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Old 10-21-2010   #1
Sydney, Australia
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6
What to look for in dry pants?


I'm looking to buy some dry pants for whitewater kayaking. I will be heading to NZ to paddle some cooler waters. But I do a lot of paddling in warmer weather back in Australia.

I assume I'd be best off getting some that are very breathable, so that I won't overheat when it's a bit warmer (but they'll still keep my dry) but will also keep me warm on colder rivers.

I have a really cheap pair of splash pants that have a very basic neoprene waist seal and basic neoprene ankle seals. They aren't very waterproof and they're not very breathable (if at all) either.

I have noticed that with my cheap pair, water gets in easily, and ends up pooling a bit in the ankles. I'd prefer latex gaskets for the ankles so that water won't get in if I'm wading out in the water. But what should I look for in regard to a waist seal to stop too much water pouring in if I ever had a swim or had to be live bait or something?

There's no real opportunity to try on/touch/feel/demo anything here in Australia, so I'd love any help I can get!


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Old 10-21-2010   #2
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
good dry pants come with arms.


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Old 10-21-2010   #3
C-dub's Avatar
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 02
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 183
I have had a lot of luck with these. They have kept me dry even swimming which I have been particularly good at lately. The pair I have are the previous model. Looks like Peak has since added the built in booties and suspenders.
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Old 10-21-2010   #4
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
A dry-suit will be dryer/warmer than pants alone (as Dave eluded to)...but if your going to get pants look for latex gaskets in the ankles and a waist tunnel that will mate with your dry-top. Gore-Tex is a good material to look for, as is Tropos.
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Old 10-21-2010   #5
Provo, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 114
I use these and they keep my dry during swims as long as I mate my dry top and pants together right. I also have a pair of these that are just pants and not bibs. Both have gaskets at the ankles and both are fairly breathable. The only downside to the pants vs the bibs is that you can still get wet in a swim because the pants and top are not connected... All this being said, a drysuit will be the best option if you can afford it with the bibs coming in second, imho.
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Old 10-21-2010   #6
goldcamp's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 337
Save your money and get a dry suit. I wish I would have. The only thing my dry pants are good for is pooling water around my ass and then allow it run down my legs when I stand up. I probably should have returned them as I never had a single dry day in them.
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Old 10-21-2010   #7
NathanH.'s Avatar
N/A, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 325
I have heard a great substitute for a dry-suit is the dry bib in comb with a dry top... A whole lot cheaper than a dry suit.
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Old 10-21-2010   #8
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 118
Check out the forum on There is an interesting thread on dry pants
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Old 10-21-2010   #9
Sydney, Australia
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6
I appreciate the responses. As for a drysuit, I mainly paddle in Australia, and even in winter it's not that cold on world standards. I do a lot of my paddling in summer without even the dry top, either just a PFD, or a rash shirt to try and keep the heat of the sun off, so a dry suit would be absolutely overkill.

So for me the best option is to have the drytop/pants combo so I can mix and match what I wear.

I use a Kokatat Rogue dry top, I'm not sure what to look for in the way of dry pants that will mate up with that? I had a look on the Kokatat site, I think maybe the dry pants with the bib might be a bit overkill? They look fairly bulky around the chest area, especially when you add on your skirt,dry top, pfd, insulation layers etc.? The peakuk ones that C-dub linked seem to have less bulk up high, but I'm not a fan of the inbuilt booties.

As for bib-less dry pants, Kokatat's Gore-Tex pants only have neoprene gaskets.

I'll have a look at the options some of you suggested, thanks!
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Old 10-21-2010   #10
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
check out the palm pants with sewn in sox

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