Drysuit vs Wetsuit: What Are the Differences?
If you’re into water sports, you most likely know the difference between a drysuit vs. a wetsuit.
However, if you’re just planning on doing an excursion or a one-off scuba diving experience, or you are just getting into the diving and water sports world, you probably don’t know why you keep seeing the word drysuit and then wetsuit.
What are the differences? Are there any? What do you need to know about the two?
In this guide, we’ll walk you through a drysuit vs. wetsuit so you know the differences and which one is better for your needs!
The Warmth of the Suits
One of the biggest differences between the two is the warmth that they provide and how they provide the warmth. While neither actually provides warmth, they do both prevent heat loss from happening at a quick rate.
Wetsuits provide warmth by trapping a layer of water between you and the neoprene suit you are wearing. That layer of water will be warmed by your body heat to keep you as warm as possible.
Since dry suits keep you dry, the warmth is provided by wearing undergarments under the suit. You can wear multiple pairs of warm socks or jackets under the suit. These layers will keep you warm without letting the cold water in.
However, the cold water will still touch your face. Your hands may be chilly as well as there is no insulation unless you wear a pair of gloves under the suit.
Buoyancy They Provide
There is also a difference between the buoyancy of a wetsuit and a drysuit.
As you get deeper, a wetsuit will constrict and compress. This makes it become less buoyant and make its more difficult for you to dive further or do what you want to do in the water. As the suit compresses, it loses the ability to insulate as much, so it will be a bit colder as you get deeper.
That is not the case with dry suits. They give divers the option to add air to their suits to keep them more buoyant at the different depths. This will also allow for the warmer air around your body and in your insulated layers to stay in the suit.
With a dry suit, there is no risk of being weighed down by the lack of buoyancy. However, with a wetsuit, you can start to feel over-weighted due to the compression and lack of buoyancy as you get deeper in the water. As a beginner, this can be intimidating.
That’s why the drysuit benefits may outweigh using a wetsuit even if it is not as cold as you think it would need to be for a drysuit.
With a drysuit, you can determine how much air is in the suit, which can keep you weighted in a way you like. This will also make you feel safer as a beginner diver.
Various Water Conditions
When it comes to the water conditions in the area that you will be in, there is less flexibility when it comes to a wetsuit. You cannot add garments or try to keep yourself warmer with the wetsuit. That means that the water temp is most likely what you will get, although you may stay a bit warmer than that because of the layer of water between you and the suit.
With a drysuit, you can control the temp. Because it is more flexible, many divers choose to use their drysuit year-round in warmer and colder waters! The drysuit can even be worn in glacial waters that are right above freezing temperatures since it’s the undergarments that will keep you warm!
However, if you’re diving in warmer waters, it’s important to keep in mind that the drysuit is much bulkier. That is a personal preference and up to you!
Cost of a Drysuit vs. Wetsuit
The cost of a drysuit used to be much more expensive than a wetsuit, which actually prohibited many divers from getting a drysuit. However, there’s been an introduction of a lot of new materials that make it more accessible to the average diver.
However, there is still a price difference between a drysuit and a wetsuit. If you are on a budget, it is best to only buy one that can fit multiple diving needs rather than getting one of each or multiple wetsuits (varying thicknesses) and a drysuit.
Find more on wetsuits here.
When you buy a wetsuit, there is not much maintenance that you need to do to make sure it stays working for you. While there is not much maintenance to do, the average diver (about 100 dives per year) will have the wetsuit last for 5 years.
When it comes to drysuits, there is more maintenance on a yearly basis. You will have to replace seals, boots or socks that get a rip or leak, and the zipper if it breaks. However, the average diver can get about 20 years out of a drysuit before needing a new one. Because of this, this can sometimes be the cheaper route overall.
Which One Will You Go With — Wetsuit or Drysuit?
When it comes to a drysuit vs. wetsuit, there are a lot of benefits to both. However, there are downsides to both, too. If you are trying to decide between the two, this drysuit guide and wetsuit guide should help you decide which one is best for your needs!
Did you enjoy learning about the differences between the two and what they are meant for? We have many more articles for you to check out! Happy reading!