Drysuit brand that last longest

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kgb397
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Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by kgb397 » Fri May 05, 2017 1:32 pm

I am in the market for a new drysuit, and my priority is getting one that will last well. I bought a Lomo a couple of years ago and it has been great for what I paid, but now I've had it about 2 years water now comes gushing in at every seam.

Does anyone have any thoughts on which drysuit brands last the best?

E.g. I know a few people who've bought Palm suits which are great at first but have worn quickly with peeling tape and weak spots where the material rubs against itself between the legs. Currently I'm thinking either Typhoon or Dam-X. I know some of the Kokatats come with a lifetime guarantee but I was hoping to get something more mid-price range.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Chalky723 » Fri May 05, 2017 2:26 pm

Dam X are bombproof - not the best looking, but you'll be hard put to wear it out.....

D
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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Colin C » Fri May 05, 2017 4:57 pm

With that sole criteria, it has to be Dam X, dont think any of the others can touch it for longevity alone.

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Mark Mulrain
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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Mark Mulrain » Fri May 05, 2017 5:16 pm

IR Devil's Club. https://www.immersionresearch.eu/store/ ... -dry-suit/

The IR 7figure is built to outlast a kokatat, and the Devil's Club takes it a step further.

Unlike the DamX, it'll actually breathe. Never saw the point of having a dry suit if you were drenched with sweat underneath. You'd be warmer in a wetsuit.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by DaveBland » Fri May 05, 2017 7:09 pm

Mark Mulrain wrote:...built to outlast a kokatat
Wow, that's quite the claim. If so – good on IR for taking the No.1 spot in drysuit longevity.
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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Chalky723 » Fri May 05, 2017 9:10 pm

Mark Mulrain wrote: Never saw the point of having a dry suit if you were drenched with sweat underneath. You'd be warmer in a wetsuit.
Hmm, not convinced how much breathing your torso will be doing with a spraydeck & BA on it, the drysuit will be soaking wet which reduces the breathability considerably & you have a hat on your head keeping it warm. Legs will be breathing just fine though - inside their plastic bubble....

I'd still say Dam X if you want value for money....

D
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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri May 05, 2017 9:58 pm

I have a Dam X and a Typhoon PS220 (breathable). I agree with what people have said about the toughness of the Dam X. The argument that breathability is irrelevant in a spraydeck and BA is well put by Andi (Mr Dam Watersports) but my experience is that I do get less 'internal condensation' in the Typhoon. On one occasion I misjudged the weather and did long-ish day trip in the Dam X with too many layers underneath, and literally poured a cupfull of sweat out of each foot afterwards - and I am sure it wasn't leaking. It's fine for day trips as I can dry it out overnight, and it saves the Typhoon for multi-day use.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Terryg » Fri May 05, 2017 10:00 pm

DAM X. Will last forever (as with all drysuits, it will need cuffs and neck seals from time to time, but the material is bombproof).

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Neptune » Fri May 05, 2017 10:02 pm

Its got to be a Dam X, had mine 8 years now, I am very hard on all of my kit, its made to measure and it just keeps going. Go for the full 3000 series and you will not be disappointed. Exceptional service from Andi and Julie at Dam Water Sports, I really can't fault them. 8 years on and its still bomber and dry as a bone.

Oh, and it will also be lot cheaper than the IR Devils Club at £625.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Mark Dixon » Fri May 05, 2017 10:35 pm

I have a friend who has a Dam X yet recently hes prefered using his sons old Typhoon for breathability reasons. I have had a Typhoon for 3/4 years and feel its a fine mid range drysuit. I do think however my next suit will be an IR as I'm impressed with a drycag my son has, its literally the dryest cag I have ever worn. I still think Ive got a few years left in my Typhoon though before I upgrade.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Mark Mulrain » Fri May 05, 2017 10:47 pm

Chalky723 wrote:not convinced how much breathing your torso will be doing with a spraydeck & BA on it
What about those arm things? And armpits especially. Aren't they the spots that sweat first?
I'm sure if non breathable fabrics were actually the way to go, more kayaking companies would be using them. Right?
Chalky723 wrote:the drysuit will be soaking wet which reduces the breathability considerably
Materials that use polyester face fabrics (such as the fabric on the IR 7figure) are actually pretty hard to 'wet out'.

