A Tale of Two Drysuits

Typhoon Ladies Multisport

Typhoon Ladies Multisport

As one or two of you might remember, I previously mentioned that Alan and I were on the cusp of purchasing a couple of Typhoon Multisport drysuits. As some months have now passed since taking the plunge (so to speak), I can report on how we’ve been getting along with them.

The answer is – very well indeed and we have not been disappointed. The suits are well made, they fit well and there has been no leakage so far. For the first time pretty much ever, Alan has managed to experience immersion without a wet bum or arm. Unlike some of the other Typhoon models, the Multisport neck and wrist seals are latex, not neoprene. The Ladies’ Multisport in particular is a nice fit (on me, that is) and really quite a stylish drysuit (you know you’ve been paddling too much when you start placing the words “drysuit” and “stylish” in the same sentence). It’s the little things that finish it off nicely, like the colour and the floral motif. I should add that the suits come in 11 different sizes for men, and 7 for women.

Typhoon Multisport

Typhoon Multisport

Alan has mastered the art of zipping himself in and out of his suit (ie using the back zipper), however, I lack that specific contortionist skill. The exposed brass zip can  stiffen up markedly so it’s a must to obtain some zip wax and keep it handy, or risk driving home in your suit, say. On the subject of the zip, my only preference would be that it was concealed rather than forming an elongated, “hypercurve” fin. I find it acts as a hindrance in getting my BA on and off, but that’s a small point.

You might be wondering if I’ve binned my Palm Aleutian XP drysuit. As recent photos will reveal, the answer is a definite “no”. It is holding out and the small amount of delamination that I noticed last year has not worsened or caused leakage. The neck seal has only just finally ripped and will be sent back to Palm for its second replacement along with the wrist seals (for their first), which would be considered quite normal wear and tear.

Comparing the two suits, the Multisport would appear to be made of harder-wearing, slightly thicker materials. The only downside to this is that it can get a little hot on warmer days, although this may also relate to the darker colouring versus the Aleutian’s reflective hues. And so, I wear my Aleutian on cooler “summer”/spring/autumn rough water or wet practice days, whereas I reserve my Multisport for winter wear and/or extended wet practice.

My only other observation is controversial. I put the question to you, can a drysuit affect your roll? Something feels different when rolling in the Multisport. I’m fairly sure it isn’t “mental” as it took me a while to realise the connection between what I’ve been wearing versus rolling performance at the time. I think it might relate to buoyancy. Or drag. Or the fact that it’s blue and not yellow.  Anyway, as Alan all too readily reminded me, it shouldn’t matter as one should be able to roll well in a Santa Claus suit. But that’s being silly. I doubt I’d ever be able to roll well in a red suit.

In addition to ourselves, a few friends have now gone down the Typhoon Multisport path, no doubt attracted by the 3 year warranty as much as the UK-manufactured quality and impressive pedigree of Typhoon who, in their own words, supply  “… all the major military markets around the world, commercial customers such as the RNLI, British Waterways, Environment Agency and the major Oil Companies as well as the recreational users in the Diving and Leisure Markets.”

2 Comments

  1. Hi Pam – “can a drysuit affect your roll?” I think it can have a positive influence on your roll. I have rolled wearing a few different things, Greenland tuilik without a BA, a Kokatat drytop with and without a BA, a paddling shirt with BA, and one time I rolled wearing a clown wig (it was Halloween). I noticed that the tuilik and the drytop both had buoyancy close to that of a BU. I also experienced a little more grip(drag) preforming some rolls when not using the paddle.

    There is also a mental aspect to the suit. You are calm when dry; consequently, your roll will be spot on more times than not.

    And I will never roll again wearing a clown wig. It was like rolling up with seaweed in my face. LOL. – Jeff

  2. pamf says:

    Jeff – You are indeed confirming that one should be able to roll well in whatever attire – including clown wigs and Santa suits! I have worn a seaweed wig, but have not tried rolling in one yet – another challenge to master 🙂 Today, I figured out that I am definitely more buoyant in the Typhoon suit and coming up much higher in the water. The result has been a lot of air-sweeping which I’m now addressing. As for rolls performed “when not using the paddle” … er, please explain, as this a foreign concept to me! But, I do plan to get a little more adventurous with my rolling practice. Let’s just say that I plan on dipping a toe in Greenlandic waters, well not quite literally … but watch this space 😉

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