Review: Women’s Amp Drysuit by Stohlquist

Field tested over 25 winter days in the Grand Canyon

Women's Amp by Stohlquist.
Women’s Amp by Stohlquist.

Women's Amp Drysuit by Stohlquist

(Stohlquist.com, $600)

By Amanda Nichols

The Amp gives you a classic whitewater drysuit at a great price. Our reviewers liked this drysuit because besides adjustments in cut and sizing to fit a female figure, the Amp retained the full range of features found in the men's version. Padded kneepads and a thick, reinforced seat were ideal for wet, scrambly hikes up and down side canyons like our chilly climb into the Grand's Silver Grotto. While all drysuits should be treated with care, the Amp (like the female paddlers it was designed for) doesn't ask you to baby it.

The relief zipper is located on the front, which for women has its advantages and drawbacks. The more serious whitewater kayakers among our group preferred a front relief design as the bulky zipper on drop-seat drysuits can be be uncomfortable against the boat's backband or seat while adding weight to the suit. Others saw the hassle of dealing with a funnel as an unnecessary inconvenience, especially the rafters who didn't find a seat zipper to be an issue anyway.

The front-entry Amp is almost entirely cut from a four-layer proprietary waterproof-breathable material that works together to keep keep moisture flowing the right way through the suit. After living out of the Amp for 25 days in the Grand Canyon, our testers were pleased to find those layers still working in unison to wick moisture, repel water and keep the paddler dry. The fabric was the thickest of the group, making it a little warmer on cold days. Stohlquist's softer neck gaskets helped keep the suit comfortable and reduced chafing even after weeks of daily wear, though they began to show signs of deterioration by the trip’s end. Rounding out the Amp were convenient pockets and a sewn-in piece of elastic around the waist helped keep the suit from sliding down to our knees when we were wearing just the lower half.

Bottom Line
At $600, the Amp is one of the more affordable drysuits on the market that still boasts the full-range features from a sprayskirt tunnel to tough fabric with reinforced seat and knees. When it comes to scrambling up Shinumo Wash, tackling Lava Falls or withstanding cold temperatures, the Amp has got you covered.



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