The debate over gasket care has waged for years with many remedies suggested by many people it can be hard to now what is right and what is wrong. We asked 3 drysuit manufacturers to weigh in on this paramount question and what we found was quite interesting.
To 303 or not?
Considered by many as the godfathers and mothers of the drysuit, Kokatat with its many years of experience and successful products like the Gore-Tex Meridian stood by the 303 line. However, they did express that 303 should not be applied as an everyday remedy. 303 should be used only when signs of dryness begin to appear or once month if heavily used.
With hundreds of products and their hands in everything, Northwest River Supplies weighed in heavily favoring 303. Claiming by simply “cleaning gaskets after each use and regularly applying 303 Protectant” you can prolong your gaskets life. NRS also recommends a product made by Gear Aid called Silicone Lubricant Spray.
3) Immersion Research
The makers of the Devils Club and 7Figure approached this question with a unique insight. Standing behind the fact that there is very little scientific proof to the legitimacy of 303 they suggested that the product does not help nor harm your latex gaskets. IR recommends some 303 use but mainly cleaning and limiting sunscreen on gaskets.
Destruction by Sunscreen!
Not even once!
While there was some difference on 303, unanimously each company expressed the toxic nature of sunscreen on gaskets. Zinc and other SPF products should be avoided and simply cleaning sunscreen off can be an easy way to save your suit.
Take care of those gaskets! Avoid the sunscreen and use that 303 conservatively. Proper care of your drysuits and dry tops will keep your investment in top form. Simply, paying attention to your gaskets and good storage will go along ways.