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Level Six Mack Dry Top

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    I am thinking about buying a Level Six Mack Dry Top. Does anyone own one that can give me any feedback?

    Brad Sutton

    I have an L6 Mack Drytop and have already put over 30 days on it this year. The Dry top holds up well to abuse to say the least, I constantly bush whack through dense forests to scout rapids and even took a good whack to my left elbow on the Gauley last weekend and not even a scratch on the dry top scraping off the darn rock. I hit hard on my left elbow running this manky slot move, probably should have been wearing elbow pads. Super dry and super durable!
    Hope this helps,


    Hi – I bought one because I like to support Canadian coompanies when I can, but I don’t think I’d buy another. The fit is not quite perfect (that’s the best way I can describe it), it’s designed for athletic type people but the shoulders are too narrow and the waist is too big, at least for me. The DWR coating has not lasted at all, it was pretty much done after the first season, and it’s not really that dry – although I don’t notice a real leak or anything like that, it just seems that water can be forced through the gaskets easily. My old cheapo kokatat was dryer. Also, I find the material not to be as flexible as the competition, and some of the sewn seams are coming undone on my top, and on others of the same year. This is a decent drytop, but it doesn’t compare to what immersion reseach offers. I picked up an immersion reseach shortie this year and it is a quality piece. Everything about it is awesome. If I were spending my money again, I would look at IR or some of the other higher end competitors first.

    I hate to rain all over this top, but I have not been nearly as impressed as I was hoping when I bought it. I wouldn’t buy another.


    Hey J,

    I have been using the Mack for many years now…upgrading whenever I can to a newer version. It has been exciting watching a Canadian company evolve and progress and I have always enjoyed the Level Six products.

    Their latest version does seem a bit stiff at first but it softens up after use and has a wicked DWR coating (the initial water repellency barrier) that helps keep the top nice and dry. I find the fit to be good with room for layers without being excessively bulky. I have used tops from other companies in the past with varying degrees of success but found the L6 version to be the best for me.

    My suggestion is to check out your local paddling shop and try some on. Some manufacturers may fit you better than others. One piece of advice-if you’re hoping to extend your paddling season beyond the summer weather, invest in a good dry top. It’s incredible what a difference it makes in your comfort (and if you’re anything like me-your motivation to go paddling!). You’re likely to find some good deals around now as stores prep for winter sports.

    Happy shopping!

    MSP :smile:


    actually made. I do believe my L6 shorty is made in Asia somewhere. Will check that when I get home.

    Lan Omar

    Hi J,

    I tend to shy away from level six gear. I have to admit that they have come along way since their first season of “drytops”, but I find that other makes of dry tops superior. I would take a look at Mountain Surf or NRS. They make some bomb proof, comfortable, and DRY tops that in my opinion are a better investment that the L6 mack.

    Look at what MSP said. He has upgraded whenever he can. Why? Because the original top was probably wasn’t up to snuff.

    I bought a Mountain Surf Typhoon Drytop in 2001 and I am still using and abusing it. It is dry dry dry and makes me happy because it still has years of wear in it!

    Maybe L6 makes good gear now. I’d tend to be skeptical when taking advce from a L6 paddler and someone with L6 shorts named after them! Great people, but they might be biased slightly.

    good luck. spend the bucks to get a great top. makes all the difference in the world.


    I have a L6 mac top.
    Love it.
    keps me dry all the time.


