Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Gul Watersports Napa Drysuit – First Look

Gul is a UK based company with over 50 years experience in the watersports industry. We have received a couple of bits of gear from Gul for review at Unsponsored. First up is the paddling specific Napa Drysuit.

Gul Watersports Napa Drysuit - First Look

Here is Gul’s take on the Napa.

Gul introduces the GCX4 Evo Napa dry suit with Zip Disc technology that separates completely at the waist giving paddlers the versatility of a dry suit or bib trousers in one garment. The zip disc fully separating zip makes the Napa easier to don and doff than traditional dry suits. The suit features Gul’s exclusive 4-layer GCX4 Evo Shell fabric, used in combination with 500D Cordura reinforcement panels, heavy duty double taped socks‚ and UK made latex seals are there to keep the water out!

The Napa Drysuit retails at £600 here in the UK and from first impressions this looks like a pretty good deal. The Napa is well put together, it feels robust and has been well cut.

Now lets get to the suits biggest feature. Unlike most suits the Napa doesn’t have a zip running across the shoulders or indeed a zip running across the chest. Instead it has a Zip DiscTiZip running the full circumference of the waist just like the “exclusive” Switch technology available on the Kokatat range of drysuits such as the Idol (RRP £1200). So the technology is not that exclusive anymore.

Gul Watersports Napa Drysuit - First Look

Gul Watersports Napa Drysuit - First Look

Gul Watersports Napa Drysuit - First Look

Granted the Napa is not made from Goretex but it has the same entry system as the Kokatat at twice the price. Unlike the Kokatat the Napa has a relief TiZip which is a great feature so gents or ladies with a She-Wee don’t have to undo the full waist zip to make a call. If you need to take a crap then the trouser section of the suit can be dropped by undoing the main zip.

Gul Watersports Napa Drysuit - First Look

The Napa will breakdown into two separate garments which does offer a high level of adaptability and makes this a versatile bit of gear. Both the top and bottom can be used independently.

Gul Watersports Napa Drysuit - First Look

The lower part of the suit includes a bib system to hold the trousers up. This is made from a soft Hydroshield material. Essentially soft-shell material that is comfortable to wear, is highly breathable but will also offer protection from the weather. Two quick release buckles keep the bib up.

The blue material is GCX4 Evo, a four layer breathable material that also has a little stretch.


Waterproof- 20 000 mm
Breathability – 10 000 g/m/24h
All seams fully taped for long-lasting extreme waterproofness

Gul Watersports Napa Drysuit - First Look

Gul Watersports Napa Drysuit - First Look

The black fabric areas of the suit, seat, elbows, and knees are Cordura re-enforcements. The latex gaskets at the neck and wrists are protected by adjustable 2mm neoprene cuffs. A twin waist is in place that looks like it should offer a good seal.

Drainage holes are present where you would expect them and the integrated socks are of a good size. I have a large sized suit in for review and they easily accommodate my size 10 (UK) feet with room to spare.

Incidentally the Napa drysuit is available in 5 different sizes so most people will be able to find a size that would fit.

After an initial try on I am very impressed and will be giving the Napa some stick over the next few months to see how it performs/holds up.


  1. Cormac O Bric

    Thanks for the review. Would you give us an update after some time using the suit, as to how you found it. This is a purchase I would be interested in. Thanks.

    • Unsponsored

      We are giving it a good test over the next few weeks and will be reporting back. So far so good.

      • Cormac O Bric


  2. FOAM

    Very interested in this suit. Can get it for as low as 535 if you shop around. Are you able to measure the flat waist and chest of that size L for me. I’m quite slim and not sure if this suit would have the same bunching up issue as a Typhoon waist zip drysuit I have.

    • Unsponsored

      Will take some measurements in the AM.

      • FOAM

        Hi, Any updates on this. Many Thanks.

        • Unsponsored


          Used a few times and I am impressed. Getting the zip together when you are wearing it takes some getting used to but once you get the technique its straight forward. The waist zip isn’t noticeable when wearing the dry suit. For £600 or less its a pretty good deal.

          • FOAM

            Hi, Thanks for the update. I would need a large for my height and arm length etc but I have a medium waist and chest. The large Typhoon suit I bought was huge. SO wanted some garment measurements.

            (My other option was a Sweet Intergalactic, I know it’s in a different league, I bought the medium at a good price from Amazon, actually in stock and £40 cheaper than the large. It fits but is too short and a little restrictive. I have sent it back and am waiting for a refund, I may try the large but it’s expensive and I would have to wait for them to order one.)

          • Unsponsored

            I wear a large in the intergalactic. Suits with a mate at the minute but will have it back tomorrow.

  3. Friz

    How did this suit perform through the winter? Holding up well?

  4. Ben

    Very interested in how this suit performed over a season? Seems like a good deal if its hard wearing!

    • Unsponsored

      Absolutely bang on. Taping is still good. Some furring on Velcro that is expected. Zip has been ok. It’s either become easier to get going or I have developed the technique required. What size are you after?

  5. Kurt Penner

    Is that waist zipper higher up the waist/torso than the Idol? I wonder if it sits above the backband of WW playboat and causes less interference. And how well does it function as a drytop?

    • Unsponsored

      Not sure compared to the idol but definitely sits high enough to be under the outer seal and I didn’t notice it hitting the backrest. I have used both as seperates and they work great independently and together.

  6. Tom

    It’s been about 4 or 5 years now, I’m wondering if the suit is still alive or how much use you got out of it? I’ve been offered a new old stock one and wondering if its worth it. Thanks

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