It will become very apparent over the next few weeks that I have a lot of Immersion Research kit. The main reason for this is because it fits me really well. All manufacturers “cut” their kit slightly differently and it just happens that IR is bang on for me.
After well over 25 years of paddling I finally saved up enough cash to buy a drysuit. Out of the crop of drysuits available at the time only the IR Double D was really meeting my needs – Breathable, Socks, Latex seals (neck & wrists), no brass zip, subtle colours!
I ordered the suit via the Immersion Research EU site. The suit landed direct from the factory via Glasgow (it was already in the UK when I ordered it = no import duty) at the start of last winter when I was working on getting my river mojo back. As a result the suit has been “Fully” tested.
The neck and wrist have good quality latex seals with additional outer fabric seals to help protect the latex from UV damage. The Double D comes with a Tizip installed and not one of those heavy/stiff brass zips. The zip is both flexible and due to its position on the suit is not restrictive at all. To be honest it feels just like wearing my drycag, which has got to be a good thing.
I purchased a large suit which matches my dry cag sizes. I reckon that the sizing is pretty accurate, I have a 41″ chest and I have enough room for a couple of thermals and a thin fleece, yet at the same time if I wear just one thermal I don’t find the suit really baggy. The socks fit my size 10 feet (UK sizes) well even when wearing a thick pair of hiking socks. I think you could have feet a few sizes bigger and use this suit without issue. The ankles just like the wrist of the suit have a velcro closure to ease the process of putting the suit on whilst at the same time allowing you to protect the critical wrist seals and socks. The waist section for the spray skirt also has velcro adjustment.
The suit has an additional Tizip installed for emergency stop purposes. You can’t pee in a drysuit so having this feature really helps and prevents the need to strip off to pay a visit. This feature again has been fully tested and works without fault!
The taping system that IR use is one of the biggest sellers as far I am concerned. The suit has been designed to minimise the number of seams that require taping and could therefore become a potential leak point. IR have therefore only have T shaped seams and no X shaped seams. This minimises the amount of taping and reduces the chances of tape failure. The IR video below goes through this in much better detail than I can ever explain.
The image below shows the taping on my suit. I have been over the whole suit checking the quality of the taping. It is absolutely A1 and has been well executed.
So now for the bad news! During a swim test session whilst tubing on the River Tees I managed to damage myself and my drysuit. Nothing to do with the performance of the suit at all. In fact I was super dry until I put a hole in the left knee of the suit. My knee didn’t fair much better.
The plus side is that as UK paddler I get to test the back up that IR provides to its customers. On return from the river (Sunday PM) I promptly emailed IR and asked them about sending the suit back for repair. I used the support pages on the site and filled out the contact form and received a “Ticket” for my request. Within a matter of hours I had a reply giving me details of where to send the suit. Verdict – very impressed so far.
To send the suit from the UK to USA, fully insured was £32, within the UK it would be just under half of that. So as I type the suit is well on its way to the USA and should land at IRs door within the next couple of days.