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Best drysuit I've ever owned. This is my second Stohlquist…
Source: discounted warranty replacement for an earlier failed suit of a discontinued model
Best drysuit I've ever owned.
- Works to keep you dry!
- Made in USA
- Pretty darn comfortable for a drysuit
- Adjustable waist
- Relief zipper
- Pretty darn easy to put on and take off for a drysuit
- Only comes in red
This is my second Stohlquist drysuit, and it's a replacement for a Stohlquist Multi-Sport that I got on sale nearly 10 years ago. The Multi-Sport was imported from China, was very difficult to put on or take off, and ultimately leaked like a sieve through the fabric when I used it on a Memorial Day Middle Fork Salmon trip (i.e.; when I really needed it) in 2013, about 7 years into my ownership. It supposedly was under a lifetime warranty, but to Stohlquist that meant lifetime of the product, which, coincidentally, was deemed to be 7 years.
A bit disappointing, but since I only paid $200 for the thing to begin with, I took them up on their offer for 1/2 price on a new AMP model. I wasn't real sure I wanted to double down on another Stohlquist, but it was too good of a deal to pass up and I needed another suit.
I have been very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the AMP, especially in comparison to the Multi-Sport. The design and construction really doesn't compare, especially if the two suits are turned inside out side by side.
The AMP is really a quality piece in the attention to detail put in to assembling the zippers, gaskets, socks, and various body panels. The seams are all meticulously sealed, and the design has plenty of gussets to allow freedom of movement and extra layers of material to protect the inner laminated membrane layer in high wear areas such as knees, elbows and butt.
The Sport was always very difficult to put on and remove, and also very uncomfortable while wearing for any period of time. On top of this, it lacked a relief zipper, so besides the fact that it took on water pretty quickly even just from getting splashed, it was overall just a poor design.
The AMP is surprisingly easy to put on, partly because it has dry socks instead of the wretched ankles gaskets in the Multi-Sport, but also just the design of the entry zipper and neck area allows more freedom of movement in the entry process. The front/shoulder zipper is easy to reach by myself to close up, and the neck gasket is actually comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time.
The waist is cleverly designed to allow for a kayak skirt (I'm a rafter, not a kayaker) and is adjustable with two velcro tabs on the side. A horizontal relief zipper makes relief easy without having to partially remove the suit, at least for guys.
As for sizing, I'm about 5'10" and 180 lbs, which put me squarely between a medium and a large in terms of height and weight. I went with the large at Stohlquist's recommendation, and I don't regret it. While it certainly isn't "form fitting", this is a piece of technical clothing that generally has several layers of insulating layers underneath. The large is comfortable for wearing for long days on the oars without any restriction of movement.
So now the big question; does it stay dry? So far, I have stayed perfectly dry through numerous splashes, but have only been in the water once on a "wet scout" at Ladle on the Selway last June. I was disappointed when my lower body got wet in waist deep water, but then realized I'd inadvertently left the relief zipper open after use. Doh.
All in all, this appears to be a great drysuit. From my limited experience of Stohlquist only, the AMP is light years advanced over my old Multi-Sport. Other than designing in a self-sealing relief zipper for idiots and offering more color choices, I'm not sure what could be improved.
I'll update on its waterproof submersion capabilities and durability after next season's use.