If you’re planning on enjoying some cold deep waters without becoming a shivering mess, then a drysuit is your best bet. Unlike wetsuits, these outfits are meant to keep you warm by trapping a layer of air between you and the suit. This creates some much-needed insulation.
Divers in warm waters are lucky because they can use their bathing suits for their diving. But advanced divers prefer more challenging diving experiences, such as cold water diving. So which are the best drysuits to dive in? Let’s find out.
What We Considered Before Choosing the Best Drysuits
We didn’t create a random list, we took time compiling these choices. There are many good options on the market today, so we sifted through them and narrowed them down to the best four. Here are the factors we considered before choosing the best drysuits for diving:
We looked into company trustworthiness, including how long each company has been on the market and the range of products they offer. We also looked into customer reviews and ensured the product reviews were mostly positive.
If you’re buying an outfit for your diving, you will need a variety of products to choose from. We went with companies with a large variety in size, drysuit materials, and cost.
Many materials go into making dry and wet suits. We looked for what are considered to be the most durable materials.
Best Drysuits for Diving
- Best Overall: O’Neill Men’s Fluid 3mm Neoprene Drysuit
- Best Budget: SEAC Men’s Warmdry 4mm Neoprene Drysuit
- Best Runner Up: Scubapro Everdry 4mm Drysuit Men’s
- Best Under: NEOTEK SEMI-DRYSUIT, Unisex
Best Drysuits for Diving Review
Its waterproof nature comes from careful design, starting with the neoprene rubber used to make it. The neoprene material is about 3mm.
This is light enough to dive effortlessly and thick enough to be durable and maintain its waterproof ability. This flexible rubber allows a more extensive range of motion without resistance.
The smooth skin, neoprene neck seal, and cuff prevent water from getting into your drysuit. This truly reinforces the water resistance. O’Neill’s Neoprene Drysuit has a horizontal back dry zipper making it easier for you to get into it.
This drysuit comes in both black and graphite, and there’s a perfect fit for all sizes, from small to extra large.
- 3mm ultra flex material to allow fluid movement in the water
- Available in several sizes
- Thick, waterproof material
- Perfect for diving in all weather conditions
- Some water may leak through your legs, especially if it isn’t a perfect fit.
Although we like its waterproof nature and tight fit, the suit is more of a wet suit because it allows water leaks from the hands and legs.
Most drysuits leak from the arms and legs. These closures allow you to put the suit on, and it remains waterproof. The drysuit’s design also includes a metal zip on your back with a protective flap. This flap is another way of preventing water leaks and keeping you warm.
The suit comes with semi-flexible boots. This sets it apart from other suits because the boots not only keep you warm, but also prevent water leaks. You can attach different fin sizes and designs to them.
Need to carry anything as you dive? Perhaps an extra torch or other supplies? Your SEAC men’s drysuit also comes with a velcro flap-protected pocket to seal whatever you need to store in there from water damage.
You have a wide variety of choices for drysuit sizes. You’ll get a SEAC drysuit for sizes ranging from small to 4X-large. The suit comes in black, and you’ll get a fabric storage bag, straps, and hose with your purchase.
- Secure semi-flexible boots for extra water protection
- Stretchable glide-strapped collar and wrist enclosures
- It has a pocket for extra gear
- Flap-reinforced zippers
- It comes in a wide range of sizes
- Flexible material
- The neoprene material is excellent for thermal protection.
- A bit pricey
- The back zipper means you’ll need help to put on
SEAC’s men’s drysuit is designed and reinforced to help you keep warm even in cold waters. The 4mm neoprene material helps keep heat in, and its stretchable nature makes it easy for you to move in the water. The suit has a zip at the back, which can be hard to put on and remove alone.
Best Runner Up
This is a premium drysuit made for thermo-protection and water tightness. Scubapro is committed to providing its customers with high-quality materials. This is evident in how fast they improve their products.
This Everdry drysuit is an improved version with additional neck and wrist protection. You have stretchable wrist seals and a collar that fits without strangling you or preventing blood flow.
The suit also has extra shoulder and knee panels to protect your suit from wear and tear to ensure your suit lasts longer. This men’s drysuit has a plush gray interior to keep you warm. You have neoprene socks for your feet to keep you warmer and ensure that your drysuit is complete and waterproof.
Scubapro’s suit is made from a 4mm thick neoprene material for thermal protection. The good thing about this suit is its compression protection when you go deep, and this feature allows you to put on undergarments inside the suit. You also get a Si-Tech balanced side-activated inlet and outlet to help you control how you float.
