Expedition style drysuits^

Discuss equipment, technology, gadgets, repairs...
elveys
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:09 pm
Location: Kent

Expedition style drysuits^

Post by elveys » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:36 pm

My current drysuit (Typhoon Multisport) is reaching the end of it's days and I've been thinking of replacing it with something that is more of an allrounder/expedition style suit. I want a suit I can use for the following:

1) Open canoe moving water up to GIII ish (approx. 20 days per year mainly winter)
2) Open canoe touring/3-4 day expeditions
3) Sea Kayaking estuary and coastal day trips (just starting to dabble in this)

Although there are a number of expedition type suits available, a combination of a latex neck seal and a hood that stows within a zipped collar seems to be more rare. At the moment a hood that stows is must moving water. A good neck seal is a close second but I opnly have experience of latex neck seals so not sure how effective designs are.

Suits I have started to look at so far include;

Palm Aleutian - latex collar with hood that stows away
Peak Adventure - no latex collar but hood stows away
Peak Explorer - still working out how this differs to the Adventurer. Possibly different neck seal but still not latex
Typhoon Xtreme - latex collar but hood doesn't stow away
Kokotat Explorer - latex collar but don't think the hood stows on this either

Are there any others people are aware of that may fit the bill?

I really like the Peak Adventure and there are some very good deals on the older 2011 model, however the neck seal looks like it may not be up to what I need. Does anyone have any first hand experience of how the neck seal peforms on this suit if fully immersed?

The Palm Aleutian is the only one I have come across so far that has both a hood that stows away and a latex neck.

I'm still pondering the advantages of an expedition style suit are over an ordinary type of suit or whether these are minimal given the use outlined above? I could just wear a hat! Any thoughts?

Thanks

Ligan
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: Inverness

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Ligan » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:00 pm

For me its the kokatat suit every time, they do cost a bit more. The current style hood is simpler than the old one and stays up well and it also helps keep the UV off the neck seal stoping the latex perishing. It looks like kokatat will be releasing some new stuff in 2012, black bottom half on the xped suit which is great as its stops your bright yellow suit looking so manky.
I had one failure with a kokatat suit which was replaced with a brand new suit in 4 weeks. cant complain as the original was 2 years old.

P

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24087
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Mark R » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:27 pm

I love my Aleutian* suit but found on a multi-day winter trip that I lost a lot of heat from the latex neck; I now wear a 'winter buff' inside or out with it. In Summer, I have a real quandry with the thing - it's super-comfortable, but the first hint of sunshine makes it crazy hot. I donned it for a serious paddle where I knew I'd be winding up in the water this summer, but it wasn't really a good idea, I was dehydrating quickly. Anyone who can design a drysuit which can be vented will get my vote...

Hope that helps,

Mark R

*Lots of people will now pop up saying that it dissolves on contact with water, and that you should pay outrageous amounts of money to import a Kokatat with dubious warranty status.

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by MikeB » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:38 pm

The fact remains that a Kokatat dry suit can be worn in summer and is sufficiently breathable to allow a reasonable degree of comfort while doing so. Whether importing one makes any sense is another question - and I'd question whether it is given they can be easily bought in UK and thanks to a little healthy competition can often be found at a slightly more realisitc price than previously.

I wore mine for most of our Barra trip 3 years ago and was never too warm even on the few really hot days we had during a mainly dreich fortnight.

For everyday spring / summer / autumn paddling I now use a Palm cag which is uncomfortable in really warm weather. The Kokatat one it replaced wasn't. There is a notable price differential of course.

Mike.

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:48 pm

I have two dry suits a Palm Stikine, which is of similar construction to the Aletian but without a hood, and a Kokatat expedition. I find the Palm excellent in the winter but in the spring and summer, when the air temperature is high and the water cold I find I overheat. The Kokatat is made of Goretex and it really is much more breathable. I regularly wear it in rough conditions whatever time of year. I wore it on an expedition to St Kilda in June. I never overheated. Another paddler with a DamX drysuit could not wear it as it was too hot. That person wore a two piece for comfort while paddling but fell in on the exposed side of Dun. Despite being rescued promptly, the paddler became seriously cold and this together with the worsening conditions was a factor in the decision to turn back. My Kokatat dry suit is my very best bit of kayaking kit. I would much rather paddle a poly kayak in my Kokatat than a grp or carbon kayak in cheaper outerwear alternative(s).

I have had to return a pair of Kokatat salopettes (USA) once and the Stikine (UK) 4 times for warranty work. I got the items back from both companies in three weeks.

