One of the most common questions I hear from regular customers in our shop is: "So, what's new?" Well, for 2015 there are a couple of products that have caught our eye, none more so than the Kokatat Idol Dry Suit. Kokatat will release the Idol Dry Suit, in Mid January, in both Men's and Women's sizes that will change the way we think of dry suits. Kokatat has partnered with Ti-Zip to come up with "Switch Zip", a zipper that runs around the waist of the suit that will allow the paddler to wear the Idol as a dry suit, dry top or paddling pants. Since the zipper allows the suit to be worn as separates or as a unit its is like three pieces of gear in one! There are also a couple of perks to moving the zipper the waist of the suit, by doing so Kokatat has cleaned up the front of the suit. Cleaned up, meaning that there is no longer a front entry zipper that can get in way of the body tube on your spray skirt. Once the suit is separated there is a nice flap that folds over the zipper at the bottom of the dry top to prevent it from abrading you or your gear. However there is no flap or securing of the zipper on the bottoms, it is left to just hang out. We have yet to paddle in the Idol but will report as to the comfort and functionality.
Interested in learning a bit more about the suit? Take a peak at the video below and hear what Kokatat's Matt Porter has to say.
I WANT ONE!
- It's a dry suit, it's a dry top, it's a pant!
- Evolution 3.21 oz. nylon 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro body
- 330 Cordura® GORE-TEX® Pro shoulders, sleeves, and legs
- SwitchZip waterproof fully separating entry/relief zipper system
- Latex gaskets with neoprene punch through collar and cuffs
- Evolution 3.21 oz. nylon 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro socks
- Strategic zipper placement sits between backband and seat
- No entry zipper on torso
- One zipper for entry and relief
- Self-draining, zippered sleeve pocket with key lanyard
- Dual adjustable over skirt with "hook & loop" compatible neoprene
- Zipper flap to protect top half of zipper in dry top configuration
- Every suit 100% fill tested; guaranteed to be dry
The 2015 price point for both the Men's and Women's Idol Dry Suit will be $1100, not bad... Remember that Kokatat also warranties their gore-tex dry suits for life! We are excited to see where the Idol is headed. Will there be different tops to zip in? Will it be as comfortable as all of the other Kokatat suits? For us the jury is still out regarding the Switch Zip since we haven't paddled with it yet. But if the zipper ends up being positioned properly as to not interfere with reentries and remains comfortable when seated, Kokatat may have hit this one out of the park!
Forrest is a BCU 4 star paddler, ACA open water advanced instructor, ACA SUP instructor, Alaska Kayak Guide and has his 200 ton Master's ship license.
In addition to keeping the KPS ship headed in the right direction and running efficiently, he is an avid outdoorsman and kayak/SUP racer. He also helps coach water polo, plays a mean guitar and can cook up a tasty oyster on the half-shell.