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Discussion Starter #1
My wife surprised me for Christmas with a new drysuit. It's an IR, and while I'm stoked to have a new drysuit, I'm just a bit leary...only becuase I've always used Kokatat dry tops.
Any opinions on whther I ought to keep it and give IR a try or exchange it for a Kokatat drysuit are welcome, but should be rooted in fact - i.e. good or bad experiences you've had.
Thanks in advance!
 

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That is a sweet gift my friend! Give it a try- there are a couple of noticeable differences between the two brands that you may like better than the other. One being the rear entry zipper. This does a couple of things- it will free up your torso and will enable you to move around and roll with less restriction. The other benefit to this design is that it will keep your boat drier. The front zip designs allow water to flow right under the skirt tunnel, and into your boat. The first thing folks tend to notice is a drier ride.
The other notable difference is in the booties. IR is the only company that coats the footprint of the waterproof/breathable booties, which is 9/10 the first area that a suit starts to leak, as it is a high wear point.
The other note would be that IR has very few seams in our garments, whether it be shells or layers, this translates into comfort. By reducing the amount of panels the garments are made from, we do not need any 4-way seam intersections (hard to seam tape if more than 3 intersections), or seams in the armpits, reducing maintenance down the road, and keeping the user more dry and comfortable with less restriction of movement.
We also use a zipper called a TiZip, which we have had a lot less issues with than the ykk brass zippers that we had used in the past, on our old 3 layer drysuits...and needs pretty much zero maintenance.
We have made a lot of changes over the past few years, and the material that we use in our drytops and suits is one of them. Back that with really good customer service, and you should be set!
 

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IR does have excellent customer service. Sent my Double D in last winter to repair a few leaks and had it back in a week. Combined with the Stohlquist bunny suit I stay toasty, only dampness is from sweat/condensation. I paddle almost every weekend in the winter so I get a good amount of use out of it.
Kokatat, from what I've heard, also has great customer service. From the research I did Kokatat and IR are the best in the business as far as drysuits.
 

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I have a new Double D and I can tell you that it's the driest suit that I've tried. The fabric feels very different than the Palm, Kokatat, or NRS suits that I've had in the past, which inspires confidence for good things to come. I can't personally comment on the longevity of the new fabric, but I'm not sure that anyone can really tell you that, as it hasn't been out that long! With that said, it breaths very well, stays very dry, and the suit itself is very comfortable.

If there's ever a problem with the suit, I know that IR is there to make it right, which is one of the big reasons that this company is expanding and turning into the most common garments on the river.
 

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I got a new drysuit from Kokatat last season and paddled many days in it. Dry as a bone and super warm. Great supple fabric, meticulous seam sealing and great craftsmanship. The folks at Kokatat are well known for their customer service and back their gear 100%.
 

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Personally I am a Kokatat fan, if you get the Gore tex fabric it has a warranty for life.... LIFE. That is simply rad. Use the $hit out of it and if some day it leaks on the cuffs or the neck gasket finally blows out send it back to Kokatat and they will repair it. They have been making DRY gear for 30 years, by little old lady's in northern California.

As far as IR goes.... well the last top of there's I owned I referred to as my soaking wet top. Last winter in a super contained canyon in MN I saw a buddy absolutely demolish the butt seam.

When it counts and you need to stay warm and dry there is only one company out there that is making DRY dry suits, and that is Kokatat.
 

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I've had a few IR drytops. They're great for one season then they start leaking and you want a new one that, you know, is waterproof. I've given up on IR tops, but love their shorts.

I'll be on season 5 this year with the Kokatat drysuit - requires sending it in for some periodic maintenance but they keep patching it up and making it dry again. So my take is Kokatat is more expensive up front but much cheaper in the long run.
 

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I love my new Kokatat, but on principle I recommend sticking with the gear you have as long as it keeps working. Worry about what suit to get when your new one wears out. People may argue about which brand is THE best, but IR is certainly ranked up there, and will work fine.
 

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Wife

Seems like the dry suit aspect has been covered here, but I'd sure take your wife if you don't like here either. She is 1 in a million to get you a drysuit. How did you train her so well?
 

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Don't do it!

Sell the IR or take it back to the store it came from. Your wife did good but she could have done better.

Kokat is the driest, the longest, end of story. Warranty is the best. This is the only company that I have ever seen stand behing their warranty a true 100% I had a dry suit that was over 3 years old, fadded from the sun and all gaskets were blown. This suit had seen tons of action and had many leaks in it from all the abuse I put it through. I sent it in for repair and it turned out that a repair would not fix the leaks and it was covered under warranty. Wow! I was looking at spending over $100 to repair the suit and insted I got it replaced. I got sent a brand new suit and didn't even pay the shipping.

IR is a fine product, I tried a friends recently but it is no kokatat. So let's see when it comes to cost I got two suits for the price of one. Most warranites NEVER work out that way.
 

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Kokatat sets the industry standard for craftsmanship and warranty. They've been around the longest and stand behind each item they sell. It's been the same owner since it started and all of their technical pieces and PFD's are manufactured in Arcata. If you're ever in the CA northwest, you should drop by their factory in Arcata, CA. You'd get a chance to see why they're the best. Each drysuit is individually tested with a unique pressure testing system before they're sold. I've seen drytops and drysuits from the early 90's in their repair shop getting fixed FOR FREE!!!!!
 
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