Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?^

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technick
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Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?^

Post by technick » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:01 pm

I'm looking for a decent quality female specific drysuit suitable for sea/touring use and just wondered if anyone had any suggestions or recommendations. Having done a bit of research online into this I haven't been able to come up with much apart from the Palm Element which isn't actually a touring suit. Does this make any difference?
Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated!
thanks
crayston

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maryinoxford
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by maryinoxford » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:20 pm

I've got the Kokatat goretex front-entry dry suit with drop seat. It's very comfortable, although I don't know if it counts as "touring." It doesn't have a hood, and mine doesn't have pockets, although I think that's an option you can order at time of purchase.

I specifically did not want a suit with a double waist (too bulky). I did want to be able to go to the loo without stripping, and I don't get on with pee funnels. Had the Peak Creek leg-zip suit been available at the time, I'd have looked at that, but when I bought my suit, Kokatat's drop-seat was the only solution. It makes your rear view extremely unflattering! - the price you pay for convenience. Kokatat's sizing is adjusted according to gender - I'm wide but not especially tall. There's a Kokatat size to suit me. Had I been buying a brand that just had unisex S/M/L/XL, I'd have had to buy a suit way too long in arms and legs, in order to get a body fit.

A drysuit is probably overkill for my leisurely inland paddling. But people who fall into the Thames can die of cold-shock before they drown. As I often paddle alone, I want to protect myself from that situation. And occasionally I do some "wet" training sessions, when the suit lives up to its name and keeps me dry.

It was very expensive, and it may not be the only suit on the market to do the job. But I'm happy with mine.

Mary
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immunogirl
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by immunogirl » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:51 pm

I have a kokatat goretex suit with zip bottom as well. I'm not sure what you mean by a touring suit? THey are expensive, but you can sometimes do well on ebay for a slightly used one.

The slight problemwith the zip bottom is that you then have this zipper around your bum that is stiff and gets caught on things (when you're trying to sit in the boat,when you're doing rescues, whatever)... It's still doable, but it's annoying.

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maryinoxford
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by maryinoxford » Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:04 pm

Hi Immunogirl,

Nice to meet someone else who uses the drop-seat. I find with mine, if I hitch it up a bit at the back once I'm in the boat, I can make the zip sit in the small of my back, and I don't know it's there. However, I once saw a post on another forum, pointing out that the zip runner is effectively a tiny "hook", one or two millimetres across. (The space between the end of the runner and the body of the zip.) That poster pointed out that she has hip plates in her kayak, about 1 mm thick, and it's just conceivable that her zip runner could get hooked on the plate as she exited, which could be a problem if she was upside down.

Now that I'm aware of this, I check any boat I get into for "edges" that might hook the zipper. It's no problem on my own kayak, because I use that with a sea sock, so there's nothing to catch. Worst case, if I did get hooked while making a wet exit, I would know what was holding me, and be able to release it.

Mary

PS - Found the thread describing that "hooking" problem, with photos and fix:
http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/communi ... f=4&t=1826
Last edited by maryinoxford on Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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janet brown
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by janet brown » Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:09 pm

I have the Typhhon Ladies Multisport: not sea/touring specific, and I haven't tried it out on the sea yet, but fits well and works well for WW. Got it from here.

Janet

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poun
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by poun » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:18 pm

It all depends what you're after.

For touring and multi-day sea kayaking, my personal choice is the Peak UK Adventurer one piece http://www.peakuk.com/peakukkit.php?con ... &prodid=95. When going for long distance, I have a tendency to look for comfort, which for me means no latex neck seal and the ability to go to the toilet if I need to (she-wee didn't work for me and peak UK offers the only truly unisex drysuit on the market, with entry via the legs). I used this suit nearly daily on a 3 months trip to Northern Norway a year ago and it performed perfectly, the only issue were the fabric socks which leaked quite rapidly but that Peak UK replaced on my return to England. There were no problems with the long leg zip. This suit is more a semi-dry suit though since the neck is neoprene and can be sealed by velcro. Water can seep in when rolling.

If you intend to go paddling for shorter periods or in demanding conditions where comfort comes second, then a full on dry suit with latex seal might be more appropriate. For this, I rate Dam X quite a lot, but again, for female practicalities, I would now rather get the 'creek' version of the Peak UK suit, with entry via the legs. http://www.peakuk.com/peakukkit.php?con ... &prodid=94

I hope this help - and makes sense,
alice

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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by pamf » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:57 pm

Like Janet, I have the Typhoon Ladies Multisport. I've had it for a year now for sea use. I have no complaints about mine at all, although my husband's equivalent (male version) is leaking (both sleeves and possibly one foot). The good news is that the Typhoon suits have a 3 year warranty, which was a big part of the attraction, compared to Palm's one year warranty.

