Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dry suit testing and maintenance

This weekend, Jesper and I recieved two brand-new Kokatat Expedition drysuits for the trip, and had the first chance to try them out in the surf. The overall impression is really good, the quality and the attention to detail that went into them are amazing. One thing we discovered was the importance of greasing up the metal zippers - without some sort of lubrication, they simply get stuck which (as Jesper can probably testify) isn't ideal when you're wearing the suit and need to get it off.

Judging from this weekend's experiences, my guess is that the zippers need maintenance at least once or twice week when the suit is used on a daily basis. I went to the local diver's store and bought a stick of zipper grease, which seems to work really well. But what if you're stranded somewhere without that sort of stuff? What else works, and are there some substances to be avoided?


Jesper Tilsted said...

i can only agree with Tue on the drysuits, it is a super tool to keep You warm and dry.

i used my Meindel bootwax to greas up my zipper and it working wonders with the zipper.

i took the suit to the next test by wearing it on the havakajaksamrådets havkajakvejleder modul 2 trip as a guinea-pig for the next class of havakajakvejleder.
it was a 2 day trip with some large openwater crossing (Aarhusbugt)and nightpadling, the weather was perfect when we started blue skye and sunny 25 degress in the sun on the beach but on the water we experienced seabrise, we had some rescue exices in the start så we all got in the water and then had a 8-9 km crossing and a break on the beach, then a 8-9 km crossing to the camp.
when we landed the all the other had longjohns or similar padling cloths on and had to change into dry clothe before they were ready to make camp, i just toke of the suit and was ready to make camp after 2 min of landing, was a bit wet on the back but nothing need of changing, and i cant describe how glad i was to jump in a warm drysuit again when we got of for the night padling, the look of the others who was trying to get in a wet cold longjohn 03:30 in the morning after 3 hours of sleep says it all, Kokatat expediton drysuits rules.

hangingdraw from

Jesper tilsted

Axel said...

Kokatat offers a wax stick for zipper maintenance. I have used the end of a candle and I have used vaseline. With vaseline I only have to do that once or twice a year. I don't know if on a windswept sandy beach, the sand would stick on the vaseline. All new Kokatat zippers are difficult to operate at first and without lubrication. Hope this info helps, Axel

inge said...

Halloo from Greenland - we recommend the last end of a candle; it works very well on zippers and easy to get hold of - you can also use the grafitpart of a pencil, which you might bring on a trip anyway.
We bring both om our 5-6 weeks long trips in Greenland; normally we need to work on the zippers once a week 8or less).
Have a great trip/Inge