Kokatat Gore-Tex Tempest Dry Pants
Size Tested: Men’s Medium
- Evolution 3.21 nylon 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell
- GORE-TEX® socks
- Neoprene waistband with adjustable “hook & loop” tabs
- Factory sealed seams
Test Days: 45+
Reviewer: 5’10”, 175 pounds
Test Locations: The Grand Canyon, rivers around Maine and Canada
The Tempest Dry Pants are well-made, comfortable waterproof pants from Kokatat. They’re great for cooler paddling days when you don’t need to stay completely dry, but you still want protection from the elements. They’re also much less expensive than a full dry suit.
I bought the Tempest for an extended river trip thinking I’d wear the pants more than my dry suit, which is a hassle to remove when I need to go pee since it doesn’t have a drop seat.
Fit / Sizing
The men’s medium fit me very well and was very comfortable. It was big enough that I could easily wear long underwear underneath, although it would have been tight if I’d added a thick fleece layer as well.
The Tempest was roomie in the crotch and hips without being bulky, and I could pull the pants up high without worrying about a wedgie…
Finally, these pants are cut well. There’s plenty of room in the seat of the pants for me to sit down comfortably without the crotch riding up or the back sliding down.
The waistband is made of two approximately 4-inch neoprene bands with a few inches of nylon-esque material on either side of your waist. The velcro tabs close over the nylon and attach to the front neoprene panel. The inside of the back neoprene band is stickier than the front, presumably so the pants don’t slide down.
I have never had a problem with the waistband sliding down. Not only does it stay up well, but it doesn’t dig into your stomach and back uncomfortably like a drawstring closure might.
Socks / Cuffs
The Gore-Tex socks are great. They’re durable, comfortable, and they slide into shoes or booties far more easily than if they were made out of latex. Most other dry pants have gaskets instead of socks, but personally I like to keep my toes dry when the weather is cool enough to warrant dry pants.
In my opinion, the only benefit of ankle gaskets vs. socks is that if you do end up with water in your pants, you can let it drain through the gasket rather than have your toes swimming in a sock puddle. The Tempest is the only dry pant I’ve seen sold in the US that has Gore-Tex socks. (Palm in the UK makes dry pants with socks, too.)
I’ve been able to wade into water below my waist without the seams leaking, and I’ve found that the the fabric of the pants is very waterproof, which is wonderful when you’re wading next to a raft on a chilly morning and don’t want to get wet.
The approximately 3-inch-wide cuffs are made of neoprene and nylon with a velcro fastener that lets you tighten them snuggly around your ankles.
The Gore-Tex material these pants are made out of is relatively lightweight and isn’t reinforced by a second layer like the legs of Kokatat’s GMED drysuit are. As a result, I ripped open the knee on a sharp rock when I was clambering around a side canyon off the Colorado. Fortunately, I was able to reseal the tear with a patch and some aquaseal.
Knee patches might be a nice addition to the Tempest so that you don’t have to worry about ripping the pants when you’re clambering around the rocky shoreline, but I also appreciate the fact that these pants are so lightweight.
And take note: even though the Gore-Tex is lightweight, it’s also durable and holds up well to general wear and tear. The pants held up well to 25 days of use in a really sandy river environment—and other than the knee tear, I haven’t noticed any other durability issues yet.
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