Store your drysuit with the zipper unzipped? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-26-2016   #1
 
Great Falls, Montana
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Store your drysuit with the zipper unzipped?

Did you all know this?? I just learned this today from Kokatat. When your suit is not in use, the zipper should be unzipped because they are compression style zippers and will lose tension if stored zipped. Good tip that I though I would pass on. Sorry if everyone already knew that and if so why didn't you tell me?

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Old 09-26-2016   #2
 
Cascade, Idaho
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....but pack with zippers closed

I totally agree for long-term storage, but to build on that: I always pack mine away zipped. I went through three drysuits in three years and each time it was zippers breaking from being folded too tightly and teeth separating. When it's zipped up, it's reinforced and won't get folded or crack. I've been doing this for 5 years now and my zipper is still plenty dry. In the off-season, yes. Hang in the closet unzipped. Stuffing it in the gear bag and the end of a day, zip it up. That's my 12 cents.
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Old 09-27-2016   #3
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Originally Posted by dthurbs View Post
I totally agree for long-term storage, but to build on that: I always pack mine away zipped. I went through three drysuits in three years and each time it was zippers breaking from being folded too tightly and teeth separating. When it's zipped up, it's reinforced and won't get folded or crack. I've been doing this for 5 years now and my zipper is still plenty dry. In the off-season, yes. Hang in the closet unzipped. Stuffing it in the gear bag and the end of a day, zip it up. That's my 12 cents.
Or don't stuff it in the gear bag. I connect the velcro on either side of the zipper, put the booties and gaskets inside the arms, legs, and neck, fold those in, and loosly roll the thing. It gets a stuff sack and then goes in the gear bag. Maybe it's overkill, but my zipper still keeps my dry and the fabric is in great shape. I also recommend zipper wax, 303 for the gaskets, and am occasional tech wash and DWR treatment.
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Old 09-27-2016   #4
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Randaddy View Post
Or don't stuff it in the gear bag. I connect the velcro on either side of the zipper, put the booties and gaskets inside the arms, legs, and neck, fold those in, and loosly roll the thing. It gets a stuff sack and then goes in the gear bag. Maybe it's overkill, but my zipper still keeps my dry and the fabric is in great shape. I also recommend zipper wax, 303 for the gaskets, and am occasional tech wash and DWR treatment.
I agree with this. I roll/fold mine very similarly when putting it in the gear bag. It hangs to dry and stores with the zipper open. I didn't realize it had anything to do with maintaining the zipper, it has been more about making sure all condensation evaporates out of the suit for me. I recommend McNett silicone grease for gasket maintenance over 303 though.
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Old 09-27-2016   #5
 
SLC, Utah
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Interesting that the Alpaca packraft instructions say it's important to store boats with the tube access zipper zipped
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Old 09-27-2016   #6
 
Sacramento, California
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I've been hanging mine half zipped, otherwise it doesn't hang on the zipper, but wanted it to easily dry. I never thought about the zipper's condition itself.
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Old 09-27-2016   #7
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Originally Posted by bystander View Post
I've been hanging mine half zipped, otherwise it doesn't hang on the zipper, but wanted it to easily dry. I never thought about the zipper's condition itself.
I find hangers to be hard on the shoulder material. I throw mine over a bar at the waistline of the suit in my laundry room which is a dark, temperature and humidity controlled environment. Seems like it makes a pretty big difference in the life of my gear.
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Old 09-27-2016   #8
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Boise, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmyers View Post
I agree with this. I roll/fold mine very similarly when putting it in the gear bag. It hangs to dry and stores with the zipper open. I didn't realize it had anything to do with maintaining the zipper, it has been more about making sure all condensation evaporates out of the suit for me. I recommend McNett silicone grease for gasket maintenance over 303 though.
This is exactly what Kokatat recommends and we steer our customers away from using 303 on the gaskets as a rule. The 303 with the natural oils in our skin breaks down the gaskets faster. We leave our dry suits at the shop (and I leave my personal one) with the zippers about 1/4 open, that is sufficient for zipper maintenance. This just applies to the metal zippers, the plastic zippers or technically called "TiZip® zippers" can be stored closed.
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Old 09-27-2016   #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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My Kokatat came with instructions to store with the zipper closed. It's a plastic zipper. Since we seem to have conflicting advice, I looked it up on their site, and there were some interesting tidbits:
  • Metal zippers should be stored partially closed with the zipper slide about 2 inches open
  • Plastic zippers should be stored entirely closed
  • Store either hanging or loosely rolled
  • McNett Zip Tech lubricant for plastic zippers
  • Paraffin or beeswax lubricant for metal zippers
  • 303 Protectant every 4-6 weeks on latex gaskets

