We have an amazing team of outdoor advocates who get to play in and push our gear to it’s limits all year round. Read Ronnie’s review below for our brand new U.K made Octane Women’s Drysuit – the first ladies drysuit in the Nookie range.
Ronnie is your go-to for product queries and customer service at North East Kayaks. She has years of experience paddling, using and reviewing gear for her customers benefit.
I love this drysuit! Here’s my reasoning/review/comparison to the Charger along with some pictures:
Having always found the womens drysuits I’ve tried on/used being not the best fit or having a specific feature I don’t like that led me to for about 2 years wearing the Nookie Charger (mens) drysuit. It was the best fit for me at the time and although there were a few things that weren’t perfect (like the arms being too long and not having a drop seat) it was still great however I always wanted a womens version of it, although I don’t use the drop seat that much when I do need to use it I want it to be there. Having it makes me less panicked about being stuck in a suit needing to take all my kit off to pee so then I probably actually need to pee less often than I thought!
The excitement when the guys at Nookie said they were working on a womens suit was crazy, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Octane. To add to the excitement I’m super happy that I got to be involved in the development of the sizing and fit side of the suit too!
The Octane is very similar to the Charger and still has the lovely flexible fabric and features the Charger does but with differences. Here’s some of the main things and some more pictures:
One of the important features I love is the drop seat, I don’t find that the zip gets in the way at all in any of the boats I’ve worn the suit it in (Machno, 9R, Antix, Rewind, Project X and the Jib.) The big thing I love is that the zip is a little longer than some of the others I’ve tried so it’s easier to use and also pretty easy to get dressed again underneath it even when wearing separate thermals and not a drop seat onesie.
Fit – Arms/Wrists
It fits me perfect! The shortened arm length is great, not too short but excess fabric doesn’t fold over my hands like it did with the charger and the turned over neoprene outer cuff with drain holes and latex inner seal means I don’t get any water up my arms even playing in a hole. One thing to mention is that as standard the latex seals are the next size up from the ones I have, if you have small hands and thinner wrists I’d opt for having the smaller latex seals from the outset (which can be done) it’s personal preference though this is just what I preferred (beware the smaller seals are quite a bit smaller and harder to get on and off.)
Fit – Leg
I didn’t find the leg length a problem with the charger but I equally don’t find the slightly shorter legs a problem on the Octane either, Nookie’s tube style socks make the length almost adjustable so that’s all good. Legs are not too tight and not too baggy.
Fit – The rest
Nothing I can fault! Body length I feel is a touch longer (from shoulder to crotch) than the charger which is great as now the suit is smaller there’s less fabric movement to make the body long enough, the charger always felt like my body length was the maximum it could be in the suit without being uncomfortable. If it was a little long before sitting then the outer waist adjustment would be enough to hold it in place. The outer ‘jacket’ part however being slightly shorter is great, it’s long enough but doesn’t have to be squashed/folded up much once my deck is on and under my PFD! Width wise on the whole suit; chest, waist etc is great especially over the hips where the zip is as I do find on some other suits the hip section is far too baggy and has too much fabric, the Octane does not I’m pleased to say.
The zip is comfortable enough and doesn’t get in the way, If you haven’t worn a back zip suit before then sure it will take a bit of getting used to as it would on any suit but I have no problem with it. I generally need someone else to zip if for me but I could do it if I had to, I’d rather not bend the zip and my shoulders in all weird angles to do it when I can ask someone else though.
Sizing compared to me
I wear the size small and would say that someone slightly bigger or slightly smaller than me could wear it depending on shape of course.
For reference I’m 166cm Height, 85cm Chest, 68cm Waist, 94cm hips, inside leg (to the ankle bone) 71cm.
To conclude then the Octane is a super comfortable, well fitting, functional UK made drysuit. The bright orange colour is really nice too, super bright to be seen but tamed a bit by the contrasting grey and black parts. I’ve been wearing the Octane for about 4 months now and I totally recommend this drysuit, enough so that my friend bought one too….