Douglas

Ligan
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: Inverness

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Ligan » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:56 pm

Just to follow up on Marks comment about kokatat warranty issues. If you bought the suit in the UK you can either send it back to the retailer or send it direct to WL Gore in Livingston. I you bought it outside the UK just send it to Gore directly. In the end the warranty is backed by Gore so they have the last say, doesn't always make the retailer or kokatat happy but its what you pay for.

On the palm suit front I had 3 stikene suits in a succession of warranty replacements none lasted more than 4 months, Palm eventually gave me my money back after 6 months wait while they inspected the last suit. Each time the suit failed on the panel under the arms and across the back, their comment was that the suit was designed for white water not sea where I guess we must paddle more.

P

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24087
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Mark R » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:07 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Palm Stikine, which is of similar construction to the Aletian but without a hood
I think this is wrong, Douglas - I believe the material is different (as with the new Stikines) and it's a different cut.

I am however too lazy to check my facts.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:13 pm

My Stikine is made of a material called XP250. My pal's 2011 Aleutian is also made of XP250 but the cut of the suit is different.

Douglas

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24087
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Mark R » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:18 pm

Which Stikine do you have? The old Orange ones are definitely different...
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:27 pm

Image
Resplendent in plum. Had previous orange Stikine as well, interestingly the labels that came with both say XP250.

Douglas

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24087
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Mark R » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:43 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Resplendent in plum. Had previous orange Stikine as well, interestingly the labels that came with both say XP250.
Yes, I have one of those too - I'm sure you'll agree that the material is blatantly different from the Orange Stikines, despite what the labels say.

My Aleutian is going strong after two years, although I need to replace the neck seal - the latex is looking manky.

My 'plum' Stikine is going fine after three years of heavy WW use, including serious overseas expeditions. I did get the socks replaced after wearing them thin, portaging in Nepal.

My old orange Stikine (6+ years old now???) was donated to a friend (who is a much more active paddler than me) when I got the Plum one and was still working fine last week ...

Image

I'm not sponsored by Palm (or anyone), and I honestly don't have a particular drum to beat on this topic. I just point this stuff out, because there appears to be a lot of internet mythology about the durability of their cags - it simply doesn't chime with my personal experiences, and when all is said and done, I'll go with what I see and know, rather than what I read on the internet. I would urge others to do the same. Of course, all this gear has limitations - e.g. the old Stikine was an awful colour, and a terrible fit for fatties, and Palm went through a silly phase of using zips etc which rusted. But I reckon the durability of the stuff isn't bad at all...
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

dereckerick
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:51 pm

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by dereckerick » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:01 pm

The Typhoon Extreme has glide skin seals and the hood does stow away.

I hate latex seals this is why I chose this suit, as well as the 3 year leak warranty! In the price range no contest for me...

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:29 pm

Image
Harvey and Jim model their Stikines.

My own experience of Palm has been of really excellent and easy to access customer support. Rather than rely on anonymous internet "reports" I will name the owners of Palm suits in our little group. In 2006, Richard, Jim, Harvey, Kenny, Mike, David, Alan, Jennifer and myself all bought the orange Palm suits. All failed, and Palm promptly repaired them. All of them failed several times after this. some were satisfactorily repaired and several, including Jennifer's orange one, are still in use (which is not bad after 6 years)! At least three of the suits were finally replaced by plum suits. Two of these have been perfect including David's (whose idea of care and maintenance is somewhere in the bottom of the damp cupboard). One of these plum suits has not remained watertight and leaks at the feet and the shoulders.

Palm clearly had a problem but I think their attitude to customer support is second to none and all of us ended up with a drysuit that gave us at least 3 years of dry sevice. The only reason I moved to Kokatat is that I borrowed one while my Stikine was away being repaired. I found it so much more comfortable and breathable in warmer weather that I was prepared to pay a premium for this extended season of use.

In terms of value for money and customer support the Palm suits are unbeatable.

Douglas

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24087
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Mark R » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:31 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:(whose idea of care and maintenance is somewhere in the bottom of the damp cupboard).
Guess where mine are right now...


;-)
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

Graham T
Posts: 589
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:46 pm
Location: Cambs

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Graham T » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:56 pm

I had an Aleution suit which I loved for 14 days, day 15 it leaked very badly and I got soaked. Palm customer service was great and offered a replacement but I took the refund and now use Kokatat. It seems peoples experiences with Palm is varied and delamination of the material used to be an intermittent problem. I know of an orange Stikine which failed within three months, and an Aleution going well for two years.
I chose Kokatat as a statisticaly safer bet, and for the record both my suits are looked after as well as it is possible to, but that does not seem to make any real difference.
The original Typhoon suits I had for sailing got the zip waxed and lasted 2 or 3 years of regular use with little other consideration, but I guess were not breathable.

