-- Last Updated: Jan-21-14 10:54 AM EST --
For any piece of gear with a warranty, that warranty is part of the cost (it's just like paying insurance), so the better the warranty, the more you pay for the product (does anyone think that Kokatat has such amazing customer service simply because they are so kind-hearted? They make money doing what they do. No company can survive by giving away products and service).
For a cheap dry suit, I'd agree with Pete that one of the biggest concerns would be how well the seams are sealed. I'm sure it costs more to do a good job of sealing seems, but I can't believe it costs $800 or $900 JUST for that aspect of the quality. The question is whether it can be done on a $200 suit, or whether the asking price for a suit with well-sealed seams needs to be higher than that. If the seams are well sealed, even a poorer-quality fabric that doesn't last as long can be worth the money as long as the price is low enough, especially for someone who only uses the suit once in a while and is therefore willing to put up with a fabric that's less breathable, less durable, etc. Only by trying out the suit will anyone know if that's the case here, but I'm not buying the idea that a suit has to cost $1,000 or $1,100 to be good enough (even though I own and use a Kokatat dry suit).
For what it's worth I also own a $200 dry suit. However, it's a military-surplus model, bought from a guy who purchased a whole bunch of them, so the original price was probably higher. The seam tape started coming loose the second year I used the suit, but I have no idea if the suit was two years old or twenty.
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