Updated: Aug 5
I purchased a Kokatat Meridian Dry suit for my two month kayak expedition around Vancouver Island.
The suit is comfortable, gives you plenty of mobility to paddle with ease, and assuming that you have the appropriate underlayers, it should be breathable enough that you won't be drenched in your own sweat in a hot day or strenuous paddle.
I do however, have one major complaint about the suit. The price. Kokatat suits are almost twice as expensive as their competitors, but the additional price doesn't come anywhere close to a proportional increase in quality. During my expedition around Vancouver Island my suit developed microscopic punctures around the arms legs and bootie socks. These didn't compromise the integrity of the suit, however, at the end of a day's paddle, I would find that my underlayers had several soaked patches around the arms and legs and feet.
This was particularly disappointing because I was very careful with my care of the suit, making sure that I never walked on the booties, washed it with fresh water after nearly every use, and kept it away from rough surfaces. However, the issues began to appear after just 10 days.
It's not unusual for micro punctures to appear in a dry suit with normal wear and tear over time, however, I cannot point to anything of greater value that Kokatat is providing in their product to justify charging nearly double the price of the competition. When I pointed the micro puncture issues on my suit, the company said that these were due to normal wear and tear, and therefore not covered under their lifetime replacement warranty, and charged me about $60 for the repair, once shipping costs are included.
The repair was successful, but at a minimum, Kokatat should offer a no questions asked, free repair, on the first year for any suit to justify their premium price.
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