    I bought a L6 Mac dry top this summer, made this year, and it is the best dry top I’ve had yet. I had an older version of the Mac L6 dry top and after 3 years, it started to sweat, not good, but what do you expect after 3 years. I plan to paddle ’till november or even early December at with this new dry top. It is a bit krinkly, but I actually like this, does not seem to let in any water in. The front pocket will let you keep your wallet or watch completely dry, as long as you close the zipper shut tight. I find this a very cool feature and wonder why other manufacturers are not doing the same thing. I guess some dry tops may be better but more expensive, but all dry tops, suits eventually sweat, leak and delaminate and need to be fixed with sealant, or replaced, even the more expensive dry tops. This comes from the constant rubbing, which uses up the exterior and interior coating, especially under the arms. I also have a Whites shorty dry top and it to is starting to sweat, leak after 3 years, so I use it at the end of spring or cold summer days. I use my old L6 long sleve dry top for shorter stays in the water. A friend of mine, Open Gate, told me he has many dry tops, bought over the years and he keeps them all, using the least dry on warmer spring days and keeping the newest one for the really cold waters, that way you are not always using the same dry top for different conditions and they stay warmer, dryer longer. I now do the same thing, instead of trying to buy the ultimate and most costly dry top out there. Also, if you re-waterproof your dry top at the end of the season with products such as Nickwax, you will extend the life of any dry top. All that being said, I think price wise you can’t go wrong with the L6 long sleve dry top.

    Paul Potvin <img loading=” title=”Smile” />


    I have a kokatat helix top and it has a dry pocket. Strangely enough, the top part that closed it off from the neck/gasket area ripped open (glue didn’t hold). So now I have a mesh pocket that is no longer dry. Pretty weak.


    I was thinking about getting a MACK size XL…..

    I’m a lean 6’1 190 lbs, shoulders not very wide……An althletic build for sure!!

    Anybody around my size use an XL?? I’d like to have enough room to wear a thin rash guard or fleece underneath……..

    Think an XL would fit just right, or be a bit too big??




    I think that the waist would be way to big for you in an XL. Make sure you try on the different sizes before you order. Or order both and return the one you don’t like (just make sure you can do that).


    Thanks all for the advice


    I used to have a L6 Mack Dry Top, I used it for around 2 seasons. It was fine for the first year, nut i found that it didnt fit very well. During the second season, the coating started to wear off and i noticed alot of water leaking through.

    I recently got a new Sandiline drytop, sandiline started out as a slalom company but has moved over to playboating gear as well. They have 2 types of drytop, the Freeride light and the freeride X. The heavy one (freeride X) is very warm, and very breathable. The best part about these tops, is the neck gasket is not actually a gasket, it is two layres of neoprene. It keeps you just as dry, and it is much more comfortable.




    Thanks for all the feedback on our top. Both Tyler and I have worked really hard to continually push the envelope on the quality of the gear we produce. When we first started Level Six almost 10 years ago we didn’t have access to some of the better fabrics that are available now. Being a small Canadian company in the beginning without a lot of purchasing power.

    Thanks to the support of our local friends and team mates on the Canadian team we were able to grow Level 6 to the point were we could get the best 3 ply fabrics on the market with the best DWR available. There were downsides to this, one of which forced us to go off shore where the best fabrics were and it enabled us to create a product that was top in its class without the huge price tag. I know price isn’t everything but when dealing with buyers at stores it does become a central issue.

    When I read the postings above I cringe and wish we didn’t have some of the fabric/manufacturing issues that we did in the first few years of our business. But when you start with 144 t-shirts and sell to your buddies out of the back of your car while trying to race and maintain your race sponsors it is a lot harder to get a polished product the first time round.

    Happy to say things have changed since then, and we always ensure the product is top notch before it hits the cutting table. The end result is a line of paddling gear and clothing that is light years ahead of what we started out doing.

    So a big thank you to all who helped us get here and continue to support a Canadian company who’s main focus is keeping people on the water with top quality gear that you can get from a local Canadian source. If you have had a bad experience with our gear in the past please email me and I am sure we can work it out. I know you won’t be disappointed this time around.



    The new Level Six 2006 Mac top (I think they started it in 2005, don’t know for sure) is way, way better than the older one I bought 3-4 years ago, and that’s why I took a chance and bought the new one this year. I like to support the local community, especially when they give back to the paddling community, such as sponsoring the Level Six Cup, and on top of that when the price is actually lower than the competion, you can’t loose.

    Paul Potvin <img loading=” title=”Very Happy” />

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