[Eventually this grew into a full-length article in Good Old Boat Magazine, September 2016. I tested the drysuit against cold water immersion suits by, among other things, floating the midst of ice for hours. They really do make winter paddling pleasant.]
It's about the details. The Ocean Rodeo Soul ticks all of the right buttons for me:
- Attached feet.
- Attached hood and jacket.
- Suspenders keep the pants up when the neck is open.
- Standby mode that allows better ventilation (see animation, below).
- Durable.I'm going on 3 years now, kayaking and sailing in foul weather.
The sizes are athletic. I'm 5'7" and 165 pounds, and the medium just clears the hips and shoulders, with suitable underlayers.
A dry suit helps a lot. A bit of a struggle, worming the arms in and fitting all the seals, but...
ultimately well worth the struggle.
Extended transoms for boarding are nice...
and the after-paddle swim makes it perfect (the water is 36F). Just testing out the suit, but swimming was actually pleasant.
Very cool... figuratively speaking. Flotation is so good that a PFD is really quite redundant. Do keep a PFD on board.
It's rather neat to realize that when paddling in freezing conditions, I'm more comfortable that the folks watching from shore.