Drysuit Recommendations? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-08-2018   #1
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 3
Drysuit Recommendations?

Right fellow paddlers, winter is coming and im in the market for a drysuit.
Im after some unbiased reviews from users and abusers.
Ive got a decent budget and so far ive only looked at:
Typhoon Multisport 4
Nookie Charger
Palm Atom.
Im looking at latex over glide skin.....at the moment.
So does anyone have and regularly use and abuse any of the above or can recommend any others.
For Whitewater, river running and keeping me dry in winter. Im going to be sea kayaking as well, but im hoping if it keeps the whitewater out......
Like I say, ive a decent budget but im not going to rush to buy and throw money away just because a suit looks good, I WANT IT TO WORK
Opinions please fellow paddlers.

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Old 10-08-2018   #2
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,684
GTX Kokatat.

Two words: 'lifetime warranty'

Edit: I got my first suit in the infamous mango color back in 2002 or so. I ran it hard for 10-11 years and probably 400-500 days. I'm a tall guy and got a custom suit with longer legs, arms, torso, and XL gtx booties. It was nearly $1,000 then. Still, I got my ~$2 per day out of it.

I had sent it back to Kokatat for new seals and asked them to check why it was getting wet around the waist. The GTX had started to delaminate. they called me, "what color do you want your new suit?".

Kokatat is spendy, but worth every penny.
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Old 10-08-2018   #3
Nosebleed, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 170
What MT4Runner said.
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Old 10-08-2018   #4
colorado_steve's Avatar
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 287
x3 on kokatat
Oh! I don't take it lightly! I've always got to know
There's an old lion a roarin' n the river down below
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Old 10-08-2018   #5
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,814
I will be #4 to say Kokatat. I love my GMER.
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Old 10-08-2018   #6
Blade&Shaft's Avatar
Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 305
Yup. You get what you pay for.
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Old 10-09-2018   #7
ColoradoKayak15's Avatar
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 57
my kokatats delamanate after a few years but they give you a new suit every time
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Old 10-11-2018   #8
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 242
I have a Kokatat drysuit and dry top, and both work great. I never knew my boat could be so dry after a day of kayaking. I don't even bring a change of clothes anymore. I love the gear itself.

That said, I went with Kokatat because of the great things I've heard about their warranty, but I had to go through their warranty process this summer and was completely unimpressed. I can't speak to the longevity of my gear since the drytop is less than a year old and the dry suit is less than two years old, but their warranty process sucked.

I had to send my drytop in this summer because the stitching was coming unraveled in multiple places. First I checked with CKS because that's where I bought it, and they said to contact Kokatat. This is where my unhappiness started.

Here are my complaints:

1. Their warranty process was not documented, and there were no links on their support site on how to submit a warranty claim. It took 10 days after contacting them for them to provide me the info I needed to initiate a warranty repair.

2. Their warranty process involved going to their online store, adding a "Warranty Evaluation" to your cart, which cost $15, and paying for it.

3. I assumed the $15 was to cover shipping to them, and I would get a shipping label I could print to send it in. I further assumed that they would then verify if it was a valid warranty repair and refund my money if they determined that it was. Nope. The $15 was to cover the shipping back to me after they repaired it, and all I got was an RMA number. I then had to pay to ship my drytop to them (which cost me another $20). The RMA expires if they don't receive it withing 10 days, so don't dawdle on shipping.

4. I get it back on Aug 8th, which was 27 days after I shipped it to them. If you figure 3-4 days shipping each way, that still means they had it for about 20 days. Good thing I didn't ship it during prime boating season.

Compare that to Astral. In 10+ years of boating I've never had to warranty anything, and it just so happened this year I needed to get both a new drytop and new PFD repaired. Astral's process was great. A buckle broke on my PFD, so I went to Astral's website, filled out their warranty form, and they responded in less than a day and said they're sending me a new PFD and a return label to send them back the broken one. I received the new PFD in less than a week. No cost to me either way, and I had (and continued to use) my old PFD until the new one arrived.

Ok, all that said I just looked and Kokatat has updated their web site so now it's easy to figure out how to submit a warranty claim, and they no longer make you pay for shipping the gear back to you. That still means you'll need to pay for shipping to them, but hey that's better than it was. It also doesn't address the long response times. I get that a drytop is different than a PFD and it's not reasonable to expect them to cross-ship, but it'd be nice to get a response to an support request in less than a week, and if they could expedite the repair so it doesn't take so long to get your gear back.

I'll be contacting them to see if I can at least get my $15 refunded.
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Old 10-12-2018   #9
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,466
I use a dry suit as a raft guide and duckthusiast, usually only a twenty or so days per year. I've been using NRS suits and other WPB garments for a decade. I'll buy a suit wholesale, use for 3 seasons, sell to a rookie guide for way less than wholesale, and repeat. I end up paying about $100 per year to have a fresh new suit every three years.

NRS suits keep me almost perfectly dry, have held up to abuse, and keep me from owning a $1000 item that could be stolen or damaged. I'd love to have a nice Kokatat Gore-Tex suit one day, but for my lifestyle and budget I'm happy with NRS.
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Old 10-12-2018   #10
Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 16
As of last week both Outdoor Play and Steep and Cheap had Sweet Protection drysuits on sale for $760. They are great suits - better than newer Kokatats - and were half price.
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