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Dry Suit FAQ

Whitewater kayaker dropping into a rapid with a rockwall to the left and large boulder to the right.

Are your dry suits made with GORE-TEX®?

The simple answer is no. But this question is a lot like pointing at a pair of shoes and saying, "Are those shoes Nike?" GORE-TEX® is a well-known and respected brand of waterproof breathable (WB) fabrics, and like all WB fabric manufacturers, they make countless variations of their fabrics and laminates. Some of these variations work well for paddlesports; many others would be disastrous if used for a kayaking garment. For example, a Gore fabric designed for running would be far too light and breathable for a dry top and it would fall apart very quickly. Paddlesports create unique challenges for WB fabrics, and the key to building a great dry top or dry suit starts with a WB fabric that has appropriately addressed all of those challenges.

Subsequently, our job as a paddling gear manufacturer is to partner with a fabric manufacturer who is willing to work with us very closely in developing just the right fabric for our dry wear. While Gore is a great brand and undoubtedly capable of doing this, we currently work with other WB fabric manufacturers who we feel can give us the attention that we need. The bottom line is that making excellent fabrics for paddlesports isn't necessarily technically that difficult- you need to have the experience of building lots and lots of dry wear to know exactly what to ask for—that's what we bring to the table.

What's better - a front entry zipper across the chest or a rear entry zipper across the back?

It’s mostly personal preference. Some people find that front zippers are easier to close without help, but they can feel bulky across your chest and the zipper can create a gap in the skirt tunnel that allows water to get into your boat. Rear zippers are out of the way and are less noticeable when paddling, but can be difficult for some to close without assistance. 

What's better - fabric socks or latex socks?

Once again, it's mostly personal preference. Latex booties are easy to replace and lower profile, however, they're less durable and require extra precautions to prevent premature wear. Fabric booties are more durable but are expensive to replace and can be difficult to fit into shoes. In either case, we can switch these out on your IR suit for a small fee. So if your dry suit came with fabric but you want latex – no problem. Give us a shout, and we'll get that started for you.

What's your warranty policy?

We offer a lifetime guarantee on materials and construction of all IR garments. Latex gaskets are covered 100% for one year after purchase. We also offer free repairs for one year from the date of purchase. Typcially, you can expect latex gaskets and fabric feet to last about two seasons. Your mileage may vary depending on usage and care. We can also repair almost all normal wear and tear at a very nominal cost. We know that defining "normal wear and tear" can be a little subjective, and if you want to know more, we will encourage you to research IR's customer service reputation – it's second to none.

I just bought a dry suit, and I'm getting wet. What gives?

That is a complicated question. If the suit is new, it's likely you're getting water in through the gaskets. It could also be that perspiration is condensing on the inside of the suit. It's really, really really super duper hard for any drysuit to keep you 100% bone dry, especially while paddling in whitewater. Also, each suit we sell is pressure tested in-factory before they are shipped, so the probability of a new suit leaking is quite small. Head over to our page called is your dry suit leaking to find out how to do a simple test on your drysuit before you send it back.

I was thinking about pairing up my dry top with a pair of paddling pants. Won't this be the same as a dry suit?

No. That combo will be good for overall warmth and splash protection, but if you go in the drink for any length of time, you will be soaking wet inside.

Didn't find the answer to your question

Reach out to our customer service team. We're here to help.

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