Wetsuits vs. Drysuits - Which One Best Suits Your Needs?
When it comes to water sports and diving, it’s essential to have the right gear as this can enhance your overall experience, as well as ensuring you stay safe.
Two of the most essential pieces of equipment are wetsuits and drysuits, but what’s the difference between the two and when should you opt for one over the other? Let's dive into the details and find out which one you should go for.
Typically made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber-like material that’s known for its excellent insulating properties, wetsuits act as a second skin for water sports enthusiasts.
Design And Functionality
Wetsuits are designed to allow a layer of water to sit between the suit and your skin. Although this water initially feels cold, it’s soon heated up by your body, which helps to keep you warm in colder waters. The barrier of water also prevents your body from losing warmth.
The snug fit of wetsuits also reduces water circulation within the suit, so although this might sound uncomfortable, you'll hardly notice it’s there.
Wetsuits can vary in thickness and how thick it is will determine how warm it keeps you. Thicker wetsuits provide more insulation, making them ideal for cooler conditions.
If you do opt for a thicker wetsuit to help you stay warmer in the water, this comes with a trade off as it’ll usually provide less mobility. Another thing to consider is a thicker wetsuit could cause you to overheat in warmer waters so the thickness will completely depend on the temperature of the water.
Range Of Motion
Wetsuits offer excellent flexibility and freedom of movement, making them a popular choice for activities like snorkelling, surfing and scuba diving. So if you need a suit to provide agility and you don't mind getting a bit wet, wetsuits are probably your best bet.
In contrast to wetsuits, as the name suggests, drysuits are designed to keep you entirely dry. Here's what sets them apart:
As they’re constructed with waterproof materials and feature watertight seals at the neck, wrists and ankles, drysuits create a barrier between you and the water. This ensures you remain dry while you’re in the water.
Ideal For Cold Waters
Exposure to frigid water could be dangerous and this is where drysuits can literally be life-saving as they excel in cold conditions.
So if you’re planning on ice diving, technical diving or any other activity where it’s imperative to stay as warm as possible, drysuits are the obvious choice.
Drysuits provide extra buoyancy which is advantageous for divers who need to carry additional equipment or stay afloat with minimal effort.
As a result of their extra-tight fit, drysuits are less flexible than wetsuits. This means they offer comparatively less mobility which makes them unsuitable for activities that require a wide range of motion.
Choosing The Right Suit For You
By now you might already have an idea which suit you need. But let’s break it down anyway, to make absolutely sure.
Wetsuits are ideal for warmer waters and for people participating in activities where flexibility is crucial. So if you’re swimming or you’re doing water sports such as surfing, wakeboarding, water skiing or surfing, a wetsuit would be the best choice.
Just keep in mind the thickness should correlate to water temperature. If the water is warm then you probably don't need the thickest of wetsuits.
Drysuits are more suitable for cold waters or frigid environments, like polar diving or ice diving. Likewise, if you’ll be in the water for prolonged periods of time then you need a good-quality drysuit to keep you warm and safe.
However, if you need a suit that offers flexibility and allows quick, agile manoeuvres then a drysuit probably isn’t for you.
Find The Right Fit
Regardless of whether you’re going for a wetsuit or a drysuit, finding the right fit is essential. In fact, choosing the wrong suit can potentially be extremely dangerous. That’s why you should always consult with professionals to ensure your wetsuit or drysuit is snug but not constricting.
So that covers the main differences between wetsuits and drysuits. Hopefully you now know what differentiates the two and you have all the info you need to make an informed choice.
Browse our watersport equipment and you’ll see we stock a wide range of wetsuits to suit all ages, abilities and budgets. So if you’re on the lookout for some new gear for your adventures then you’ve come to the right place!