Wetsuit vs Drysuit: What Is The Difference Between Them
You may be wondering what you should buy to make your paddling, diving, or surfing activities more pleasant. A wetsuit or a drysuit? And what is so different with a wetsuit vs drysuit?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here I’ll be discussing the main differences between these two suits. So, you won’t have a hard time deciding what is best for your water adventures.
What Is The Difference Between a Wetsuit vs Drysuit?
You may have already asked someone, and all you’ve received as an answer was that with drysuits, all you need to dry is your hair after a dive. While that is true, there are multiple attributes of both suits to look at to be able to make an informed decision on what to purchase.
Both of these suits are made to keep you warm while in water. They both have differences in the way they do that, but the end goal is to stop the heat from leaving your body as rapidly as it would if you wore nothing.
So, the main differences in how each one keeps you warm come from the materials and the way of construction.
Before I go into listing the main differences, here’s a shortcut to the answer.
Wetsuits are made of rubber neoprene and are designed to keep you warm when wet. So, this means that you won’t be dry when in water. That is why, when it comes to wetsuits, the fitting and size are very important, as I have discussed in that article.
If you have a loose wetsuit, it will allow for more water than necessary to enter, and you will get cold much faster. However, if you have the right fit, you will find that wetsuits are ideal for cold water surf sports because they allow you to be more athletic than drysuits.
Basically, your drysuit will act as a shell and keep you completely dry, but it will also fit loosely like a big ski jacket. This is why wetsuits allow for more movements and maneuvers in the water while drysuits are more suitable for diving.
With that said, here’s a little more info on how both wetsuits and drysuits work and how they differ from each other.
Wetsuit vs Drysuit: Warmth
People usually choose to dive dry because of the temperature of the water. If you are in the Northern hemisphere and you decide to paddle board or dive, then you may think of a drysuit as a better option.
However, I’m here to tell you that neither a wetsuit nor a drysuit is designed to make you warm. All they do is slow the rate at which you lose heat from your body.
Wetsuits do so through their neoprene that lets in a small amount of water on your skin that you heat it up, and it stays warm. This is why it’s crucial to pick a wetsuit not too big because it will continuously be flushing out the water instead of keeping the warmth on you.
Drysuits, on the other hand, keep you warm through by keeping you dry with the addition of the undergarments that you wear below. With drysuits, there isn’t any water that takes the heat away, and you can add multiple layers of undergarments to warm you up even more.
Wetsuit vs Drysuit: Weighting
This is more of an issue for divers than it is for paddlers or surfers, but it’s worth the mention.
The neoprene in the wetsuit adds much buoyancy, which is great when you’re not diving but merely staying afloat. However, you become quite overweighted due to suit compression when diving deep with a wetsuit.
The good thing about a drysuit here is that with it, you stay more or less constant with the amount of buoyancy the suit offers so that you won’t feel any increased/decreased pressure.
Wetsuit vs Drysuit: Buoyancy
Speaking of weighting, as I said, wetsuits compress as you go further down in the water, while the drysuit will give you the chance to add air and compensate for the increased pressure at depth. You don’t have this with a wetsuit because, by nature, it sticks tightly to your skin. This is why, as your wetsuit compresses when diving, it gets thinner and loses insulating capacity.
Wetsuit vs Drysuit: The Cost
As you might know, drysuits are much more expensive than wetsuits. In the past, this difference in price was even more significant due to the unique construction and design. However, now with the introduction of new materials and manufacturing competition, a quality entry-level drysuit can be had for roughly the same price as a higher-end wetsuit.
You might even find the cost acceptable since you can vary the undergarments depending on the weather outside, so you can cut the cost of buying different thickness wetsuits for each season.
Practically, one drysuit will work on numerous occasions, and this is its benefit over the wetsuit. A wetsuit doesn’t offer you the flexibility of a dry suit.
Wetsuit vs Drysuit: Cost of Maintenance
At this point, I would say a wetsuit is much more practical and more comfortable to maintain since all you need to do after a session in the water is rinse it properly, and you are good to go.
Drysuits require a little more attention over time. Depending on how often you use it, you will need to replace its seals, and leaks might appear that you need to close. Also, you will most likely have your boots or socks replaced and even the zipper.
All these things on a drysuit need attention and may cost quite a lot over time. However, with a drysuit, you are most likely to use it for 10-15 years at 90+ dives a year, whereas wetsuits won’t last you more than 6 years with so much activity within a year.
So, in the long run, a drysuit may actually be less expensive. Especially because dry suits often hold their value for resale while used wetsuits get tossed.
Table of contents
I might earn a small commission when you make a purchase through my link, so that I can keep my site running and pay the hosting bill. Read my affiliate policy to learn more.
Here at Stand Up Paddle board world I try to show you as many different paddle boards as I can. I’m a true water sports fanatic and I would love to get everyone enthusiastic about my passion as well. Read my different reviews and find out which paddle board is the best to get you started with this amazing sport!
Hier auf Stand Up Paddle board world versuche ich, Ihnen so viele verschiedene Paddelboards zu zeigen, wie ich kann. Ich bin ein echter Wassersportfanatiker und würde gerne auch alle für meine Leidenschaft begeistern. Lesen Sie meine verschiedenen Bewertungen und finden Sie heraus, welches Paddelboard das beste ist, um Sie mit diesem erstaunlichen Sport zu begeistern!
Stand up Paddle board World
Op Stand up Paddle board World probeer ik zoveel mogelijk sup boards te laten zien. Ik ben een liefhebber van de sport en zou het fantastisch vinden als je door mijn website ook enthousiast wordt om te gaan suppen! Lees mijn reviews, mijn aankoopgidsen of mijn blog en zorg ervoor dat je met het beste product het water op gaat!
Stand up Paddle board World
Aquí, en Stand Up Paddle board world, intento mostrarte tantas tablas de paddle diferentes como pueda. Soy un verdadero fanático de los deportes acuáticos y me encantaría que todos se entusiasmaran también con mi pasión. Lee mis diferentes opiniones y descubre qué tabla de paddle es la mejor para iniciarte en este increíble deporte.
Stand up Paddle board World
Qui a Stand Up Paddle board world cerco di mostrarvi più tavole da paddle possibili. Sono un vero fanatico degli sport acquatici e mi piacerebbe far appassionare tutti alla mia passione. Leggi le mie diverse recensioni e scopri quale tavola da paddle è la migliore per iniziare a praticare questo fantastico sport!
Stand up Paddle board World
Ici, à Stand Up Paddle board world, j’essaie de vous montrer autant de planches à pagaie différentes que possible. Je suis un vrai fanatique de sports nautiques et j’aimerais que tout le monde s’enthousiasme aussi pour ma passion. Lisez mes différentes critiques et découvrez quelle est la meilleure planche à pagaie pour vous lancer dans ce sport incroyable !
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.