If you’re kayaking in a tropical region, then the weather doesn’t present any extreme problem. However, if you’re kayaking somewhere cold, then it’s important to wear gear that protects you from both the weather and the water. This is where kayak drysuits come in which, according to reviews are perfect whether you’re fishing or simply paddling for recreation. The best drysuit for kayak basically is a full-body piece of clothing that is designed to retain the body’s warmth. At the same time, it seals any external water out, especially if you tip into the water while allowing internal moisture to escape. Strong waves and freezing water makes for a dangerous combination, especially when you’re far from land. Drysuits provide protection against that, safely getting you to the shore while keeping hypothermia at bay.
Made from special materials along with zippers that seal perfectly, drysuits even come with a gasket that fits tightly around your neck and your arms. Since the goal is to keep you dry and not warm, you’ll need to wear another layer beneath in cold conditions. That said, there are so many options for kayak drysuits in the market today that your head might just spin looking at the number of options. We’ve decided to make it easy for you by conjuring a list of the 13 best drysuits for kayaks that are perfect for everything from fishing to recreation, and with great reviews.
How To Choose The Best Kayak Drysuits?
Kayaking is an activity that takes you far from the safe zone of your vehicle on land to out in the middle of nowhere on the water. So, it’s important for you to choose your kayaking accessories that’ll make your life easier very carefully. Whether it’s the Best Kayaking Shoes, the Best Kayaking Compasses, or even the Best Kayaking Dry Bags, all these need to be chosen carefully. The same goes for kayaking drysuits, which need even more careful consideration since they go on your body. So, what should one look for in good drysuits? Read on.
It’s no surprise that the drysuit needs to be, first and foremost, mobile and comfortable. Usually, you should go for a size that’s a bit bigger than the size of your top or shirt. This allows for enough room for multiple clothing layers to be accommodated beneath the drysuit. Typically, drysuits feature two kinds of fits – tight or loose. If the temperature is milder, then go for a tight-fitting drysuit that lessens any unnecessary bulk which could limit your movement. On the other hand, if you’re going kayaking in cold waters where there’s a higher risk of immersion, then a loose-fitting suit is better. It allows you to wear thicker inner thermal clothing that’ll keep you warm.
Drysuits take the maximum amount of beating on your expedition, which is why the material it’s made from should be both durable and waterproof. Gore-Tex and nylon fabrics and perhaps the two most commonly used materials for drysuits. While nylon is cheaper and durable, Gore-Tex offers a higher level of breathability than any other fabric. In the end, that’s important for a drysuit material since you’ll sweat through non-breathable drysuits within just a few hours. And, you don’t want that.
One of the most important considerations for drysuits is the entry points. Good kayak drysuit reviews, whether it’s for fishing or anything else, always mention that they have good entry points. That’s because they affect your efficiency, whether you have it on or are taking it off. A majority of drysuits open across the chest on the front, while there are yet others that feature a back opening. Why the front ones are popular is because they’re easy to close, as the rear ones might require help while closing it. However, two-part drysuits have become wildly popular in the last few years, with the lower part separating at the waist.
Seals and zippers
It’s obvious that how a drysuit is sealed will affect how it works. Generally, you’ll find gaskets around the wrists and the neck in most drysuits, while some even put them around the ankles. However, the best kayak drysuits have latex gaskets that prevent cold water from seeping in. In fact, some even have neoprene ones around the neck which is more comfortable, but not as dry-efficient as the latex ones. Another point of contention is the zippers, which can either be made from plastic or metal. While metal ones are more durable, you’ll need to lubricate them regularly for bettering their durability prevent sticking. What’s more, some drysuits even feature relief zippers, which is very useful especially for long hours of wearing the drysuit.
Finally, drysuits come with a whole lot of extra and yet useful features. Some of the most useful features that you need to watch out for are:
- Hood: Whether it’s cold winds or rain, a hood protects your head and prevents cold air from entering your ears.
- Reflective stripings – This enhances your visibility and allows rescuers to spot you easily.
- Loops – If you want a kayak fishing drysuit, then look for one with nylon loops for accessing your tackle easily.
- Pockets – Finally, waterproof pockets are incredibly helpful for storing small items such as GPS units, phones, keys, etc.
Do I need a drysuit for kayaking?
