When diving in water your will cool quickly that are cooler than your body’s temperature, and even in the warmest tropical waters you will likely still need a little of thermal insulation to keep yourself warm and comfortable during long snorkels or dives. Choosing suitable suits also give your skin protection from the sun. Some snorkelers or divers may not notice when they are underwater, the sun that it still will affect their skin.
We will face a common question by both snorkelers or divers and non-divers alike is: what we need to know is the difference between wetsuit and drysuit when we decide to choose an exposure suit, and how can you tell your friends one from the other? The most obvious answer comes from the name itself—a drysuit keeps you dry and a wetsuit does not.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the difference between them to help you choose the one that’s best for you.
Wetsuit vs. Drysuit
|Material||Foam neoprene||Membrane, foam neoprene or of a hybrid of both|
|Function||Provide thermal insulation, buoyancy and protecting from abrasion, ultraviolet exposure and stings from organisms.||Prevent water from entering; prevent cold or contaminated water;|
How does wetsuit stay worm?
A wetsuit is a garment worn to provide thermal protection while wet. It is usually made of foamed neoprene, and is worn by surfers, divers, windsurfers, canoeists, and others engaged in water sports and other activities in or on water, primarily providing thermal insulation, but also buoyancy and protection from abrasion, ultraviolet exposure and stings from marine organisms. The insulation properties of neoprene foam depend mainly on bubbles of gas enclosed within the material, which reduce its ability to conduct heat. The bubbles also give the wetsuit a low density, providing buoyancy in water.
How does drysuit work?
A drysuit provides the wearer with environmental protection by way of thermal insulation and exclusion of water, and is worn by divers, boaters, water sports enthusiasts, and others who work or play in or near cold or contaminated water. A drysuit normally protects the whole body except the head, hands, and possibly the feet. In hazmat configurations, however, all of these are covered as well.
The main difference between dry suits and wetsuits is that dry suits are designed to prevent water from entering. This generally allows better insulation, making them more suitable for use in cold water. Dry suits can be uncomfortably hot in warm or hot air, and are typically more expensive and more complex to don. For divers, they add some degree of operational complexity as the suit must be inflated and deflated with changes in depth in order to minimize “squeeze” on descent or uncontrolled rapid ascent due to excessive buoyancy.
Drysuits provide passive thermal protection: They insulate against heat transfer to the environment. When this is insufficient, active warming or cooling may be provided, usually by a hot-water suit, which is a wetsuit with a supply of heated or chilled water from the surface, but it is also possible to provide chemical or electrically powered heating accessories to drysuits.
How to choose a wetsuit?
It should go without saying that your wetsuit needs to be comfortable. Swimming in open water can be challenging enough as it without a poorly-fitted wetsuit literally dragging you back.
Flexibility in the right places is also vital. Once inside your wetsuit, try practicing some arm strokes and stretching to the ceiling. You should be able to move your arms without lots of pressure on your shoulders.
How else do you know if a wetsuit is the right fit? They key contact points are around the wrists, neck and ankles.
- The wrists of the suit should conform well to your body. As your arm pushes through the water you don’t want cold water shooting up the arm. This will cause drag, and fill the suit with water and the wetsuit will not work at its best.
- The neck of the suit should conform to the neck and be as tight as possible without feeling like you are being throttled! Again, if too loose, the water will shoot down your suit and the wetsuit will not work correctly.
- Tapered legs down to the ankles ensure more streamlined kick and help with getting the suit on and off.
- The fourth thing to consider when you’re picking your suit is the material used, which is usually reflected in the price
- In terms of performance, you should look for a suit with as much rubber versus material (neoprene) as possible. There will be different grades of rubber (which will also effect the price) but the less material the better. Material on the outside of a wetsuit is heavy and will soak up water over time.