Gear Review: Level 6 Emperor Dry Suit
Over the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to try out the Level 6 Emperor Dry suit in multiple applications. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the performance, extra features, and durability of the suit. In this review I’ll talk about my experience with this suit and some of the features that make it stand out compared to other dry suits.
The first feature that stands out to me about this suit is where Level 6 has placed the Cordura fabric. It is in the high wear areas which include the knees, shoulders, elbow and seat. This fabric is extremely durable and meant to reduce scrapes or cuts that could occur in those areas that are prone to abuse while paddling or portaging. What I like about the emperor is that while there is a lot of Codura, it is not on the entire suit. This keeps the fabric thinner in other areas allowing for ease of movement and articulation. The Immersion Research Devils Club is an example of a suit that is extra durable throughout the entire suit, but the downside is you do lose some ease of movement.
This brings me to the fit and comfort of this suit. While it was quite comfortable once I had it on, I did feel like the size large for me had a little bit of bagginess to it. I am more used to the slim fit of the Immersion Research 7 Figure. Sizing and fit it is going to differ from person to person, so the best way is to try one on before you buy. I would say overall, they’ve done a good job of making this suit accessible to most body types in each size.
Some other notable features of this suit would be that it’s a back zip and it comes with a cozy fleece pouch for your hands! The back zip is now a standard feature on a lot of dry suits that have whitewater as one of its main applications. The goal usually is to get the zipper out of the way, so you don’t feel it when paddling. Level 6 did a great job with this, and I didn’t notice it once I had it on. I did however go out for a solo paddle and have to ask a stranger to un-zip me at the end. Since I’m mostly paddling whitewater, and never alone, this didn’t deter me from buying the suit. Though those who paddle alone often may consider this feature and consider a front entry suit. Another feature I mentioned is the hand warming pouch/pocket that is meant for warming up your hands. This came in hand quite a few times, and It’s the only suit I know that offers this!
Overall, the Level 6 Emperor dry suit is the most bang for your buck when it comes to buying a brand-new dry suit. It has all the essential features needed for all types of paddling, and it's reinforced in all the right places. This would be a great option for rafters, kayakers, paddle boarders, and more.