Wet suite, dry suite, farmer jane, john…

  • This topic has 4 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by Peter Kearney.
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  • #10783
    Sandra Waddle

    I am a beginner paddler. If I am buying a wet suite, which one should I get? Can I use a farmer jane? Or do I need sleeves?

    Or is a dry suite just so much better??

    Thank you!!

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  • #11309
    Peter Kearney

    Hi Everyone,

    http://www.levelsix.com , a Canadian company that makes great gear  (MEC carries it) has 40% off all gear including drysuits, drytops, spray skirts etc.

    Have a great Canads Day!  Peter



    Hi Sandra,

    I agree with all the previous comments and like Karen, prefer a 2-piece wetsuit. It’s more versatile because you can wear it with long or short pants depending on the conditions.

    Another reason is that I find it more comfortable, because I have along torso and feel compressed in a farmer Jane suit. But the most important reason for me is that the 2-piece suit is easier and more comfortable to deal with when going to the bathroom out in the bush. Especially on a colder or rainy day stripping out of a farmer Jane suit can be very awkward and cold.




    Karin Hartner

    Hi Sandra

    I agree with Barry. Dry suits are very expensive, especially the Kokatats now that the Canadian dollar is weak against the US.

    Start with the wet suit unless you’re planning to become a high performance paddler from the get-go and anticipate spending a great deal of time submerged practicing your skills.

    While I do have a dry suit, I actually mostly wear a two-piece neoprene suit (rather that a  farmer Jane). At very reasonable prices MEC sells pants in various lengths from shorts to capri-lenght to long, and vests to wear on top. I just find that more comfortable. I wear a goretex paddling jacket with layers under as rain gear or for warmth unless I’m winter paddling.


    Barry Dutour

    Hi Sandra

    A farmer Jane will be more versatile.  If conditions are good maybe you just paddle with the Jane  and if its worse you can add a neoprene jacket… or don’t even bother with a jacket.  If your paddling is limited to good weather you could get by with just the Jane and whatever upper body wear you think you need.  I know I would think the sleeves of a wet suit jacket would be a little restrictive to wear all day. But it would be extra warmth for rescue practice or rolling practice when you will definitely get wet.

    As for a dry suit they are the ultimate protection and expensive.  A dry suit provides protection to keep you dry and that’s all.  You add whatever insulation layers you need underneath from a tee shirt in good weather to fleece upper and lower in March in Ucluelet.  It also takes a while to achieve a lever of comfort with the gaskets to loosen a little and you to accept the restriction.

    If you start with a Jane they are always useful because there are conditions where it is everything you need, summer paddling for instance.  If you expand your seasons or paddling destinations add a dry suit then.

    Good luck


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