Dry Suit Zipper Questions
Posted by: hodtay on Jan-24-13 11:42 AM (EST) Category: unassigned
I have a new Kokatat Meridian Goretex dry suit. Last night when I was waxing the zippers I found the pee zipper stuck in the closed position. I pulled on the zipper as much as I dared, squirted 303 on the clasp and then used liquid soap, a tooth brush and warm water. The zipper finally freed up enough to open. Once I got the zipper freed up it worked fine.
How important is it to wash a dry suit after it's been in salt water? If you use the dry suit in salt water on weekends should you machine wash it before each use?
Should you store the suit with the zippers open or zippers closed?
When you wax the zipper should you also wax the inside zipper teeth as well as the outside?
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- Dry Suit Zipper Questions - hodtay - Jan-24-13 11:42 AM
send question to Kokatat|
Posted by: Peter-CA on Jan-24-13 11:58 AM (EST)
I would send these exact questions to Kokatat (http://www.kokatat.com/contacts). They are pretty good at responding.
You don;'t ant to launder the dry suit after every use. When you do launder, you want to use NikWax TechWash or something similar.
Give the dry suit a good rinse after each use.
I only lube the outer metal. You want the zipper to be able to slide over it, and that is where the sliding goes on.
I think they say to either leave the zipper all the way open, or all the way closed. Having it half open (and the possibility of one side crimping at that point) is bad.
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Posted by: suiram on Jan-24-13 12:00 PM (EST)
Machine washing your drysuit after each paddle is an overkill. Rinsing/Spraying with water should be enough.
303 is not a lubricant, don't put it on zippers.
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Rinse every time after salt water|
Posted by: Celia on Jan-24-13 2:27 PM (EST)
We live in the dry suits when we go to Maine, and while you have some leeway in fresh water we have found that zippers love to seize up in salt water. I usually try to just walk right into the shower with it, run cold water over it and take it off there. After every paddle. It's usually already pretty wet anyway. In fact I go in wearing everything - skirt, shoes etc. It makes for a much more efficient rinse.
Kokatat's recommendation is to store them with zippers open, the risk is otherwise the seal can go south. That said, they ship them with all the zippers closed, so go figure.
Two other recommendations - turn at least the legs inside out to dry as soon as you can after taking off the suit. It is more important that the inner membranes dry out than the outer cloth layer. And use the rinse that restored the water-repellent layer early and often, BEFORE you really need it. Once it has really taken a beating you aren't going to get it back, and the suit is more comfortable with that layer working.
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Posted by: bonnoughj on Jan-24-13 3:13 PM (EST)
tread, as I just ordered one of these suits.. I look forward to seeing all the information about this.
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Drysuit care instructions|
Posted by: suzanneh on Jan-24-13 3:34 PM (EST)
All the info you need to know is on the link.
Personally, I prefer real beeswax over zip wax. It seems to get into the teeth better.
Never use 303 on the zipper as it can get on the fabric and it can cause problems with the fabric. Basically it can contaminate the membrane.
In the winter when the outside water is off, I bring a gallon of water to a paddle (leaving it in the car) and rinse with it when I am done. When outside water is available, I always rinse the outside of the suit after each use. I rinse the inside with clear water when necessary. When necessary depends on how sweaty you are. I wash in a FRONT LOADER without agitator usually a couple of times a season. I 303 regularly.
Some other people do more maintenance and others do less. Really up to you. The nicer you keep it, the longer it will last.
BTW, I think fresh water is really much worse than salt. Lots of living things in fresh water. Salt though, nothing lives once it dries out. That's why fresh water paddlers gear stinks more than salt water paddlers gear. (That should get some people riled up!!)
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That 303 goes on the gaskets only|
Posted by: pikabike on Jan-24-13 5:24 PM (EST)
Not on the suit fabric. Just in case you were wondering...
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Dry Suit zippers|
Posted by: jerrysmith on Jan-24-13 10:05 PM (EST)
According to Kokotat, leave the zippers open for storage (you want them to relax). Lube them with "Zip Wax", or my personal favorite, Parrafin (a candle works fine, since it's parrafin).
Never, never, never use silicone.
All the zippers are stiff when new.
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Chapstick on zippers|
Posted by: Jaybabina on Jan-25-13 8:01 AM (EST)
smells nice too and convenient to carry with my gear.
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Posted by: suzanneh on Jan-25-13 8:52 AM (EST)
I have mentioned it before but no chapstick on the zippers. It isn't a wax, it is petroleum based, it is sticky and could attract stuff into the zipper teeth. They make a stick of zip wax, you could keep that in your pocket and use it on both your lips and the zipper. That would be a better option than the other way around!
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Goretex and chemicals|
Posted by: willowleaf on Jan-25-13 10:47 AM (EST)
Yeah, be super careful about what kinds of materials you use for both lubricant and cleaning with Goretex.
I should know better, since I worked for many years in the outfitter business and had factory training on care of gear materials, but I recently destroyed a much-loved mesh lined Goretex rain parka that had gotten really filthy with bike chain grease. Stupidly sprayed it liberally with stain release (Zout, I think) before throwing it in a cold water and woolite wash with some fleece and other laundry, which I had done countless times before (the washing, not the stain remover). When I went to take the load out of the washer, at first I thought there must have been a clump of Kleenex in the pocket of something because the clothes were covered with shreds of white stuff. To my horror I discovered that almost all the white Goretex film had delaminated from the jacket shell and disintegrated. it could have been old age, I suppose (the 15 year old jacket's age, not mine) but I suspect the solvents in the stain release spray dissolved the adhesion between the film and shell. The jacket is toast.
After years of hectoring customers about avoiding chemicals and oils with Goretex, I deserve to be flogged with a No. 10 YKK zipper. Destruction of my most useful and irreplaceable rainshell is punishment enough, I guess.
But the incident reminded me to be careful with my other Goretex and maybe saved me from making a similar mistake with my still fairly new GFER drysuit.
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