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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to upgrade my dry suit for rafting use.

I currently own a Kokotat Hydrus 3L Swift Entry Dry Suit.

I am looking at the NRS Extreme Dry Suit, Kokotat GFER Gore-Tex Dry Suit and the Kokotat Meridian Gore-Tex Dry Suit..... Any thoughts or suggestions? I would really like a relief zipper (but can live without it) and a bomb proof suit that will withstand some abuse (not excessive abuse of course).

If you had $1000 or so to spend on a new dry suit, what would you buy and why???

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me!!!!!

I am planning on doing a swift water rescue course this spring and want to upgrade out of my old worn down suit before the course.
 

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GoreTex. What ever model but make sure it is goretex. Everything else is "mostly-dry suit". I learned that the hard way when I tried to save a few pennies and go with something other than goretex. It was the best you can get in non goretex and I was amazed at how much water got in. If you have $1000 to spend, watch the sales this winter and get a goretex suit with a relief Zipper. You can find them for that price. IMO for what that is worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
my kokotat hydrus dry suit is a Large and fits me perfectly
 

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I have only ever owned a GMER and I highly recommend it. Its definitely worth getting the relief zipper too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have only ever owned a GMER and I highly recommend it. Its definitely worth getting the relief zipper too.
do you know the difference between the GMER and GFER?

Seems like there are a bunch of options to choose from and i'm a little confused about which suit is better?

The Kokotat web site does not list GMER or GFER, it just shows Goretex Front Entry Dry Suit, Goretex Meridian Dry Suit and the Icon/Idol dry suits.... which is adding to the confusion lol
 

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Discussion Starter #7
does GFER stand for GoreTex Front Entry Relief? seems like it might lol.... still trying to figure out what GMER stands for :confused:
 

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I wasn't paying attention to the thread category... since you posted in rafting you probably want the GFER.

The GMER has a tunnel built in for a spray skirt for kayaking. The GFER does not. Even if you are not a kayaker now, you might consider the GMER incase you want to try kayaking down the road? I kayaked for 10 years before I decided to get into rafting and I am glad I have a suit that accommodates either.

I do have to say, my GMER is about 5 years old. Its still super dry inside but it has always allowed more water to leak into my kayak then my regular dry top. I think it has to do with the way the zipper integrates into/ through the skirt tunnel. Not too much of a problem since i'm dry anyway, but I do have to empty my boat out a bit more. A shoulder entry style suit should solve this, but I still love my GMER.

Probably a moot point anyway since you are probably a rafter.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i started out kayaking but i think my hard shell days are over. THANK YOU for your advice so far on GFER over GMER! but i am still trying to figure out what those acronyms stand for since Kokotat does not list GMER or GFER on their website.... could you shed some light on this for me??? Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thank you for clearing that up for me!!!!

so it sounds like the Kokotat GFER is pretty awesome.... anyone have any experience with the NRS Extreme?

it seems like i am gonna go with the Kokotat GFER but i would really like to hear a little bit more from the buzzards before i purchase one

Thanks everyone!
 

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My first drytop purchase ever was an NRS with triton fabric and it stayed dry for about a 1/2 season before it started delaminating and about 1 year before it started holding more water than it shed, making me feel wetter than if I wasn't wearing it at all. I have heard other people have had better experiences but mine was pretty dismal. Whether you go kokotat or some other company I recommend full on gore tex.
 

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I've been through 2 NRS drysuits. It was a while ago, so I don't know if they were the Extreme model, or what. Both got warranty replaced for delaminating seams, if I remember right. After the second one, I asked them to let me put the purchase price of the NRS suit toward a Kokatat. What a world of difference. I did have to send back my first Kokatat for repairs (my fault- pinholes and a couple of rips.) and when they pressure tested it, they called me and said that it was bad material, so they would send me a new one. Sweet. I like the Kokatat pretty well, but have the complaints that I hear often- neck gasket is uncomfortable, and sometimes get wet/damp spots in the suit. I think it's from interior condensation migrating to the coolest (lowest vapor pressure) locations to condense. Not the fault of Kokatat.

I haven't used, but have been very interested in trying a suit made for kiteboarding by Ocean Rodeo. They have an interesting concept. Stylistically, it looks less like a clownsuit, and more like pants and a jacket. Functionally, you can wear it all day as your splash pants, and rain jacket with hood, without having the neck gasket on, and when you're ready, it appears fast to put on and seal.

Anyway, I'm not ready to give up my Kokatat (GFER), but would be interested to hear if anybody has used one of the Ocean Rodeo Ignite suits.
 

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Kokatat Goretex. Get the relief zipper, zipper cover, and spray tunnel. I don't know what proprietary alphabet soup offers those. I don't hardshell but love the better fit that the tunnel give me. It feels less like a big bag. Of course I am tall and thin...

All I can add is that maybe you don't want to break in your brand new suit in the Swiftwater class. Depending on how aggressive your instructors are, it might be better to finish off the old beater and just suck it up and be wet.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
All I can add is that maybe you don't want to break in your brand new suit in the Swiftwater class.
What is the proper break in process for a new suit? I will most likely be on the river a number of times before the swift water class but I am interested in what the break in process consists of?
 

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I have 3 seasons of heavy use ducking and raft guiding in my NRS dry suit and stay 99% dry. Dry enough that I don't change clothes after boating. Dry enough that it might just be sweat.

The suit has held up really well. The Triton fabric might not breathe as well as some others, but I wear the thing to stay warm so I usually don't mind. I know everyone raves about Kokatat, but when NRS changes models and has a closeout sale, good suits can be had for under $500. I would much rather have a new NRS suit every five years than a new Kokatat every ten, and for what I can afford them are the options.

Of course if you can afford a Kokatat, hell yeah. The zip-in-half suit is where it's at.
 

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There is no break in period. I think he is saying that the swiftwater class could be pretty hard on the suit. Some instructors have you swimming into simulated strainer logs and all around doing things that could be abrasive and abusive on the suit. Rescue situations can be demanding on gear and you'll get a years worth of wear in a few days if you really participate in the class.

Get the Kokatat. Not sure what they are doing these days but when I got mine (GMER) you had to get the tunnel to get the zipper cover which I wanted. As mentioned the tunnel acts as a belt to cinch the suit down. Glad I got it.

The ICON is pretty sweet but finding it under your 1000 mark could be tough since it is still pretty new.
 

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Is your Hydrus suit just worn out and at the end of its reasonable life cycle? They do carry a lifetime warranty. You may be aware of that and just feel it's time to replace, but I thought I'd point it out just in case.
 

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Hi

I own the nrs extreme with relief zipper.

Suit one last 5 season...nrs warranty replacement for delam.

Suit 2 is only 1 season old....so far so good.

IMO.....the Kokatat is the better suit....if $ is not an issue...go for it.

Nrs suit works just fine for fraction of the Kokatat ..if there is an issue the NRS warranty is strong....

Bottom line for me.

I own the nrs, I would buy the nrs again

Scott
 
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