Natty Cordon takes a look at the new Kokatat Idol drysuit/drytop.
Is it really possible to kill two birds with one stone? Well Kokatat have finally achieved it! Thanks to their innovative waist entry system, the new Kokatat Idol drysuit can be split in half and used as a dry cag for the summer months!
Having faced some fairly intense scepticism, with even my closest friends believing that I would drown, I have gathered a few FAQs which I will now attempt to answer:
What’s the waist entry system all about?
In stark contrast to the traditional front or rear entry drysuits, the Kokatat Idol has a flexible plastic zip which runs around the waist, separating the trousers from the top.
At first I thought that the zip and the screw which seals it closed would be uncomfortable and would get in the way, but the opposite was true. The system is perfectly designed to sit between the top of the back-band in your boat and the bottom of your spraydeck and I don’t feel it at all when I’m on the water.
Starting the zip off does require a bit of a knack but it doesn’t take long to get used to it and then you realise the possibilities that it opens up:
Boating abroad and regretting last night’s dinner, or feeling particularly nervous before that big drop? Just drop your kegs and deal with it! No need to strip your kit when you’ve got this kind of easy access!
Bored of your friends leaving your zip slightly open? In the Kokatat Idol you can get dressed all by yourself like a real grown-up!
Irritated by the dangly arms left behind when you strip down your top half for lunch? No dangling to be seen in the Idol!
Feeling restricted by your front or rear entry zip? The Idol’s flexible and well-placed zip means that it feels just like wearing a cag!
Most importantly, I have conducted some thorough and incredibly scientific tests and can confirm that it is actually completely dry!
What’s it like as a drysuit?
What’s it like as a dry cag?
Exactly the same as it is as a drysuit but with wetter legs. The Velcro flap, which protects the zip whilst in drysuit mode, folds all the way under when in cag mode and helps to prevent damage to the zip. The screw fitting is also part of the trousers, rather than the top, so the cag stays super streamlined.
What makes it worth the cost?
At £959.99 from Canoe and Kayak Store, the Kokatat Idol is not a cheap option, but after my initial reservations, I have definitely come to the conclusion that you get superb value for money:
The Idol is backed by Kokatat’s legendary lifetime warranty and reputation for outstanding customer service
You get a dry cag and a drysuit
The design and fit leaves you feeling so unrestricted that you’ll feel like you’re naked boating in the Alps
Overall, I’m absolutely smitten with my new Kokatat Idol drysuit. The only real downside is that it makes me want to swim!