This Kokatat Dry Suit Buyer's Guide covers everything that makes them such a great choice, no matter your paddling style
The investment in a dry suit is worth every penny. You’re choosing one of the best layers for extending your paddling season and have just stepped into a new level of comfort and safety.
Whether you’re rafting your days away with clients in tow, adventuring down dangerous rivers, whitewater kayaking, or spending countless days fishing through all the seasons, a dry suit is an amazing piece of equipment.
For me, Kokatat dry suits guarantee confidence in staying dry while sending continuous Class 3. As an instructor, I teach every lesson in a dry suit. I can be in and out of the water with beginners feeling comfortable, knowing I won’t get cold.
Kokatat Dry Suit Buyers Guide
- Kokatat Dry Suit Fit
- Kokatat Dry Suit Features
- Kokatat Dry Suit Cleaning Tips
- Kokatat Dry Suit Buyers Guide
Kokatat Dry Suit Fit
Kokatat DRY suits come in standard manufactured sizes. They can also custom fit a suit for you. I am tall so I wear a women’s L. I was extremely content with the L paddling during this mild winter.
10 Womens US feet
Kokatat Dry Suit Choice
Meridian and Icon
Womens size Large
Kokatat suits have plenty of room for layers and free movement. I have never been restricted paddling or while swimming. Check out their easy-to-follow guide for sizing:
Kokatat Dry Suit Features
For 2021 Kokatat has switched to Gore-tex pro fabric for their suits.
This heavier 3-layer Gore-tex is waterproof and breathable. The three layers consist of face fabric bonded to a waterproof breathable membrane that's backed with a protective scrim.
The face fabric helps repel precipitation. The mid layer allows air through while keeping moisture out, and the protective scrim is a durable layer.
This material feels a bit stiffer compared to some of my Gore-tex snow shells. But once on, I can’t tell the difference between my lighter weight Gore-tex winter wear and the Pro material. I stand by this material, due to never having wet/damp feet from the Gore-tex Pro socks.
I go from street shoes, change on a mat into wool socks, then straight into my dry suit. I put river shoes on immediately! If you go running around all excited in these Gore-tex socks you’ll get pin holes in them, which will leave you with wet feet.
Nylon Access Zipper and Drop Seat/ Relief Zipper
Different Kokatat dry suits have different zipper layouts and entry styles.
The Icon’s back zipper stretches across the shoulders. Fair warning now: if you don’t have good flexibility in your shoulders, or a helpful friend, the Icon can be difficult to get out of.
The Meridian’s diagonal entry is at the front. The diagonal zipper across the Meridian does sit in an uncomfortable position for me. There is one spot under my Kokatat Hustler PFD that has a bit of pressure against my ribs.
This could be due to my height -- I am 5’10” and wear a women’s large Kokatat dry suit while still fitting into a XS/S Kokatat Hustler. My shorter friends have not experienced this problem. Try dry your suit on with your PFD before purchase to figure out where the zipper sits.
It's important to note that dry suits have gotten away from using metal zippers. The new flat plastic zippers wreak less damage to your surroundings (metal means mark-up – damage to rafts, car seats, the deck of your new SUP).
A word of caution: zipper damage happens when you store your suit with a tight or aggressive bend in the zipper! And let me throw this at you…
Gear Aid Zipper Cleaner & Lubricant
Gear Aid's Zipper Cleaner & Lubricant is an all-in-one tool for cleaning and keeping your zippers opening and closing with ease. Ideal for plastic, nylon or metal zippers on all kinds of gear, from your drysuit to your tent to… Read More
A true revolution in the maintenance and use of a drysuit zipper.
Wait, did I mention the drop seat?!? LADIES YES! Not only has Kokatat thought about those of us that love to play on the water, but they also have strategically installed the zipper in a wraparound style.
Talk about no issues, other than the odd time I get too excited to get back on the water and forget to finish zipping it up… Yeah, tip of the day: always double check your dry suit zipper is seated properly.
Care note: never store your dry suit with tight/aggressive bend in the zipper. This could damage them.
Gaskets and Collars
The latex gaskets on both the neck collar and wrist cuffs keep you dry. I do suggest being careful with these.
Do you see the punch through cuff and collars? Comfort, warmth, amazing enough style as well.
These cuffs and collars help the Kokatat dry suit fit like a sweatshirt. Protection from UV and abrasion for your gaskets: keys to the longevity of the gaskets.
Keeping that fit where you like it close to your body for less air entrapment is a drawstring at the waist.
Hoop and Loop Ankle Cuffs
These ankle adjustments allow the wearer to adjust the cuff diameter. This adds comfort and can keep the back of the cuff from dragging in the dirt unnecessarily. The sewn-on Velcro strips do not leak through the threads and hold strong to their set position.
Double Hook and Loop on the Skirt Tunnel
The long front band of Velcro leaves plenty of room for adjustment and the width adds to a secure fit. The over tunnel is an additional layer keeping water out of the top of a kayaking spray skirt.
I suggest loosening both sides when getting in and out of the Kokatat dry suits.
Wet Self-Draining Front Chest Pocket
Most Kokatat dry suits have a wet pocket located in their chest area. They’re self-draining and have a key clip located in them. This pocket is a great place to keep things a bit safer because it is located under your PFD
Kokatat Dry Suit Cleaning Tips
Keeping dry and warm is one of my favorite things to do. A Kokatat dry suit is my recommendation for their breathability and waterproof qualities.
Keeping my dry suit clean, by washing it on a cold gentle load with tech wash, means I can step from my water wear and into a set of warm wool street clothes ready to go for the rest of life (without smelling terrible).
Kokatat’s dry suit materials, when cleaned and maintained, result in better performance and longevity. Although, if your suit is not cleaned, the general public will be giving you your six feet social distancing simply due to smell.
Before you even hit the water, a dry suit is a huge step up in bug protection! (Think outside the suit!!) Who really wants to fight with peeling out of a wetsuit or fending off mosquitos and horse flies?!?
Trying to decide between a Kokatat and Meridian or Icon dry suit and want some more information about female fit? Then check out Female Fit Series: Kokatat Meridian vs Icon Womens Dry Suits
Kokatat Dry Suit Buyers Guide
I hope this information has helped you make a decision about your next Kokatat dry suit! I simply cannot go without mine, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same the first time you try one out.
“Dreams don’t work unless you do”
Badfish Team Athlete
AQ Outdoors Whitewater SUP and Splitboard Ambassador
Advanced and River 1 SUP Instructor Paddle Canada
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