What is a drysuit, and how does it differ from a wetsuit?

A drysuit is a specialized type of dive suit designed to keep the diver completely dry by preventing water from entering the suit. It achieves this by creating a waterproof barrier between the diver and the surrounding water. Unlike wetsuits, which allow a thin layer of water to seep in and then trap and warm that water against the diver's body, drysuits are designed to keep the diver's body dry throughout the dive.

Here are some key differences between drysuits and wetsuits:

  1. Waterproofing: Drysuits are fully waterproof, meaning they prevent water from entering the suit entirely. Wetsuits, on the other hand, are made from neoprene material and allow a small amount of water to enter, which then gets trapped and warmed by the body's natural heat.

  2. Insulation: Wetsuits provide insulation by using the trapped water layer as a thermal barrier. Drysuits rely on insulating undergarments worn beneath the suit to provide warmth. These undergarments can vary in thickness and material depending on the water temperature.

  3. Buoyancy Control: Drysuits are inherently more buoyant due to the trapped air inside the suit. Divers need to manage their buoyancy by adding or releasing air from the suit's internal inflator and exhaust valves. Wetsuits provide some buoyancy but not to the same extent as drysuits.

  4. Temperature Range: Drysuits are better suited for colder water temperatures since they keep the body dry and rely on insulating undergarments to maintain warmth. Wetsuits are typically used in warmer waters where the trapped water layer provides sufficient insulation.

  5. Movement: Drysuits can feel bulkier due to the additional insulation and the need to accommodate the undergarments. Wetsuits are generally more flexible and allow for greater freedom of movement.

  6. Training: Drysuit diving often requires specific training due to the additional buoyancy control and potential risks associated with managing air inside the suit. Many divers undergo specialized drysuit training before using one.

  7. Use Cases: Drysuits are commonly used for cold-water diving, ice diving, and technical diving where exposure to cold temperatures is a concern. Wetsuits are suitable for warmer waters and more casual recreational diving.


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