Mustang drysuit

JohnAbercrombie

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Joined
Dec 7, 2011
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3,028
Location
Victoria, BC
Zipper in the back??.........I can’t image managing something like that behind my back and out of sight - trusting it shut tight at the end.
It probably depends on where the zipper is located - across the shoulders or lower in the back?
I was worried that I'd have problems with the mid-back zipper on my Level Six Fiord suit but it hasn't been much of an issue. There's a long elasticated pull which helps. That said, I did remove the (cosmetic) covering flap over the zipper as I was aftraid I might snag it when closing the zipper - that would certianly be an issue if travelling solo. :eek:
 

AlphaEcho

Paddler
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
152
Location
Quadra Island, BC
Adding to the advice to try the suit on in the shop -- also bring along your under-layers, mid-layers, and PFD .. and then try sitting in a boat with it on. No, this is not being excessive or persnickety. If the shop doesn't let you do that, find another dealer.

Fit matters as much as everything else, maybe even more. A suit that ticks all the boxes technically, but just doesn't allow you to move or feel comfortable is going to get returned or put up on Craigslist. I've seen it over and over again.

====
With respect to Level Six -- I have a paddling jacket and an Orion (immersion suit), both of which have served me reasonably well for a couple of seasons of continuous year-round use. I refuse to nitpick because Level Six came in at a lower price-point through use of cheaper materials. I get it. I would rate them as good, not great, on that basis.

I found that the front zip entry works fine for me. The Exhaust material breathes well enough, though I have spent my share of time marinating on unseasonably warm days. It is NOT a stiff material. I wouldn't say it "drapes", but it doesn't form creases, rub against my PFD, or make noises as I paddle. The very best thing I can say about both of these pieces is that I have arrived in camp and neglected to take them off, because I am dry and comfortable in them after paddling all day.

Now, on the other hand: The DWR on the face fabric is wearing out. I washed my suit and used a spray to renew it. The PTFE is starting to delaminate. This can be prevented/delayed by washing your suit often because apparently sweat hastens this process. Yeah, I needed to do that more. The orange on my suit is fading, as is the black. Can't fix that, so haven't worried over it. I've replaced my ankle gaskets myself. My suit zipper does not leak, but I have to remember to clean and lube the zipper regularly. (If you have to force a zipper on your suit, something is wrong.)

For a first suit, I can't really complain. I have friends who have invested in better suits. I observe that many have had theirs for 5-7 years. I don't know if that is year-round paddling or not, but it seems a reasonable period for usage and wear.
 

cyclegranny

Paddler
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Courtenay
Zipper in the back?? Is that because they will always have a man around to zip I up for them? :)

I know some surf outfits have a tether strap you can pull yourself. But that surf outfit is usually like a scuba outfit but lighter material. In other words, that zipper isn’t designed to be water tight. Even in the front of my drysuit, I have to tug that zipper and give it extra oomph at the end to seat properly. I can’t image managing something like that behind my back and out of sight - trusting it shut tight at the end.

Then again, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backward and in high heels. So maybe women have some Jedi powers when it comes to zippers.
The zipper is easily unzipped and zipped solo, kinda rt armpit, not shoulder to lt hip. Easily done by myself. It is a plastic zip tho and not those preferable metal ones, which are harder to zip. Womens clothing often looses function in exchange for appearance, but I'm not seeing it too much in this item, hard to make an attractive drysuit!
 

chodups

Paddler
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
1,131
Zipper in the back??
Agree. Forty years ago I was limber enough to manage a rear zip but hated it. Somewhere along the way arthritis and aging kicked in and I wouldn't even try to manage a rear zip today. Even trying to use a rear zip is just way too painful for me, not to mention that I would not succeed. I know that some folks find the advantages of a rear zip something they won't live without. I'm not willing to give up solo paddling for those advantages.
 

a_c

Paddler
Joined
Dec 23, 2014
Messages
76
Location
Victoria, BC
Not sure this merits its own thread so I'll just post it here to keep the drysuit conversation going....

New for 2021, entry-level drysuit from Level Six, only $800 CAD.


Is this the price point and product paddlers have been waiting for? For $300 more you move into the (superior?) Odin line, is the juice worth the squeeze?
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,028
Location
Victoria, BC
Is this the price point and product paddlers have been waiting for? For $300 more you move into the (superior?) Odin line, is the juice worth the squeeze?
The Odin has a tunnel and more pockets, and a different neck design. I haven't checked to see if the fabric is heavier than the Cronos fabric - perhaps the Cronos is using the same lighter weight fabric as the Fjord suit (which I own and which works fine as far as I can tell - I've only worn it for 20-30 days, on trips.)
I don't think that a 'tunnel' (additional layer to 'sandwich' the sprayskirt top) is necessary for the kind of sea kayaking I do. I try to keep the decks from being awash, and anyway with a neoprene tunnel on the skirt and the PFD over that I don't get much water in the cockpit even if practicing a couple of rolls. And I much prefer the simple neoprene punch-through over collar (covering the latex gasket) to a fabric over-collar and velcro, which I find scratches unless perfectly adjusted. The Kokatat Meridian which I owned 10 yrs ago had a neoprene punch-through at the neck.

I recall talking to Leon Somme about dry suits years ago and he was wearing a 'no-tunnel' basic Kokatat suit.

I'm going to buy a Cronos once they are available. It's what I've been looking for in a suit - simple. One pocket in the sleeve and not many other frills which I don't want anyway. I'm assuming it has the same sizing/cut as the other Level Six suits and they fit me well.

