Professor Paddle: Dry top/bottom Vs. Drysuit?!
Professor Paddle Professor Paddle
  RegisterRegister  LoginLogin
Home Calendar Forum FSBO Gallery PPages Reviews Rivers Trips Links
  Active TopicsActive Topics  Display List of Forum MembersMemberlist  Search The ForumSearch
Whitewater Forum
 Professor Paddle : General : Whitewater Forum
Message Icon Topic: Dry top/bottom Vs. Drysuit?! Post Reply Post New Topic
Author Message
wylddeuces2
Rock Bumper
Rock Bumper
Avatar

Joined: 20 Jan 2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 33
  Quote wylddeuces2 Replybullet Topic: Dry top/bottom Vs. Drysuit?!
    Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 12:54pm
I understand the Drysuit is all one piece pretty much sealed from top to bottom, I even found one I like! But... is there that big of diff btwn having a dry top and bottom vs. the drysuit? Having the two pieces you'd be able to downgrade easier?! But then are you sacrificing staying dry, which is the whole point of owning a dry (suit/top/bttm)???
Decisions, decisions... decisions!!!


To each their own. If it makes you happy it cant be that bad, im happy for you! For what does matter...is what makes You happy!
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
JayB
Big Boofer
Big Boofer


Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 503
  Quote JayB Replybullet Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 1:37pm
Get the drysuit.

http://www.professorpaddle.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=10098&PID=53662
-Jay
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
dave
Master Poster
Master Poster
Avatar
D4

Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4204
  Quote dave Replybullet Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 3:05pm
Drysuit all the way. There is no other way to go. It is so much more comfortable. I have even been wearing my drysuit in the summer months because it is just that much more comfy.
Nomad
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
Jed Hawkes
Rio Banditos
Rio Banditos
Avatar

Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 809
  Quote Jed Hawkes Replybullet Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 3:16pm
Drysuit, in the PNW it's pretty much a necessity.  Even in the spring when the air is warm the water can be in low 40's depending on what river your on.  The Dry top/pants combo won't keep you dry, a full suit will.  Especially in the beginning of your paddling career it's nice to be able to swim in comfort.  With a few exceptions there Washington rivers during the summer are on the cool side and warrant proper attire.

During the really hot months I move to a drytop/rodeo pant combo. Rodo pants are made by NRS and are neoprene pants.  Nookie also makes a similar type of pant that is of higher quality.  
The line will become apparent
978-273-7723
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
wylddeuces2
Rock Bumper
Rock Bumper
Avatar

Joined: 20 Jan 2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 33
  Quote wylddeuces2 Replybullet Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 3:26pm
Sweet! Thanks for all this advise guys, its great!
To each their own. If it makes you happy it cant be that bad, im happy for you! For what does matter...is what makes You happy!
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
doggievacation
Super Looper
Super Looper
Avatar

Joined: 24 Oct 2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 170
  Quote doggievacation Replybullet Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 5:09pm
Here's another vote for the drysuit.

I actually have Kokatat's GoreTex Whirlpool bibs to marry up with my Kokatat Goretex drytop and I still use this combo on occasion for sea kayaking/camping in the rain, since you can replace the drytop with a rain jacket in camp and stay totally dry, no matter what the weather.

But here's the rub:  in order to marry the dry top to the bibs, you have to roll two different tunnels together and tuck them under your skirt and PFD.  That's a big wad of fabric right around your torso and it really does start to rub after a while.

Drysuits are SO much more comfortable, especially if you spend the dough for a Kokatat GMER or GFER, with a Pee Zip and GoreTex booties.  And, as mentioned above, you can use a drysuit for boating on all but the hottest days in the PNW.
Don't waste water!
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
mokelumnekid
McNasty
McNasty
Avatar

Joined: 09 Aug 2010
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 304
  Quote mokelumnekid Replybullet Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 7:00pm
As a long-standing noob, what they said. Dry suit. You can buy a banged-up used boat and be okay, but buy the very best dry suit you can afford, as THAT is what is between you and a ticking T-bomb of hypothermia. I started out with a dry top and long-john wet suit and that was too hot or not enuf protection- wet suits are not warm enough in Winter. Welcome to Washington! In my mind learning to boat here is like learning to climb at Index- nothing too sweet 'n' easy. 
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
Connor
Splat Wheeler
Splat Wheeler
Avatar

Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 118
  Quote Connor Replybullet Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 7:18pm
Drysuit.
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
wallyworld
Paddler
Paddler
Avatar

Joined: 02 Sep 2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 70
  Quote wallyworld Replybullet Posted: 31 Jan 2011 at 8:20pm
Drysuit. Like Jed said, starting out you'll be doing some swimming. I guarantee it. Swimming in a drysuit is almost fun...........almost. Fact of the matter is it's usually cold here when the water is in. You'll be more likely to stick with it if you're comfortable.
let's go get it
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
wylddeuces2
Rock Bumper
Rock Bumper
Avatar

Joined: 20 Jan 2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 33
  Quote wylddeuces2 Replybullet Posted: 31 Jan 2011 at 8:23pm
Come on Everybody.... Lets go swimming, j/k LOL! Ok, just me then, thats alright we all have our moments of being one with the fish!
To each their own. If it makes you happy it cant be that bad, im happy for you! For what does matter...is what makes You happy!
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
jella
Tricky Woo
Tricky Woo
Avatar

Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 239
  Quote jella Replybullet Posted: 31 Jan 2011 at 8:45pm
yessss a drysuite! THEY ARE AMAZING!
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
scottrichardson
Rock Bumper
Rock Bumper
Avatar

Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 31
  Quote scottrichardson Replybullet Posted: 01 Feb 2011 at 7:58am
here's the lone advocate for the drytop and bib combo...

keep in mind this is not the dryPANT and drytop combo.

kokatat makes farmerjohn style bibs with a tunnel to combine with your drytop. you roll your drytop tunnel up with the bib tunnel then they compress when you put on your neoprene skirt. the result is as solid as any drysuit i've used prior to having this combo. rescue classes where you stay in the river all day, long swims, short swims, practice swims, cool off floats...i've had this combo for six years and it's still bomber. best feature is you can have multiple drytops (like a shorty) to use with the bibs for other boating situations (seakayak, skooks, warmer weather but icy water, etc). it's also a little cheaper than a full suit. just make sure you get the bibs with the feet not the ankle gaskets.   

AGAIN...that's not the pants with the neoprene waistband...those be bad. like wearing hip waters in shoulder deep water. not good.
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
rainpaddle
Paddler
Paddler


Joined: 20 Aug 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 85
  Quote rainpaddle Replybullet Posted: 01 Feb 2011 at 9:19am
What Scott R said. I totally agree. I have versatility with the Kokatat Whirlpool dry bib combo. Blow a gasket on my Kokatat jacket, on goes the Stohlquist jacket. Works great with the shorty top, too.

Here's another thing, I don't have zipper issues with the bibs. I've had a metal zipper fail on an old Kokatat dry suit. Kokatat is such a great company they fixed it for free, or very little.My Palm Sidewinder suit with the plastic zipper has separated 3-4 times to where I do not trust it, period. I will probably have someone replace it with a metallic zipper and that's going to be spendy. Palm no longer caters to the US market. The bib and drytop combo has worked great for 7-8 years for me.

Rob
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
JayB
Big Boofer
Big Boofer


Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 503
  Quote JayB Replybullet Posted: 01 Feb 2011 at 1:00pm
Not trying to dismiss anyone's experiences or judgment - I'm pretty sure both of the guys vouching for the Kokatat bibs are both stronger paddlers with more experience than I have, and their opinions and experiences are totally worth listening to, but in the interest of getting all the info out there and letting people make their own choices about gear, I thought I'd post this info from NPMB.

1)

"I use Kokotat's bib overall-style dry pants and a semi-dry (neoprene neck) top in very cold weather. I've had a couple of swims in that combo, and all I've had was a little moisture around my neck and upper chest from water leaking through the neoprene. I would think it'd be pretty tough to flood the pants with that set-up"

2)

"DieselGirl, that is what Jim O'Brien was wearing when he was killed. He had Palm Bibs and a drytop. He even was wearing a special skirt that had a second type of waist band that helped marry the two together and make a better seal. We have pieced his accident together and now realize his skirt was ripped from his body (found down stream months later) and his bib fronts filled with water. In his case the water was 38 degrees which added to the strikes against him. Jim was one of the areas most accomplished boaters."


