The new Kokatat Idol has captured the Holy Grail of drysuit versatility--the two-piece suit. Thanks to an innovative 360-degree zipper system at the waist, the Idol functions as a full drysuit or as a drytop. It's easy to get on and off, and there's no need for a separate relief zipper.
The Stohlquist Shift offers its own innovative approach to comfort: an integrated outer jacket that allows paddlers the option of shedding the neck gasket in calm conditions, or battening the hatches in rougher seas. The Immersion Research 7Figure takes a high-tech approach to comfort and performance, using a proprietary non-Teflon, waterproof breathable poly laminate that IR says is drier and more durable than previous fabrics.
Bomber Gear also debuts a new material this year in its Palguin drysuit, with an outer shell made from Polartec's waterproof-breathable NeoShell. This sophisticated fabric promises lighter weight and enhanced breathability thanks to a super-fine lattice structure that repels water but allows air to flow more easily through the laminate.
All well and good, but what about the number-one complaint we hear about drysuits, namely that they cost too damn much? Mythic Gear is on the case. "I realized that every existing drysuit was better than it had to be for most paddlers," says president Bob Holtzman. "I decided to try to offer a basic drysuit that does only what a drysuit is supposed to do: keep you dry and safe." Stripping it to the essentials, manufacturing in China and selling direct to paddlers online allows Mythic to price its two drysuits, the Sobek and Enki Relief, at $250 and $325, respectively. -- RS