrist gasket on the side I need to pull the zipper from. I will grab the sleeve from the inside to make the sleeve material tight & line the zipper up straight. Then pull the zipper from that position with my other hand behind my head. I can close it far enough (3/4 of the way) in that first pull, the I push my hand thru the gasket and finish closing the zipper with that hand that just came thru the gasket. Hopefully that makes sense. It's really simple once you've done it. I would not recommend a rear entry suit if you can't open & close it yourself.

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Old 07-26-2016   #23
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
+ 1 on Jmacn's post

Can't speak for all rear entry suits but IR zippers begin and end when the deltoid meets the tricep (side of shoulder) I usually get it started by just reaching across to the shoulder zip and starting it up towards my neck and then reach over and pull it over finishing it off by reaching across to the opposite shoulder to finish the opening or closing. If you properly store and maintain your plastic zipper it is superior to the older metal ones IMHO. While some suits leak a bit I have found that most moisture problems are "Interior Humidity Issues" caused by improper "burping" of the suit or wrong material for your body type trapping too much moisture before the "pores" of the breathable material open.

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Old 07-27-2016   #24
Edmond, Oklahoma
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 55
Zipping up solo, rear entry

I use a 3mm piece of cordage thats about 3' or so long. I loop it through the hole in my zipper to add about a foot and a half of reach. Zip up then slide the cord out. I do the same to unzip.
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Old 07-27-2016   #25
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 749
How does the rear zip let less water in the boat? Don't they both meet the skirt at the tunnel? My GMER stays completely dry.
The zipper across the front creates a little gap with my skirt when i bend around, the Icon lets the skirt sit better. It's really not that big of a deal and may be entirely in my head. I normally paddle dagger boats so there's always a ton of water in my boat regardless.

The bigger issue is the range of motion and comfort issue. The zipper across the back just gets in the way less than the zipper across the front.
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Old 07-27-2016   #26
Bozeman MT/N.GA, Georgia
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 10
Hey guy's,

Thanks for all the great advice and suggestions. After all was said and done, I went with a Kokatat Meridian Hydrus 3L that forum member nastysauce sold me. Only used sparingly since March, and in excellent condition. I couldn't be happier with my decision, and the incredible price I got.

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