Should I buy a drysuit? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-17-2018   #1
Pieter Porcupine
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 272
Should I buy a drysuit?

I have an opportunity to buy a newer (used one season) NRS drysuit for about 1/2 of retail. I stay away from early/late season water because I don't do well with the cold so I would be upping my game a bit. What should I be looking for when I go to look at it? Torn Gaskets, urine smell, floating turds. Anything else???

Also, should I consider good splash gear before I get into a full dry setup? I have never owned either.


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Old 04-17-2018   #2
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Make sure the seam tape is intact throughout. Pay close attention to the feet, and crotch areas. Doing a pressure test would be the best indicator for any leak issues.
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Old 04-17-2018   #3
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Yes, a drysuit is important for paddling in the shoulder seasons, but I think that you are going to be disappointed with a used drysuit, especially an off-brand like NRS. You should make every possible effort to get a new one. If you just can't afford it, I would suggest getting a good dry top before getting a questionable drysuit.
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Old 04-17-2018   #4
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
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Get a drysuit! I used to miss half the year because I thought it was cold, now it's a year-round activity.

A warm day in January is a great day for boating if you have a drysuit.
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Old 04-17-2018   #5
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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If you don't have either splash gear or a dry suit, I heartily suggest going with splash gear first. Splash gear is much more versatile and will still extend your season quite a bit into the spring and fall. When you get slammed by a thunderstorm on the Ark it'll be really good to have, and easier to put on when the sky gets dark and you see the weather moving in.

If you don't have them already, booties are a really good accessory. I've picked them up used from outfitters for just a few bucks for a pair. Soak in a very mild bleach solution overnight and they'll be fine.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 04-17-2018   #6
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Get it! go get some. IMHO, nothing is as refreshing freezing cold water on your face as you blast a wave in a cozy dry suit.

Just the thought and I'm headed to rodeo hole to get me some. It was o so sweet a couple days ago.
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Old 04-17-2018   #7
Critter70's Avatar
FOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 91
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GEt good splash gear first. Decent pants and top. Lot of folks out here swear you have to have a dry suit. They sure are nice, but I have a drysuit, dry top, dry pants and splash gear and 98% of the time I go with splash pants and splash top. Way prefer the versatility of having only tops or bottoms on at any given time. Again they are nice but Get good splash gear, when itís not just ass cold itís the way to go.
Now thereís gonna be a lot of folks on here tell you dress for the swim and thatís true, been a guide almost 30 years and bet 90% of new guides spend the first couple of years without a dry suit, and just splash gear.

Itís gonna be warm weíre you are last year on the gorge at high water didnít wear drysuit once, wore splash pants a lot in the spring. Give me a holler gonna be down in Canon soon letís go do some boating.
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Old 04-17-2018   #8
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Longmont, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Here is a thought. A good dry top, NRS neoprene 1.5 bottoms. I'm warm with this set up when I'm in the water, but I'm never swimming more than a few minutes. Plus, the neoprene provides some protection against shallow creek bottoms and rocks. If your playboating, then a top is all you probably need. I have a drysuit only because I love sea kayaking, and it provides longer term protection against hypothermia should you be in the water for an extended period of time, like way out from the shoreline. Just a few personal thoughts for my choices.
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Old 04-17-2018   #9
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Paddling Since: 1977
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Get whatever you can afford now and then look for a good deal on better gear. I did not own a drysuit for many years (20?) and then purchased a used Kokatat GMER. Best purchase I have ever made except for my super puma in whitewater gear. You do not wear a drysuit solely to stay dry and warm. You wear a drysuit on class IV(+) so that you can help effect a rescue. If you are a class III boater, by all means, skip the drysuit and just get a dry/semidry top and splash or dry pants. I made a lot of years wearing a 3/2 or 3/4 surfing wetsuit under my splash pants and drytop in cold weather. The surfing wetsuit is not ideal, as the arms are more constricted and you have to pee in your suit (well... you don't have to ) Found my GMER 1 yr old in CA via craigslist. I pressure tested it by putting plastic cups in the wrist gaskets (held on with Voile Straps) and making a yogurt container with a hose fitting (local hardware store). turn suit inside out, fit cups and containers, attach hose and fill with water. The suit will darken where there are leaks. Still use this setup yearly to test my suit.
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Old 04-17-2018   #10
evanston, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1968
Join Date: Feb 2017
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If you get a drysuit deal, can always send to manufacturer for rehab.I have had good service with a NRS one. Have also used hydroskin, splash gear and wet suits. If cold water or longer time in water, the drysuit is no doubt in my mind the best for safety.I have been in the water with all the above. bb
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