Top 10 Kayak Drysuits 2018 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
You purchase your kayak in early summer and begin taking it out, enjoying the warm season. However, before you know it, it is fall and you are still taking your kayak out.
But now the water is below 65 degrees and you find yourself shivering an hour into your trip. How to stay warm? Purchase a drysuit, of course! A drysuit will help you stay warm in your kayak and allow you to kayak during all seasons.
When you are searching for the perfect drysuit, consider whether it fits men and women or whether there are separate models, if there is one piece or two pieces, and what different sizes are available.
Table of Contents
- 1 10 Best Kayak Drysuits in 2018
- 1.0.1 1. Stohlquist Amp Drysuit
- 1.0.2 Pros
- 1.0.3 Cons
- 1.0.4 2. Stohlquist Ez Drysuit
- 1.0.5 Pros
- 1.0.6 Cons
- 1.0.7 3. Stohlquist Waterware Shift Drysuit
- 1.0.8 Pros
- 1.0.9 Cons
- 1.0.10 4. O'Neill Wetsuits Assault Hybrid Drysuit
- 1.0.11 Pros
- 1.0.12 Cons
- 1.0.13 5. O'Neill Wetsuits Boost Drysuit
- 1.0.14 Pros
- 1.0.15 Cons
- 1.0.16 6. Kokatat Gore-Tex Front Entry Drysuit - Men's
- 1.0.17 Pros
- 1.0.18 Cons
- 1.0.19 7. Men's Hydrus 3L Meridian Drysuit
- 1.0.20 Pros
- 1.0.21 Cons
- 1.0.22 8. Crewsaver Cirrus Drysuit Including UnderFleece & Dry Bag in Black/RED 6515
- 1.0.23 Pros
- 1.0.24 Cons
- 1.0.25 9. Ocean Rodeo Ignite 2.0 Breathable Drysuit
- 1.0.26 Pros
- 1.0.27 Cons
- 1.0.28 10. Jobe Neoprene Dry Suit
- 1.0.29 Pros
- 1.0.30 Cons
- 1.1 How to Buy a Kayak Drysuit
- 1.2 Our Final Review for the Best Kayak Drysuit
Men & Women?
# of Pieces
Stohlquist Amp Drysuit
S, M, L, XL, XXL
Stohlquist Ez Drysuit
S, M, L, XL, XXL
Stohlquist Waterware Shift Drysuit
2: Suit and Hood
S, M, L, XL, XXL
O'Neill Wetsuits Assault Hybrid Drysuit
S, M, L, XL, XXL *not always available*
O'Neill Wetsuits Boost Drysuit
XS, S, M, L XL,
Kokatat Gore-Tex Front Entry Drysuit - Men's
Two different models
S, M, L, XL
Men's Hydrus 3L Meridian Drysuit
Two different models
S, M, L, XL
Crewsaver Cirrus Drysuit Including UnderFleece & Dry Bag
S, M, L, XL
Ocean Rodeo Ignite 2.0 Breathable Drysuit
S, M, L, XL
Jobe Neoprene Dry Suit
S, M, L, XL *UK Sizes*
The drysuits for kayaks on this list cover a broad range of differences. Some are rear entry, some are front entry. Some have reflective taping, some do not. Some of the drysuits on this list can double as wetsuits and some of them have very impressive systems to keep out the water.
Some are skin-tight while others are roomy and allow for you to layer very heavily underneath them. As you read, consider which of these features are most important to you and your kayaking journey.
10 Best Kayak Drysuits in 2018
1. Stohlquist Amp Drysuit
Stohlquist is simply the top of the line when it comes to kayaking apparel. They make incredible life jackets, dry suits and wetsuits.
The Amp Drysuit is made primarily of nylon and the suit itself has four full layers. The outside layer is nylon, the inside is a water repelling coating, then there is a laminated membrane, and finally another nylon lining.
These layers help prevent any water from leaking in.