Full text (from https://kokatat.com/pdf/KokatatDSstorage.pdf):
[spoiler]
Washing
When washing, always follow sewn-in care instructions. With dry suits and dry tops Kokatat recommends using cold water, delicate cycle, gentle liquid soap, with no bleach or harsh chemicals, and high water volume, in a front loading machine. Rinse well (which may mean running it through a second time, inside out with no soap OR use a cold shower). Line dry.

Gasket care and repair
Latex gaskets need to be treated every 4–6 weeks to prevent drying and cracking. Kokatat recommends 303 Protectant. Small tears or holes in the gasket may be repaired with Aquaseal. Replacement gaskets and kits are available from your dealer or directly from Kokatat. Kokatat (and some dealers) will replace gaskets for a reasonable charge. Kokatat will replace gaskets and socks on Kokatat garments only. Please contact Customer Service at 800.225.9749 to obtain an Return Authorization Number (RA#).

Zipper information and care
The zipper is one of the most sensitive components of your drysuit. Treat it carefully. The most common causes of zipper leakage are failure to close the zipper firmly, or dirt in the zipper teeth or closing end.
1. Pull the zipper in a straight line, in a smooth and even motion. Avoid yanking or pulling to the side. Have another person help you if you cannot easily reach any part of the zipper. Be especially gentle in colder air and water temperatures.
2. Never force a jammed zipper. Unzip, examine the jammed point for obstruction or damage, then carefully try again. Zipping over a piece of dirt or underclothes can derail the teeth and ruin the zipper. (Continued on the other side.) Rev.: June 5, 2015
3. The zipper is most vulnerable to damage when you are getting in and out of your suit. Be sure the zipper is open completely, and try not to put force on the ends that could tear the zipper apart.
4. Keep sand and dirt out of the teeth and the closing end of the zipper. Clean the zipper occasionally with mild soap, water and a toothbrush. Lubricate occasionally with a light coat of paraffin, beeswax for metal tooth zippers. For plastic water tight zippers, a dab of McNett Zip Tech™ Semi-Solid Zipper Lubricant in the closing end improves sealing.
5. Dry suits should be stored in a clean, dry environment. Metal tooth zippers
should be partially closed with the zipper slide left about 2 inches open. This will help alleviate pressure on the sealing elements. Plastic water tight zippers should be stored in the entirely closed position. Store either hanging or loosely rolled. Broken zippers cannot be repaired but can be replaced. This work may be performed only by Kokatat at our factory; if you feel your zipper has been damaged, please contact Customer Service at 800.225.9749 to obtain a Return Authorization Number (RA#).

DWR
Durable Water Repellent (DWR) prevents liquid from building up on your garment’s outer layer which can make you feel damp and clammy (“wetting out”). Regular wear and tear, exposure to dirt, detergents and other impurities causes DWR to wear off over time, but the good news is that it can be restored. The effective life of the DWR depends upon how the garment is cared for, and how rigorously it is used. The most effective way to maintain the garment’s water and stain repellency is to rinse it and let
it drip dry (washing helps, and if it’s not a gasketed or a coated fabric, then it can be put in the dryer). DWR is not what makes a garment waterproof - it’s a treatment applied to the face fabric that keeps water beading on the outer surface rather than soaking into it. Eventually the DWR will wear out. There are many aftermarket DWR renewal treatments available from your local dealer.

Leaks
If you feel as though your GORE-TEX® garment is leaking, please contact Customer Service at 800.225.9749 to obtain an Return Authorization Number (RA#). We can water test and patch your garment.
[/spoiler]
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Old 09-28-2016   #10
 
Great Falls, Montana
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Thanks to all of you that clarified the different guidance between metal and plastic zippers. That was in important distinction that I should have researched before posting.
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