Jul 23, 2012 at 9:42 am #1292258
Chad LorenzBPL Member
@chadlLocale: Teton Valley, Wydaho
Just found these, might be of interest to some. Manufactured by Kokatat, looks like 22oz. Not sure how I feel about the neo-gasketed neck, but I like the ankle gaskets rather than booties for extended hikes.Jul 23, 2012 at 10:13 am #1896873
Truly incredible weights for a suit like that. $720 oooof though. I understand.Jul 25, 2012 at 7:53 pm #1897601
Great to hear these are out. Forrest McCarthy was telling me about this upcoming suit last month – it sounds like a great piece of gear to help extend the packrafting season while staying reasonably light. I'm off to read the details…
EDIT: Looks solid. 22oz isn't that hard to justify when you can leave the 8oz jacket and 4oz pants at home, so you're only spending 10oz in exchange for much more comfortable rafting.
I wish they'd tell us a bit more on the specs page. Like what WP/B membrane it is.Jul 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm #1897638
Richard NisleyBPL Member
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
They are using a Pertex WPB and backing it with the same three year warranty they offer on their rafts. The detailed specs are: 53 g/m2 with 15 denier nylon ripstop; 2.5 layer construction; 20,000 mm HH; 25,000 g/m2/24h (JIS L 1096 & ASTM D737); DWR 80/20; and BS EN ISO 12947-2 abrasion resistance of 40K+ cycles @ 12kPA (my estimate).Jul 26, 2012 at 10:20 pm #1897894
Thanks Richard. Much appreciated.Aug 15, 2012 at 11:52 pm #1903147
I am happy to see these out, too. I like the sound of the neo gasket neck. To me, it sounds like it will extend the range of situations the suit can be worn in due to increased ventilation and neck comfort. Its very light, and I am sort of on the fence about its light weight versus the (assumed) extra durability of other semi-dry suits around.Aug 16, 2012 at 8:54 am #1903204
Richard NisleyBPL Member
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Alpacka offers a three year warranty on the packrafting suit. If it leaks during this perioed, you can send it back to the factory and they will repair or replace it.
With its light weight weight and warranty it seems like a very good solution for packrafting expeditions.Oct 15, 2012 at 5:54 am #1921368
Has anyone purchased one of these yet? I’m curious about any impressions on these new dry suits.Oct 16, 2012 at 11:30 am #1921804
I've been thinking about it, but at this point its just too much money for a student like me. It looks like such a great tool for extended the season of packrafting and adding a nice margin of safety/error over rain gear. Let us know what you think if you grab one.Oct 22, 2012 at 11:13 am #1923666
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
Things are just getting cold up here so I'm now switched out of my rainwear and splash suits and am packrafting with dry suits again. Alpacka sent one to us for review, and I had the chance to use it on the Grande Ronde this weekend.
The suit is very comfortable to wear. I haven't taken a swim with it yet, but waded up to my chest and everything seemed ok with no leakage in any of the cuffs or at the split zip.
Air temps were 40-55, water temp was mid 40s, and it rained a lot. In heavy rain I wore a hooded anorak over the top to keep my head warm, but a fleece hat and wide brimmed hat could accomplish the same. The dry suit doesn't have a hood and I'm not sure how I feel about it yet; my favorite splash jackets have hoods. I wore two layers of long underwear (Patagonia silk weight + Cap 4) on both top and bottom and stayed warm-ish enough when I got wet in rain and rapids. The suit breathes well, and I never felt clammy.
I'll have an introductory (SpotLite) review published here in a few weeks, and a full review in the spring. My only concern at this point is of course durability – it's a very light suit – but I'm really pleased with the design so far.
Here's a screen grab from my bow cam :)Oct 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm #1923697
I will be looking forward to that review. I hope you address the feet in your article and provide some advise on how you keep them warm.
I just finished a trip to the River Spey in similar conditions without a drysuit. Water levels were much lower than the norm for October in Scotland so it meant getting out and then back in for frequent shallow spots. Cold feet were my constant companion over the four days so I would be interested in the system you used to keep your feet warm.Oct 23, 2012 at 4:02 am #1923831
I thought that I might elaborate on what I’m interested in. I understand why Alpacka went with latex ankle gaskets vice attached socks. I was wondering if (in very cold conditions) you could use latex socks with the Drysuit latex gasket.
The latex gasket could certainly be replace with a latex sock easily enough as a DYI project, but I’m wondering if you could use a latex sock over a hiking sock and then get it under the latex gasket as a less permanent option. This should provide a seal that would keep feet dry and warm, and keep the flexibility of using the drysuit in conditions where you are less concerned about wet feet.
Would it be more trouble than is it worth? Anyone try this with other drysuits or paddling pants with latex ankle gaskets?Oct 23, 2012 at 6:53 am #1923862
Thanks Ryan. I'm also looking forward to this 'spot light'.
Regarding feet, some Rocky Gore-Tex socks should do the trick to keep your feet dry if desired. I assume the ankle gaskets would essentially seal to these and keep nearly all the water out.
I think leaving off the feet was a good call by Alpacka, because you want to leave the rain gear behind and hike in this suit, you'd likely wear the feet out pretty quick anyways.Oct 23, 2012 at 8:11 am #1923869
I did think about gortex socks, and I do have some sealskinz socks. However, I wonder if they would actually seal, or would you get water wicking up the material outside the sock. I wonder if latex on latex would make a better seal.
I have also been looking at Kokatat T3 Launch Socks. They are knee high and would allow you to get in and out of the boat keeping feet dry. They would go on the outside your drysuit so you would not have to worry about water wicking up the inside.Oct 23, 2012 at 8:46 am #1923882
Seal Skin socks are a lot thicker than the Rocky Gore-Tex ones and appear to be able to hold a lot more water. The Rocky ones are constructed like a shell jacket – a thin nylon face fabric over a membrane. So while the nylon would absorb water once the DWR fails, the actual volume would be extremely low and you likely wouldn't notice it in the already humid conditions inside a sealed WP/B suit.Oct 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm #1923952
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: The West Slope
For winter canyoneering I've used Sealskin socks layered with neo socks, along with my footless Kokotat drysuit. Sealskins over the latex gasket, a wrap of duct tape around the sock (not contacting the latex), neo sock over that, then cinch the neoprene and velcro cuff of the suit over the whole mess. Fairly effective.Oct 24, 2012 at 12:26 am #1924064
Dan, David, Thanks to you both for your ideas. Hopefully Ryan discusses feet options in his article.
It will be a little while before I move back to Canada and need a drysuit. By the time I’m ready to buy a one, we might have some feedback on the durability of Alpacka’s.
In the meanwhile I was thinking about getting some paddling pants for my trips to Scotland. Before this thread I was leaning towards an integrated sock, like on the Kokatat Tempest Pant, now I think that I might go with a ankle gasket and workout a system I like before getting the drysuit.Nov 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm #1931767
Jean-Francois JobinBPL Member
Update about introductory (SpotLite) review?
Durability seems good?
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