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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:31 pm
Posts: 3
Sorry if this has been discussed to death - I couldn't find much mention of the Icon or Idol in my searches.

I'm gonna buy a dry-suit. I'm gonna buy Kokatat. I can't decide between these three models: Meridian, Icon, or Idol. It appears that the main difference between the suits is the zipper placement.

Tell me if I am wrong about the following points:
Meridian - been around for a while, time tested. Over the shoulder zipper. Relief Zipper.
Icon - Developed in partnership with E.J. Zipper behind head following shoulder line. Relief Zipper.
Idol - Zipps around waist. Has plastic and metal toggle about hip level that joins the zipper and keeps it water-tight. Like a dry-top, there is no bulky zipper on the torso. Can be used as a dry-top. No relief zipper because you can unzip at the waist.

Do people like the Idol? How about the Icon? How annoying are the zippers on each? Are the three comparable when it comes to durability? Are there quirks to any of the suits a c-boater customer should know about?

About me: I mostly paddle a L'edge, occasionally get into decked c-boats, and even paddle a sit-down decked canoe with a double bladed paddle once in a while. In my youth, I paddled class V in the former type boat down South, but have mellowed to class IV in the more civilized type of craft here in the North-East. I'm a stalky 190, am 5'9" when I wake up, and have shortish legs and broad shoulders. I'll be buying a Large. I own a dry top, so that feature on the Idol is lost to me.

Edit: Are there other dry-suits I should be looking at? I trust Kokatat, but maybe I'm overlooking something. . .

Last edited by melamst on Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 10:44 am
Posts: 482
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Though not on your list, I just got the Kokatat Hydrus. If I have to urinate, I prefer to have one front zipper than two, fewer moving parts and holes. It does not have a tunnel, so that's an issue I'll have to live with when I am in a c-1. Some prefer a plastic over metal zipper.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:33 am
Posts: 11

I was in the same boat about a month ago, So many choices. I ended up going with the Idol, Couple main reason,

- I guide canoe trips in the summer, and i am looking for flexibility where I can put on the pants when I wake up, with rain coat, then zip up the rest right before paddling.

- Talking with another friend who has one in Ottawa who is a pretty hardcore OC1 paddler. He had nothing but awesome reviews of it, really enjoyed it, Liked how you have better movement because you dont have a zipper under your PFD.

- It feels and looks super durable. It has way more Cordura all along the pants, and shoulders, So it feels super rock solid. And should be very abrasion resistant.

Couple cons I could come up with,

- Tech is pretty new, they apparently have been working on the zipper tech for the last 4 years. But it is still relatively new untested in the field tech when compared to the tried and tested Meridian suit.

- Zipper could rub against you and the back of your saddle for when your in a oc1??? Or if you have hip pads, rub against them?

- Have to be careful not to leave part of your suit somewhere....My friend went to the river and realized he had only brought the top of his suit...

Hope that helps.

I will be getting my suit later this month or next month, (i ordered a custom) So when I do, I will post up my thoughts after use.

Another suit to look at is possible the Sweet protection - http://www.sweetprotection.com/whitewat ... it&pid=832

And some Idol reviews.

http://blog.coloradokayak.com/2015/03/k ... it-review/
http://www.unsponsored.co.uk/press/firs ... atat-idol/
http://jacksonkayak.com/blog/2015/08/17 ... y-suit-co/
http://mtnweekly.com/reviews/kokatat-id ... jmf0.gmail

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:05 pm
Posts: 433
Location: SE Ohio
I own an Icon. It's comfortable, seems durable, and I can operate the back zipper without assistance, even though I have bad shoulders. It's easier with help, but doable solo.

I considered the Idol, but decided not to for a couple reasons.

    1. I'm a late adopter with new technology - prefer to let the bleeding edge types take the financial hit if a new product is buggy.
    2. I was concerned about sand/grit getting in the zipper of the top half when using it as a drytop, and in any case I already own a nice drytop.
    3. Concerned about premature wear/damage to the zipper when using it to pee - completely undoing it seems less than convenient, and partial undo would put a lot of stress on the part of the zipper where it is still mated. Might be a non-issue, but see reason #1 above :).

I skipped the Meridian because my previous, non-Kokatat suit had a metal, over the shoulder zipper, and I was not a fan of the way it stuck up under my vest.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 10:44 pm
Posts: 152
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
The Meridian is designed for use with skirt (it has an adjustable overskirt). So, you might be paying extra from a feature you don't need. The Gore-tex® Front Entry Dry Suit (a.k.a. Gore-tex GFR) is my favorite. It is the same as the Meridian but without the overskirt which saves you about $125 msrp.

I've never understood why someone would prefer the rear-entry (Icon) type of suit. I kind of like being able to zip-up without assistance.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:57 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:05 pm
Posts: 5
I got an Icon last October and have been very pleased with it. It is still bone dry, with the only maintenance being 303 protectant on the gaskets every few weeks and a wash when it started getting funky. To address a few points mentioned by others in the thread:

- If you think you might ever paddle c1 or kayak, you will want the overskirt. It also adds to the value of the suit if you ever decide to sell it since kayakers would want the overskirt.

- The zipper location can be tricky at first. If you have good shoulder mobility you will be able to open and close it by yourself, but it isn't as easy as the GMER obviously. I have heard that putting some zipper wax on it makes it a cinch, but haven't tried it myself.

- The plastic zipper seems to be more effective at keeping dry than the metal ones on the Meridian. The downside is that DIY repairs on the plastic zippers are near impossible if you break a tooth or the like.

The deciding factor for me was cost. I saw an Icon in my size at a significant discount, but probably would have gone for the GMER if I could have gotten it for the same price.

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