Why I use Kokatat Watersports gear

By Jesse Coombs

Kokatat GORE-TEX® Rogue Drytop

For top of the line comfort, breath ability, dryness and durability my choice is the Kokatat GORE-TEX® Rogue Drytop. When ever I put on a piece of Kokatat gear it immediately fits me like they designed it with me in mind. I can move my arms freely and rotate my torso with ease. The tunnel, neck and wrist closure systems are simple, comfortable and effective. The Rogue material is supple and durable at the same time. I have pockets for my important stuff like ear plugs, knife, whistle, car keys and anything else.

And one area where you will see your Kokatat drytop excel far above all others is in the gaskets. My suggestion is to not cut them, but to know that your first three times out will be a little tight. After that the gaskets will stretch to your size and will last years and years and years while being perfectly dry. The neck gasket on my first Kokatat drytop lasted every bit of 7 years before the sun finally broke it down. And I did not do anything special to care for it other than hanging it up when I was done and not having it in the sun more than I was wearing it. Truly amazing.

Some people suggest cutting the gaskets to fit yourself, but not me. I just let it stretch to my size over a few uses, and then I am good to go for years. You will see me wearing my Kokatat GORE-TEX® Rogue drytop for Spring and Fall boating in the US as well as exploratory kayaking on every continent.

Kokatat GORE-TEX® Meridian Drysuit

The statement that I paddle the gear that works best on the river regardless of sponsorship is true for all my sponors, and especially true for Kokatat. You will see me wearing my Meridian Drysuit and fleece bunny suit paddling in the Pacific Northwest winters, Canada and trekking around India. My friends and I have always known that Kokatat makes the driest, best fitting, usable and durable drysuits ever. For many many years, if you wanted a drysuit Kokatat was your only real option. And it still is.

Kokatat is innovative with their water-proof breathable material, reinforced wear zones, GORE-TEX® booties and zipper systems. My first Kokatat dry top is still going strong after 6 years and performs as well as the day it was purchased. I sold it to my buddy Jason Rackley who doesn't run rivers you don't have to hike into the put in and take out. He is loving the durability, warmth and protection the full drysuit provides him in the cold Pacific Northwest winter boating.

As a newbie I went creek boating in a farmer john, and ended up helping with an extended boat rescue that kept me in the water for way too long. I got pneumonia from this, and immediately ordered my Kokatat drysuit. Wearing a drysuit is as much about safety on the river as it is about comfort, and the Kokatat Meridian the Cadillac of gear.

If you are boating in cold climates you owe it to yourself and your boating companions to stay warm, dry and safe in the Kokatat GORE-TEX® Meridian Drysuit. Combine this with a Kokatat skull cap and mitts, and you are dressed for the coldest Colorado and Stikine conditions.

Kokatat GORE-TEX® Knappster Shorty

Here is a piece of gear that I have ALWAYS wanted and am so stoked to finally have: a dry deck shorty. I took my Kokatat Knappster Shorty as well as a Rogue Drytop and sent them to Snap Dragon to have skirts attached. I now have the ultimate in playboating and river running technical gear. With my long and short top drydecks I have the driest, free moving and most comfortable gear on the river. What a dream!

The drydeck allows me the most torso freedom possible for all the playboating and down river moves. And with the shorty and drytop versions of this I can make my choice based on weather and water temperature. Too fun!

Kokatat Mango Ronin PFD

For top of the line safety, floatation and features, you cannot do any better than the new Ronin rescue vest by Kokatat. The rescue strap is run discretely and securely through the vest with a sure hold and perfect release buckle. Kokatat has provided two zippered pockets on the front of the vest for me essentials: map, knife, sunscreen, whistle and waterproof camera.

This vest provides best in class floatation while allowing plenty of arm and torso room for paddling and rotation. This is extremely important as every time I am wearing my creeking vest I need to be at the top of my game, and being hindered by my equipment is not an option. When I am wearing my Ronin Kokatat rescue vest I have the best of both worlds: complete confidence in the safety of my gear and being so seamless with my movements that I forget I am even wearing it.

Kokatat has also done our thinking for us by providing reflective material and padded shoulders as additional features which help us be seen in a pinch and keep our shoulders comfortable for long hikes carrying the boat.