Being a longtime surfer, I have a vast collection of wetsuits from 5/4mm fullsuits to 2mm vests. On very cold days(water in low sixties, air in the forties), I've used a 3/2 full suit with booties, but at times it was too warm and, how should I say this, the call of nature was not the same experience as when you are surfing. Dry suits I think would be way too warm. Surfers in the Pac NW don't even use them so I don't think they'd be workable for kayaking except in the very coldest conditions. Not a happy time if you get a leak or tear in a drysuit and you go over the side.
What I've settled on are "farmer john" type wetsuits, 2mm shorty for spring and fall, 3mm long john for winter. I got them both on sale at REI for about $110. Without sleeves, paddling is easy and you can unzip them and roll the top down if weather permits. The zipper is a front loading model that zips low, making those nature calls no problemo. You could probably find a farmer john setup at the garage sale or a dive shop sale. For colder conditions, I wear a jacket and/or polarfleece over the wetsuit. Kind of going with the tried and true layering principle here, wet on bottom, dry on top. This setup eliminates any underarm chafing issues as well. I've been eyeballing a semi-dry kayaking jacket or a GoreTex shell if I can find one on sale, but I'm still looking.
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