Drysuits are typically used in colder water temperatures where exposure to cold water can lead to discomfort or hypothermia if not properly protected. However, the exact water temperature at which you might choose to use a drysuit can vary based on factors such as your personal tolerance to cold, the duration of the dive, and the type of diving you're doing. Generally, drysuits are commonly used when the water temperature falls below approximately 60°F (15.6°C).
Here's a rough guideline for drysuit usage based on water temperature:
Below 50°F (10°C) and Lower: Drysuits are highly recommended for prolonged exposure to water temperatures in this range. These are considered very cold conditions, and without proper insulation, the risk of hypothermia increases significantly.
50-60°F (10-15.6°C): In this temperature range, some divers might opt for drysuits, especially for longer dives or if they are sensitive to cold. Others might choose to use a wetsuit with added insulation.
60-70°F (15.6-21.1°C): Wetsuits are commonly used in this temperature range, as the water is not as cold, and the risk of hypothermia is lower. However, drysuits might still be preferred for longer or more stationary dives.
Above 70°F (21.1°C): Wetsuits are typically sufficient for most divers in these warmer temperatures. Drysuits are not usually necessary, but they might be used in specific situations where the diver needs to minimize water exposure (e.g., contaminated water).
It's important to remember that individual tolerance to cold varies, and some divers might prefer to use a drysuit in water temperatures that others find comfortable in a wetsuit. Additionally, the type of diving you're doing, such as technical, deep, or extended dives, can influence your choice of thermal protection.
When considering using a drysuit, factors like proper training, buoyancy control, and experience in using the drysuit are also crucial to ensure safety and comfort during the dive. If you're unsure about what type of exposure protection is suitable for your planned dive, consulting with experienced divers or professionals is advisable.