sorry to tell you this, but you pay for what you get, and if you dont want to break the bank, then i think you should probably just save up until you can afford a kokatat or something you know is burly instead of still spending a lot on something less quality. army supply might be a place to look if you want one for under 100 dollars that is not made for kayaking and might need some gaskets replaced. good luck
Kokatat or OS: both of them beat the rest of the competition by a mile. Kokatat will do custom suits just like OS, and for my money, my Kokatat products have outlasted the OS drytop and drysuit I had, and Kokatat stands behind their products like no one else. I have sent drytops and two drysuits back to them for maintenance, and they have only charged me for gaskets, no labor. They also replaced a drytop for free that had the Gore-Tex delaminating, even though it was two years old. OS seems to have heavier duty gaskets, but their fabrics don't move as well on me (that's just a personal view and probably doesn't reflect quality or anything).
Either way, you're not going to get one cheap. Outdoorplay.com sometimes has substantial sales at year-end or year-beginning of the previous year's suits. I got my most recent Kokatat GMER from them for $695, with pee zip, and they are usually $1,000. Free shipping and no tax makes it a little less painful, too.
I've been talking to Kokatat for a custom drysuit, (neoprene gaskets instead of latex), and have hit a wall on sizing. They don't make women's XL, and so I get pushed to mens XL (HIPS!) and that is then too long in the legs and big in upper body. Maybe I should push them on custom sizing more, but the conversation just ended when I expressed problems with sizing. So now I"m looking at OS XL short, which is a standard size. I might do the semi-custom which would then shorten the arms and legs a bit more as my height still isn't in the range of the short. But that's another $140.
If you have more info on custom sizing from Kokata, please let me know (contact, name, etc).
I've mostly seen the GMER just above $700, and the GFER up around $1000.
A friend of mine talked to IR (he's 6' 8") and they told him they'd do custom on the Double-D.
I gotta say, it seems like they really think about their design a lot more than other companies. Zip across the back shoulders- not across arms where you paddle, covered relief zipper, covered booties, etc. Those things impress me. They've been great with customer service and stood behind their product and my X-Jacket is incredible.
Pee zip is a must if your going to be in it all day. Also, If you're going to kayak in it, I strongly recommend a spray skirt tunnel. Lastly, don't trust us folks from Colorado (too warm and sunny here). Listen to the folks from the Northwest and other places who live in the friggin' things.
I agree with the comments about "paying for what you get". I originally bought an NRS Triton (i think that was the name of it). I sweat my ass off in that thing to the point where I was just as wet if I had jumped in the river. I bought a used Kokatat dry suit with a kayak I bought a year ago and have loved that thing. I still have the NRS suit. I think it's a large and i'd give it to you for a couple hundred bucks. I think it's a large. I would have to check. If you are a standard size then check sales and Craigslist and you'll come up with something. Keep an eye on the west coast as they are used more there and probably more available for sale out that direction. I strongly recommend shooting for a Kokatat but when the "itch" calls and you go boating in winter than they will all work, just less comfortable.
well its hard to beat nrs for warranty work, the extreme drysuit has seen many hundreds of miles commercially and it keeps rocking, relief zipper not needed, just a little creative stretching, cheers mate
My observations are Palm Torrent is the budget pick for minimum drysuit quality. If you're willing to shell out the $ you get the Kokatat GMER. Either way, life will improve enormously with this purchase.
A forum community dedicated to whitewater kayaking, boating, and rafting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about safety, routes, gear, models, styles, gear swaps, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!