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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:25 am
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Location: Massachusetts and New Hampshire - Squam Lake
Living in Boston area USA. Early spring and late fall for me can be 45 to 60 degrees air temp, with cold water requiring that you dress appropriately for safety and comfort.

I used to do quite a bit of stand up paddling SUP, and I had a high quality dry suit and found it really uncomfortably warm and sweaty and very hard to regulate heat since unzipping it defeated the safety purpose. I got rid of it.

I have been thinking about a farmer john 2mm or 3mm bottom and some thin neoprene hydroskin type layers on top.with these I can more easily regulate my body temp, although I realize they would offer less immersion protection

I am thinking that for my freshwater and also near shore sailing that in a rare capsize this would give me some protection enough to get out of the water and right the boat, hopefully enough to prevent hypothermia, even in 50 or 60 degree water.

I have experience scuba diving and I like neoprene, but it can also get really hot out of the water.

Comfort and overheating while sailing is my primary concern. I am curious as to what folks with similar weather conditions do?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Our most common kayak destination is Lake Superior with an annual average temp of 40 degrees F. In summer the near shore bays can reach into the 70+ degrees F.

We moved in the opposite direction your are taking. We used farmer john 3 mil neoprene for quite a while. We now use gore-tex paddling drysuits and are very pleased. Specifically the Kokatat Surge Paddling Suit from Kayak Academy, with a long-john style polar-tech insulation suit. It uses neoprene (for comfort) at the neck opening instead of latex. This downgrades its immersion protection to less than a full dry-suit, but increases wearability.

For us, the suit is a critical piece of safety gear. The pfd is fine, but cold water also requires the immersion protection. The gore-tex breathes enough to still be useable in warm weather--and is still needed in warm air weather, as our water temps will be too cold for immersion w/o protection.

You can obtain the same safety with neoprene and at less cost.

Seems an individual preference.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:10 pm
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Our most common kayak destination is Lake Superior with an annual average temp of 40 degrees F. In summer the near shore bays can reach into the 70+ degrees F.

We moved in the opposite direction your are taking. We used farmer john 3 mil neoprene for quite a while. We now use gore-tex paddling drysuits and are very pleased. Specifically the Kokatat Surge Paddling Suit from Kayak Academy, with a long-john style polar-tech insulation suit. It uses neoprene (for comfort) at the neck opening instead of latex. This downgrades its immersion protection to less than a full dry-suit, but increases wearability.

For us, the suit is a critical piece of safety gear. The pfd is fine, but cold water also requires the immersion protection. The gore-tex breathes enough to still be useable in warm weather--and is still needed in warm air weather, as our water temps will be too cold for immersion w/o protection.

You can obtain the same safety with neoprene and at less cost.

Seems an individual preference.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
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Location: High Point, NC
We find ourselves out in the winter most often in water temps of less than 50F. Usually closer to 40F. We gave up on dry suits and instead moved to neoprene wet suits. We don't always stay dry, but we always stay warm, which we feel is the better route to take. Early we had some guys immersed while wearing "dry suits" and it seemed that water nearly always found its way inside their suit, at which point they were not only wet, but cold. Just another option to consider.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:25 am
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Location: Massachusetts and New Hampshire - Squam Lake
itiming wrote:
Our most common kayak destination is Lake Superior with an annual average temp of 40 degrees F. In summer the near shore bays can reach into the 70+ degrees F.

We moved in the opposite direction your are taking. We used farmer john 3 mil neoprene for quite a while. We now use gore-tex paddling drysuits and are very pleased. Specifically the Kokatat Surge Paddling Suit from Kayak Academy, with a long-john style polar-tech insulation suit. It uses neoprene (for comfort) at the neck opening instead of latex. This downgrades its immersion protection to less than a full dry-suit, but increases wearability.

For us, the suit is a critical piece of safety gear. The pfd is fine, but cold water also requires the immersion protection. The gore-tex breathes enough to still be useable in warm weather--and is still needed in warm air weather, as our water temps will be too cold for immersion w/o protection.

You can obtain the same safety with neoprene and at less cost.

Seems an individual preference.


What air temperature do you find the dry suits are comfortable in?
Have you ever capsized or tested the effectiveness in any other manner?

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2015 Tandem Island
Massachusetts and Squam Lake New Hampshire USA


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:25 am
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Location: Massachusetts and New Hampshire - Squam Lake
Tom Kirkman wrote:
We find ourselves out in the winter most often in water temps of less than 50F. Usually closer to 40F. We gave up on dry suits and instead moved to neoprene wet suits. We don't always stay dry, but we always stay warm, which we feel is the better route to take. Early we had some guys immersed while wearing "dry suits" and it seemed that water nearly always found its way inside their suit, at which point they were not only wet, but cold. Just another option to consider.


What type / thickness of neoprene setups do you typically wear? In what air temps do you find them comfortable?

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2015 Tandem Island
Massachusetts and Squam Lake New Hampshire USA


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:04 pm 
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What air temperature do you find the dry suits are comfortable in?
Have you ever capsized or tested the effectiveness in any other manner?


We have been in the water in our Gore-tex dry suits in air temps from 40F to 75F and water temps from 35F to 75F.

I'll repeat; the Gore-tex suits we selected are not true dry suits; in that the neck seal is neoprene (not latex) and not totally waterproof. Some small amount of water can enter on full immersion. We selected this model as both my wife and I found this suit sufficiently dry and breathable. Enough so, that when on Lake Superior we always wear it--together with an insulation layer.

Please note: these suits are not survival suits, suitable for protection in off-shore situations. These are recreational suits, designed to offer comfortable protection for near-shore use.

We are on/in the cold water often enough, that we much appreciate the increased comfort/protection these suits offer us. We found that we enjoyed our tandem island use more, as we are more comfortable in this gear. Compared to our neoprene suits, we are cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:15 am
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Location: Sunny Florida
In those temps you will definitely want to consider a dry suit. I did the Everglades Challenge this year without one and the most important thing I learned was staying dry is a must. I wore a waterproof Frogg Togg bib tucked into scuba booties with a Gore Tex waterproof foul weather parka over, thinking that if I blocked wind and water I would be warm, but I kept getting wet inside the outer layer and that led to me getting cold very fast as the air temps dropped into the 50s and below at night. Next year I'll be wearing a dry suit or at minimum a Kokatat dry bib with integrated feet and a waterproof jacket over.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:57 am 
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I haven't done much sailing in these colder conditions in my TI, but I do fish out of my Outback a fair amount. Being semi-wet all day in a wet suit when I'm mostly out of the water just sounds miserable to me. I have a Kokatat SuperNova Angler Semi-Dry Suit which has been fantastic. I could see where a SUP is way too much physical activity for a dry-suit, but it works well in my kayak. Considering I'm less active sailing my TI then pedaling my Outback, I think a dry suit would work well. If you really sweat a lot, spend the extra on the Gore-Tex.

I find my SuperNova Angler Semi-Dry Suit comfortable into the high 60s to 70 degrees air temp. At those higher temps, how bright the sun is seems to make a big difference. A 70 degree cloudy day is more comfortable then a 65 degree sunny day.


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