Drysuit or dry cag and trousers?^

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NeilG
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Drysuit or dry cag and trousers?^

Post by NeilG » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:09 pm

With both options costing a lot of money, which is in favour amongst fellow paddlers? Up until now, I have lived with wetsuit long johns and a paddle top. I want to get out of the tight fitting gear by next winter so I have all summer to save.

So:
What are you using?
What pros and cons do you perceive?
What would you rather have?
Any bargains around?
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Cornholio
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Post by Cornholio » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:30 pm

Hi Neil,
I got a Typhoon Kayak Racer with Free underfleece in May for £210. Brilliant suit. It's breathable tri-laminate and Typhoon are endorsed by lots of people (just had a pee zip fitted by Rubberman, it doesn't have one standard).
http://www.wetsuitoutlet.co.uk/product_ ... cts_id=635
Typhoon have the most flexible sizing I find (well, for wider,bigger types!) That was from Wetsuitoutlet.co.uk. They now have the new one in stock with pee zip and free fleece for £310
http://www.wetsuitoutlet.co.uk/product_ ... ts_id=1320
If you fit the size this NEW typhoon on Ebay is a steal http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Tyhoon-Multi-spor ... dZViewItem
(It could do with a zip and adding a fleece would take it to £298 if you got it with no other bidders?)
I've seen the new one in Brookbank and it's very well put together. Never been impressed with either palm or lomo drysuits, dunno why...!
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

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Cornholio
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Post by Cornholio » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:40 pm

There are no cons to getting a drysuit, just keep a good eye on it and treat it well. Once you've made that leap from cold damp wetsuit you will be truly amazed! I've never owned a two piece drysuit, but there is a hint in there it may not stay dry long if in the water for any length of time. As far as bargains go the £210 suit I mentioned (with free fleece!) is as good as it gets, you may find cheaper on Ebay if you have a suitable layering system already(from walking/climbing etc) that could be used. If you paddle with others having a pee is not a major problem (could do it with the neck and one arm out!)
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

Speciman
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Post by Speciman » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:53 pm

Also recommend the full drysuit. Did a reentry with a friend a few weeks back. He was wearing dry trousers and cag. Whilst in the water readying himself to reenter he took some water between the waist seal. He was in the water for about a 1 minute. He became cold soon after.

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Post by Owen » Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:32 pm

I've been using Reed Salopettes and Touring cag for a couple of years now, and found them very comfortable. The cags only semi-dry so once in the sea water will get in but only slowly. The waist seal is a bit hit and miss a lot depends on how tight your spraydeck is. For summer and autumn this set up is very flexible, you can vary your thermal layer and even if you get wet inside it will keep you warm as long as you don't stay in the water long.

I've just brought a Lomo Renegade drysuit, there very well made and the fit is excellent. There's a bit on them in the latest Ocean Paddler Mag. I think for winter and spring this is the way to go; the water in the North Sea is around 5 degrees C at the moment. At £250 very good value.

To go under it I got an Element fleece romper suit; at £25 you can't go wrong. There out of stock at the moment I believe but the next batch will have a two way zip. Mine has a one way zip which isn't much use under a drysuit; I must get around to getting it changed.

There's some photo's on my blog, a bit out of focus.

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Post by Cameron » Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:52 am

There is no single answer to this question, it depends upon your expectations and skill level as much as anything. If you have a high skill level, a bomb proof roll and think an extended swim is unlikely then the dry cag and trousers are probably more versatile. Personally I use a dry suit, if the sh*t hits the fan I know I can survive long enough for a probable rescue.

This question comes up regularly and the dry suit option generally come out on top.

Cameron

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Robert Craig
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Post by Robert Craig » Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:48 pm

Before opting for a conventional drysuit, have a think as to whether you can/want to paddle all day with a tight latex neck.

Many folk dress for the paddle, not the swim - and I've not found anyone here admitting to a swim as part of a trip ever (as opposed to a day playing).

Speciman
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Post by Speciman » Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:59 pm

Latex neck seals can be loosened by placing the seal over a suitably sized pot or round container overnight. If it still feels too tight you can carefully trim the seal back. The seals have ribs on them which you can use to guide your cut.

There are dry suits on the market with neoprene necks seals if you find latex uncomfortable. They are not as watertight though.

Bear in mind that if you do dunk a tightly fitting pfd helps keep the neck area above the waterline (however breaking waves over your head won't & neither will rolling :)).