-Jay
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
fiddleyak
McNasty
McNasty


Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 386
  Quote fiddleyak Replybullet Posted: 01 Feb 2011 at 1:36pm
There is no doubt there are specific instances where bibs have made things worse. Of course a nice drysuit is what you should get, and it doesn't seem like many people go back after getting a goretex drysuit.

However, back when I wore a bib/drytop combo, it was somewhat amazing how dry I stayed despite some fairly significant swims. I think bibs are an workable replacement for a drysuit, and if you've already got a drytop, you could save $700 by going with the bibs.
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
jhoff
Rock Bumper
Rock Bumper


Joined: 21 Jan 2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 27
  Quote jhoff Replybullet Posted: 01 Feb 2011 at 2:18pm
If you go the top/bibs route you'll spend less money and have a more versatile setup.

You'll also be colder & damper, less capable of participating in a rescue, and at risk of taking on water and thus negating the buoyancy of your PFD every time you swim.

Getting the right equipment the first time is usually the less expensive option in the long run.
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
JayB
Big Boofer
Big Boofer


Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 503
  Quote JayB Replybullet Posted: 01 Feb 2011 at 4:00pm
Originally posted by fiddleyak

There is no doubt there are specific instances where bibs have made things worse. Of course a nice drysuit is what you should get, and it doesn't seem like many people go back after getting a goretex drysuit.

However, back when I wore a bib/drytop combo, it was somewhat amazing how dry I stayed despite some fairly significant swims. I think bibs are an workable replacement for a drysuit, and if you've already got a drytop, you could save $700 by going with the bibs.


Those are legit points for sure - even more significant if a drysuit just isn't an option (wasn't an option for me when I started paddling - just didn't have the money to spare), and you're comparing the farmer-john/dry-top combo vs the dry-top bibs combo for budget reasons.

If it's a choice between the drytop-bib setup and sticking with a drytop+farmer john combo you'll be significantly warmer and dryer when you come out of your boat, and getting cold and wet has its own set of hazards associated with it.

Just wanted to share the info above and let folks make their own calls.
-Jay
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
scottrichardson
Rock Bumper
Rock Bumper
Avatar

Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 31
  Quote scottrichardson Replybullet Posted: 01 Feb 2011 at 6:14pm
for clarity...

if you're even considering the drytop and drybib combo- the kokatat farmerjohn mentioned is not a neoprene farmerjohn. a neoprene farmerjohn plus drytop combo sucks badly. most definitely cold and damp from the moment you get in.

what i was throwing out there is the the nylon drybib, gortex if you order it that way. warm and dry is the norm in that combo. rob's post reminded me of the name...whirlpool. you can order it made from gortex with the feet, etc. that's the beast both he and i have. again warm and dry. i get more water in the wrist gaskets than the tunnel roll...actually can't remember the last time i got water in that connection spot, even after two full days submerged in my last rescue class.
IP IP Logged Send Private Message
JayB
Big Boofer
Big Boofer


Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 503
  Quote JayB Replybullet Posted: 01 Feb 2011 at 7:15pm
Totally agree with you & understood that you were vouching for the goretex farmer-john.

There are folks like you that prefer that setup for the versatility, but I think that there are a lot of folks out there who are considering dry-bibs as a way to upgrade from the neoprene farmer-john/drytop combo without coughing up a few hundred dollars more to get into a drysuit.

I was lusting after a pair of dry bibs for the entire 4 years that I had the neoprene farmer john/dry-top combo going on, but finally found a drysuit cheap enough to snag back in 2007, and am hopefully through being too strapped to fork over the coin for a new drysuit every 4-5 years for good by this point, and am planning to stick with that.

After Jim's incident and many others that I've subsequently read about, I'll also be advising anyone that asks to get a full drysuit, but understand where people who prefer the combo are coming from.
-Jay
IP IP Logged Send Private Message Send Private Message
Post Reply Post New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum