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Old 04-25-2013   #1
Eugene, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 68
The Drysuit Evolved - SwimLeft

Good Morning,

My name is Eric Harvey and I am involved with a startup called SwimLeft Products. We are working to bring a revolutionary two-piece drysuit to the market and want to see what other boaters think about what we are doing.

My buddies and I looked at the flaws in current drysuit designs: zippers that break or are hard to reach, replacing gaskets, and an expensive piece of gear going unused in warm weather. After looking at all the options available, we started doing some development. We now believe we have developed the pieces necessary to produce a drysuit that will render these flaws obsolete.

We launched a website that gives a quick overview of our drysuit. If you would like more information or if you would like to see our drysuit available at your local kayak store, please show your support by joining our email list. In return, the first 30 people to show their support will have a chance to purchase a SwimLeft drysuit at cost in the fall.


Of course, we are stoked on our idea, but more importantly, we would like to hear any thoughts you have about our project.


Eric Harvey


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Old 04-25-2013   #2
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
Sweet idea.

Could you do a sprayskirt that has a pair of seals on a very short tunnel that would mate with your top/bottom combo?

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Old 04-25-2013   #3
Eugene, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 68
Absolutely! Once we have the drysuit production worked out, we will try and partner with a skirt manufacture to do exactly that.
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Old 04-25-2013   #4
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 748
That is a very cool idea. The snap-in replaceable gaskets are brilliant.
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Old 04-25-2013   #5
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 887
That does look like a good idea, a lot of added swagger and a proven product using the watershed technology - I will definitely check them out. My questions are will it be Gore-Tex or what type of fabric and how the seals will hold being in the area of a lot of movement and adjustments (Skirt, layering, torso movement while paddling)?

Good luck and hope to see them soon.
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Old 04-25-2013   #6
Eugene, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 68
As far as material: Obviously, drysuit can be made out of almost any material. Choosing the material is still a bit down the road, but will likely depend upon the pricing we can secure balanced with its performance.

As far as the seal strength: I do not have the numbers off hand, but the pull apart strength per inch on the closure we are using is more than enough. Try pulling apart a watershed(r) bag closure sometime.
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Old 04-25-2013   #7
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
Great great work on this idea. It's a fantastic idea and execution looks good so far.

a similar quick replace option for goretex dry socks would be pretty ideal too.

Would these include a relief zipper? or do you envision go in through the watershed seal? does that seal have a name?

Nice work folks!
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Old 04-25-2013   #8
Vail, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3
where is the site?

cannot find the web site to check these out..... can someone direct me there?
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Old 04-25-2013   #9
The Russian
kazak4x4's Avatar
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
I love watershed bags. Your idea is excellent! Why not go the Kickstarter route to get some initial funding and see the interest of the community.
-ALEX [ youtube ][ my boat ][ ]
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Old 04-25-2013   #10
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Interesting ideas. My initial concerns would be:

- Bulk around an area which makes direct contact with my boat. I can feel the layers between my top and bottom thermals and find it annoying. The bulky watershed style zip lock would be 10x's as bad.
- Properly seating the lock particularly behind me. The watershed bags are pre-seated one either end. It's really hard to screw it up, but without pre-seating I an imagine only getting 1 of the two channels to hook up correctly. Doing this work behind the back is even trickier. It makes a ton of sense for the gaskets, but for every day getting in and out of the suit I foresee issues.
- Twist. If you are slightly twisted at the waist at the beginning of the day, then all day your suit will want to turn to the left or the right and possibly causing bunching at the seam which weakens the seam strength.
- Weight. I get you are trading weight for utility, but I wonder how much of a trade it is.
- Customer service. You have a start-up with an innovative but experimental design. I hope you make it big. But, and this is a big but, like sir-mix-alot big, if the company folds after I (or anyone else) spend ~$1000 on a suit how do we handle basic servicing a 3 years down the road?

Very much interested to see where this goes. I'm not and won't be in the market for a drysuit in the near future (couple years) so any and all of the above issues will hopefully be ironed out by the next time I'm looking to buy. Best of luck.

The sunshine walked beside her
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