Drysuits - Mountain Buzz

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Old 12-14-2008   #1
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,466

Here's the sitch:

A,B,C, and Lodore the last week of March. I want a drysuit, but mostly so I can dry off one article each day and have easy-to-get-into splash gear for potentially cold/wet weather. Desolation the first week of April. Same deal. Colorado late May-early June, hopefully working where I can help train some rookie pukes and maybe swim a little bit. Maybe a few times on personal paddle raft trips too.

Except for an occasional swim, I'm thinking that my drysuit will mostly function as high quality, one-piece splash gear. I want to stay pretty dry if I swim or surf a ducky once in a while too though.

Do I need a 900 f'ing dollar Gore Tex drysuit? Does anyone have experience with the Kokotat Tropos suits, Semi-dry suits, or other cheap suits? I have an NRS semi-dry top that I think lost its thunder early on. I'm hesitant to buy their clothing again - especially with something that needs to last. I get pro prices and I want to spend $300 or less. If the cheaper suits suck and I'd be stupid to get one, please tell me.

This of course includes your used, Men's size medium, drysuit - provided it doesn't have cigarette burns or smell like urine. Need Christmas money? Cash for your fix or a "lady of the evening?" It's winter. Time to sell...

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Old 12-14-2008   #2
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,466
I just read this and I forgot to imply, for those of you unfamiliar with my recreational preferences, that I raft. I don't kayak. I raft. I understand the need for a top-quality drysuit to a man (or lady-man) inside of a wave or under water.
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Old 12-15-2008   #3
raftkat's Avatar
Anchorage, Alaska
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 20
I needed a drysuit to guide in Alaska this past summer. I didn't really want to spend the money on an expensive drysuit, so I went the route of the Kokatat Tropos bibs and a cheap NRS dry top. I was very happy with my choice. When you go the bibs/dry top route, you can kinda control the price by choosing the quality of each piece separately...plus, you can wear one or the other depending on what type of river you're ruining and what you really need to wear. As long as you spend a little time perfecting the roll (getting the bibs rolled into the drytop) you say dry even in pretty brutal swims. Would work great as splash gear too.
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Old 12-15-2008   #4
coloradopaddler's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 206
I would really suggest getting the gore tex kokotat. it is a lot of money but i've had mine for ten years and it is still totally dry. i've obviously replaced a few gaskets in that time but it is a quality purchase that should last a long time. i started out paddling open canoes with it and now use it on my raft when needed. i've got splash gear too but being totally dry can be a big issue. if you get a cheaper one you'll wish you hadn't.
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Old 12-15-2008   #5
no tengo
mania's Avatar
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,865
We issue Kokatat Supernovas to our raft clients on the upper animas and they work great. Yes a little water gets in but customers would not like the latex neck and they would rip them anyway. I even wore one on the grand last jan cause I didn't want to wear my own with the latex gasket for 20 days.
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Old 12-15-2008   #6
Davis, California
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 71
i have also heard that depending on neck size the supernova is a lot drier than a normal semidry
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Old 12-15-2008   #7
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Yeah,if you want something thats just a "high quality splash gear" then I'd definitely recommend the supernova too. Super comfortable and affordable(sorta) and should be plenty of protection for western rivers like Lodore and Deso. I don't know about rivers in Alaska though. But if they're using em on the Animas then you cant go wrong. The neck on mine is pretty tight(but comfortable) for a semi-drysuit. I'll be using it on the Grand in March too....
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Old 12-15-2008   #8
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,466
Has anyone had experience with the tropos suits? They are called "drysuits" in the NRS catalogue and have latex gaskets. They retail for about $400.
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Old 12-15-2008   #9
boof splash
kuuskv's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 158
i bought a ir suit and have been using it a few times, but i live in the east. the suit is great, and moderately priced, if you are prodealing off nrs then you wont be able to get it, but something to consider if you can find one used.
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Old 12-15-2008   #10
DeBeque, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 27
I have an NRS Extreme and it works great. I think I paid about 350 for it pro deal. I used it rafting 20-30 times this year from Feb-Oct and it hasn't leaked yet. Although sometimes I wear too much under it and I sweat enough to be soaked. I just bought a Tropos for a back up because it was cheap used once on Ebay for 100 and it seems like a good suit but it is noticably thinner material than the NRS.
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