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immunogirl
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by immunogirl » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:00 pm

Kokatat has a lifetime warranty on their suits (not covering the latex gaskets, of course).

I find the neck gasket on my drysuit surprisingly comfortable. I considered the semi drysuit - but I have a set of palm drypants and various dryor semi drytops that I use in conditions where I need more flexibility or am not as worried about capsizing.

If I'm paddling in the middle of the bay or ocean in the winter where it is a long paddle back to shore - I want a full on drysuit with latex gaskets, because that's what will maximize my chances of survival and whether or not my neck is comfortable is a secondary consideration. If I'm paddling along a river where I'm probably not going to be very far from shore at any point so I can get out & change, I'm more willing to risk a 2 piece drysuit with a neoprene or open neck...

I guess whether your want a full on drysuit or a semi dry depends on where you're planning to paddle and what risks you're willing to accept - but the neoprene necks may not keep water out in a capsize, in which case you'd be better off wearing a wetsuit.

Mary, I did a rescue practice in the spring wearing my drysuit - it wasn't a big deal having the big zipper there, I could compensate for it knowing it was there - but I have a harder time getting in my kayak when balancing off shore - because i have to push the zipper down into the kayak. I also have a hard time removing or putting on neoprene sprayskirts with the tunnel -the zipper makes it so the tunnel doesn't want to slide up or down (I've resorted to having random strangers help me get the spray skirt on or off before)... It's not bad with a nylon skirt or a combo nylon tunnel/neoprene skirt. When you're doing a paddle float reentry or a heel hook or T rescue, the big zipper is annoying. Not life threatening annoying, just another thing you've gotta keep track of and make sure it slides with you. The reality is that I can roll up, so in most situations I would just be rolling to rescue myself instead of any of the other techniques... but I have a feeling that swimming in for a reentry & roll could be complicated a bit by the zipper.


I will admit to being totally incompetent with a shee wee or things like that and to liking my caffeine, which makes me have to pee way too much... so the drop seat is a necessity :)

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maryinoxford
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by maryinoxford » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:20 pm

For those who haven't seen one, this is the zip we're discussing:
Image
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immunogirl
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by immunogirl » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:03 pm

I might have more issues because the drysuit is probably a size too large for me. However,it works & the price was right.

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maryinoxford
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by maryinoxford » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:12 pm

I think a bit of slack round the hips is useful, because it lets you pull the zip into the most comfortable position. I agree, though, that if you're doing re-entry gymnastics, it is a bit bulky.

Mary
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MikeB
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by MikeB » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:19 am

immunogirl wrote:Kokatat has a lifetime warranty on their suits (not covering the latex gaskets, of course).
Indeed - but that the service life of the suit - not your lifetime - --

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immunogirl
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by immunogirl » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:15 am

MikeB wrote:
immunogirl wrote:Kokatat has a lifetime warranty on their suits (not covering the latex gaskets, of course).
Indeed - but that the service life of the suit - not your lifetime - --
That was to compare to the 1 year or 3 year warranties mentioned above from other companies.

I will say that I've never worn through goretex in years of skiing, and I do a lot more falling, skidding on rough surfaces than I do kayaking. I've only had my drysuit a year, but I imagine it's going to hold up pretty well. Maybe if I start rock gardening in the winter or for whatever reason I wash up on a rocky shore in the drysuit,it will have abrasion wear issues.

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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by pamf » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:23 pm

Has anyone ever used the Kokatat warranty? I'm curious about how easy/difficult/slow/fast it is to send things for repair being that they're US based. Ta.

Edit: I should say has anyone ever sent stuff back to Kokatat for repair, ie even neck seals, not necessarily under warranty.

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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by MikeB » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:15 pm

pamf wrote:Has anyone ever used the Kokatat warranty? I'm curious about how easy/difficult/slow/fast it is to send things for repair being that they're US based. Ta.

Edit: I should say has anyone ever sent stuff back to Kokatat for repair, ie even neck seals, not necessarily under warranty.
I've certainly tried to use the warranty, sending the form and pics by email to them, this on a 5 year old cag. They responded by telling me it had reached "end of life". In fairness, the material had worn on the shoulders from ba straps.

For repairs I'd jsut use Rubberman rather than send anything to the States.

MIke.

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immunogirl
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by immunogirl » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:28 pm

Odd, I've always heard great things about kokatat's warranty repairs and a lot of people ending up with new drysuits when sending theirs off for repairs. Maybe you should try again:

http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/communi ... f=3&t=4459

http://www.iwindsurf.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=150979

http://www.seakayakermag.com/forums/ubb ... umber=2886

http://www.paddling.net/message/showThr ... 27#1199229

http://boatertalk.com/forum/BoaterTalk/1052253125/

http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f15/ ... 032-2.html

I've never actually had to use the kokatat repair service. I have a couple dry/semi dry kokatat tops that I've been using about 5 years.