The bonus of an IR suit (or pretty much any higher end suit that isn't DamX) is that it is cut for a kayaker, not a chalk body outline from a crime scene. They are performance orientated designs that a lot of thought has gone into.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by YorkieDave » Fri May 05, 2017 11:08 pm

Me and most of my paddling buddies use the typhoon multisport 4, nobody complains. I think it's a pretty good suit for the money.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by jamiemagee » Fri May 05, 2017 11:30 pm

Typhoon is a good suit and they've got good customer service. Personally I'd recommend them

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by cp » Sat May 06, 2017 12:37 pm

My answer would have been Kogg but I guess that's why they went out of business. I have a kogg dry top still with original seals, shows they can make them to last but don't.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Chris Bolton » Sat May 06, 2017 5:40 pm

A point I forgot to mention is that Andi at Dam X told me he will make breathable suits if people want them, and he'll also offer a replacement service for the breathable panels, as the fabric will wear out in half the the time the rest of the suit does. If you want a long lasting, good value suit, Dam X is the way, but if it needs to be breathable as well, it will either cost more or last less time.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Colin C » Sat May 06, 2017 9:48 pm

kgb397 wrote:I am in the market for a new drysuit, and my priority is getting one that will last well.
The OP set his priority as lasting, and of course there are better breathing suits better X, Y and Z suits but lasting, not sure there is anything else that will do it like a Dam X, not at that cost. I had a Dam X suit for 7 years and currently have a gore tex suit and the gore tex suit does breath a lot better, but the Dam X was not that bad, I did not come off the river wet, modern base layers take care of that, but I suppose it depends on how hot you run.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by waverley610 » Sun May 07, 2017 10:15 am

Had my Dam X for nearly 11 years. I might replace it this winter but it certainly hasn't worn out yet and might blossom into a lovely teenager one day.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Chalky723 » Sun May 07, 2017 3:09 pm

I've got an IR dry cag that I use in the summer.

I still sweat in it though.

I won'g be getting an IR Drysuit in the next 15 years or so though as my DAM X one won't break/wear out no matter what I seem to do.

Which was what the OP wanted after all....

D

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by AGNorwich » Mon May 08, 2017 1:01 pm

Another positive comment about Dam X - customer service is excellent (I am not connected with them). They will do a breathable top half if you wish, but that really only makes sense if you are in an open canoe and likely to stay dry until you fall in.

But for me, the key issue was having a made to measure suit - a substantial positive for those whose bodies are not scaled in proportion to the average shapes assumed by most manufacturers!

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by kgb397 » Mon May 08, 2017 3:07 pm

Lots of helpful comment here. Will probably go for the Dam X then as reassured by all the good reviews and it sounds like it has staying power. I take the point about condensation, but my current Lomo isn't breathable and while it does get a bit damp sometimes, never to the extent that it makes me cold which is the main thing.

Thanks all for your advice.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by ion » Tue May 09, 2017 7:28 am

DaveBland wrote:
Mark Mulrain wrote:...built to outlast a kokatat
Wow, that's quite the claim. If so – good on IR for taking the No.1 spot in drysuit longevity.
I'll believe it when I see anyone other than IR team paddlers wearing them.....

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Mark Mulrain » Wed May 10, 2017 1:23 am

Plenty wearing them in Scotland.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by SimonMW » Thu May 11, 2017 3:43 pm

DamX has its die hard fanatics, and I can see why. They do last. But with any degree of care, most gear should last well. I'm not sure why kayakers are often so careless with their kit, given the costs involved. My 2p worth is that I love IR gear. I have a semi-dry Rival top, which, frankly, is just as dry as any other latex based drytop I've ever owned. Four years old and still looking pretty much like new. I also have an Arch Rival drysuit. I have only had it just over a year, so I can't comment on the longevity of it. But it is lasting well so far despite a lot of use, and it moves well. I like my gear to look good as well as function really well! After all, my paddling skills are crap, so I might as well swim in style!

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Franky » Thu May 11, 2017 5:51 pm

SimonMW wrote:But with any degree of care, most gear should last well.
Some items don't seem to last long, however well you care for them.

