We just got some Immersion Research Double D Drysuits in and they look awesome! But you can't judge a dry suit based on its cover, so here's a review by Colorado Native Jason Stingl.
When I first learned to kayak someone once told me before you leave the house make sure you have 5 things. Helmet, PFD, Skirt, Boat, Paddle. With spring kayaking comes cold water and hopefully lots of it. With how far drysuits have come in the last few years, it has become an essential piece of safety gear both to keep you warm and reduce the hassle not having one can create for your crew. I bought a new IR Double D drysuit a month ago and I wouldn't trade it for anything. IR is using a new breathable material for their suits. It really feels BURLY. I can't see wearing the thing out.
A simple way to tell how much care and effort a company puts into making their suits is easiest to see if you turn it inside out. The seams on the Double D are the most meticulously sewn and taped seems out there. The tape is centered on every seam. You can see on other suits they aren't. Perfect seams and taping leaves it perfectly dry. They also put a silicon-like material on the feet. It doesn't take long for most drysuit owners to poke a hole in the socks of the suit. Sticks, sand, and dirt that get stuck inside your paddling shoes all wear on the suit with each step you take. Even when you are careful, hiking in to runs or long portages are going to be hard on the socks. This suit has the toughest socks out there, so I know they will last longer and stay dry longer.
Even though the suit is a rear zip, you can still zip it yourself. Adding a 4-6" cord to the zipper makes it even easier. The suit feels really good once you start paddling. It has good freedom of movement without extra bulk that can make a suit uncomfortable.
IR stands behind what they make. If you need a gasket replaced, they will do it for you with a quick turn around time. I generally replace my gaskets every year as a personal preference. It's nice to know I can send it in, have them do the work, check for any wear on the suit, and get it back ready to go for another season. Think hard about which color you pick...you are going to have the suit for a while.
Thanks, Jason, for the great review!