Review: Mustang Survival Dry Suit

A dry suit in Montana is quite literally the difference between being on the river and sitting on the sideline during the best whitewater of the year. On top of that, there seems to be only a few brands producing quality dry suits that meet the stringent requirements of whitewater boaters. That’s why I was so fired up when I recently got the chance to test out the Hudson Latex Gasket Dry Suit from Mustang Survival—a brand not typically seen on the river. Mustang Survival is a company that primarily manufactures flotation products and marine apparel for professionals such as the Coast Guard and Navy Seals. When I first saw the Hudson—a boater-specific build—it certainly checked all the boxes required to get on the river. On paper, at least. Here’s how it performed on water.

The most important performance aspect of a dry suit is in the name: dryness. Ensuring that warm fleece layers underneath stay dry is the entire purpose of the garment. To do this, Mustang employed a latex seal system at the neck and wrists of the suit. The neck gasket includes extra material for trimming and customization. I found that trimming wasn't necessary, but it is a nice option to have if one experiences pinch points or general comfort issues. The main body of the suit is Mustang's “Marine Spec BP” material—the same proven fabric used for many of their professional attire lines. It’s waterproof, durable, and surprisingly breathable. If this stuff is good enough for the Navy Seals, it is certainly good enough for river rats. After a recent frigid, mid-winter lap of Bear Trap Canyon, I came out dry as a bone.

Next is the fit and feel. When standing, the suit feels a bit baggy. However, once sitting in proper paddling position, the extra room at the flex points such as knees and hips allows for unrestricted mobility. It also has plenty of room for layers on the colder days when warmth is synonymous with safety. The internal suspender system ensures that despite the extra room, the waist does not sag. Be careful to look at the size chart before ordering. The sizes run large compared to other brands, but the measurements on the chart are spot-on.

If there’s one feature that's missing on the Hudson, it’s an integrated waistband that folds over top of a spray-skirt. But this is only a consideration for one activity: big whitewater in a kayak. And even without the waistband, I haven't experienced major water intrusion into my boat. Plus, it’s actually nice to not have a bulky waistband for other activities like rafting, paddleboarding, and windsurfing.

A dry suit is a huge investment for most folks. Coming in at $850, the Hudson is nothing to balk at. But compared to similar products from other brands, it’s still hundreds of dollars less. Overall, the reasonable pricepoint and the more-than-adequate function make the Hudson a fantastic choice for those looking to scratch the whitewater itch year-round. Available at