Union suit? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-24-2010   #1
 
Dave Frank's Avatar
 
Boulder, Colorado
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Union suit?

Now that I've finally gotten a dry suit, it is time for a one piece under layer.

Been looking for a merino wool one, but they mostly seem to have a high cotton content.

What are you using? It can't be stinky.

How's that IR one?

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Old 04-24-2010   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Frank View Post
...It can't be stinky...
I've never heard of river gear that fits this description.

Apologies that I can't offer any real help for your question.
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Old 04-24-2010   #3
 
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Steamboat, Colorado
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I have been doing the same research, found this one:

Product Listing Mens-Pure-Wool

I am just not sure about buttons, but it is 100% wool, its in the upper right of that page...

I do not like how most of the NRS/Kokatat have zippers, I know everyone likes their IR union suit but I did not like the way it fit or getting in through the neck.

Any other options out there?
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Old 04-24-2010   #4
 
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I used the IR last year and really like it. I was concerned about stretching out the neck getting through it but so far it has held up really nicely. The other thing I have noticed is that it doesn't seem to get to stinky to fast. I have chalked that up to it staying dry with me inside the dry suite. The only time I remember thinking it was stinky is when it got wet for one reason or another and festered for a while. But hey, maybe I'm just washing it to much...
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Old 04-24-2010   #5
 
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I'm pretty sold on the IR union suit. Works amazing as a single layer under a drysuit for standard rockies creeking conditions, and I can add layers as necessary. Only downfall is if you groove you have to go shirtless on cold mornings... like xmas rafting. But that's a drysuit and union suit issue.
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Old 04-24-2010   #6
 
B.V., Colorado
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OR-saturn suit

Just picked up one of these: Outdoor Research Saturn Suitâ„¢

I found a great deal online for this bad boy. The triple zipper allows bathroom breaks, including morning ones. I think the farmer john style will work great because too much bulk on the arms interferes with my elbow pads, and I can layer accordingly.
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Old 04-24-2010   #7
 
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Mel, is the zipper in that thing uncomfortable? does you feel as flaming as it looks when wearing it?

Anyone tried the kokatat version?
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Old 04-24-2010   #8
 
Denver, Colorado
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I got the IR union suit for x-mas last year. I've worn it a few times, and its a nice piece of gear. I can't really say that it adds any significant improvement over the individual top and bottom layers I had before though. I have light weight polypro top and bottoms and mid weight fleece tops that I layer depending on weather conditions. Some people complain about tops and bottoms bunching up under a drysuit or having a gap near your lower back, but I find that tucking them into each other and paying attention when gearing up easily fixes those issues. I also like the flexibility that lots of different layers gives you.

One thing I didn't like about the IR union suit is that it was kind of tight on my arms. When I bend my arms at the elbow, I feel some constriction and resistance to movement due to the tightness on the upper arm. I prefer a bit looser of fit that allows for freedom of arm movement while still being warm. I got the XL union suit and it fit ok everywhere but the arms.

Also I find that different parts of the body need different insulation. I really like wearing a light weight polypro bottom with fleece lined shorts. My legs from the knee down don't really need much insulation, but its nice to have a bit more from thigh up where you sit on a wet seat in your boat. I also like more layers on top due to that being the main location for cold water impact while boating.

In summary, the IR union suit is a nice piece of gear, but it really didn't improve my set up one bit for the relatively high price I paid. A drysuit is a significant improvement over individual pieces of drygear, but for insulating layers, a union suit just doesn't seem like that big of an improvement. If I had to make the purchase over again, I would likely use the cash for something else. Now that I have the suit, I will likely bust it out on really cold days (like bear in the snow at 32F yesterday), but thats mainly because I feel like I should use it, not thats its better than my other layers.

Of course, many people love them, so its just my opinion.
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Old 04-24-2010   #9
 
Lakewood, Colorado
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I use the NRS one. It's okay. My main gripe is the zipper doesn't come low enough to facilitate taking a leak. It's possible, but not too fun. The zipper itself isn't obtrusive. The body side is covered by fleece; you don't even feel it. Arms are a little tight and the fabric isn't very durable. It is warm though.
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Old 04-24-2010   #10
 
B.V., Colorado
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zipper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Frank View Post
Mel, is the zipper in that thing uncomfortable? does you feel as flaming as it looks when wearing it?

Anyone tried the kokatat version?
The zippers are great! Fabric comes together nicely on inside, only softness touching the goods. The triple zipper opening wraps under crotch and up to the top of the butt (you could leave it on and still squat); and you can place 2 zippers to line up with relief zipper on drysuit. As far as flaming? Ha, I got no shame, function over fashion as I age. Boating buds are going to have to get used to seeing it around a campfire too; on cold weather o-night trips I doubt I'll take off!
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