Whilst folks may be dressing for the paddle (air temps), they should be dressing for the swim (water temp) if safety is paramount.

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TheKrikkitWars
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Post by TheKrikkitWars » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:04 pm

Well there are neoprene necked drysuits, Kokatat* make them, as do Stolhquist and Artistic

*Available from knoydart
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Post by Owen » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:15 pm

Robert Craig wrote:Before opting for a conventional drysuit, have a think as to whether you can/want to paddle all day with a tight latex neck.

Many folk dress for the paddle, not the swim - and I've not found anyone here admitting to a swim as part of a trip ever (as opposed to a day playing).
Ok I admit it; I have swam on a trip to Lundy Island. I've also been on another trip so cold that I couldn't remember how to put up my tent. That was on the fifth day of a seven day trip in the middle of summer. That was just through waves breaking over my head, going with the tide but against the wind through Kyle Rhea. I was wearing Heli-Hanson fibre pile under a cag without any seals (Wildwater sea cag c.1992).

You say you've not found anyone who'd amit to swimming as part of a trip as opposed to a day playing. What's the difference? The water is just as cold.

Speciman
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Post by Speciman » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:24 pm

Took a dunking in Poole Harbour the other week during galeforce winds.

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NeilG
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Post by NeilG » Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:36 pm

No swimming today, but paddling in 35 knot winds over the last two miles of a twelve mile paddle had the four us getting very wet with breaking waves and spray. Very exhilarating but I was glad of the latex neck seal on my paddle top.

I have already begun to reconsider the dry suit option in favour of a two piece. My logic is that if I buy the dry suit and later a new spray top, I might as well spend the difference on a better two piece suit if you follow.
It also offers greater flexibility. It seems as theough the dry tops have a double waist and the trousers also. I suppose between the four layers and a spray deck, there must be a reasonable seal?

There are certainly a few good deals around at the moment.
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TaysideTom
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Post by TaysideTom » Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:09 pm

When I moved on from a wetsuit I ended up with a palm Aleutian cag and a sidewinder bib. The bib is great: it has dry socks and a pee zip, and you have the flexibility of using a touring cag with a neoprene neck and a hood, or a whitewater cag with latex neck, depending on the occasion. I have several times found myself overheating on a paddle and have been grateful for the ability to raft up with someone and swap the heavy cag for something a bit lighter. Overheating is something to avoid, even in Scotland! But the heavy cag is very much appreciated at this time of year.

I haven't had accidental swims with it (more through lack of adventurousness, rather than superb technique, it has to be admitted), but in rescue practice I find that you get several minutes of bobbing around before any water gets in, and then only a pretty small dribble through the neoprene neck.

That said, this particular combination is more expensive than the lomo or typhoon drysuits, which do sound pretty good.

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ChrisS
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Post by ChrisS » Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:11 pm

I suppose between the four layers and a spray deck, there must be a reasonable seal?
Nope. You are ignoring the physical law that states that water will go where you don't want it to go and won't go where you do want it to go. This can easily be proved by the way electronic equipment in a dry bag will inevitably get wet whereas a tomato skin and a few tea leaves will effectively block a sink.

p.s I have swum on a trip; somebody surfed into me.

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Post by TaysideTom » Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:48 pm

I've just noticed that the Arctic voice article in the latest OP has several shots of the paddlers wearing the sidewinder/aleutian kit. In the text they say that they dressed for the paddle, and accepted that this limited the conditions they could paddle in. It's all part of weighing up the risks of your route/weather/skills.

Incidentally, does anybody know what has happened to the Palm website? The main address has been down for quite a while:

http://www.palm-equipment.co.uk/

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TheKrikkitWars
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Post by TheKrikkitWars » Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:08 pm

TaysideTom wrote:I've just noticed that the Arctic voice article in the latest OP has several shots of the paddlers wearing the sidewinder/aleutian kit. In the text they say that they dressed for the paddle, and accepted that this limited the conditions they could paddle in. It's all part of weighing up the risks of your route/weather/skills.

Incidentally, does anybody know what has happened to the Palm website? The main address has been down for quite a while:

http://www.palm-equipment.co.uk/
Its been www.palmequipmenteurope.com for quite a while.
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TaysideTom
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Post by TaysideTom » Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:14 pm

Thanks, TKW.

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