Review: NRS Explorer Drysuit

Review: NRS Explorer Drysuit

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Mike England

Every cold-water paddler, at some point, realizes the necessity of a drysuit—whether it's for safety in frigid snowmelt, security on remote river runs, or just consistent, all-day comfort. When it was time for me to graduate from my own Farmer-John-and-splash-top getup, I chose the NRS Explorer, a lightweight paddling suit that made me immediately glad I'd made the switch.

The Explorer fits great, with plenty of room inside for various thermal layers. An integrated belt allows a snug draw at the waist, bisecting my body for excellent freedom of movement. Draw closures at the ankles offer further streamlining; whether in the boat or on shore, I haven't once felt bulky or encumbered. Not even the neck gasket is confining—instead of the usual choke-hold of tight latex, the Explorer utilizes GlideSkin neoprene, a less constrictive and thus more comfortable seal. The four-layer Eclipse fabric keeps me dry while allowing heat and moisture to escape, and an extra layer on the seat and legs means I don't have to baby the thing to prevent puncture.

All in all, this is a solid paddling suit that made me wonder why in the heck I waited so long to upgrade. Available at the Northern Lights Barn. $800; nrs.com.

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