When Kokatat announced plans to make a drysuit that converts into a fully-functional drytop last year, they turned some heads. But many paddlers were left asking the obvious question: Will it work?
In theory, their recently-released Idol drysuit offers some compelling advantages. No more trying to decide between a drytop and drysuit when packing for a cool, shoulder-season trip. No more having to ask your buddy for a zip or dealing with a bulky front-zipper that encourages water travel down your sprayskirt tunnel. And (joy of joys!) easy field access should that particularly menacing rapid you’re scouting stir your bowels with unrelenting urgency, for, as the video puts it, the Idol’s “entry zipper and relief zipper are one, allowing men and women to have front and rear relief.”
In practice, it’d be nice to know a little more. How hard is it to convert the suit? Will the zipper get in the way? How much maintenance does it take? And, most importantly, is it dry? This video begins to answer all of these questions, and Kokatat’s guarantee that the Idol will remain dry for the life of the suit helps seal the deal. All of which leads us to the next obvious question: How soon can we get one on the water?
–Kokatat’s Idol drysuit is now available for custom orders on their website ($1,100).
–Read more about the Idol and other innovative drysuit designs from our Gear We Love page.