What are the different styles of drysuit seals (neck and wrist) and their pros and cons?

Drysuit seals, which are the openings at the neck and wrists that prevent water from entering the suit, come in different styles with their own advantages and disadvantages. The choice of seal style can impact comfort, water-tightness, ease of use, and even potential allergenic reactions. Here are the main styles of drysuit seals and their pros and cons:

Neck Seals:

  1. Latex Neck Seal:

    • Pros: Latex seals create a snug, watertight seal that effectively keeps water out. They are commonly used and well-proven in drysuits.
    • Cons: Some individuals may be allergic to latex, leading to discomfort or skin reactions. They can also feel tight around the neck for some divers.
  2. Neoprene Neck Seal:

    • Pros: Neoprene neck seals are more comfortable for some divers and offer a good compromise between watertightness and comfort.
    • Cons: They may not be as watertight as latex seals and might allow a small amount of water to seep in. They might require a separate collar or bib to enhance their sealing properties.
  3. Latex or Neoprene Neck Seal with Zipper:

    • Pros: Some suits offer a neck seal with a waterproof zipper that makes donning and doffing the drysuit easier.
    • Cons: Adding a zipper might slightly compromise the water-tightness, and the zipper can be a potential failure point.

Wrist Seals:

  1. Latex Wrist Seals:

    • Pros: Like latex neck seals, latex wrist seals provide a reliable and watertight seal.
    • Cons: Latex allergies can be an issue. Additionally, they can feel tight around the wrists and might require careful fitting to avoid discomfort.
  2. Neoprene Wrist Seals:

    • Pros: Neoprene wrist seals are more comfortable for many divers, allowing for a better fit and ease of movement.
    • Cons: They might not be as watertight as latex seals and can let in some water. However, the trade-off in comfort can be worth it for some divers.
  3. Latex or Neoprene Wrist Seal with Zipper:

    • Pros: Similar to the neck seal with a zipper, wrist seals with zippers can make it easier to put on and remove the drysuit.
    • Cons: The zipper might affect the seal's water-tightness, and the zipper area might be prone to damage if not cared for properly.
  4. Latex or Neoprene Wrist Seal with Built-in Gloves:

    • Pros: Some drysuits come with built-in gloves attached to the wrist seals, providing added warmth and protection for the hands.
    • Cons: These seals can be more complex and might require more maintenance. They may also limit your choice of gloves.


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