What Is a Drysuit?

The goal of any wetsuit or dry suit is to retain body heat. Wetsuits keep warm-water divers comfortable with neoprene and a thin layer of water trapped between the skin and the wetsuit. But in cold water temperatures of about 60°F or below, a heavy-duty dry suit is more effective diving gear for retaining body temperature.

 

Drysuits rely on trapped air and insulating undergarments to keep scuba divers warm in cold water. They also provide more consistent buoyancy control thanks to the trapped layer of air and lack of compression during deeper dives.

If you’ve never considered cold water diving, we’ll review some of the differences in gear and recommend some of the best drysuits for cold water diving.

 

When shopping for a dry suit, you’ll encounter a few different configurations and features. Some drysuits use neoprene for thermal protection while others rely on trilaminate.

 

Neoprene

Neoprene is a thicker material and insulates more effectively without bulky undergarments. Because neoprene suits offer a low-profile snug fit, they preserve range of motion. Traditionally, neoprene drysuits feature neoprene seals for both the neck seals and wrist seals.

 

Trilaminate

Membrane-style trilaminate drysuits are worn as a looser outer layer to accommodate thicker undergarments. Laminate suits typically feature latex seals. While latex seals are effective for keeping water out, they’re problematic for scuba divers with a latex allergy.

 

Top Scuba Diving Drysuits To Consider

Here are some of the best drysuits available for cold-water diving, including offerings from top makers like Scubapro, Seac, and Waterproof.