A couple of weeks ago I managed to put a hole in my Immersion Research double D dry suit and my knee. The damage was low impact and was more like a burn/tear than just a straight tear. My knee has been pretty painful but thankfully has begun to repair well.
On the Sunday that the damage occurred I contacted Immersion Research via their dedicated online support system asking whether I could send my drysuit to them for repair. They replied really quickly, it wasn’t a problem and my suit was sent off the following weekend.
At each stage of the process I was informed about what was happening with my suit. Last week the suit arrived with IR, a couple of days later is was out of repair and on its way back to me. IR did not charge at all for the repair or the postage back to the UK. Which is really amazing as it cost me over £30 to get it to the USA. I can not fault this part of the service – absolutely A1!
I am not sure what I was expecting but I thought, given the damage, that a panel may be replaced. May be I needed to be more explicit about what I wanted the repair to entail. May be my expectations were too high.
The repair that IR carried out consists of two patches. There has been a patch applied to both the inside and to the outside of the hole. The inner patch (shown below) has been cleanly applied and the edges are all well secure. All in all very well done.
The outer patch is totally different story. I must admit that I am disappointed with how it looks. For me this is a real issue. Although I am not OCD about things being perfect, and at the end of the day kayak kit is meant to be used/abused, it is in reality the kind of thing that my eye will be drawn to and that I will always notice. As a result it will niggle away at me.
I am sure that it will be bombproof and fully waterproof but to be honest the finish isn’t great. I suppose its not the patch itself but the amount of excess glue. Some of the glue (darker areas) looks as if it has been melted into the fabric. Whether this is the case or not I am not sure, but it certainly looks that way. There is also a couple of marks (excess glue) further up the panel away from the outer patch.
It was great that IR hooked me up with a free repair and delivery back to the UK and the communication as I have said above was great. So I may be a little unfair and over critical. I’d be interested to know what others think.
So what now?
At this stage I am contemplating what to do next. I could just live with it, or I could remove the outer patch tidy it up and have a go myself. Or i could go with what was originally going to be my initial plan when the damage first occurred.
Some of you may be aware that I am pretty handy with a sewing machine so replacing a panel for me isn’t a major issue, although the taping of the seams is something I wouldn’t be able to do. So with that thought in mind I have made contact with a Goretex approved firm (in the UK) that can repair/adjust and tape Goretex jackets. I will probably take the suit up to them to check out and see how much it would cost to replace the full panel and its counter part on the other leg. The plan would be to replace the original material with something a bit more resistant to abrasion. It’s worth checking out as the firm are Berghaus and Mountain Equipment approved and are located only 20 miles North from here.