Dry suit recommendations?
I'm thinking about getting a kayak for fishing. I've paddled SIK's wearing a wet suit with a PFD on, and I find wet suits kind of constricting.
Does anyone have recommendations for dry suits? I've seen them online for anywhere from about $350 to $600 (Kokatat). I'd be interested in hearing anyone's experience about features of various suits, local pricing (I assume AK Mining/Diving and REI have them, but I haven't looked yet...lazy, I know..).
I plan to fish Resurrection Bay and Passage Canal for salmon, maybe some lake fishing. I doubt I'll try fishing any rivers, if any of that matters to anyone.
Thanks for all advice!
(I'm sorry if there's already a thread on this somewhere. I searched and couldn't find one.)
You can add AK Raft & Kayak to the local list of drysuit suppliers. They basically sell what http://www.nrsweb.com sells. They add some price markup for shipping+ though. Last fall they had a pretty good sale on them.
My recommendation is to get one with breathable fabric, booties built in and a relief zipper if you can afford it. Booties are so much easier to work with than ankle gaskets, and the other features are self explanitory. Also, there are some semi-dry suits that are real drysuits, but have a neoprene neck gasket instead of the normal latex. That seems to be a good trade off to me, as your neck should be above water most of the time you're in the water if your wearing a PFD.
Kokatat makes a two piece suit (Whirlpool suit) that uses a roll down closure for the gap between top & bottom. They leak a little bit if you go for a long swim, but work well otherwise, and offer the advantage of using top or bottom individually.
Thank you both for the advice and the great links. That old thread was the one I knew had to exist but couldn't find!
Having spent some time on the Bering Sea on various fishing boats, and having been fairly well trained about the onset and consequences of hypothermia, I can't imagine compromising safety in the water for comfort in the kayak. A dry or semi-dry suit seems like awfully cheap insurance.
Time to do some shopping....