If you’re kayaking somewhere that’s very cold, then yes, you’re going to need a drysuit. If the waters are at a bearable temperature such as somewhere in the tropics, then it’s not a problem. However, cold waters and weather can become a health hazard if you don’t have a drysuit on, which basically helps keep you dry. Since cold water can cause everything from hypothermia to pneumonia, drysuits are very helpful in keeping such cold water at bay.
Kokatat Men’s Gore-Tex Front Entry Drysuit
As we mentioned earlier, Gore-Tex is the best drysuit material you can get. This is why the Kokatat Men’s Gore-Tex Front Entry Drysuit features on this list of the best drysuits for kayak. The drysuit is not just breathable, but also waterproof and does an excellent job of keeping water at bay while letting vapor pass through. The suit’s frontal zipper is positioned asymmetrically for entering and exiting the suit effortlessly. Moreover, the drysuit completely covers all of your knees, waist, and neck allowing you to indulge in all kinds of water adventures. Since it features a premium-quality, laminated membrane inner, you can rest assured that you won’t get hurt either.
On the outside, three layers of Gore-Tex pro-shell provide ample amounts of protection. The full taped seams keep the suit waterproof and you dry all the time. Furthermore, the neoprene latex cuff gasket offers excellent support while keeping your movement natural. Finally, the airtight design keeps the interior of the suit at an optimum temperature, keeping you comfy and toasty all the time.
- Reflective strips for visbility.
- Taped seams for waterproofness.
- Leakage proof.
- No hood.
Kokatat Hydrus Meridian Drysuit
Yet another Kokatat product on this list is the Kokatat Hydrus Meridian Drysuit, which is available in both a men’s and a women’s version. Available in three colors of electric blue, pink, and orange, the sturdy and durable kayak fishing drysuit uses Cordura for the most important reinforcing positions such as the wrist and ankles. The main fabric, however, is the three-layered laminated nylon coupled with a neoprene shell. The drysuit boasts a medium fit, so you even have the luxury to wear another layer beneath it for protection from the freezing cold.
Thanks to the lifetime warranty from Kokatat, you can rest assured for this product to last you years together. Rounding up the features are the latex cuff gasket, the neoprene cuffs, and the latex splash collar that prevent water from entering the suit altogether.
- Waterproof zipper.
- Limited lifetime warranty.
- Perfect for the cold weather.
- Super comfortable.
- None, really.
Stohlquist Shift Drysuit
The Stohlquist Shift Drysuit is another excellent drysuit for kayak fishing which boasts some great reviews. If you want a premium-quality drysuit at a relatively affordable price, then look no further than this Stohlquist product. To begin with, the suit is crafted from nylon shell neoprene that features three layers of lamination, adding to its durability and safety factor. What’s more, the brand uses 5000D Cordura nylon for reinforcing the knee and seat arrangements. Moreover, the ankles, wrist, and neck gaskets are made of high-quality latex that is both durable and comfortable.
Going further, the removable hood is a great way of protecting your head from the cold winds during winter kayaking. On the inside, you’ll even find elastic suspenders that prevent the drysuit from bunching up during excessive movement. If that wasn’t enough, the chest pocket even has a headphone port that’s perfect for music lovers! Finally, the relief zipper is a blessing for attending nature’s calls without stripping off the entire suit.
- Elastic suspenders for comfort.
- Reliable latex gaskets.
- Spray skirt with Gripp-Loc.
- Detachable hood.
- The fit is slightly more snug than is comfortable.
Kokatat Idol Drysuit
Kokatat makes the third entry into this list with the Kokatat Idol Drysuit, one of the versatile kayak fishing and paddling suits on the market right now. The kayak drysuit, which has garnered excellent reviews, is a two-part one. Thanks to the newly-designed SwitchZip technology, it’s completely detachable from the waist. Since it’s made from premium-quality plastic, the suit is also 100 percent waterproof, ensuring that you stay completely dry during your kayaking sessions. The waist separation is far better than the back and even the front end zipper system.
Additionally, this design allows your arms, hands, and legs to move with more freedom since there’s no zipper obstructing their movement. The high-wear areas such as the knee and the elbow are better protected with Cordura and Gore-Tex reinforced pro-shells. All-in-all, this fantastic drysuit can withstand all the harsh elements while keeping you warm and dry all the time.
- Additional latex support.
- Relaxed fitting.
- Slightly heavy.
O’Neill Boost Drysuit
One of the best drysuits for kayak is the O’Neill Men’s Boost Drysuit, and that too for more reasons than one. To begin with, it weighs just 300 g for every sq. meter of cloth, which means it’s one of the lightest drysuits in the market today. No matter the time of the year, the drysuit’s 100 percent waterproof, tri-laminated nylon build render it perfect. In addition to that, the strong build also makes it more durable, robust, and resistant to punctures.
There is sufficient space underneath so that you may wear your regular clothes comfortably. Similarly, you won’t feel any restrictions as you make any move, thanks to its fitting like a jumpsuit. Furthermore, the waterproof seams ensure that you will remain dry under all circumstances. Finally, the sturdy rear zipper allows easy entry and exit, while the latex seal is thick enough to ensure a watertight system. It’s no surprise that this kayak drysuit has a bunch of superior reviews all over.
- Breathable mesh.
- Integrated suspenders.
- Easy entry and exit.
- Excellent fit.
- No pockets.
Ocean Rodeo Ignite Breathable Drysuit
This Ocean Rodeo Ignite Breathable Kayak Drysuit for fishing and paddling boasts excellent reviews. It’s more of a cross between a drysuit and weather gear, drawing on both of their best features. The adjustable seals have different and multiple layers of the range, which when coupled with the Captive zipper system make for an airtight waterproof system. This allows the waist, knees, and ankles to be completely sealed. In case you want to switch it into the regular ‘standby’ mode, then all you need to do is open the dry zip and quickly remove the neck seal.
The best part about this suit is that you can do all of these tasks without removing the floatation device. What’s more, there is a wader belt that helps prevent water from entering the suit, thus keeping you safe and dry. Overall, this affordable suit is one value-for-money buy.
- Two different modes.
- Can be used even in the harshest of weather.
- Adjustable seals.
- Wader belts.
- Lacks inner lining.
Ocean Rodeo Soul Breathable Drysuit
Can a kiteboarding suit make it to a list of best drysuits for kayaks? The Ocean Rodeo Soul Breathable Drysuit sure can, what with its breathable and waterproof build. To begin with, the drysuit boasts a primary zipper system that can be zipped down in a manner that makes it incredibly convenient to attend nature’s call. What’s more, unlike many other kayaking drysuits, this one comes in two parts. So, the top is independent of the bottom and makes it easy for you to move on the water. Moreover, the neck gasket can easily be loosened for ultimate comfort in case you decide to take a walk along the beach in the suit.
The suit protects you in colder weather too, thanks to the detachable hood that protects your head from cold wind. Going further, the drysuit is available in both standby and dry mode. The standby mode enables neck sealing, while the dry style keeps you waterproof and warm. finally, it’s even available in three colors, royal blue, green, and orange.
- Stylish design.
- Keeps you warm and waterproof.
- Excellent sealing.
- Slightly overpriced.
Level 6 Emporer Drysuit
The premium-quality Level 6 Emperor 3.0 Ply Drysuit is ideal for most kayaks, whether you’re fishing or paddling lovers, and boasts some excellent reviews. Made from 100 percent waterproof ripstop nylon, the suit is innately durable, rugged, and always ready for the harshest of environments outdoors. what’s more, the Level Six has reinforced the elbows, knees, seats, arms, and shoulders with Cordular panels for further protection against water, shockwaves, and more. Also, the kayaking suit has two various zippers – the regular relief frontal zipper as well as a backside zip. The relief zipper allows for comfortable and convenient management in case of nature’s calls. Furthermore, the back zipper allows easy entry and exit from the back.
However, that’s not all. The drysuit boasts an inner lining that’s not only waterproof but also breathable. The double-clinch management works even better to ensure a dry seal, while the chest and lower are well-positioned for keeping your hands warm when it’s cold.
- Reinforced with Cordula panels.
- Emergency whistle.
- Breathable mesh.
Stohlquist EZ Drysuit
One of the best drysuits for kayak is the Stohlquist EZ Drysuit, which is another great product from the Stohlquist brand. It’s easy to see why this brand makes another appearance on this list. To begin with, the suit is designed from high-quality four-layered nylon fabric. Furthermore, the four-layered nylon features twin-sensors that are both waterproof and breathable. Plus, the fabric features both hydrophobic features as well as small pores for better natural movement and enhanced air circulation. On the other hand, the neck gasket is made from skin-friendly neoprene.
