Kokotat GORETEX-PRO Odyssey Dry Suit Overview

If you’re into sea or touring kayaking, want a suit with a hood and you just really want to stay dry and comfortable then Kokatat’s Odyssey should be on your list of dry suits to consider. Available in both mens and women’s designs we’ve broken down some of the key features you’ll find on this suit.

Kokatat have used the latest version of GORETEX PRO, a 3-ply fabric with an enviable reputation for both durability and its ability to keep the wearer dry. Developed over 3 years for the most extreme end users with a focus on providing a more rugged ‘technology’, GORE improved all three elements of the fabric. Starting a tough 200 denier nylon face fabric that protects an improved breathable and waterproof membrane and lined with a specially woven GORE Mirco Grid membrane to protect from abrasion on the inside of the garment. In addition to a better more durable fabric GORE were also able to reduce the amount of water used in production by about 50%.

You’ll notice the robust feel and weight of this suit compared older GORETEX products and a lot of other proprietary fabrics, but it avoids being overly heavy or restrictive, we’d say more reassuringly tough!

The plastic YKK Aquaseal zipper, now the industry standard is lightweight, flexible, and smooth and positioned across the chest from the right shoulder and runs diagonally down to the left hip. Using a chest zip entry that splits the outer waist tunnel makes it easy to get in and out of the suit and most importantly actually do it up yourself!

The Odyssey does include some extras that you won’t find on other Kokatat suits as well unless you go down the custom route.

Removable suspenders – if you’re the sort of person that is going to spend all day in your suit but need to do some walking between paddling or at the end of the day, then you’ll probably end up taking the top half off the suit off at some point but staying in the trouser section. While the standard drawcord waist you’ll find on the Odyssey as well as other Kokatat suits is fine to help hold everything up and in place, the addition of the internal braces really helps secure the suit at the height you want it and stop it sagging around your ankle. If you prefer not to use them simple unhook them from the loops and store them safely away.

Removable hood – Secured via 5 simple ‘poppers’ or press studs, the light weight GORETEX Paclite balaclava style hood features reflective detailing, volume adjustment and a soft neo chin panel with soft pile trim which means it should be comfortable either when shielding your lower face or tucked under your chin. There is also a peak which extends the lip of the hood away from your forehead, but this isn’t wired so you might need to play with it a bit to get it to stay where you want it. I’ve found folding it back on itself keeps it out of my eyeline and gives me the best field of view while the hood is up, but this does reduce the protection it offers. The hood is one size fits all and is used across the size range as well so a small suit will have the same size hood as an XL suit. The volume adjustment is a standard drawcord set up both round the face and back of the head. The half internal and half external routing of the bungee around the face should help both make it easier to adjust with cold hands as well as stopping the bungee from being too annoying and flapping around. The rear adjuster is quite small so might be more awkward to adjust on the fly, but I found I didn’t need to play with it once I’d set it up for my head.

When the hood is attached the bottom outside edge is shielded by a small baffle to stop wind blowing up into the hood which also gives it a nice tidy appearance helping to hide the popper studs. On the inside the taller pile lined collar adds another layer of protection. There is also a loop on the inside of the collar which can be pressed into action to hold the hood back by passing the rear barrel adjuster on the drawcord through it.

With the hood removed the pile lined collar remains and there is a short zip front opening.

Velcro adjustable wrists – All the other GORETEX_PRO suits have neo punch through cones covering the latex seals on the wrists, but the Odyssey has Velcro adjustable cuffs giving you a little bit of choice to how you want to wear the arms helping dial in the most comfortable fit for you.

Pockets – There are 3 zipped pockets on the Odyssey suit, one on each arm and one on the right thigh. These are not waterproof and include sewn drain holes should any water get into them.

Relief Zips – The womens and mens suit both feature a relief zip with zip flap. The mens is a straightforward horizontal zip while the women’s drop seat is Kokatat’s latest version designed to wrap around and interfere less with the boat outfitting.

Like all kit, this suit isn’t bullet proof and will benefit from some basic after care to maintain and ensure it lasts as long as possible. Avoiding walking around without protecting the sewn in socks, keeping it clean especially after a sweaty paddle and drying it properly, making sure the zip is cleaned, stored in the closed position and a flat as possible will all make a difference to the lifespan of the product. However as and when you do get pin holes in the fabric or need a seal changed then Kokatat’s UK service centre will be there to help get you back on the water as quickly as possible, and if needed co-ordinate additional repairs in the US.

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