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by MikeB » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:37 pm

My Palm dry cag has, so far, been fine in time I've had it. After 18 months light use it hasn't delaminated. The Palm logo is falling off the sleeves though. It's fairly sweaty to wear, but it kept me dry and warm during some dreadful weather this year.

My Palm sallys failed after a year and were repalced without question - although it took them a month - luckily I had alternatives to use. I was very far from impressed that they failed, given the price, and the light use they'd had. If the repalcements fail, I am of course now out of warranty so when they do fail, I'm on my own. The cut isn't that good in that the original L size I had was fine - the L they replaced it with was too small and the XL I now have is massive so I look like the elephant man.

I'm still out of pocket for the postage (£15) in returning the original failed ones, and then the ones which were too small, despite two promises to have that sorted.

My Kokatat cag lasted about 5 years before failing as it just wore out from wear and tear, mainly on the shoulders - although the wrist seals are still 100% fine I note. A pal wore it on a cold and misty outing a week or so back and didnt complain she was uncomfortable although I do know it would have leaked a bit in rain or big seas.

My Kokatat dry suit is only used when it has to be, because I want to try and prolong it's life as much as I can, given how much it would cost to replace. It's comfortable, gets minimal care other than a fresh water hose-down after a trip (like all my kit) and is truly fantastic. My Knoydart sallys lasted about 6 or 7 years before I finally had to admit they had died as the stitching started to fail and the the waterproof coating came off the inside.

Palm kit looks nice. It's got lovely detailing. It's nicely made. It performs ok for a year or so. It is not in the same league as Kokatat. It's cheaper than Kokatat but I seriously doubt the saving is worth the potential hassle of having to return for repair or replacement, and the resultant lack of equipment for (on average) a month out of a season. Per annum. That said, their customer service is indeed fantastic. Notwithstanding the £15 they still haven't refunded.

Mike.

RickC
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Cornwall/South West England

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by RickC » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:29 pm

I know it's not marketed as an Exped suit but the Nookie Assassin should be considered, especially if high breathability is desired. I've had one for over two years now and it's a great suit. Not loads of pockets but I tend to use my BA for this as I find it tricky getting stuff out of a chest pocket with the BA on anyway. No hood but again I prefer hats/helmets to suit the conditions and have never put the hood up on my touring cag. If there was enough demand I reckon Nookie would "enhance" the Assassin for paddlers on an individual basis. As for the cloth, see the "Nookie Bamboo" post.

I don't have a commercial connection to Nookie but I am a happy customer, so credit where it's due!

User avatar
tpage
Posts: 481
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:44 pm
Location: Glasgow

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by tpage » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:12 pm

I dont wear a drysuit in the sea, unless I plan to practice rolling or rescues. I like the 2 piece as it is easy to put on or take off layers, depending on the temperature. I do have Lomo suit that i bought 3 years ago and use when im river paddling in winter. It really is faultless..bone dry and comfortable. I cant get my head round the fact that it cost £250 new. It might not look as good as. Kokotat but at a 25pc of the cost thats fine by me.
I would echo that palm have good customer support. I havnt tried their dry suit, but have there dry bottoms..they replaced the leaky arse for free after 2 years heavy use and so far the new bum panel is bone dry. Well worth the original outlay.
Tony

elveys
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:09 pm
Location: Kent

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by elveys » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:25 am

Thanks for all the replies so far which have been very helpful. A neck that stows away is must for me if the suit is to also be used on ww rivers where the hood could represent a snag hazard. For those who use both an expedition suit where the hood stows and an ordinary style suits, are there any specific reasons why you have separate suits? I guess I'm wondering if there are things about the expedition suit that make it less suited to ww river paddling for instance.

Also found this thread which had some useful information about the neck on the Peak Adventure suit.

http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... =4&t=79625
dereckerick wrote:The Typhoon Extreme has glide skin seals and the hood does stow away.

