Breathable or non breathable dry suit for beginner

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Breathable or non breathable dry suit for beginner

Post by Jimmyd » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:03 pm

Hi Folks
I'm relatively new to Kayaking, when I say new, I've been kayaking for about 2 yrs, rivers , lochs and a tiny bit of sea, I mainly go out on rivers with the local club as I don't feel 100% confident yet on moving water, (part of the thrill) the thing is I'm looking to buy my first Dry suit, now most experienced members in the club have breathable, however most new members seem to be going for non breathable, because they are more robust and giving that I can't roll yet. I will tend to spend a lot more time wet exiting and swimming. However I'm not too concerned about rolling, my main ambition at the moment is to stay out the water, I do have a caravan and go out with the Mrs. on calm Lochs as well in the better weather.( I don't want to sweat either)However I have been told , if the suit is wet it's not breathable. Question is am I better with a breathable drysuit or Non breathable, I do like rivers but much prefer Lochs and canals, ( calm water) the bonus of being in a river it's not too far to get to the shore as the Lochs etc. and Sea I maybe in the water for a longer paddle to get to the shore. What's your opinions on a dry suit for a beginner. I had my eye on Immersion Research or Dam x. I know the non breathable is more uncomfortable. but is Breathable as durable for a beginner or am I likely to damage it in a river etc.?

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Re: Breathable or non breathable dry suit for beginner

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:14 pm

Dam X are very tough and not breathable unless you ask for it. I'm happy using my Dam X for day trips as slightly damp clothes are OK when you can take them off and not wear them again, but I prefer breathable for multi-day camping trips. If you can afford to spend a lot on a suit, go for breathable, but you'll be fine in a non-breathable for what you're doing.

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Re: Breathable or non breathable dry suit for beginner

Post by Yew » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:18 pm

Grab something from typhoon, and it'll serve you well

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Re: Breathable or non breathable dry suit for beginner

Post by PlymouthDamo » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:09 pm

Some breathable fabrics work, some don't. I recently acquired a couple of Goretex suits and they make a noticeable difference in terms of comfort, but it's not magic - if you're doing an Olympic sprint and/or the weather's hot, you're still going to boil in the bag. It will be an improvement on non-breathable, but my experience has been that on hot days I have to give up on dry gear and wear something flimsy. Breathable fabrics won't breathe if they're completely drenched, but I've found they work in normal paddling conditions when you're just getting splashed a bit.

Build-quality should be a key consideration. It's amazing how much tat there is out there on the market, i.e. suits that will leak after very little use, usually because the seams aren't sealed very well. Do your research thoroughly and read between the lines: consumers tend to give glowing reviews of whatever they've just bought, and lots of supposedly independent professional reviews are just advertising. Your best bet is to decide on something and see what people have to say about it on a forum like this one.

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Re: Breathable or non breathable dry suit for beginner

Post by DaveBland » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:32 am

Dry suits are great. I'd go with whatever suits your budget and need.
The better breathable ones are great, but cost more, but cheaper ones are still pretty fab if you are getting wet a lot.

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Re: Breathable or non breathable dry suit for beginner

Post by Mrstratos61 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:02 am

Another vote for typhoon. I picked up a drysuit second hand for 300 in very good nick. I find I can regulate temp with good wicking base layers. Certainly breathes better than my previous Palm cag.No drysuit will keep you warm on it's own layering under it is what matters. I wear various technical items that I find in sales.not always kayak branded . Cycling jerseys often have the long cut to cover lower back.

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Re: Breathable or non breathable dry suit for beginner

Post by Mal Grey » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:00 pm

I'd definitely go breathable, and Typhoon are well respected. Off the water, being breathable makes a big difference if you have to portage or otherwise walk about. If you can possibly afford it, get a "relief zip", makes life so much easier!

Its actually a fallacy that breathable fabrics won't breathe when totally wet or underwater, but it will affect the breathability. I've seen demos of breathable feet working under water, and its clear that they are breathing (fishing waders but principle the same, and Gore-Tex fabric feet. Gore also have a "glove test" where you put a breathable membrane glove on one hand, and non-breathable on the other, and stick your hands in the sink. The breathable one does not get clammy like the other one. This will also work for other fabrics, to a lesser or greater extent;its the difference in temp/humidity that forces the moisture vapour to move from inside to outside, not whether its wet or dry outside. However, it IS true that a "wetted out" fabric will not breathe as well as one where the outer has been treated ("DWR") and will not absorb water.

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