Item # 832611
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Reviewed by 1 customer
Displaying review 1
Comments about Kokatat Gore-Tex Expedition Dry Suit - Men's:
I've got about 20 days of spring sea kayaking in this suit here in Alaska now. It took a while to stretch the neck gasket out to be comfortable, and I still use a hoop inside the gasket to hold it away from my skin in calm, warm weather. The suit is easy to put on and take off solo. The zipper is long enough and ends at a nice spot on top of your shoulder where it helps entry/exit without interfering with arm rotation. Some drysuit zippers end lower down on the arm below the shoulder and that flexes the zipper with each paddle stroke. The relief zipper is large enough to be useful, though both zippers arrived totally dry. The relief zipper was almost impossible to operate until I found some zipper wax and got it properly lubricated. The zippers arrived closed, which is not good for waterproof zippers. They should be stored unzipped so that the material does not get compression set and lose it's waterproof function.
The material seems quite durable but still has a fairly soft hand and is quiet when paddling. The goretex breathes adequately, but this suit is simply too warm to wear on sunny, calm days. I need a breeze, overcast, or temps below 65F to be able to wear this thing while paddling. Even wearing a light wicking T-shirt underneath has its temp limits. The breathable stocking feet are nice in that your feet won't get clammy when wearing sport sandals or mesh shoes. Many drysuits have latex or neoprene feet which don't breath. The gore fabric stocking feet are pretty baggy though, presumably to accommodate up to size 13+ feet. My size 11 feet are swimming in the loose fabric, which then bunches inside my footwear. Not the greatest design, but a trade-off for using fabric feet meant to fit all comers.
The integrated spray skirt is ok, though smooth skin neoprene on the front inside would have been preferable in order to seal with a spray skirt better. The back is smooth skin neoprene on the inside.
Overall the fit is good for my 5' 11" height (with long arms) and 190# weight in a size large. I have complete range of motion from a full crouch to standing with my arms over my head, but the suit does not feel too loose otherwise. The cut is athletic but not restrictive. The suit weighs about 4 pounds, which is not bad for a full drysuit with hood, and a full pound lighter than the NRS Mariner.
The hood is the weakest part of the suit. It fits like a rice sack over your head. There is no way it would fit over a helmet (at least none I own). In fact, it is short enough over the top of my un-helmeted head that if I look down, the brim of the hood rides up above my forehead. The cinch around your face is cludgy and not as effective as I would hope. Being able to pull the two bungees independently and not across your chin would be a lot better. I have a Kokatat TecTour paddle jacket, and that model's hood is much better, presumably because it is more anatomically cut and it zips up to your chin. I don't know why they moved away from that design. When the hood is down it is also pretty bulky around your neck. It's easier to turn your head in the new, lighter hood design, but otherwise it is not an inspired fit.
There are not many choices out there in full dry suits with integrated hoods. This is probably the best option I have found. If they shipped the zippers properly prepped, had better fitting feet, and they gave the suit a (removable) hood that fit more like a high-end alpinist jacket, it would get 5 stars. For now, it gets 4.
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