Can you use diving drysuits for kayaking? It all depends on what you're planning to use them for. I've used Gore-Tex Pro, Stohlquist's Surface Immersion Suit, and Kokatat's Hydrus 3L fabric. Here are some things to consider when choosing yours:
This three-layer wetsuit is made from durable, waterproof, and breathable Gore-Tex Pro fabric. It features a metal zipper that is easier to use and a full-body design with large, fully covered fabric areas. These drysuits are also made with a lightweight fabric that makes casting easier. Some kayaking drysuits have built-in hoods and removable knee and elbow patches made of Kevlar. This kayaking drysuit also features internal suspenders that prevent the suit from riding up or shifting.
When choosing a drysuit, make sure to look for a warranty that covers manufacturing defects. While a warranty is important, it will not cover wear and tear. Drysuit gaskets are prone to punctures, and Gore-Tex tape can be fixed if necessary. But larger tears and rips require gasket replacements. If you buy a drysuit online, be sure to read the warranty.
While Gore-Tex dry suits are the gold standard for underwater diving, Kokatat's new Hydrus 3L material is an excellent alternative. These suits are made in the United States and are less expensive than similar garments made from Gore-Tex. These suits are still ideal for certain water sports but aren't recommended for commercial work. Fortunately, they do breathe fairly well.
One of the best-selling drysuits from Kokatat is the Meridian. This front entry drysuit is made of Kokatat Hydrus 3.0 fabric. The fabric is a lightweight, breathable, 3-layer material that provides 80% of the breathability of Gore-Tex. The Meridian is waterproof and breathable without sacrificing comfort. It also features a chest pocket with a key lanyard and bungee drawcord.
The Stohlquist's Surface Interaction Suit for kayaking features a versatile design and excellent weatherproof protection. It is made with a double tunnel design for superior insulation and comfort. Designed with an athletic fit, this suit provides maximum protection against water and keeps your body warm. A neoprene neck closure prevents water from entering through a loose neck opening.
The neoprene collar prevents neck and arm chaffing, and its rear-entry zip is easy to use without disrupting paddling. The overlapping double-tunnel also provides an excellent dry seal around the waist. The breathable lining, or eXhaust, is very effective at aspirating perspiration, and the suit comes with a one-year warranty.
The EZ Drysuit by Stohlquist is an excellent choice for kayaking, as it offers exceptional comfort and weatherproof protection. Its double tunnel design helps to keep you warm and dry. In addition, it's extremely comfortable to wear, and is perfect for touring and whitewater river running. In addition to this, Stohlquist neoprene drysuits are also very affordable.
Drysuits can be paired with other gear, including a hood for extra warmth and suspenders to prevent your suit from bunching. A chest pocket with headphone port is another nice feature. A relief zipper is also handy for quick access to the outdoors, and a wide torso is comfortable for any kayaker. A snug fit helps keep the body warm, but it doesn't restrict movement.
One of the most popular brands of drysuits is IR. Its drysuits are designed to be comfortable and durable, with high-quality triple-layered nylon fabrics. Among the features are latex neck seals and wrist and ankle seals. In addition, the drysuits provide good freedom of movement, with just enough elasticity to keep the user comfortable and dry during active activities. Another feature is an enhanced closure at the back zipper, which provides increased waterproofing and prevents chafing. Additionally, all seams are taped to maximize durability.
The rear-entry suit features a high-quality MasterSeal zipper and universal-sized booties, as well as a headphone port. The material is DWR-treated to keep out the elements and prevent leaks. A chest pocket has a headphone port, and a relief zipper gives you access to nature quickly. All the materials are designed to provide optimal comfort and protect from the elements while kayaking. When choosing a wetsuit or a drysuit make sure to measure full body.