Going further, the drysuit even has two different zipper systems, one is a standard cross-chest zipper while the other is a relief zipper. That said, both of them are durable and waterproof. The knees are supported by mesh drainers for added protection, while the seats are reinforced with Cordura. Finally, the wrist gasket features UV protection, and both arm and thigh pockets are well-placed for easy access.
- Keeps water out and retains heat.
- Extremely durable.
- Practically none.
Stohlquist Amp Drysuit
If staying warm during kayaking is a priority for you, then you’ll love the fantastic Stohlquist Amp Drysuit. This kayaking fishing drysuit has received rave reviews for everything from its features to its looks, which comes in contrasting shades. That said, its features are also equally cool. Firstly, the suit has twin sensors that are supported by the four-layered drywear fabric. The fabric that’s made from a nylon shell also features DWR treatment and is waterproof and breathable as well. All these together add to the safety, comfort, and ruggedness of the drysuit.
The wrist and neck gaskets are made from soft latex for enhanced wear and tear and UV resistance. The icing on the cake is that the dry socks are made from durable fabric that’s also breathable and comfortable. Moreover, it ensures both a secure entry and a universal fit, all in one package. Adjustability is present in the form of the wrist over cuffs and relief zippers, while the reflective panels make you highly visible out on the water.
- Universal fit.
- Advanced fabric.
- Three-year limited warranty.
- Virtually none.
Crewsaver Atacama Sport Kayak Drysuit
Another wonderful drysuit for kayak is the Crewsaver Atacama Sport Kayak Drysuit. Since it features articulated legs and arms, the drysuit offers rather excellent freedom of movement while you’re fishing or paddling in the kayak. It also has elastic cuffs and reinforcements in high-abrasion areas for added comfort while doing activities. Just like other suits, this one employs a triple-layer fabric that is soft on the skin, breathable, and waterproof. The fact that it’s available in five different sizes just shows how much thought the makers have put into it.
What we really liked about this drysuit is that it comes with internal braces, allowing you to take off the top if you’re too warm without taking off the pants. Finally, the suit comes with a D-ring for attaching gear as well as a convenient side pocket.
- Great price.
- Available in five sizes.
- YKK flexible zippers.
- Removable internal braces.
- None, really.
NRS Crux Men’s Kayak Drysuit
What most of the good reviews about the NRS Crux Men’s Kayak Drysuit mention is its durability and strength. The drysuit boasts a rugged Eclipse shell that’s reinforced in the lower leg and seat area. That’s why it’s also popular as a kayak fishing drysuit. What’s more, it’s a great paddling suit too, since it allows a great range of movement. The Eclipse fabric further features four discrete layers that blend together for waterproofness and top-notch comfort. It even features Lycra, thus making it very elastic and preventing any sort of restriction.
The NRS Crux even keeps foot protection in mind, thanks to the universally-sized booties made from the suit fabric itself. The frontal entry zipper makes it easy for you to put on and take off the suit. Above all, the drysuit even has latex cuffs with hook-and-loop closure and an easy-access relief zipper.
- Integrated neoprene overskirt.
- Hook-and-loop latex cuffs for comfort.
- Easy-access front relief zipper.
- Breathable Eclipse fabric.
- None, really.
NRS Pivot Kayak Drysuit
Topping the list of best drysuits for kayak with excellent reviews in its kitty is the NRS Pivot Kayak Drysuit. The completely waterproof, breathable, and lightweight suit offers both protection and comfort. It even has dry socks and a neoprene overskirt that help keep you warm and dry. There are a lot of things to like about this suit, starting from the fact that it’s made from a four-layered Eclipse fabric along with spandex. Thus, the suit has unparalleled freedom of movement and flexibility while allowing moisture to escape so the sweaty feeling doesn’t prevail.
This rear-entry suit boasts a high-quality MasterSeal zipper that won’t let a drop of water within. Since it comes with universal-sized booties made from the suit material, your feet are protected well too. The neoprene cuffs create a strong seal, thus preventing leaks. Last but not least, the entire suit is DWR-treated to repel water and enhance performance further.
- Neoprene skirt.
- In-built dry socks with reinforcements.
- MasterSeal zipper on the back for complete dryness.
- Coated with DWR for additional protection.