Sadly, I have to add my own experience of leaking to John’s tale of woe. I have a Level Six Odin drysuit, bought in 2020 and used sparingly since then. It has a very strange combination of fabric in the crotch area to accommodate the pockets. Here’s the outside view:
Notice those pocket zippers on either side. Those are important, as I’ll explain below. Now here is the inside view of the same area. We see here the infamous contour-line pattern of the 2.5 layer fabric that has been a problem for John:
Now I’ve used this drysuit for kayaking only until a couple of days ago, when I did a day trip in my canoe in pretty heavy rain. After 2 hours I was getting wet: my shoulders and forearms were very damp and I was even feeling wetness in my armpits. As many of us have observed, drysuits do not really hold up to heavy rain. But imagine my surprise when suddenly I felt a trickle of cold water down my left leg! This was not just dampness in my lap (though there was plenty of that!) but actual flowing water.
The culprit? I had left my left pocket open. Water collected inside the pocket and eventually forced its way through that same crappy 2.5 layer fabric that John identified. I have never experienced this particular problem before because I had only used the suit in a kayak, where a sprayskirt kept my lower half relatively dry. But in the open canoe, with lap exposed to the heavens, I found out the flaw in this fabric.
At this point I was in danger of getting cold — not from immersion, but from sitting in a wet suit exposed to the wind. So I did what I’ve done in the past — I reached into my kit bag a got out a super cheap Frogg Toggs poncho, which kept the wind off and the heat in. And I was left thinking again, “Why do I need a $20 poncho for a $1K suit?”
I hate complaining about a Canadian company, but not as much as I hate being wet!