Words like innovative, revolutionary, and one-of-a-kind get thrown around so much in today’s industry that it’s hard to believe it when a new piece of gear is listed as ingenious, inventive, or original. Insert the Kokatat Idol dry suit, and you truly have a revolutionary, innovative, and one-of-a-kind dry suit
. We’ll outline our initial impressions with the Idol dry suit. Overall Impression:
If you live in an area with a cold Spring paddling season but has warm summers (cough cough Colorado), then the Idol is perfect for you. So much versatility in one piece of gear:
The new Kokatat Idol suit with waist zipper. It's a dry top, dry pants and a 100% waterproof Pro Shell GORE TEX dry suit. Bam!
- With varying weather on river trips (ex: Middle Fork), you can dry top it when it’s nice out, but when the rains and cold weather come simply zip on the pants and you’re good to go. Just wear the pants when you are unloading rafts at camp and wading in and out of water constantly. No more dealing with the baggy dry suit excess when you’re hanging in camp or at the takeout!
The zipper on the bottom of the dry top inserts neatly into a velcro pouch. It's unobtrusive and easy to get to when you want to zip it into your pants.
- The Idol is reinforced in all the high wear areas (shoulders, elbows, knees, butt) with GORE TEX PRO SHELL CORDURA (the best of the best) and feels burly yet light to the touch. You can feel the quality in the material and can tell that this dry suit can take a beating!
Close up of the dry pants and Switch Zip system. Besides having a dry top, you can also wear just the pants on hike in's, packing a sea kayak, etc...
Zipper technology has advanced quite a bit in recent years. The SwichZip plastic zipper (by TiZip) is the foundation of the Idol that allows the suit to completely separate at the waist; giving you a dry top and dry suit in one garment!
The Switch Zip system in the locked state. 10% waterproof.
- The zipper is 100% waterproof, flexible and surprisingly easy to zip on and off.
The Switch Zip system in the open state. It's pretty easy to open it when you are using it as a relief zipper.
A close up of the Switch Zip. Basically, this system is a normal waterproof zipper. The dial in the photo screws down and compresses the zipper and makes it so tight that it is 100% waterproof.
- The zipper sits comfortably between the backhand and seat of your kayak. The location of the zipper is key to not interfere with your comfort while paddling.
- The hidden zipper on the upper portion of the dry suit allows for more mobility and less restriction of movement. It's much more comfortable because you don’t have a zipper wedged between your body and PFD.
- No zipper interference with your skirt tunnel.
The zipper chain on the dry top folds neatly into the velcro area. This keeps it out of the way when you are paddling with only the dry top.
It’s clear that Kokatat did their homework when creating the Idol. This isn’t some piece of gear that Kokat quickly designed and produced in less than a year. Kokatat came up with the concept for the Idol 5 years ago and has been field testing different prototype suits for the past year and a half. This kind of R&D has allowed Kokatat to create a very high quality product.
As usual on more Kokatat products - 100% GORE TEX booties. And MADE IN THE USA!
Cordura reinforced shoulders, and storage pocket.
The Kokatat Idol is backed by a lifetime warranty on the fabric (for the life of the dry suit). Kokatat also has a full service center in the USA that provides timely, high quality, affordable and hassle free repairs. In fact, they are the ONLY made in the USA PaddleSports dry wear company with a stateside service center.
Because of this, they are able to offer over the top customer service experiences to pretty anyone who purchases a Kokatat product. We've got a Kokatat Idol demo suit on the way. We plan on using and abusing this sucker - stay tuned for the review coming soon!