This suit was designed for comfort, starting with a plush interior and less weight. It’s made for adults, comes in black, and is in a small to 2XL range. You will also receive a carry bag, owner’s manual, a hood, a low-pressure hose, and a repair kit when you buy your drysuit.
- Flexible and large size variety
- Continuous upgrades
- Improved neck and wrist adjustments
- Additional shoulder and neck protection for durability
- 4mm thick neoprene material for Thermal protection
- Made for comfort
- One-year warranty
- Less flexibility in water
- Only available for men
Scubapro continues to improve its products with impressive, thoughtful design. You will see extra padding and reinforced seams, and you can get the suit in several adult sizes. Despite coming in many sizes, the suit is rigid, especially in deep waters.
Neotek’s suite leverages the best features of both wet and drysuits. A wet suit is usually more affordable, and a dry one is the best option insulation-wise. The suit is suitable for both ladies and gentlemen and comes in 6mm, 7mm, and 8mm-thick neoprene variations.
The semi-dry diving suit is compression resistant, especially when you’re diving deeper. The suit allows for a small layer of water to keep you warm as you participate in underwater activities.
You get a front zipper to put on and take off the zipper easily and a front neck dam to prevent water from leaking into your suit. Your arms and legs are also seam-sealed for the same reason.
Your suit is durable because of its glued seams and blind stitches reinforced with a unique liquid seam. The suit comes with multiple pockets to store extra supplies and several size choices.
- Front zipper for convenience
- Glued seams to prevent water leakage
- Multiple pockets for extra storage
- Neck Dam and sealed arm and leg seams for water tightness
- More expensive than a wet suit
- Colder than a drysuit
This is a budget-friendly semi-drysuit. The problem is the lack of a happy medium. You’ll have to settle for the insulation liquid and you won’t be as warm as you’d be in a drysuit.
What is the Difference Between a Wetsuit and a DrySuit?
To differentiate the two, we first need to define a wetsuit and a drysuit. A wet suit, for instance, works to conserve your body heat when diving by forming a layer of water-filled foam that acts as insulation.
These suits are designed to fit a body’s contour and should be a snug fit. You can choose wet suits with thin or thick material depending on your experience level and how long you want to dive.
On the other hand, a drysuit is made to be waterproof. These suits come in many fabrics, including neoprene, vulcanized rubber, and nylon. Drysuit manufacturers have to work around their designs to ensure that they reduce the likelihood of water leakage into the suit.
You don’t have to choose a snug fit for drysuits, and if they’re designed to be compression-resistant, then well and good. To understand these outfits better, one has to look into the best features of both.
Flexibility represents how well you can move in these skin-tight suits underwater. If your suit is too heavy and uncomfortable, you may not enjoy your diving experience. Flexibility also depends on the type of fabric you choose.
Thermal insulation has everything to do with heat protection. Wetsuits use warm water to protect their divers against getting frostbite. If your suit isn’t as effective and you need better heat protection, then go for diving suits.
Your drysuit’s shelf-life depends on your care of it and how frequently you go diving. The material you choose, its designs, and its thickness will determine how durable your drysuit will be. Things such as knee and shoulder pads go a long way in preventing wear and tear, and durability will depend on how thick the suit’s material is.
Your suit’s price depends on the materials used to build it and the manufacturer who made it. Like any outfit, these suits have high-end and more affordable options.
What to Consider Before Choosing a DrySuit
Type of Diving
You can use a drysuit in one of two ways: recreational or technical diving. Recreational divers don’t go too deep in the water, so their requirements may be lenient.
Technical divers need to consider more features for their protection. First, their drysuits need to be durable and flexible. The material should also be thick and tear-resistant, which explains why drysuits are a bit pricey.
Technical divers also need features such as a harness or backplate and mechanisms for buoyancy control.
Your drysuit’s material will determine its functionality, durability, and performance in the water. Manufacturers choose between membrane shells, neoprene, and Gore-Tex to make drysuits.
Membrane shells (nylon laminate) consist of a nylon cover and breathable fabric underneath. The good thing about this material is that it’s a good choice for water tightness, is easy to clean, and will drive fast.
Neoprene is more durable because it’s thicker. The only problem with thickness is that you’ll have to wait longer for your drysuit to dry.
Gore-Tex is the best material for drysuits because it is breathable while maintaining its waterproof nature.
Even the most waterproof material requires an excellent design to maintain its integrity. Minor considerations, such as zip placement, are crucial elements.