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MikeB
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by MikeB » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:12 pm

Oh, I tried. They wouldn't budge.

I sent an ancient Thermarest back with a leak - it was replaced foc. Likewise an old Ortleib map case which had yellowed. A Platypus which cracked after about 5 years was as well. Palm are replacing a set of sallys on which the neoprene waist tore (just within the 1 year warranty in fairness). That's what I call "service".

There are "lifetime warranties" and "lifetime warrantys". Perhaps it's expecting too much to have a well used cag replaced of course!

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janet brown
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by janet brown » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:57 pm

MikeB wrote:
immunogirl wrote:Kokatat has a lifetime warranty on their suits (not covering the latex gaskets, of course).
Indeed - but that the service life of the suit - not your lifetime - --
... and I've heard Nookie say the lifetime of a dry cag can be as little as 6 months!

Janet

Aleut
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by Aleut » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:49 am

Another one to look at would be the Peak UK Creek one piece dry suit.

It's been brilliant. The material feels tougher than the Kokatat suits, the fit is great, and the unique zip from ankle to ankle makes comfort breaks a breeze.

Rhiannon

technick
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by technick » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:31 pm

Thanks to everyone for their input and for sharing their personal experiences.
I think the Kokatat looks extremely good, all of their other clothing and kit is, but is just too expensive for what I was looking for. Therefore I think that she'll probably end up going for either the typhoon or the peak (most probably the peak as it has a hood and the relief/entry zip is the best).
Thanks once again and I'll see you on the water!

Crayston

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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by Roswitha » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:58 pm

Hi,
I have a Peak Sea Kayaking suit (size small) to sell. It is relatively quick to get in and out when nature calls because it has a zip between the legs.
It's practically new because I have worn it about three times!
The reason I am selling it is that I bought it by mistake - I needed something for surfing and doing wet stuff in the winter and this does not have a completely watertight neckseal; it is for touring.
Roswitha

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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by Lendal » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:35 pm

Ahhh - what a question!
I won a NRS Wonen’s Inversion dry suit at the God Turs Kayak Festival in May http://www.padlefestivalen.no which apart from being a bit of a result and very cool is an excllent dry suit. It has front zip and comes with it's own she-wee. The zipper is situated lower to make things easier...! I've been using it solidly for a month now - very easy to wear and get in and out of by myself! (another thing to consider!!)
I'd certainly recommend it!

Kokatat do rule the world when it comes to dry suits, but there are plenty out there that do a good job too and cost a lot less.

I'd also totally recommend the Chillcheater Paddle Suit, although this isnt a DRY suit, it is so comfy and easy to wear and get put on adn take off by yourself!
Chris Reed will make it to measure for you and it is a fraction of the cost of a dry suit. I've paddled with one of these of a year and love it. But for continual get wet stuff in our climate I wish he made a DRY suit!

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immunogirl
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?

Post by immunogirl » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:55 pm

MikeB wrote:Oh, I tried. They wouldn't budge.

I sent an ancient Thermarest back with a leak - it was replaced foc. Likewise an old Ortleib map case which had yellowed. A Platypus which cracked after about 5 years was as well. Palm are replacing a set of sallys on which the neoprene waist tore (just within the 1 year warranty in fairness). That's what I call "service".

There are "lifetime warranties" and "lifetime warrantys". Perhaps it's expecting too much to have a well used cag replaced of course!
For what it's worth, I just read another kokatat replacing an 8 year old drysuit story:
http://cpakayaker.com/forums/viewtopic. ... ba2d6cde9d

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MikeB
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?^

Post by MikeB » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:59 pm

Sure seems like US customers are getting different treatment!

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immunogirl
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Re: Female Touring/Sea Dry suit... any ideas?^

Post by immunogirl » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:10 pm

Yeah, it does. That's why I was surprised to hear your story. I wonder if you just mailed it to their repair department and asked them to check the goretex, whether they'd find somewhere that the goretex was delaminating and replace the suit... The warranty on lamination comes directly from goretex, so I think kokatat must get reimbursed from them somehow.

The thule experience with cracking J cradles also seemed to be far worse customer service than what I've heard about thule in the states...

It might be because many outdoor retailers in the United States offer lifetime returns... Backcountry.com, sierratradingpost.com, rei.com, altrec.com, etc. So if you buy kokatat or thule or whatever from them and if for whatever reason you are disatisfied in the future, they will take the item back & return your money. Obviously, they would rather people not abuse these policies, but I do see someone in REI sometimes with their 10 year old hiking boots that are in tatters, getting their refunds for these boots they're no longer satisfied with. So in addition to individual customers having warranty issues with the manufacturer, at some point the stores must go back to them to put pressure on for warranty repairs or no longer carrying items that are returned frequently.

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