I have ot tell you - I wimped out when it come time to buy a gortex dry suit. Or I regained my sanity depending on how you look at it. I woke up at 3 am in a cold sweat thinking how much I don't want to stop kayaking at the end of October vs. shelling out $975 for a dry suit. I tossed and turned considering a a dry suit vs. new winter boots and a air fare to the tropics for New Year's Eve. I also knew that Robert was not going to spend that on a dry suit and I might be alone on my winter paddling jaunts. Finally, I fell asleep again.
At breakfast Robert suggested I check one more time for dry suit alternatives. I envisioned web sites with instructions on skinning a seal and sewing up a traditional eskimo outfit. Or a crafty solution involving wrapping your body with Saran wrap and duct tape. Instead I found rave reviews for the Supernova semi-dry suit also made by Kokatat. The reviews were on two informative paddling sites topkayker.net and paddling.net .
Basically, if you don't plan on paddling whitewater, across the arctic or during a tsunami, at $465, the Supernova is a great alternative. The only drawback is the waterproof material only lasts about 2 years instead of the 10 plus years a gortex dry suit is guaranteed to last. But, after two years of winter paddling I will know for certain of I go out often enough in cold temps to invest $975.
I bought mine at New York Kayak, where the proprietor, Randy, patiently let me try different sizes on and even sit in a kayak wearing a suit with a woman;s drop seat. It was surprisingly comfortable. I do recommend trying it on. Even at $465, it's too much to spend on an ill fitting suit.
And best of all, since I found a less expensive solution, Robert is also planning on purchasing one. I foresee many trips this winter.