Drysuit vs Wetsuit – What Is the Difference

 In Diving Gear, General Diving

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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