Many folks in the water sports world have heard of the company NRS before. They have been a long standing company that offer a variety of products that fit many purposes. I recently had a chance to put their Crux drysuit to the test. The suit had stocking feet and was lightweight, perfect for those Spring days when the water was freezing but the air was warm. It has a 4 layers of what they call eclipse fabric. The wrists and neck openings had latex gaskets that stayed fairly comfortable. Along the wrists, feet, and waist was a velcro strip area where you could tighten up the openings to insure water would not leak in if you accidently took a spill. Although, I have not tried this aspect of it, the waist velcro area could easily be used for a spray skirt. The main zipper was tough to pull, but they warn you about this. It is harder to pull than a normal zipper because it creates the waterproof seam.
As I fished from shore and then out of my kayak I was moving around and the suit never felt bulky nor did I ever overheat. The one issue I had the first couple hours I wore it was that the neck gasket was tight on me. It felt like it was cutting off my air and I felt slightly light headed. The easy fix was just pulling it out a bit, take a deep breath or two and I was fine. The second time I wore it there was no issue with the neck gasket.
After fishing and moving in all different ways for a number of hours, I still felt extremely comfortable in the drysuit. Now, time to take the real test. The water was in the mid-thirties and I decided to take a plunge. Ok, not just one, but four. The first ‘spill’ into the water everything was fine. No water got inside. Then, the next dunk. However, this time I noticed that I had some dampness on my chest. After paddling back to shore I opened up the suit and noticed I had 3 drops of water on my chest. Not bad for taking two spills into the water, but not great. Then a week later, I fished and paddled some more and then tested it two more times. Both times I went in there was no water leakage and although my hands were cold, I could’ve kept fishing without any real problems.
Now for the Pros: Lightweight, Breathable/Comfortable, Non-restrictive, Extra material by one stressed areas (knees, butt, shoulders), Keeps most of the water out. Cons: Uncomfortable neck gasket at first, Let a little bit of water in.
For those of us midwest and northern die hard yakanglers, or anyone who fishes cold water a lot, a drysuit makes a lot of sense. The NRS Crux drysuit, for me, is a CATCH because it is made extremely well, it is durable, lightweight, comfortable, does an excellent job of keeping me safe, dry, and I able to come home and see my family after fishing the cold waters.