What is a drysuit?
A drysuit is a type of garment worn by scuba divers, boaters, kayakers, canoeists, and others who work or play in or on water where there is a possibility of hypothermia due to extended exposure to cold water.
Drysuits are made from a variety of waterproof materials such as neoprene, Gore-Tex, rubber or a combination of these. They are designed to seal tightly at the neck, wrists and ankles to keep water out and the wearer’s body heat in. Some drysuits have built-in hoods and booties to further protect the head and feet from cold water and reduce heat loss.
Drysuits work by trapping a layer of non-compressible gas (usually air) between the body and the suit. This layer of gas helps to insulate the body from cold water and prevent hypothermia. The gas is typically supplied by a scuba diving cylinder worn by the diver or by an attached inflation hose connected to a surface supply of air.
In order for a drysuit to work properly, it must fit snugly but not too tightly. Too much compression will make it difficult to move in the suit and too little will allow cold water to enter through openings at the neck, wrists or ankles.Most drysuits are made from neoprene which stretches enough to allow divers to don them without too much difficulty. Once in the water, divers can adjust the suit’s buoyancy by adding or removing air from an internal or external inflation tube connected to the suit.
Drysuits are used extensively in commercial diving operations where workers may be exposed to cold water for long periods of time. They are also popular among recreational scuba divers who dive in cold water conditions such as kelp forests, shipwrecks, ice dives and underwater caves.
How does a drysuit work?
Drysuits work by using a seal at the neck and wrists to keep water out. Many drysuits also have built in boots and a hood to keep you warm. The material of the drysuit is also important. Some materials are better at keeping you warm than others.
The drysuit material
Drysuits are made of waterproof and airtight materials, such as neoprene, rubber, or a PVC/nylon mix. The drysuit material is thicker than a wetsuit’s, and it has sealed seams that keep water from entering. Some drysuits have built-in boots; others come with separate boots (often called “socks”) that are made of the same material as the suit.
The drysuit seal
A drysuit uses a watertight seal at the neck and wrists to keep you dry. The neck seal is usually a latex seal that needs to be lubricated before donning the suit. The wrist seals can be either latex or neoprene and are attached to the drysuit with an adjustable Velcro strap.
There are three types of seals commonly used on drysuits:
Latex seals are the most comfortable and provide the best range of motion, but they require more care and need to be replaced more often than neoprene seals.
Neoprene seals are less comfortable but last longer and require less care than latex seals.
Silicone seals are the most durable but can be less comfortable and may limit your range of motion.
Advantages of drysuits
A drysuit is a garment worn to keep the wearer’s body dry, regardless of the conditions. It is typically used by scuba divers, boaters, and kayakers. Drysuits are made with waterproof and water-resistant materials, such as neoprene, Gore-Tex, or rubber. They are also equipped with a watertight seal at the neck and wrists, and sometimes at the ankles as well.
Protection from the elements
Drysuits work by keeping you dry and comfortable in environments where regular clothing would leave you wet, cold, and miserable. They are made of a waterproof and breathable fabric that seals tight at the wrists, ankles, and neck. A waterproof zipper or watertight gaskets keep water from coming in through the suit, while an integrated system of valves and hoses allow you to vent excess heat and moisture.
Drysuits are used by a variety of professionals who work in or near water, including firefighters, law enforcement officers, search and rescue teams, utility workers, commercial fishermen, and more. They are also popular among recreational divers, kayakers, canoeists, rafters, and other outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy spending time in or near water.
There are many different types of drysuits available on the market today, designed for a wide range of activities and environments. Whether you’re looking for a drysuit for diving, kayaking, fishing, or another activity, there’s sure to be a suit that’s perfect for you.
Drysuits offer many advantages over traditional wetsuits, the most important of which is increased safety. Drysuits keep you completely dry, which means that if you fall into cold water, you won’t have to worry about hypothermia setting in. With a wetsuit, on the other hand, you would be at risk of developing hypothermia even if you only fell into cold water for a few minutes.
In addition to increased safety, drysuits also offer superior protection from the elements. If you’re kayaking in cold weather, for example, a drysuit will keep you much warmer than a wetsuit will. Drysuits are also more durable than wetsuits, so they’ll last longer if you wear them frequently.
The only downside to drysuits is that they can be more expensive than wetsuits. But if you live in an area where the water is cold year-round, or if you participate in activities that carry a risk of cold-water immersion (such as kayaking or surfing), a drysuit is definitely worth the investment.
Disadvantages of drysuits
While drysuits have many advantages, there are a few disadvantages to take into account as well. One downside to drysuits is that they can be more expensive than other types of suits. They also can be less comfortable in warm weather and can be more difficult to put on.
While drysuits provide much greater protection than wetsuits, they come with some trade-offs. One of the biggest is limited mobility. Drysuits are often less stretchy than wetsuits, so they can feel constricting. They may also have thicker fabrics and more layers, which can make them heavier and more difficult to move in.
Another downside of drysuits is that they can be more difficult to get into and out of than wetsuits. Some styles require you to step into the suit and then pull it up over your head. Other types have zippers that run down the front or back of the suit. Either way, it can take a little practice to get the hang of putting on a drysuit.
Finally, drysuits can be more expensive than wetsuits. Prices vary depending on the features and materials, but you can expect to pay several hundred dollars for a good quality drysuit.
Drysuits are considerably more expensive than wetsuits. A good quality entry level drysuit can cost upwards of $1000, whereas a decent wetsuit will be around $300.
Beyond the initial cost, drysuits also require some additional expenditure. You’ll need a suitably warm undersuit to wear underneath (this is essential for comfort and safety), and you’ll probably want a set of sealing rings to make waterproof electrical and air connections (these are essential for diving with an oxygen rebreather).