Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Drysuit--Ocean Rodeo Soul

[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.

I later purchased a dive hood (3/5mm) and gloves (5mm). Essential.

It's rather neat to realize that when paddling in freezing conditions, I'm more comfortable that the folks watching from shore.

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I'd be happy to add entire descriptions, if you have an idea that fits. Just give a hint here and we'll swap e-mails.