Kokatat Women's Gore-Tex Expedition Dry Suit w/Drop Seat
Kokatat Women's Gore-Tex Expedition Dry Suit w/Drop Seat
The Kokatat women's EXP (Gore-Tex® Expedition) dry suit, is the best 1-piece women's sea kayaking and sailing dry suit.
Basically the women's Expedition drysuit is a deluxe version of the Gore-Tex® Meridian (GMED) with some modifications that make it better for sea kayaking and sailing, and the EXP drysuit comes with a more complete package of dry suit options (all the bells and whistles are standard on the Expedition dry suiit). To begin with, the EXP dry suit has a front-entry zipper that runs diagonally across the chest of the suit making it easy to get in and out of (as opposed to dry suits with rear entry shoulder zippers that require teamwork to get in and out of without breaking the zipper), an over-skirt for sea kayakers to keep your kayak drier while rolling or paddling in waves, Drop Seat Zipper (see note below), Gore-Tex® Dry Socks that make it easier to get in and out of the suit as well as keep your feet warmer and dry, and neoprene ankle cuffs with adjustable "hook & loop" tab closures to keep gravel out of your booties. The EXP drysuit also comes standard with: Reflective Tape on the sleeves and hood, left and right Sleeve Pockets, and a well designed Hood. If you wanted everything but the hood, you could order a custom GMED dry suit with optional Reflective Tape and Sleeve Pockets, but it would cost about the same as the Expedition model drysuit; so one way to look at it is that with the EXP suit you get the hood for free. So even if you don't think you'll use the hood much, since it doesn't cost extra why not have it? (If you would rather not have a Drop Seat Zipper, see our Kayak Academy Silver Label / Kokatat Women's EXP-WR dry suit which comes with a women's FUD Front Relief Zipper instead of a Drop Seat Zipper.)
In addition to the hood and other features that are standard on the EXP but only available as custom options on a GMER, there are two other reasons why the EXP is the best dry suit for sea kayakers and sailors. On the EXP, the outer wrist cuffs (the neoprene cuffs that fit over the latex wrist gaskets) are adjustable with "hook & loop" closures whereas Meridian dry suits have non-adjustable snug "Punch-Through" neoprene over-cuffs. For river kayaking, the punch-through wrist covers are preferred because they create sort of a double seal, but for sea kayaking and sailing trips, being able to loosen the outer cuffs on the wrists of the EXP makes it more comfortable to wear all day, at camp, etc. Similarly, the neck on the EXP is more comfortable than the Meridian because the Meridian has a snug, Punch-Through non-adjustable neoprene collar around the latex neck gasket whereas the EXP has a hood that serves this purpose without adding a second tight layer around your neck. If dryness in extreme hydraulics is your priority (i.e. river kayaking), then the Punch-Through wrist and neck gasket covers make the Meridian your choice, but for all day comfort while sailing or camping on sea kayaking trips, we highly recommend the EXP instead.
The hood on the EXP is not removable, but it was redesigned so that it can by rolled or folded up and held out of the way with a "hook & loop" strap that is attached to the hood, or the hood can be tucked under the back of your PFD, or simply let the hood lay down flat like a very wide, low collar. If wearing a helmet, the hood can be worn inside your helmet. The new hood design is comfortable to wear, stays in place well in wind, turns with your head so it doesn't blind you, doesn't hinder Eskimo rolling regardless of whether you are wearing the hood or have it loose around your neck or tucked away. In fact, wearing the hood helps keep water out of your ears and keeps your head warmer when rolling in cold water. Even if you don't think you'll ever wear it, the only reason not to want the new hood is for river kayaking where there may be a risk of getting the hood caught on a branch etc. (although folding it up or tucking it out of the way would minimize this). So for pure river kayak use we recommend the Gore-Tex® Meridian model dry suit which doesn't have a hood. Sea kayakers are better off with the Expedition dry suit whether they use the hood or not.
Note, a Drop Seat Zipper makes it easy to take care of all your relief needs. With the occasional exception of kayakers, most women prefer to use a Drop Seat Zipper rather than an FUD (Feminine Urinary Device) with a Front Relief Zipper, however, Front Relief Zippers are an option even on Women's dry suits. For some women kayakers, a dry suit with a Drop Seat Zipper can be uncomfortable in certain kayaks. This issue is unique to kayaks because kayak seats have snug fitting sides (hip braces) which, depending on the fit of the dry suit and the kayak seat, may press against the Drop Seat Zipper. With a properly fitted dry suit, most women find a Drop Seat Zipper is comfortable in most kayak seats. Ideally a dry suit will have enough slack around your hips that if a kayak seat presses the Drop Seat Zipper against your body, you can move the slack in the suit around to get the zipper up out of the way. If this doesn't work for you (and you are sure the suit isn't too small in the hips), we recommend a dry suit with a Women's FUD Front Relief Zipper instead of a Drop Seat Zipper. We stock women's dry suits with FUD Front Relief Zippers -- see our Kayak Academy Silver Label "-WR" dry suits. We even stock a KA Silver Label Women's Gore-Tex® Expedition EXP-WR drysuit with a FUD Front Relief Zipper instead of a Drop Seat. If you don't know whether a dry suit with a Drop Seat Zipper will be comfortable in your kayak, we recommend renting a dry suit with a Drop Seat from us before buying a dry suit -- see our Dry Suit Rental page. If you don't own a kayak yet, be sure to buy one that is Drop Seat compatible -- to see if a kayak is Drop Seat compatible, just sit in it while wearing a dry suit with a Drop Seat zipper.
Made of 3.21 oz. nylon 3-layer Gore-Tex® (much tougher than the Gore-Tex® used for rain-gear) with Cordura® seat and knee patches to reinforce heavy wear spots, and metal-tooth, heavy duty zippers (not plastic) waterproof to more than 20 ft.
If needed, we can help you order a custom sized suit; contact us if you have questions about the fit.
FREE UPS Ground Shipping (48 US states, Priority Mail AK and HI, $35 postage for Norway, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland)
No sales tax if shipped outside WA state
FREE KA Drysuit Care Kit included with this suit (KA Drysuit Maintenance Guide, Zipper Wax, 303 Protectant gasket lube, and Synthetic Fabric Soap)
Women's Colors: Tangerine, Electric Blue/Gray (Mango or Black available by special order)
Women's Sizes: WS-WL & WXLs (WXLs is the height of a Women's Large but its 50" chest, 47" waist, and 54" hips are roomier than that of a Women's L)
If needed, we can help you order a custom sized Kokatat drysuit; contact us if you have questions about the fit.Women's Kokatat Drysuit Sizing Table