Kokatat Tropos Supernova Dry Suit

With my dividend and 20% off one item at REI I am thinking of purchasing the Kokatat Supernova Dry Suit.

I realize that this is listed as a “Semi-dry suit” because of the neoprene neck gasket. I will be using this as my primary dry-suit in cold water. Will it be enough? Is this a good enough dry suit for cold water paddling in most Alaska rivers?

Any input would be great!


I really like my supernova. I paddle mostly class 1-2 water in Alaska, and the suit keeps me totally dry (and warm after a full day of paddling). It will protect you against the splashing in whitewater, as well as from sitting in the water that accumulates in your boat. I think the only potential of leaking in the neck would be in an extended swim in whitewater, it seems to be sufficient to protect against a swim in relatively calm water. Even if it did leak during a swim, I would think it would still provide a barrier against the cold water for the time you are in the water.

The low cost makes it a great option. I think the average packrafter using it for paddling rivers where a swim is possible but unlikely would like it. The tropos fabric breathes well, and makes the suit more compact and light weight than other drysuits. I find the extra weight of a drysuit is balanced by the fact that I don’t need to carry extra dry clothes for the non boating part of my trip.

The product description does include the following:

“Built for mild surface immersion; not intended to replace a full dry suit in more challenging conditions like whitewater or very cold water”

Some friends have use them canyoneering, and if you get sigificant force directed down your beck (rapping through a waterfall) you will get water down the neck. I’d think the lack of a latex neck gasket would leave you open to getting cold, wet, and heavy at the worst possible times (during a nasty swim).

I do like the look of the new integrated socks though.


Thanks for the review! Your use of the Supernova seems to mirror my own desired use. I don’t plan on paddling much class III or any class IV and most of the time I will use it on lengthy calm water trips.

Do you find the neoprene neck gasket more comfortable than a latex gasket? How does your Supernova seem for abrasion/durability?

This seems like the best option for me at this point unless Alpacka starts marketing the lightweight drysuit I have heard rumors of. I would hate to break the bank on a high dollar Kokatat and then see an Alpacka model come out. :wink:

The neoprene neck is more comfortable than a latex gasket.

The suit seems pretty durable. The fabric feels a little thinner than their goretex suit (and therefore lighter), but is reinforced with heavy duty fabric at the knees, seat, elbow, etc. so I don’t think it’s much of an issue. I figure that at half the price of a gore tex suit I can buy a second suit when this one wears out.