Gear Preview: Kokatat's Meridian Drysuit | Canoeroots Magazine | Rapid Media
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Gear Preview: Kokatat's Meridian Drysuit Photo: Kokatat

Protect yourself from cold water on off-season paddles

No canoeist plans to end up in the water, yet every spring and fall we read countless stories from across North America about unprepared paddlers who capsize and drown. Your ability to survive in cold water depends entirely on how well you prepare. An approved PFD is only one part of your safety system for cold weather paddling.

According to the ACA, if paddling on water that is less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), paddlers should don immersion protection. A tried and tested editor favorite is Kokatat’s Meridian Drysuit. Paired with a cozy base layer, the Meridian offers protection for icy spring river runs and December paddles on big lakes. It makes us feel a bit like Power Rangers—impervious to the elements and ready for adventure.

With an over-the-shoulder zip, the Meridian is easy to get into, requiring only a minimal amount of contortion. The Meridian is comfortable for all-day wear; we’ve never had so much as a drop of water get inside. Of course, if wearing it on warmer days or while working hard, it does get a bit damp with sweat inside. However, its breathability is better than many other drysuits we’ve tested. The Meridian is pricey, but worth the investment for safety and comfort.

Made with Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric and a Gore-Tex Cordura seat and knee reinforcement panels for durability, the Meridian also features an adjustable overskirt, zippered chest pocket, latex gaskets and socks. A front relief zipper for men and drop seat for the ladies is standard.

In the three years we’ve had the suit there’s been little maintenance required— just the way we like it. Cleaning after a muddy take-out is simple—just hand wash with liquid detergent and hang to dry.

$1,135 | KOKATAT.COM 

 



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