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Submitted: 11-13-2005 by wjlatsha
I bought the Kokatat Super Nova Semi-Dry Suit on sale, under $400.00. This 1/2 the price of a Full Dry Suit. I was tired of sweating my butt off in my wet suit. I was always concerned about my upper body while wearing the farmer john wet suit, so I broke down and bought this. Great Move!
The Super Nova Semi Dry suit is "almost" a dry suit. It is made of a breathable fabric, with sewn in socks, and a relief zipper. The socks are super for keeping your feet dry, and the relief zipper is great for RELIEF without needing to take the suit off.
The first time I wore it, I walked out into the water to see if it really was "dry". I found out why it is good to "burp" it, as the upper part ballooned out from the air inside. As I got into chest high water, I just pulled out on my neck seal, and let the air out. I was perfectly dry inside. I did feel how cold the water was, and was glad to have my Kokatat Polartec 100 liner under it for warmth. Note a semi-dry, or dry suit does not insulate you from the cold, it only keeps you dry.
The latex wrist gaskets kept out all water, and so did the zippers. They did what they were supposed to do. I didn't test the neoprene neck gasket this time. My paddling friend has one of these suits, and he told me he went swimming in his one day, and forgot to tighten the neck with the attached velcro strap. He said with it loose he only got a few drops in around the neck. Next time he tightened it, and got no water in at all. So I will take his word on this for now.
I was concerned as to how hot I would be inside. I had the memories of sweating terribly in the wet suit. I must say I was very comfortable as we paddled about 7 miles. The sun was warm, but the air was about 50 degrees. The water was even colder. I was amazed at how comfortable I was while paddling. I would have been sweating a lot if I had been in my wet suit.
If you paddle water that is not freezing cold, and you don't need a full dry suit, this Super Nova Semi-Dry suit beats a wet suit any day.
How much is your life and comfort worth? In my estimation, at least the cost of this suit!