Additionally, the socks are waterproof and the knees and seat of the outfit are mesh, allowing the suit to drain if water does sneak in. The neck and feet seal to you--zippers are what allow you to ease out of this suit.
There are also a few zippered pockets, allowing for the kayaker to reach any important supplies easily and keep them safe from water.
- Entry points seal
- Multiple pockets
- Connects with kayak skirt
- Connects with kayak skirt
- Five sizes
- Different model for women
- Hand Wash Only
Again, this is a nylon suit which has four layers. The main difference here is that Stohlquist designed this fabric layers to be breathable as well as waterproof. Once again, we have mesh drainers at the seat and knees of this drysuit.
The socks included in this drysuit are universal--you do not have to worry about fitting into them if you have extremely large or small feet. They will resize as needed.
For pockets, you will find them at the arm and thigh, which allows for extremely easy access. THe wrist and neck on this suit have duraseal gaskets and Stohlquist will customize them so that you can receive the best possible seal.
- Arm pocket
- Thigh pocket
- Duraseal gasket at neck and wrist
- Socks are universal
- Four layers
- Handwash only
The third drysuit on this list is the Waterware, also by Stohlquist. However, the Waterware is completely different from both the Ez and the Amp.
To begin with, this drysuit is technically all one piece, but you will note that the hood is detachable. Additionally, it appears to the eye that this suit is a separate pants and jacket set. However, this is the not the case.
Different from the other two Stohlquist’s on the list, this suit is not a four layer suit, but a three layer suit. It lacks the inner nylon liner.
To get into this drysuit, there is a zip entry system and a seal waterproof entry. This combination allows you to get in and out of this drysuit on your own with ease.
Another pleasant feature of this drysuit is the zippered chest pocket. The pocket has an internal port for headphones. This allows you to make phone calls as needed or listen to music while you fish or boat.
Finally, this drysuit is reflective, which is always a huge plus for kayaking apparel. The reflective material allows you to be seen if you are out late at night without a lantern.
- 3 layered drysuit
- Detachable hood
- Zip Entry system
- Waterproof sealing
- Zippered Chest Pocket
- Internal headphone port
- Hand Wash Only
O’Neill is another fantastic drysuit making company. This particular suit is not only a drysuit, but is also a wetsuit.
LIke the Waterware, the suit has 3 layers of nylon to protect you from water. It also has a neck seal which prevents water from leaking in as you kayak.
One negative to this suit is that the entry is on the back of the suit. The zipper is there and it is waterproof. However, this means that you must have a partner to zip you up.
The top of the suit is loose, which allows for the men or women kayakers to feel comfortable and fit well in this suit. There are no pockets on this suit.
- Top is loose
- Neck seal
- 3 layers of nylon
- Waterproof zipper seal
- Fits men or women
- Also a wetsuit
- No pockets
- Back entry
Another drysuit by O’Neill, the Boost is similar to the Assault, in that it is both a drysuit and a wetsuit.
To get into this drysuit, kayakers simply have to reach from shoulder to shoulder and unzip. It is a rear zipper, which can be more challenging, but you should still be able to do this on your own.
This is not a tight fitting drysuit. Instead it feels and looks more like a track outfit--lightweight and lots of extra room. This gives you a significant amount of comfort. The loose fit also allows you to wear heavier clothes underneath.
All seams are taped with waterproof tape and there are seals at the neck, wrists, and ankles as opposed to socks. These are guaranteed by O’Neill to be waterproof.
- Baggy, good for layers
- Seal at neck
- Seal at ankles
- Seal at wrists
- Shoulder to shoulder zipper
- Rear entry point
- No socks
The Gore-Tex Kokata drysuit is another front entry suit. This suit is not compatible for men and women, but can be purchased for both genders.
The drysuit has three layers to it, the first is Nylon, then the membrane, and then a shell. These three layers keep you nice and dry. Like the Stohlquists, the knees and seat have a mesh which allow any water to drain out.
For the material at the neck, wrists and ankles, you will find neoprene sealing. Additionally, all the seams on this drysuit are sealed, just like the Boost.
