I know that this topic has probably been done to death over the years, but I thought I'd put my two penneth worth in.
Last year I really enjoyed all my mini exploits on the SIB apart from continuous cold, wet legs. So this year I decided to do something about it, but what? Wetsuit, Waders, Floatation suit, Drysuit? So over the past few weeks I've investigated what would be best for me.
Wetsuit, I've got and I don't think it's particularly suitable for sitting in a SIB for any length of time. When it's wet and your out of the water wind chill plays a part and I find it uncomfortable behind the knees when sitting. Good for swimming, snorkeling and surfing.
The waders I tried were bulky, uncomfortable and made me sweat, but cheap.
Floatation suit, again bulky and I found it very hot, don't think I could wear it late spring, summer or early autumn.
Drysuit. I tried front entry, rear entry, different sizes and different prices! The one I particularly liked and felt really comfortable in, was over £800, but it was primrose yellow! and could I justify paying so much for so few weeks use each year? and would I wear it in the summer months when I know I'd get too hot, but still want to be dry?
I eventually decided to take the plunge (pun intended
) I ordered some kayaking dry pants and dry cag, Yak Chinook and Yak Junga to be precise. Very reasonably priced and appear to be very good quality.
I wore them over the past few days whilst sibbing on Ullswater and I am more than happy with them
Very comfortable, apart from around the neck, which is a little tight but I'm sure it will loosen after time. I did wear layers underneath and I didn't find it hot, but the air temperature was probably only around 6°. Importantly, dry! Very dry, I waded out as far as I could go without floating, went for a swim and not a drop of water got in at the neck, ankle, wrist seals and no water at the waist. I think the only improvement I will make, is to fit/glue some latex booties at the ankle seals to keep my feet dry.
So in conclusion, for my type of use, primarily a fair weather sibber, I think kayak dry pants and dry cag are ideal.
Hope this helps anyone in the same predicament as I was in.