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Author Topic: dry suit vs. semi-dry suit  (Read 4843 times)

FredF

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dry suit vs. semi-dry suit
« on: October 04, 2009, 12:11:24 PM »

I'd like to extend kayaking a little longer in the fall and begin a little earlier in the spring, but a wet suit and paddle jacket won't suffice when the water temperature dips into the 40s. I'm thinking about buying a good dry suit, but am daunted by the price. A semi-dry suit is much cheaper, but will it do the job if I find myself in 45-degree or colder water? Comments?  ???
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P&H Scorpio
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JSharlin

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Re: dry suit vs. semi-dry suit
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 09:13:45 PM »

Hi Fred, The problem with a semi dry suit is you don't get full immersion protection.
You can spend an extra $100. and get a light weight dry suit that has neck gaskets. It would keep you warm if you're dressed with good underwear ( I love wool ) then fleece if its real cold.
I think that the only wetness you want to feel if you swim is your own sweat.
Jon Sharlin
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Peter

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Re: dry suit vs. semi-dry suit
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2009, 10:17:12 AM »

Semidry covers a wide veriety of stuff. If it was latex wrist gasgets and integrated socks it's worth considering. Like teh Palm Silver with neoprene neck gasget.

REI outlet has a great price on a "Semidry":
http://www.rei.com/outlet/product/796918
Campmor has teh same suit:
http://www.campmor.com

They also have a Tropos suit which is a cheap breathable material. This is actually a drysuit:

http://www.rei.com/product/783910

I have a Kokatat drysuit. Gortex. Socks and relief zipper. Spray skirt tunnell. I got is out of season - The spring is a good time to get deals. The latex neck gaget is unconfortable but waterproof. The Brits that circumnavigated St Georges used the Kokatat suit. Derek described a gadget they used to keep the neck open - it had a quick release for emergencies. The neck gasgets can chafe after a while. I guess that's why some folks opt for the comfort of a neoprene gasget.
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ericj

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Re: dry suit vs. semi-dry suit
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2009, 05:42:02 PM »

Jon is right. The only wetness you want to feel in the winter is from sweating. See http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/coastal_communities/hypothermia for why.

If you are paddling in mostly calm water where your are unlikely to find yourself tossed about in waves or surf, then you shouldn't get too much water penetration from a good neoprene neck. Of course, that means that when you really need it, the gasket will probably fail....

Some of the semi-dry suites with neoprene neck gaskets probably work OK. I paddled with a IR dry top that used a neoprene neck gasket for years and it never leaked. However, it was billed as a dry top, not a semi. I also never used it in really cold conditions, I used a dry suit.
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FredF

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Re: dry suit vs. semi-dry suit
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2009, 10:15:33 AM »

I thank all of you for the feedback. Looks like I'll be saving my pennies for a while as I also shop for a good deal.  8)
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Peter

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Re: dry suit vs. semi-dry suit
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2009, 10:01:18 AM »

I often wear a paddle jacket in the surf.

Paddling out there is a tendancy to crash through a wave and get a rush of water down teh neck - that could be a challenge for neoprene neck.
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