You will not find any pockets on this drysuit, which can be a drawback for many kayakers.
- Seams are taped
- Individual suit for women and men
- Three layers
- Sealing at neck, ankles, and writs
- Mesh allows water to drain
- No pockets
The Meridian Drysuit is unique in a few different ways.
For example, the fabric is 3 layers, which is pretty standard. However, the suit has socks and cuffs. The cuffs are adjustable. In theory you could use both socks and cuffs, allowing you extra waterproofing.
The sipper entry is at the front of this drysuit, allowing you to access it easily on your own. Additionally, this zipper is covered, which gives it an extra element of being safe from the water.
The neck and wrist connectors have neoprene over the cuffs, improving the waterproofing.
Another benefit of this drysuit is the bungee cord waist. This waist allows the suit to be pulled tighter to the body and creates less of a chance of water to sneak into the suit.
Additionally, there are several pockets on this suit, but they are self draining. This means that water can get into the pockets, but the belongings will drain quickly. It is probably not wise to put electronics or other valuables in these pockets.
- Pockets are self-draining
- Bungee cord waist
- Neoprene cuffs
- Cuffs and socks for ankles
- Front zipper entry
- 3 layered fabric
- Pockets can hold water
The Crewsave Cirrus Drysuit in incredibly unique. Before getting to the nitty gritty, though--let us talk basics.
First, this is another three layer fabric. The three layers provide maximum waterproofing, preventing any water from leaking into the suit.
The zipper is at the front of the drysuit. This means it is easy for kayakers to get in and out of their drysuit easily. This feature can make or break the best kayaking drysuit.
Like most of the other drysuits, the knees and seat are abrasion resistant or are reinforced. This provides maximum comfort for kayakers who will end up on their knees or rear a lot during the day.
THe seals at the neck and wrists are cuff seals and are Glideskin. Glideskin simply means it will not snag on the kayaker’s skin--this provides a great deal of extra comfort.
Now for the unique features. Many of these suits provide extra room for layering heavy clothes so that the kayakers can stay warm. This drysuit actually comes with a fleece liner of its own--this way you do not have to worry if your sweatshirt from college will really fit under the suit or not. You are assured that you will be warm and toasty.
Additionally, none of the other companies have considered how you would get this suit home. After all, the outside is expected to be fairly wet. But the Crewsaver team considered this and they have included a drybag for you to put your wet drysuit in.
- Fleece liner fits inside of drysuit
- Drybag for hauling drysuit
- Glideskin cuff seals
- Socks instead of ankle cuffs
- Three layer fabric
- Front entry zipper
- Knees and seat are reinforced
- UK sizing chart
THough the Ocean Rodea Ignite is lower on the list, it is simply one of the best in terms of keeping kayakers dry and warm.
Now, the main difference between this drysuit and others is that it comes in multiple pieces. For instance, this drysuit has removable suspenders, a removable hood, and an external jacket. All of these pieces can be equipped but do not have to be.
The company considers the mode when these are not all equipped to be considered “standby” mode. If you have all of the pieces equipped, you are in full drysuit mode.
The material of this drysuit is saltwater resistant. This means that the saltwater will not bother it. Additionally, though the material is waterproof, it is also extremely breathable, allowing the kayaker maximum comfort.
Also, at the knees, and seat is more reinforced fabric. As all of the drysuits on this list have this feature, it does not make it special but does mean that it is a wise component to incorporate.
There are outer chest pockets on this drysuit and there are inner jacket pockets. Both of these pocket sets allow the kayaker to store lots of snacks or small equipment pieces close by. This can be a major perk.
For sealing yourself into this drysuit, entry is front zipper entry. The neck seal is adjustable, the wrists are neoprene which a velcro adjustable feature. Finally, there are lower leg boot cuffs but there are also dry sock booties which function just fine.
