Kokatat TROPOS Whirlpool Bibs

If you use a dry top most of the time and are looking for a versatile, less expensive alternative to buying a dry suit, the TROPOS Whirlpool Bib system is a great way to go. The TROPOS Whirlpool Bib has an incorporated smoothskin neoprene overskirt that mates with any of Kokatat’s (and many other companies) double skirted dry tops to create a versatile two-piece dry system. As long as the bibs are folded correctly with the top (see instructions below) it will be almost as dry as a one-piece Kokatat dry suit. The system works best when you are using a skirt with a neoprene tunnel to help hold the roll together and tight.

TROPOS Whirlpool Bib Specs:

  • TROPOS waterproof, breathable fabric
  • Seat and knee patches, self draining
  • Adjustable suspenders
  • Zippered, top loading cargo pocket
  • Ankle gaskets
  • Unisex color: gray
  • Women’s color: gray
  • Unisex sizes: S-XXL
  • Women’s sizes: S-L

HOW DO DOUBLE SKIRTED DRY TOPS AND WHIRLPOOL BIBS JOIN TO MAKE A SEMI-DRY SUIT?

The two piece system is as dry as you want to make it. If you take the time to fold it correctly, you should, for the most part, stay dry during challenging swims. Is it as dry as a Dry suit? Mostly part yes, if it’s folded correctly. You gain a lot of visibility with the two piece system. Dry suits are however, easier to get in and out of and they are 100% dry by definition. If you use a drytop the majority of the time and are looking for a versatile, less expensive alternative to buying a dry suit, the whirlpool bib system is a great way to go.

  • Put dry top on over bib. Pull dry top outer skirt up to chest and snug bungee on drytop inner skirt.
  • Line up dry top inner skirt with bib outer skirt.
  • Fold together inner skirt on dry top with bibs outer skirt (at least three folds). If using a spray skirt, pull on over folded skirt. A tight, clean, even fold ensures a better seal.
  • Pull down dry top outer skirt and tighten waistband over spray skirt.
  • The life vest over the top & bib combo adds to the seal of the system.
  • If you use a deck spray skirt, you will have an even better seal. The images below show how to join a two piece system together when using a spraydeck skirt.
  • Here’s a link to a “how to” video that explains how the roll bib works (right-click and “save as” or click and watch):

    rollbib

    Pros:

    • The TROPOS Whirlpool Bibs are constructed out of Kokatat’s economical waterproof breathable fabric, which costs a lot less than Gore-Tex(also available).
    • The bibs come standard with latex ankle gaskets. You can have Tropos socks and a front relief or drop seat zipper added as custom options.
    • You can easily join The Whirlpool Bibs with a tunneled dry top for a cost effective dry suit alternative (see below).
    • The bib / dry top option allows for great all around versatility. A dry suit will always be a one piece dry suit, whereas a bib / dry top combo allows you to use your dry top separately or as a one piece with the bibs.

    Cons:

    • The bib/dry top combo has more bulk around the torso and it takes longer to get in and out of.
    • The relief zipper is not standard (optional).

    The Verdict:

    The Kokatat Whirlpool Bibs are a cost effective solution for those people that are looking to stay warm and dry in colder conditions. The great thing about the bibs is that they integrate into existing dry tops, and provide dry suit like protection from the elements. There are options like full Gore-Tex, and a relief zipper that can make the bibs even better.

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