Budget Drysuit for Dirtbag Paddlers: Mythic Gear Review

Drysuits can easily cost a grand. Mythic Gear drysuits cost half that, touting ‘high-value drysuits at America’s lowest prices.’

A drysuit lets you paddle, no matter how cold
A drysuit lets you paddle no matter how cold

Mythic Gear’s budget-priced Taruba drysuit allows even the financially-challenged kayaker to paddle year-round, keeping them completely dry during ocean or whitewater trips.

The Taruba is nearly half the price of similar suits from more mainstream paddling brands, like Kokotat or NRS, where suits range from $800 to $1,200. In spite of this, the Taruba boasts kayaking-specific features, including:

  • An overskirt to keep water out of the cockpit
  • Integrated booties
  • Relief zipper
  • Latex gaskets
  • Protective neoprene gasket covers
  • One-year warranty

At $479, the price was so low that we just had to test one of these ourselves. This is our Mythic Gear Taruba drysuit review.

DRYSUIT REVIEW

Review: Kayak Drysuit (Mythic Gear Taruba)

Our first use of the Taruba drysuit was packrafting the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon. A weather incident dubbed “snowpocalypse” hit and air temps were in the low-teens.

There was ice in the water. We had to sled over ice just to get into the river’s flow. We’d never consider paddling these conditions without a drysuit.

The Taruba drysuits kept us very dry in snow, ice, and near-freezing water. It uses TiZip brand plastic entry- and relief-zippers.

It does not use Gore-Tex like some suits, but the proprietary material is breathable. It’s also thick and durable, giving us the confidence to slide over rocks and crawl over trees as we approached the river.

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Even with the thicker material, it is comfortable to paddle in, and the fit left ample room for base layers and insulation underneath.

Budget Drysuit Review

One downside: The beefy material on the feet of this suit feels stiff, and it competed with toe space in shoes for one tester. (Other drysuits the tester owns have thinner booties, which fit better in shoes.)

Packrafting in skirted boats on class IV+ rapids gave us plenty of opportunities to test how dry this suit truly is. Several boat flips led to long swims in the icy water, but at the end of each day, we were still completely dry.

winter paddling
Still warm! Paddling through a storm

The breathability of the fabric was on par with other waterproof/breathable drysuit fabrics we’ve used. During more strenuous paddling we sweated, but the material breathed adequately for the most part.

Drysuit Review: Features

We trimmed the neck gasket down for a perfect, comfortable, and snug fit after feeling it was too tight on the neck out of the box. It’s made this way on purpose; Mythic designs the suit to be versatile for various neck and wrist sizes. Each user cuts it to size.

A cinch-waist keeps the suit in place. Neoprene cuffs around the neck, wrists, and ankles provide some extra warmth.

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Mythic Gear notes the drysuit is “unisex,” but we’re not so sure. The relief zipper placement won’t help female users. (In this case, women need a stand-up urination device to use the relief zipper.)

As for sizing, the medium fit our female tester (she is 5’9” with a 33” inseam), but the booties on the suit ran tight for her size 7.5 feet. Beware if your feet are larger.

In the end, Mythic Gear is spot-on with its claim to “Stay Dry. Paddle More. Spend Less.” Mythic Gear gives the Taruba a one-year warranty. The Taruba is a solid drysuit for staying dry, paddling year-round, and saving some cash along the way.

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