So, for the last 6 months I have been using the very well tried-and-tested Kokatat GoreTeX Meridian drysuit. Before this suit I used an array of dry suits from the likes of Palm and Level 6.
Now I have to say the first thing that you notice with this suit, when you get off the water you are dry. Not a little damp from sweat, but bone-dry like I have never had before. The suit is just simply superb at keeping you dry and getting rid of all the sweat that builds up inside, wicking it away out of the fabric.
Previously, I had only worn suits with zips along the back and so was a little sceptical as to whether I would get on with the over-the-shoulder zip, but no such problem. I don’t even know it is there; if anything, I would say it is less intrusive than the back zip on my last suit. This also gives the upside of being able to get in and out of the suit on your own, making changing a whole lot better. The rest of the cut offers you a full range of movement with very little to no restriction; the suit feels light and supple.
Compared to some of the suits on the market this dry suit may look a bit old school and simple, but in my eyes it does what it needs to very well. I like this kind of simplicity. Why have loads for things that you don’t need? There is one small pocket on the chest this is the perfect size for a car key, then there are simple neoprene neck and wrist cuffs with no tags and velcro to catch. Velcro flaps on the waist and ankles are simple flaps with big patches to grip to and to finish off, a relief zip.
I have only been wearing the suit for 6 months but I can say that it has been put through its paces and still looks like new. So ok its not beading up any more but the quality is outstanding. Having been in the rafting industry for the last 5 years I’ve seen loads of gear come and go but the whole time Kokatat have been making this suit and it is still the leading suit for quality on the market. One final thing to keep in mind; one of my work colleagues sent his suit back to Kokatat this winter for a service. His suit has seen 5 years of hard rafting abuse and they pressure tested then patched the suit for him, replacing the seals and socks. A few days ago, we were out on the water he said to me “It is just like having a brand new dry suit again.” Now if that is not service, I don’t know what is.
Evolution 3.21 oz. nylon 3-layer GORE-TEX®
Self draining punch-through neck & wrist neoprene over-cuffs
Self draining, zippered chest pocket with key lanyard
Competition cut underarm
Covered metal tooth, waterproof Optiseal chest zipper
Dual-adjustable overskirt incorporates “hook & loop” compatible neoprene
Adjustable bungee drawcord at waist
Cordura® seat and knee patches, self-draining
“Hook & loop” adjustable neoprene over-cuffs at ankle
Factory sealed seams
To sum up, I don’t think I can come up with anything bad about this suit. I think tried, tested, and now trusted sums it up best.