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Update on dry suits?


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Home Forums Off Piste Packrafting Update on dry suits?

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #3729927
    Ike Jutkowitz
    BPL Member

    @ike

    Locale: Central Michigan

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>What are some of the light options for a dry suit with wrist and neck gaskets for shoulder season use? I’ve used alpacka’s ultralight suit for a few years, but it is not competent to survive a swim, and abrasion resistance when bushwhacking is poor.</p>

    #3729929
    James Taylor
    BPL Member

    @james-taylor

    Locale: Indy

    The Kokatat Hydrus 3.0 Swift Entry in size medium weighs 33.2oz on my scale. It’s the one without booties and no pee zip. It’s never let me get wet on a swim.

    #3729933
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I use NRS Flux dry top and NRS Freefall dry pants for whitewater kayaking. I like that they are seperate.. so if needed I can just use top.. or bottoms.. they mate perfect with a spray skirt too. Keeps me dry.. and i do go upside down.. and i do swim… a lot!! They are also very abrasion resistant.. great for bushwhacking and getting scraped and smashed along rocks or in shallow water getting dragged down stream.

    #3729937
    Daryl and Daryl
    BPL Member

    @lyrad1

    Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth

    James,

    Do you know the approximate weight of the Hydrus top only?

    Could the Hydrus outfit also serve as rain gear on the trail?

    #3729941
    James Taylor
    BPL Member

    @james-taylor

    Locale: Indy

    No, not sure about the weight as I don’t have just the top.

     

    The suit could be used as rain gear, although the zipper placement over the shoulder might be annoying or painful if you had to wear a pack all day. You might have to rig up some padding there. I haven’t ever used it as rain gear, or tested its durability much, but I’ve bushwhacked in much lighter-weight fabric with no durability issues, so I would guess it’s tough enough. I wouldn’t abrade it much against rocks though. The breathability seems about average to me.

     

    The other piece of gear I have is the NRS Men’s Endurance Splash Jacket in size small. It weighs 9.6 oz, but is only a splash jacket. It would work really well as a rain jacket under a pack if you could rig up a hood for it. It would be good for those Class II shoulder season trips if you’re sure you’re not going to swim and want a better “on the water” system than rain-gear provides. The wrist closures are much drier than rain gear, which contributes significantly to warmth.

     

    Dirtbag: I’ve always wondered how much you can trust a separate dry shirt/dry pants combo compared to a drysuit when you’re swimming. It seems like they’d work better as rain gear because you could leave the pants off when hiking in lighter rain. After your extensive…experience ;) … would you trust them to keep you dry on a cold, several-minute-long swim in a remote spot?

    #3729945
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    So far through 2 or 3 swims in class 2 and class 3 rapids it has kept me dry. They really overlap each other a few times and make a great seal to keep water out.  I recently posted a video of my kayaking Lehigh River.. and if you watch it, you will see I went upside down, tried to roll.. could not roll .. ended up swimming.. i was up to my neck in the water for a few minutes.. probably 4 or 5 total.. by the time i got to river side and emptied my kayak to get back in. I was dry. Last year also, i had 2 or 3 swims in October.. again, I stayed dry.

    #3729983
    Daryl and Daryl
    BPL Member

    @lyrad1

    Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth

    James,

    Thanks for the info.

    #3731046
    Chris L
    BPL Member

    @thechrislundy

    Locale: Idaho

    I have a Kokatat Hydrus 3.0 Swift Entry Dry Suit w/ Relief Zipper & Dry Socks. It weighs 36oz in a mens large. I’ve only used it a few times so far. I think this is about the lightest dry suit currently available – except the one mentioned above without the pee zip.

    In mild temps and water, I use Kokatat dry pants (19oz) with a rain jacket or sometimes a Kokatat dry top (16oz). This combo is more versatile as the dry pants work well as rain pants with a rain jacket. I haven’t swam in the dry top/pants combo but I don’t get the feeling  it would be as dry as the previous poster mentioned. I’ve gotten damp around the waist junction just running rapids. But that could be my particular combo.

    In cold conditions, the dry suit is nearly the same weight as the pants/top combo, much warmer, and completely dry. I’ve never used the suit as rain gear but I know it’s done by others. I’d probably bring a light rain jacket  still and wear that with the suit top rolled down.

    I’d pay GOOD money if someone made a dry suit under 2# with a separating waist zipper! Unfortunately the separating dry suit zippers currently on the market seem pretty clunky.

    #3731048
    Ike Jutkowitz
    BPL Member

    @ike

    Locale: Central Michigan

    Thanks guys, the swift entry is definitely on my short list.

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