I hate latex seals this is why I chose this suit, as well as the 3 year leak warranty! In the price range no contest for me...
Thanks for pointing this out. I'll take a closer look at this suit, the Typhoon suits also have a good choice of sizes.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by Jim » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:52 pm

I have a palm cag that delaminated.
I'm not sure when it delaminated. I think I got it in around '89 or '90.
It is a simple loose fit wind cag with loose neoprene cuffs. I still use it in warmer weather where dampness is not an issue but keeping the wind off is.
John and Aled were nearly flabbergasted when I put it on for the first paddle in my Taran in August, they retained just enough composure to try to work out it's age based on when they thought purple neoprene had been in use....
I think it was £27 new, it is still the most comfortable cag I own to wear (although not so comfortable in terms of protection offered).

At the weekend I was using my Lomo Renegade Drysuit (3 maybe nearly 4 years old now and leaking a bit somewhere) - the cut is OK but I could have managed a larger size, the fabric is possibly the heaviest I have ever worn and I was seriously in danger of overheating trying to keep up with guys in the morning (when they had their sails up and there was a bit of wind), not to mention that I find it slightly energy sapping to paddle moving the extra weight on the arms every paddle stroke. Douglas was wearing his Kokatat suit and not experiencing the same issues, whilst I think in his Lomo Tornado (much lighter fabric and no twin spreaydeck seal - I use one for buggy racing, it hasn't held up that well but I do cover it in wet sand with seat harness over it to make sure the sand is properly gorund into the fabric doing maximum damage) Phil was also struggling to get his temperature right.

On saturday I almost needed my drysuit for the first time in my sea kayak (excluding some training sessions around 18-20 years ago in a friends Anas Acuta) when I came the closest I ever have to capsizing a sea kayak.
We were running with the wind (for the sails) and the waves had finally built to a size that could be surfable as we neared the north end of Culzean bay so I had worked my way out a bit to get a slightly better run. In trying to catch a wave that really wasn't having any of it, I had ramped up my paddling to a point where I was going full tilt without a hint of support in my stroke sprinting as hard as I could to try and catch the wave. The wave then manouevred to a position where it was holding the stern and bow up but not the middle and I felt a sudden loss of stabilty and managed to flare my power stroke fast enough to get some support off it and then rolled the blade over to a low brace (given that I was moving forward at probably over 10 kmph at this point) and pushed myself upright. Douglas was lingering behind and to my left me and reckons I was at least half way over and he was amazed to see me recover it.
Unfortunately that snatched support at high speed which was quite a wrench at the time does seem to have had a knock on effect, my right hand still feels slightly swollen and clumsy today and whilst operating large items like spanners or door handles is fine, if I try to handle small items like pens or turning a key I get a sharp pain in my wrist, but only sometimes.

So I don't own an expedition suit, and you are starting to wonder what relevance any of this has, so now it's time to make some points if I can still remember them.

- Don't expect to find one suit that you like for all situations, expect to need at least a couple of suits or a variety of suits and 2 piece arrangements.
- The stowaway hood - why not use a separate hood or sowester when sea kayaking and no hood the rest of the time? Then you might find a suit you can use for everything.
- Especially if buying one suit to cover all eventualities, try and find one that is comfortable enough to wear as much of the time as possible - my near capsize experience brought home to me the fact that many times I would have chosen not to wear my renegade drysuit had I realised the day was going to be as warm, Douglas seems to think I would be much happier wearing a kokatat suit on warmer days which means I would be better prepared lest the next time I get caught out I decide not to risk hurting my wrist on a support but go for the capsize instead.

My advice therefore is to work on saving up and buying enough different options to cover all eventualities, not trying to get one suit to do everything, since it will inevitably lead to you wearing the inappropriate gear at some point - I was lucky that I wasn't on Saturday but many times I'm sure I have. Kokatat may not be the right way for you, I'm certainly not about to try and convince you of something I don't even own, but it is the next thing I will try. Probably where you are right now, you are probably better off buying 2 or more cheaper suits that better suit different activities - you don't need a twin seal waist when you are canoeing, reinforced or articulated knees might be more useful!

elveys
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:09 pm
Location: Kent

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by elveys » Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:50 pm

In the end I went with the Palm Aleutian as it was the only suit that offered the latex neck and a hood that stowed fully away in the collar. I had some trouble tracking one down in XL but fortunately located one in the end.

