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Drysuit vs Wetsuit – What Is the Difference

One of the keys to having an enjoyable and safe dive is staying warm once you go under. You need to have a thermal protection suit in order to achieve this and there are two choices – a drysuit or a wetsuit. In addition to the temperature of the water, there are other considerations to look into.

drysuit vs wetsuit

How They Work

Wetsuits – With a wetsuit, water is allowed in and trapped against the skin. It then warms up so that you are in effect surrounded by a layer of warm water.

Drysuits – These ones are totally watertight and they seal at the ankles and wrists so that you remain dry and are surrounded by air.

Wetsuit – Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Readily available and ideal for diving just about anywhere around the globe
  • Come in a wide variety of styles and options
  • Less costly than drysuits
  • Simple maintenance


  • In colder waters they are a poor choice and in warm water they tend to get cold when you go on a long dive.
  • Trying to put it on when it is wet is not a pleasant experience.
  • As you go deeper in the water, you lose thermal insulation.

Drysuit – Advantages and Disadvantages


  • They are very warm. They are ideal for cold and icy waters.
  • Putting them on is easy even when wet.
  • They can help to improve how you dive because they maintain the perfect body shape under water.


  • They cost more than wetsuits
  • You need to be trained how to master them in order to use comfortably when under water. When you dive they inflate creating task-loading if you are inexperienced at diving.
  • The maintenance can be tedious both seasonally and after a dive.

Which One Should You Wear?

The main consideration when selecting whether you should wear a wetsuit or a drysuit is the temperature of the water. Here is a guide, a pretty rough one, which can help you decide.  Of course, your tolerance to the colder temperatures and individual comfort will need to be factored in:

  • If you will be swimming in waters that are over 26°C or 80°F wear a 2mm wetsuit
  • If the water is between 20 – 26°C or 69-79°F a 7mm wetsuit is ideal
  • If it is between 14°C and 20°C or 58°F and 68°F a full drysuit, semi dry suit or a 7 mm wetsuit with a double layer will work best
  • If you will be swimming in waters under 14°C or 58°F then a full drysuit is your best option.

That’s all about “Drysuit vs Wetsuit – What Is the Difference”. If you need any further information let us know.

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