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Old 10-26-2009   #1
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 168
OS Systems Drysuits - breathable vs non-breathable

I know a few folks on the Buzz have OS Systems drysuits. (OS SYSTEMS - The Drysuit People)

Do you have one with the breathable material or just the coated nylon?

If the coated nylon, how has that worked for you? It seems like it would be a sauna in any warmer conditions, but in colder temps it might work just fine (think rafting vs kayaking).

Their prices, range of sizes, and domestic production are very appealing.

And just to get this out of the way before someone else posts it:

"Dude, just by a Kokatat GMER! You will never look back! It is the shiznit."



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Old 10-26-2009   #2
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
I have the breathable, and LOVE it! But, I sweat a lot, and wear mine when it's hot because I get wet a lot (cat-boat - no floor). I also have friends who have the non-breathable, and love theirs too. OS has told me that the breathable fabric is harder to seal (picture the texture of goretex on the inside) and is slightly more prone to seam failure because of all that texture. They stand behind it none-the-less. I had a foot leak, and sent it back and they fixed it no-problem. They had already come up with a new system for doing feet and sealing seams. These are the fabric feet, which are really hard to seal too. But I don't want latex, so I'm willing to accept that.

I think if I was doing winter boating, I'd want non-breathable, so it NEVER leaked. Since I'm doing spring/summer/fall boating, and I sweat a lot, I want it to breath.

I know lots of Kokatats that leak awfully darn fast.

I have the zipper across the back, it leaks less, because the zippers are an easy leak and it's got less exposure to water than across my chest.

I love the made in the USA factor, and custom fitting.

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 10-26-2009   #3
shappattack's Avatar
Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,147
I have been using OS dry suites for river related work since 1996 and they are great for cold conditions, but hot in warm conditions, obviously. They are tuff and stand up to abuse. The rubber gaskets are fairly easy to replace by yourself if you know a few tricks. Assuming you get your gaskets properly fitting, they don't leak.
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Old 10-27-2009   #4
fdon's Avatar
Christopher Creek, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 288
Mines breathable. I do a lot of November thru January boating. In areas of difficult water, I still get hot and have to take a dip in that cold water to cool off. Lots of fleece lining for the cold weather. I would only consider the non-breathable suit for boating extreme conditions; very cold and windy. I usually carry a rainsuit along for extra protection on those extreme weather days but have never had to use it. OS is US, built well and they back their gear. Easy folks to work with and they do custom work without complaint. Have you checked out the available colors? How cool is that desert camo...
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