- Boot Cuffs
- Adjustable neck & wrist seal
- Inner Jacket Pockets
- Exterior Pockets
- Saltwater resistant
- Knees & seat are reinforced
- Standby mode
- Full drysuit mode
- Removable hood and jacket
- Removable suspenders
- Lots of pieces
This Jobe Neoprene drysuit looks pretty basic, but covers a lot of important details.
To begin with, this drysuit has a very loose top. This allows it to be comfortable for male and female kayakers and gives the ability to add heavy layers under the drysuit. This is an excellent feature for those who live in very cold climates.
The company does not boast how many layers make up the nylon fabric. However they do boast that it is waterproof breathable, and which is a major benefit.
THe lower part of this drysuit is neoprene and mesh. Mesh may not seem like a good idea for a drysuit, but the mesh is water-repellent, which means it can drain water out but cannot allow water into the suit.
TO add to the waterproofing, all of the seams on this drysuit are completely taped. Taping means that the water cannot leak through any of the seams.
The seals at the ankles, wrists, and neck are glide sealed, which means they are easy to pull on and off and do not catch on or pull at your skin.
Finally, this is another front entry drysuit, which is a very important detail for any kayaker.
- Front Entry Zipper
- Glide sealing at ankles, wrists, and neck
- Taped Waterproof seams
- Mesh legs which allow water to drain out but not in
- Loose top
- Mesh can fail
Purchasing a drysuit for kayaking is a very large investment. These are quite easily the second most expensive purchase you will make as you enter into the hobby of kayaking. That being said, it is important to choose the best drysuit possible.
Try to select a kayak drysuit which is only one piece so that you are kept dry in your suit. It is also wise to purchase dry suit with pockets. This allows you to keep your important gear close even if your kayak would tip.
Another thought to consider is the entry location on the suit. If you know you will be kayaking with a partner, this may not be very crucial. However if you are considering going alone, ensure you have a front entry.
The last piece to consider is whether or not the drysuit is reflective. This can add a great safety feature to your kayaking experience.
Many kayakers are concerned about the number of pieces the drysuit comes in. If the suit comes in multiple pieces, it can make it easier for entry points to tear and water to leak through.
Pockets are so important for these drysuits. As not all kayaks come with waterproof compartments, but your drysuit is guaranteed to be waterproof, you are always guaranteed safe storage for precious valuable such as cell phones or car keys.
Some pockets on drysuits are not waterproof. These pockets often drain quickly, but please make sure you do your research. If you know that your drysuit does not have waterproof pockets, even if they drain, you must not store your cell phone or car keys in these pockets.
It would be easy to purchase a small dry bag to keep in said pocket to ensure that your devices are safe.
Seals are also of importance for these drysuits. Neoprene is the most common element to find at a seal. The best option, however, is Glideskin Neoprene. This type of neoprene ensures that the kayaker’s skin will not become caught on the neoprene as it seals.
TYpically, you will have seal points at the neck and the wrists of the suit. The ankles are a possibility. THe best drysuits have a seal point, but also have socks. Drysuit socks are attached to the suit and keep the kayakers feet warm.
Entry location is extremely important. There are two places for zipper entry to be. One is up the front of the drysuit, the other is up the back.
If the zipper entry is up the back of the drysuit, it simply does not allow you to seal the suit on your own. You absolutely must have a partner to assist you. If you know without a doubt that you will always have a kayaking partner, this will not be an issue.
The front zipper entry is much easier for someone to use when they are solo kayaking. For that reason, many kayakers choose to purchase a drysuit with a front zipper.
Reflectivity is extremely important for kayakers. If you end up out late at night or it is a particularly dark or foggy day, reflectivity gives boats an extra chance to see you.
Most drysuits are not equipped with reflectivity, however drysuits like the Waterware by Stohlquist is extremely reflective.
Most kayakers do not want to give up kayaking when the weather grows colder, and so they turn to drysuits to ensure they will stay warm on the water. Drysuits are excellent additions to your kayaking gear and are useful for kayakers of all sizes, ages, and genders.
Make sure you purchase the absolute best kayaking drysuit for you and your loved ones or the optimal experience.