don't know about Reader's Choice, mike can answer that, but:
at all symposia and other major kayak events I attend (a fair number) in cold water environments Kokatat is by far the most prevalent brand of those who wear drysuits. I would say at least 90% of instructors and students are wearing them.
At many of these events Kokatat also offers free loaner drysuits. I spoke to one rep (first name Suzanneh, she reps for NE USA) She told me she offers drysuits that are years old, in some cases ten years, w. no hesitation because of the quality and constructions... Kokatat *wants* people to see how well these suits hold up.
Back in my home state (MI) I know at least 30 ACA/BCU instructors who have to stand in cold water to teach rolling, conduct rescue sessions, etc. Kokatat Goretex is the choice of at least 90%
In Michigan We need drysuits to paddle from, generally, late November thru mid April - and on the Great Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie later in the spring than that. On Lake Superior paddlers use them year 'round - but rarely this summer, an exceptionally off the charts warm one for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (air and water temps).
As for the back zip, I vote thumbs down. If you have a problem with it, you can't see how to unsnag it and until you do, you ain't getting out of it. Best be sure you have a pee zip ')
I don't choose gear that I can't take on and off myself.
I have friends ') It's more about being able to take care of yourself.
edited for content and typos
Edited by Katabatic (09/23/10 01:59 PM)