“Ooh I love the colour”, “Such a pretty drysuit!”, “It matches your boat!”
These are comments that I’ve had about my Immersion Research Shawty drysuit which I’ve been using for the past couple of months. Don’t get me wrong, I love the colour but I also think it’s a great bit of kit and am disappointed that no one’s asked me why I actually bought it rather than assuming I got it because it’s purple!
Here’s my tuppence worth:
I’m 5ft 3, size 10/12 with short (T-Rex!) arms and I have a medium Shawty. I use my drysuit for coaching (when it’s cold), WW Kayaking, “freestyle” (being upside down a lot!), SUPing and bizarrely, rescuing sheep!
Shawty Drysuit Features:
A Front Relief Zipper
Rear/across shoulder entry zipper
Women’s Specific Pattern and Fit
100% Recycled Polyester Shell
Reinforced fabric feet
Hot/cold pressed cross seams
Neoprene neck covers and velcro/neoprene wrist closures
Did we mention Purple Magic!
This is the first drysuit that I’ve found that adapts to my height and shape. I find the sleeves are a good length and the Velcro on the wrists prevents the excess fabric from covering my hands.
The webbing belt around the waist prevents the trousers from dragging on the floor and fraying and the crotch from hanging around your knees. Not a fan of the baggy arse look which I don’t get with this suit.
Really like the flared trousers too with the practical option of tucking them away with Velcro.
The socks are really comfy and the seams don’t get in the way or dig in and they’re well proportioned so there isn’t loads of excess material to try to shove in your shoes.
The plastic zip is also well proportioned and doesn’t get in the way or impede movement.
I find it easy to move around in and feels really light due to the fabric. It’s reasonably breathable too. It seems really durable; has withstood some bashing and some scrambling around and is none the worse for it. Unfortunately the lighter areas do get grubby and I can’t imagine them getting back to the colour they were.
Now onto the pee zip vs drop seat argument. I know plenty of people who have a drop seat drysuit and love it but I also know people who don’t like them; myself included. The main criticism that I have is that the zip is a little too high up for me so requires a bit of preparation and adjustment prior to commencing…um…yeah. I also would have found it useful to have a she wee provided as I’ve had to buy a new one. I’m also struggling to find thermals to use with the suit. My plan is to try modifying my own for now as the Men’s thermals don’t fit although I have been informed that there is a new ladies union suit on the way.
So all in all a great drysuit. The colour is lovely and it’s stylish but comfort, durability, fit and performance are what’s most important to me.
Words and pictures: Louise Clutton