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Review: Kokatat Meridian Drysuit

image We tested the Kokatat GORE-TEX® Meridian Drysuit with Relief Zipper (GMER) at my favorite playspot, the Upper Wave in Bremgarten (Switzerland) and on WW III+.

Hype

Top of the line drysuit that meets expectations.

Specs

  • 3-layer GORE-TEX® material
  • Latex gaskets with neoprene over-cuffs
  • Zippered chest pocket with key lanyard
  • Waterproof Optiseal chest zipper
  • Dual-adjustable overskirt incorporates "hook & loop" compatible neoprene
  • Adjustable bungee drawcord at waist
  • Cordura® seat and knee patches, self-draining
  • "Hook & loop" adjustable neoprene over-cuffs at ankle
  • Factory sealed seams
  • Relief zipper
  • GORE-TEX® socks

Comfort

The drysuit is comfortable to wear on and off the water. Getting in and out of the drysuit is easy (slip into the left arm and the neck first. Get your right arm into the suit and hold the upper part of the zipper from the inside to close the first couple of centimeters of the zipper. Then slip into the right arm and close the zipper completely). The material makes the drysuit very comfortable to paddle. As with any drysuit, you need to put on more cold water layers to stay warm.

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Swimming is as comfortable as it can be (that’s because we take testing very seriously). No wetsuit sucking up lots of water. Getting ready for paddling after a swim is more comfortable and takes less energy compared to a drytop & wetsuit. We really felt a difference. However, there is no neoprene cushion protecting you from stones when swimming as with a wetsuit. The theoretical risk of tearing the fabric as you walk or swim may pose a safety hazard.

Waterproofness

We like the waterproofness of the dry suit. Cold water layering (shirt, pants and socks) got humid (but not soaking wet) in the vicinity of the gaskets. Long Johns and socks stay dry. The built-in skirt tunnel simply works. The over-cuff at the neck could be somewhat longer to fully cover the gasket for tightness and sun protection.

Durability / Build Quality

The drysuit scores with 3-layer GORE-TEX® material, is carefully manufactured and meets the expectations of a top of the line product. The details are designed well to result in a dry suit with no frills. E.g., the neoprene over-cuffs require no Velcro and the design of the self-draining over-cuffs are elegant. The GORE-TEX® socks are robust but still fine to wear (Velcro here).

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Miscellaneous

Once the dry suit has dried after use, roll it up for storage to keep the zipper from folding. Start with the Latex socks. Leave both zippers open for drying and storage.

Pros

  • Comfortable on and off the water .
  • As dry as it gets.
  • Design results in a good dry suit with no frills.
  • Nice fabric.
  • Carefully manufactured.
  • Swimming is very comfortable.

Cons

  • Over-cuff at the neck could be a bit longer.

Summary

I like this dry suit a lot. It is comfortable and dry. Nice materials and well manufactured.

More info

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See full product details in the Playak Buyers Guide

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