Thanks again for all your replies on this.

mick m
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:23 am
Location: East Gippsland Vic Australia
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by mick m » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:51 pm

After having gags de laminate and reading this thread I did sume reserch with my cloth supliers, the general consencis is the method of kering for the cloth, if its a coated stock, like nylon or poliester with a coating of poliyrathain or the likes on the inside mashine washing can corse the delamination , throug the back of the coating from the action of the mashine forsing water through the face of the fabric.
Old gortex jakets are delaminated by salt, befor the introduction of salt water proof gortex, the salt wold dry in the membrain, as the moistur dried it leaves saly cristals behind, which expand on drying, which over time rip and rupture the membrain , aparently not a consern for the newer gortex stile fabrics

JohnGreenview
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:28 pm
Location: Whiting Bay Arran

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by JohnGreenview » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:44 pm

Any observations on Reeds semidry suits. Anyone got any experience with how much water gets in when in the water? What about heat?

Baldy-Old-Troll
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Paisley

Re: Expedition style drysuits^

Post by Baldy-Old-Troll » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:14 pm

My Chillcheater suit stays dry , have swam in it with no problems, but I don't find it very breathable. If you feel the cold and are not working flat out it might be ok, I tend to be producing loads of heat and just boil in the bag, saying that I bought a Lomo dry cag at the Perth show and only managed to wear it twice as I was soaked with sweat , the Lomo stuff is also supposed to be breathable.

Stuart.

JohnGreenview
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:28 pm
Location: Whiting Bay Arran

Re: Expedition style drysuits^

Post by JohnGreenview » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:57 pm

Stuart

Thanks for comment. Very helpful.

mick m
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:23 am
Location: East Gippsland Vic Australia
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits

Post by mick m » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:36 pm

JohnGreenview wrote:Any observations on Reeds semidry suits. Anyone got any experience with how much water gets in when in the water? What about heat?
I have ther all in one paddeling sute, not the new one, for hear in Australia its a good winter sute, I whor it in a coast gard exasise , and with prolonged emersion I did get wet legs , bering in mind its not designd for prolonged emersion , after an hower in the water I was prity impresed with it , an I was stil cumfortably worm. If it was a swim of a cupal of minits from a kayak I wold have been dry still. I realy like not having the latex gaskets to wory about, as I found thay perished withthe infrequent youse I givw dry sutes . If I lived in a climat that worented paddeling in dry sutes Id probably have a cupal of diferant ones as Im paddeling/ sailing and working as a volintear with the coast gard all year round .

User avatar
active4seasons
Posts: 517
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:19 pm
Location: Berwick, North Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits^

Post by active4seasons » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:30 am

Another vote for the Typhoon Extreme, the hood does not stow completely like a Peak into the collar but does have two sturdy popers on a flap that holds the hood down and it can be rolled quite tightly so reducing any risk of the hood filling with water. The hand warmer pockets are great at lunch time too.

Ollie
Developing Desire for Adventure!

JohnGreenview
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:28 pm
Location: Whiting Bay Arran

Re: Expedition style drysuits^

Post by JohnGreenview » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:02 pm

Thanks Mick M.

elveys
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:09 pm
Location: Kent

Re: Expedition style drysuits^

Post by elveys » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:18 pm

A quick update on my Aleutian. I started to suspect the suit was leaking around October 2014. Feet had already been damp for some time but come to expect that. I sent the suit back to Palm for testing this week and results were:

New socks needed = £40
Knee pads leaking = £60
Main zip leaking = £110
Forearm panels leaking = £60

Plus £20 for postage there/back.

Needless to say I haven't gone ahead with the repairs and based on the amount of hours the suit had done and the number of areas it is failing in, another Palm suit won't be on my list of replacements which is a shame as the expedition design with latex neck was spot on for what I wanted.

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Re: Expedition style drysuits^

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:05 pm

My 6.5 year old Kokatat Gore-Tex Expedition is still going strong, totally waterproof and so breathable that I still come off the water with dry feet. It is my most used bit of kayaking kit. On my most recent winter day on the water I was able to make a very useful comparison between the Kokatat and a popular competitor's "breathable" suit. I was brewing up a dose of Manbola on my last paddle up the west coast and managed to forget my drysuit. Fortunately Ian had just bought a new Kokatat Expedition suit (on my recommendation) and still had his old suit in the car which he lent to me. I wore the same undersuit I usually do and although Ian's suit was not leaking, my undersuit and socks ended up wet with sweat and I felt very uncomfortable and cold, especially when we stopped. My feet were frozen.The suit was noticeably more restrictive than the Kokatat suit and I could not plant my paddle blade as far forward as I usually do. I ended up with rashes under both arms. Ian in his new Kokatat suit had never had such a warm comfortable winter day . The suit I borrowed is very affordable but for serious winter paddling it just could not compete with the Kokatat for warmth, breathability, comfort and freedom of movement.

Douglas

Post Reply