An uncovered zip, for instance, is a point of weakness that could potentially compromise your suit’s heat protection. Talking of zips, where is your zip, and is it convenient to wear? A back zip can be hard to maneuver.
Does your suit have pockets, and are they waterproof? How has the manufacturer ensured that you have secure seams?
Wearing these suits includes placing your arms, legs, and neck in a small opening. How does the manufacturer prevent water leaks from compromising your drysuit?
The next thing would be to consider the inlet and outlet valves to either allow you to go deeper in the water or start floating up. Where are these valves located, and how do you operate them?
Before choosing your drysuits size, ensure that the suit caters to your gender. Next, look into the size variety the brand you’re buying from provides. Are there any drysuits in your size?
Boots or Socks?
The boots or socks debate depends on how frequently you use your drysuit. Socks have less of a shelf life compared to built-in boots. Well-designed neoprene boots are less likely to spoil, which reduces the chances of a leak.
It’s pretty easy to fix a leak. Simply turn your suit inside and apply sealing glue to cover the holes.
These are especially helpful for technical divers. Accessories such as straps, fins inlet, and outlet valves will come in handy when you’re going for a dive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a drysuit?
You need a drysuit if you’re a diver, especially in cold waters. These outfits are a necessity, especially in public safety diving. The suits keep you warm and help you manage how deep you go and when to resurface.
Most divers prefer to dive during summer when the water is warm but the minority like it cold. The human body can’t handle that much cold for a long time, so a drysuit can keep you warm while extending how long you can keep diving.
Can I wear something under my drysuit?
Technically you can wear something under your drysuit, but it depends on if your suit allows it. For instance, a drysuit will keep the water away from your body and trap the heat inside. But this won’t last long, so you’ll need undergarments.
Adding layers will depend on your suit’s compression control. If you want to invest in diving undergarments, choose those made from wool, fleece, and polypropylene.
Which is better for cold weather, a dry or wet suit?
This is dependent on what you want to use it for. Both suits help keep you safe by keeping you warm and dry underwater.
A drysuit isn’t warm, and if you’re diving during the winter, you may need to wear warm clothes underneath. These clothes will give you reinforcements for insulation and heat retention.
On the other hand, a wetsuit works well when it comes to protecting you against cold weather.
Can I use a drysuit for swimming?
Definitely, but you’ll need to tweak things a bit. First, your drysuit must be a little loose to allow easy mobility. You don’t need a thick suit, so the lighter the fabric, the better it is for swimming. If your reason for needing a drysuit is to swim in cold water, then a wetsuit is the best option for you.
How can I control buoyancy when diving?
Your drysuit creates an airy environment that you can control as you move using BCD and air valves. Ascending and descending in water will displace and replace air and affect the surrounding pressure.
Your diving suit is also another way to control buoyancy, and this is through the use of inlet and outlet valves. Allowing air inside the suit makes you buoyant, and reducing it allows you to go further into the water.
The amount of air you need for buoyancy control depends on where you’re diving, the type of water, and the weather.
Is a drysuit durable?
These suits are durable, and as long as you’re not scraping yourself off rough walls, they should last about a decade. Its durability also depends on the kind of water you want to play in and how careful you are with weak points such as flaps, limbs, the neck, and zippers.
Best Drysuit Brands
O’Neill is a Californian, family-owned company founded in 1952. The founder, Jack O’Neill, built his business to cater to windsurfers, divers, and snow and water skiers.
The company holds five core values: resilience, inclusivity, curiosity, responsibility, and energy. It caters to men and women looking to enjoy outdoor physical activities.
SEAC is an acronym for “Sea is Calling,” and the company has been around since 1971. SEAC is the best place to shop for products for snorkeling, swimming, spearfishing, diving, and free diving. SEAC also offers classes for diving and other technical water sports.
SCUBAPRO is also a veteran watersports company founded in 1963. It is a subsidiary of Johnson Outdoors Inc., which has 17 locations spread across 13 countries. This company offers BCDs, dive computers, regulators, scuba accessories, and divewear.
Hollis is also a seasoned company founded in the 1950s by Bob Hollis. Bob Hollis’ passion for underwater activities drove him to create his business. Hollis is known for its innovation and dependable products.
With proper pairing, drysuits can be worn in any climate. These suits are versatile and can help you control how long you stay in the water and allow you to explore large water bodies.
When choosing the best drysuit, go for something that fits well and has protective mechanisms to prevent leaks. Ensure that your drysuit has some of the additional features we discussed in the article. This will help you stay safe and enjoy your experience.