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Old 09-07-2013   #1
 
boulder, Colorado
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Kokatat Tropos dry suit opinions, neoprene only neck gasket

Does anyone have experience with or opinions about the Kokatat Tropos line with the neoprene only neck gasket? It is in the $500 range and I imagine that a neoprene neck gasket would be way more comfortable for long trips with a low likelihood of going in. They say that it would let in a few spoonfuls of water when submerged.

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Old 09-07-2013   #2
 
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Boise, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoenfeld13 View Post
Does anyone have experience with or opinions about the Kokatat Tropos line with the neoprene only neck gasket? It is in the $500 range and I imagine that a neoprene neck gasket would be way more comfortable for long trips with a low likelihood of going in. They say that it would let in a few spoonfuls of water when submerged.
I've owned the Tropos Super Nova for about 5 years, and am very happy with it. The neck gasket and Kokatat reputation for quality were the main selling points for me. Tight latex neck gaskets on my previous drysuits were always uncomfortable to me, and as a rafter my head is *usually* above water so the slight bit of leakage around the neoprene neck gasket of the Super Nova isn't a big concern.

The price is very fair.
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Old 09-07-2013   #3
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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feedback

For what it is worth.

My experience was in kayaks in the winter, rafters might feel differently.

When the tropos line dry suits from kokatat first came out I ordered one. I liked the price and my old coated non breathable dry suit was on it's last legs. My Tropos dry suit did have the latex neck. Don't know if that makes a difference.

If they say a few spoon fulls of water comes in, I would take that caution with a lot of grains of salt. I have used NRS semi dry tops with the neoprene neck seals and latex on the wrist's and thought they worked really good in summer weather. Did not use them in the winter cause they do leak if you roll. But they are super comfortable in the summer and the one I had got the job done well.

Used the tropos dry suit on one week's Creek Week of day trips in early March in East TN.

I sweated buckets in it, not happy. Once you sweat, you got to paddle as slowing down (at least for me) I got really cold.

I was lucky and purchased it from Kayak Academy in the NW. At that time they had a trade in program. Don't know if they still do. Anyway they gave me a fair trade in price on a real deal Gore Tex Kokatat.

Major difference in comfort compared to the tropos and I still have the gore tex and it is working like new.

I do not know if Kokatat improved the tropos as far as breathing out moisture, maybe they have.

I would advise that you either find a tropos to test along side a gore tex and make up your own mind.
OR
get a lot of feedback from this board.

Kokatat makes great products and tropos might work for you, just did not for me.
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Old 09-07-2013   #4
 
boulder, Colorado
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I forgot to mention this is for rafting only. Mainly Grand and early MFS type trips. I was imagining that I would keep the neck open till I got to a rapid to vent the suit and ease the sweating.
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Old 09-07-2013   #5
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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OK,

Rafting would make a difference.

Neoprene neck for sure could work just fine on a raft I think.

Get more feedback from this message board, but when I am rowing, I generate a lot of heat. A lot more than when kayaking. One setup I use quite a bit rowing in the cooler weather is a dry top and hydroskin pants over light weight fleece tops and longs. Put the drytop and hydroskin on for the rapids and off for in between. Works pretty good.

So rafting may be more of a reason to have goretex.

I agree the price for a kokatat Gore Tex is just way way expensive for me. On the other hand these things if given minimal care will last for decades. So I just save up for the gore tex and take good care of it for a lot of use.

I know a few commercial guides in the NW that use kokatat gore tex and wear them a lot during the colder months and they last a long time. Maybe some of the NW folks will chime in.
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Old 09-07-2013   #6
 
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Sandy, Utah
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I had a Super Nova for awhile. I sold it because I just wasn't using it all that much. I went to a Kokotat splash jacket & NRS pants instead. I found this set-up to be more useful. The times I did use the Super Nova it was comfy and worked well. Neoprene neck was much more comfortable. I think it's a great alternative for a rafter. I wore mid weight polypro underneath & lightweight wool socks, and was warm without being too hot.
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Old 09-08-2013   #7
 
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I have a Supernova. I raft and cat boat. I just sent it back to Kokatat to have it leak tested because every time I wear it my legs and feet are wet. I do wear it a lot. Very comfortable but who cares if I am getting wet. I will be interested to see what Kokatat sees and does.
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Old 09-09-2013   #8
 
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I've used both the tropos, and a gore-tex suit from Kokatat extensively over the last few years. The price points are noticeably different, and so is the quality of product.

Once the fabric on the tropos delaminates, the suit is officially trashed and can't be repaired. If you use and abuse your drysuits with a lot of creek boating and self-support kayaking, as I do, then this might only take one season (probably still warrantied). Or it might take five years, like my daughters did, and then it's trashed (without warranty). The Gore-Tex holds up much better, and patches much better.

The zippers are also different, and they are not warrantied. My most recent tropos had a rubber zipper that had the rubber crack off of the fabric during use in freezing temperatures, combined with desert sand and dry air. Once the rubber cracks and falls off, the zipper leaks badly. Replacing the zipper costs almost as much as the suit, so I basically destroyed it, and am now upgrading out of the Tropos (Yay Kokatat customer service!). The Gore-Tex suit has a much better zipper system for wear, and for keeping clean.

Basically I've destroyed two tropos suits "beyond repair" and, in roughly the same time frame, my Gore-Tex suit is still going strong (with patches, occasional new booties, gaskets, etc). The Gore-tex suits are much better investments.

Kokatat Customer Service is always great, IMO.

I only use latex gaskets... so not sure on the difference there. Neoprene neck gaskets on a dry suit seem like a safety hazard to me (and thus, I won't let my daughter use that setup).

I wish they would make the youth suits in Gore-tex!
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Old 09-09-2013   #9
 
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If cost is an issue, get the goretex paddling suit instead of the tropos supernova.

I love kokatat products, but if tropos delams it is done and Kokatat will tell you so...is the same thing happens to their goretex products, they will stand by it - replace or repair.
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Old 09-09-2013   #10
 
boulder, Colorado
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Yes, cost is a serious issue. I have been boating for a while and have never needed one and don't anticipate using it on more than an occassional spring GC trip. If they were even close in money I would probably just buy the expensive one, but I have worn plenty of latex neck gaskets and thought that the neoprene would be a good choice for rafting, where the likelyhood of swimming is slim.

Keep the ideas and opinions coming. Thanks
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