Choosing the right undergarments for your drysuit is essential to staying warm and comfortable during cold-water dives. Undergarments provide insulation and help retain body heat, allowing you to dive in colder temperatures without feeling cold. The type of undergarments you choose depends on the water temperature, your personal cold tolerance, and the duration of your dives. Here are some options to consider:
Thermal Base Layers:
- Materials: Thermal base layers are usually made of synthetic materials like fleece, microfleece, or polyester blends.
- Usage: These layers provide a moisture-wicking base that helps regulate your body temperature. They trap a layer of warm air against your skin.
- Pros: Lightweight, comfortable, and versatile. Suitable for moderate to cold temperatures.
- Materials: Insulating undergarments are often made of fleece, Thinsulate, or other synthetic materials designed to provide insulation even when damp.
- Usage: These thicker layers provide additional warmth and are typically worn over your thermal base layers.
- Pros: Effective in cold temperatures, even if the undergarments get wet during the dive.
- Materials: Some manufacturers produce specialized drysuit undersuits designed for specific drysuit models. These can be made from various insulating materials.
- Usage: Undersuits are engineered to work seamlessly with specific drysuits, providing optimal insulation and minimizing bulk.
- Pros: Designed to fit well with specific drysuits, offering efficient insulation.
- Technology: These are battery-powered heated garments that can be worn under your drysuit. They include heated vests, gloves, and socks.
- Usage: Heated undergarments provide additional warmth and are especially useful for diving in extremely cold conditions.
- Pros: Effective in maintaining warmth, can be adjusted based on personal preference, and can extend dive time in frigid waters.
Neoprene Drysuit Undersuits:
- Materials: These are made from neoprene, similar to wetsuits. Neoprene undersuits provide insulation and are usually thicker than other types of undergarments.
- Usage: Neoprene undersuits are well-suited for colder water dives and can provide both insulation and thermal protection.
- Pros: Excellent insulation, particularly in colder water conditions.
- Layering: Depending on the conditions, you can combine different undergarments to create a layering system that adapts to varying water temperatures.
- Flexibility: Layering allows you to adjust your insulation according to the specific conditions of each dive.