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Sebastian

Neoprene Waders

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Is it safe to wear neoprene waders while kayaking in colder weather? I have no experience with kayaks and plan on buying in about 4 - 6 weeks. Am I better off buyinf a wetsuit?

 

Thanks, Sebastian

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Sebastian, I would not recommend wearing neopprene waders on a kayak. If you fall into water over your head the waders will fill with water and cause you to sink like a rock. I dont know if a pfd will make a difference. Try wading up to your neck and let them fill up with water you will get the picture. A farmer john wetsuit with neoprene boots and a paddling top would be a better way to go in my opinion. I hope this helps. Dave Collins

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I have only used bootfoot waders. I dont know if stockingfoot waders drain at all if water gets inside them. Wetsuits are skin tight and only a thin layer of water gets between your body and the suit. Neoprene waders have more space between the body and wader to fill with water thus the added weight.

 

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Tests conducted by yakjohn and John showed that neaprene stockingfoots actually trap air when yoiu dunk in the water. In other words you float.

 

I use stockingfoot breathables, with a breathable kayak top and a PFD. It functions as a 2 peice drysuit.

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I also use stocking foot neoprene waders in my yak. I have yet to have water seep into them. One precaution you can always take is to add a wading belt to make them even less likely to take on H2O over the top.

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Needless to say it is very dangerous to paddle out without having adequate cold water protection, and just waders of any type will not give you this. Wetsuits/drysuits and a PFD are a must. You must examine your risk level regarding how long you can survive in the water given the water temp and what you are wearing. A dunking in 50 degree water can have devastating results if hypothermia sets in. Most books on kayaking will discuss this quite throughly.

 

Mark

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Wearing waders in a kayak: IMO the safest way to go is to wear a neoprene wetsuit, with a thickness appropriate for the water temperature - this can be safer than a drysuit, unless you are wearing enough underneath a drysuit to keep cold water temps from affecting you.

 

That said, I wear WADERS - the Ronny America "Titan" waders, that are a stocking foot design, breathable from the waist on up, and have a 1.5 mm neoprene lining sandwiched between the nylon/kevlar(in spots) outside, and the titanium coating inside. (I'm sure any stocking foot neoprene wader would perform the same) The neoprene lining runs from the "stockings" up to the waist. When I wear this, with 5.0mm neprene booties, a "semi-dry" top (sealed wrist's, tight rubber seal around waist, and an adjustable/sealable neck), and my life vest, it would be difficult to sink.

Deliberately dumping myself this spring, it took my about 2 seconds to get back on the

kayak (SOT)- it's just like getting out of a pool without the ladder, except you throw your chest over the kayak, and twist your body to sit upright again. Then, in case I were to get separated from the yak - like in the surf zone, I wanted to see how long it took to fill the waders with water. Well, first off, they didn't fill by themselves, so I played in the water for a few minutes, forcing water into them until I thought they were as full as they could get. The neoprene, and my life vest were keeping me afloat. (Yes, I had a spotter!) It was certainly more difficult getting back on the kayak, but I could do it without too much trouble. I used to consider myself athletic, but at 35, I'm not in the shape I used to be, but I could still do it.

 

Bottom line: if you are going to wear wader's, neoprenes, use a sit-inside - anything - you need to practice getting on and off your yak in the gear you select to use on the water.

You'll feel MUCH better about it after, trust me.

 

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Yakjohn brings up an excellent point....practice rescue techniques before you need to use them! I don't want to be a party-pooper but please consider a beginning kayak safety class or hooking up with an experienced kayaker who knows and can teach you basic safety principles before you venture out, especially in cold water and the surf....Mark

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As stated above I use brethable waders. I recently ordered a breathable kayak top which seals at the neck, wrists and waist. The waders actually trap air and between them and the PFD floats extremely well. Getting back into my Explorer is easy. I've only gone over when I've deliberately tried to otherwise I've never done so. I like this setup alot. I'm dry and can adjust to the temps by the layers I wear underneath.

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Take it from a guy who spends more time under water than on top of it well on somedays anyway neoprene waders work very well on the kayak. However I still wear a belt always wear a belt..smile.gif

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