Kokatat has a simple suit - now called the Legacy- but they don't seem to be marketed very widely. And it's more - a lot more- expensive at $1185 list price USD ($1500 CAD) - almost double the price of the Level Six Cronos.

I think the Cronos deserves a new discussion thread - I'm going to paste the info from here into that. The moderators can delete it if it's inappropriate.

Here's the link to the Cronos discussion:
https://westcoastpaddler.com/community/threads/new-level-six-cronos-drysuit.8975/
 
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cyclegranny

Paddler
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Courtenay
So yes I did buy The Helix drysuit (womens) and I got the CCS seal rather than the latex gasket. This is my first drysuit. The feet are fabric, not latex. I found the same pinhole problem in the feet on first use. I kept the suit as I was going to be doing a 4 day course with lots of immersion. Feet continued to get damp. I always wore shoes with suit. The neck seal didnt work terrific and this might have been operator error. After lots of immersion practice my neck and back were always damp. The design of the inner suspenders and how to wear the suit in camp with the 'top down" at food breaks I wasn't totally comfortable with, not sure if this is the case with all suits. I was comfortable in the suit and really liked the lack of tunnel and extra fabric. It kept me very comfortable temperature wise on paddles. I really liked the back zipper and the ease of relieving myself with suit on. The zip gave me absolutely no problem with chafe on the back from seat to zip placement. The warranty not terribly good at 2 years. Cost 1350.00 CAD plus taxes. I got a 10% discount at my local shop, did wait a few months for delivery. I think overall I am quite happy wit this product, hopefully I can learn to use the neck seal better and the foot problem will be fixed. I am not rolling or being immersed a lot, so it is mostly for safety and comfort to extend my paddling season.
I have sent it back to factory on warranty. This is a new product for Mustang. I liked the idea that it is a Canadian company, I have bought a lot of their products in the past. I will update
 

cyclegranny

Paddler
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
50
Location
Courtenay
So yes I did buy The Helix drysuit (womens) and I got the CCS seal rather than the latex gasket. This is my first drysuit. The feet are fabric, not latex. I found the same pinhole problem in the feet on first use. I kept the suit as I was going to be doing a 4 day course with lots of immersion. Feet continued to get damp. I always wore shoes with suit. The neck seal didnt work terrific and this might have been operator error. After lots of immersion practice my neck and back were always damp. The design of the inner suspenders and how to wear the suit in camp with the 'top down" at food breaks I wasn't totally comfortable with, not sure if this is the case with all suits. I was comfortable in the suit and really liked the lack of tunnel and extra fabric. It kept me very comfortable temperature wise on paddles. I really liked the back zipper and the ease of relieving myself with suit on. The zip gave me absolutely no problem with chafe on the back from seat to zip placement. The warranty not terribly good at 2 years. Cost 1350.00 CAD plus taxes. I got a 10% discount at my local shop, did wait a few months for delivery. I think overall I am quite happy wit this product, hopefully I can learn to use the neck seal better and the foot problem will be fixed. I am not rolling or being immersed a lot, so it is mostly for safety and comfort to extend my paddling season.
shopping_003.jpg
shopping_007.jpg
shopping_002.jpg

I have sent it back to factory on warranty. This is a new product for Mustang. I liked the idea that it is a Canadian company, I have bought a lot of their products in the past. I will update
 

eriktheviking

Paddler
Joined
Jul 4, 2009
Messages
203
Location
Prince George, BC
I have never seen the CCS seal before- what material do they use? The web page is pretty brief:
• Adjustable Closed Comfort System (CCS™) neck seal for quick one-handed watertight closure and venting

It looks like a drawcord system around the neck which on the face of it seems possibly problematic. Interested to hear more. I grabbed a larger version of the picture:
Screen Shot 2021-05-21 at 10.43.46 AM.png
 

Peter-CKM

Paddler
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
634
Location
San Francisco, CA
I'd also like to hear more info about the CCS. It does sound like that is the weak point and the cause of the neck and back being damp. Neck comfort and sealing ability unfortunately are negatively correlated.

But truthfully, with lots of immersion, pretty much all of my dry suits will let a little water in so something feels damp. It doesn't take much water to make under clothing feel damp, so likely you don't have a lot of water coming in. I often get a little damp from sweat that didn't breathe out through the material. After long swim or multiple rescue practices, only when I get to where it seems like water might be pooling in the feet a bit before I start looking for a leak.
 

cougarmeat

Paddler
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
847
Location
Bend OR USA
The “damp” may come for exterior water getting in or your own water vapor not getting out. Remember, these waterproof/breathable fabrics don’t keep you dry, they keep you less wet, than non-breathable, from your own water vapor.

Also, your rolling practice - hopefully - isn’t like real life. You aren’t going to be rolling and rolling and rolling. It’s like a friend of mine who was dissatisfied because she couldn’t hit a straight line drive (golf) 10 shots in a row. I asked, “During an actual golf game, how many times do you have to hit 10 drives in sequence?” Like NEVER.

My point is, don’t be unreasonable about your demands of a “dry” suit. Are you less wet than if you were wearing neoprene? Are you less wet than if you wore just a swimsuit? - then it’s doing it’s job (assuming no actual leaks). Hopefully, most of the time, your PFD will keep your neck from being fully submerged in water.

As far as suspenders, I don’t put them on my shoulders when paddling because they can start to slide off - annoying. But I do have to remember to get my feet in right - not tangled with the straps - so on shore, when I’m unloading the boat, I can open the top, pull it off my upper body, and slide the suspenders on the keep the lower have from sliding down as I unload the boat.
 
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