I had 2 Palm semi-dry cags - one long-armed, one short - have their seams corrode and their stitching come undone within 18 months. In fact the shorty cag only lasted a year. Usage was regular but not intensive (on average a couple of hours a week - less for the shorty cag as I only wore it in summer).

I paddled at Lee Valley a lot and obviously the chlorine didn't help, but I always rinsed my gear thoroughly after use, and dried it promptly.

I replaced the Palm cags with Peak UK ones. The latter have probably been used more intensively, and have already outlasted the Palms without any sign yet of degradation.

That said, I have a pair of Palm semi-dry trousers which are still going strong after three years.

Not much gear is designed to last forever, otherwise manufacturers would go out of business except at the very high end of the market, or if they're very small, flexible, one-person operations like DamX. But sometimes they misjudge how much life customers except out of their kit. Any item of basic clothing (not talking here about dry suits) that I pay over £100 for I would hope to last 3 years, 2 years at the very least.

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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Fatboy » Fri May 12, 2017 10:14 am

I am about to order a Dam X. I'm not convinced by the breathability argument, having owned goretex cags, jackets, overtrousers, etc. Breathability is nice, but not the end of the world by comparison to the volume that comes in.

I'm also unconvinced that an IR sponsored paddler's confident assertion that because an IR suit has been cut for an active general body shape, that is somehow better than something that has been completely made to measure.

I would avoid Lomo like the plague, however. Mine completely failed after a fortnight or so of use (albeit with a few years gap afterwards, due to shoulder dislocation and work commitments).
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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Poke » Fri May 12, 2017 11:10 am

Fatboy wrote:I'm also unconvinced that an IR sponsored paddler's confident assertion that because an IR suit has been cut for an active general body shape, that is somehow better than something that has been completely made to measure.
Whilst I love the DamX kit and rate it for durability, I think your "completely made to measure" claim is a little much. Mark's chalk body outline from a crime scene analogy is definitely more apt. haha.

My wife's 'made to measure' DamX drysuit swamps her, and a few others I know have similar experiences. Whilst DamX may tailor the size of their crime scene outline to suit your given measurements, the actual shape of higher end kit (IR, Kokatat, Palm etc) is much better. Much less excess material flapping around and better cut for boating, and I'm sure most will fit in the available size options available with most manufacturers. Still, the DamX kit does the job and is up there with the best of them for durability, so if cheap and long lasting are your two main criteria, then you can't go wrong with it.
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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Fatboy » Fri May 12, 2017 1:30 pm

Fair enough - as part of the order process, I was offered the option of providing limb circumference measurements at 10cm intervals - combined with the other measurements, this seemed to suggest that spare material would be minimised, but we will have to see.

My point about the inherent bias in Mark's post still stands. But hey, it's part of his job.
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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Chalky723 » Fri May 12, 2017 8:14 pm

Poke wrote:Much less excess material flapping around and better cut for boating,
I think you mean for posing on the bank.

When you're actually boating the only part of the drysuit visible/exposed is the arms - and that's probably the least flappy bit of a DAM X.

I wish you gear tarts would just admit it sometimes.... ;-)

D
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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by DaveBland » Sat May 13, 2017 10:05 pm

Coming at it from a different angle... the choice of durable drysuit should also take into account the type of paddling you do, where you do it and to what level.
As two extremes, a club boater staying in the UK looking for a bit of warmth during the odd swim has a totally different requirement to a paddler who paddles in funny foreign places with snow/glacier melt and long walk-ins and portages.

Maybe this is part of theDamX and Kokatat/IR etc disagreements?
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Re: Drysuit brand that last longest

Post by Colin C » Sat May 13, 2017 10:50 pm

DaveBland wrote:Coming at it from a different angle... the choice of durable drysuit should also take into account the type of paddling you do, where you do it and to what level.
As two extremes, a club boater staying in the UK looking for a bit of warmth during the odd swim has a totally different requirement to a paddler who paddles in funny foreign places with snow/glacier melt and long walk-ins and portages.

Maybe this is part of theDamX and Kokatat/IR etc disagreements?
You have a point but the Dam X suit suggestion is based purely on the OP's original question regarding longevity at low cost, its a no brainer, I cant think of any other suit which meets this sole criteria. Put more variables into the equation and its likely you would get a very different answer.

Colin

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