If you plan on doing any type of cold water diving, then finding the best dry suit is a must. Most scuba divers around the world learn wearing wetsuits as they’re cheaper, readily available in dive shops and relatively easy to get into.

But if you learn to dive in cold waters, plan on cold water diving or are diving in areas where there is contaminated water, then you need a drysuit for better exposure protection.

There are some major differences between a wetsuit and a drysuit. Unlike a wetsuit, which traps a layer of water against your skin, a drysuit is 100% waterproof with seals to keep all water out. Some offer a certain level of insulation but usually you’ll wear some kind of thermal clothing underneath, while staying completely dry.

The great thing about drysuits is that they are not just limited to cold water diving – some are versatile so you can take them to warmer climates too. They’re more of an investment than a wetsuit but they will last longer.

 

 

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FIND THE BEST DRY SUIT

PICTURE
DRYSUIT
MATERIAL
BOOTS/SOCKS
SEALS
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
DRYSUIT
MATERIAL
BOOTS/SOCKS
SEALS
PRICE
RATING
Bare X-Mission
Trilaminate
Tech Boots
Latex
$$$
4.9
Hollis DX 300X
Trilaminate
Socks
Silicone
$$
4.8
Waterproof D7 Pro ISS
Trilaminate
Boots
Silicone
$$
4.7
Fouth Element Argonaut Flex
Trilaminate
Socks
Latex
$$$
4.8
Waterproof D6 Lite
Trilaminate
Boots
Latex
$
4.8
Scubapro Everdry 4
Neoprene
Socks
Neoprene
$
4.6
Waterproof D1 Hybrid
Trilaminate
Boots
Silicone
$$$
5.0
Viking Pro Surveyor
Vulcanized rubber
Boots
Latex
$$$
5.0
Bare Trilam HD Tech
Trilaminate
Boots or socks
Neoprene or latex
$$
4.7
Bare D6 Pro Dry HD
Neoprene
Boots
Neoprene or latex
$$
4.3

 

 

SCUBA DIVING DRY SUITS 101

 

8 THINGS TO CONSIDER TO FIND THE BEST DRY SUIT

 

1. MATERIALS

Drysuits typically come in three different types of materials. Neoprene is durable and has thermal and insulating properties, meaning you can wear thinner undergarments. However, they are also bulky which is not ideal if you are traveling. Trilaminate or laminated suits are better for travelers because they are the most lightweight and are more affordable. However, this material offers no insulation so you’ll need factor in appropriate thermal undergarments for cold water diving.

Drysuits made from vulcanized rubber are heavy-duty and durable. They are typically worn by working divers including scientific, search and rescue diving or diving in hazardous water conditions.

 

2. ZIPPERS

Each dry suit has a waterproof, heavy-duty zipper to keep you dry. You’ll need to make sure the zippers are completely watertight. There are typically two locations for the zips – one diagonally across the front or on the back, running from shoulder to shoulder. There’s no performance difference between the two – it comes down to personal preference.

 

3. BOOTS/SOCKS

Some drysuits come with attached boots, others with attached socks.

Boots are integrated into the leg of the drysuit, which may be better suited to divers who do a lot of shore dives and need to walk or climb over rocks.

Other drysuits come with an attached neoprene sock. This sock is waterproof but doesn’t offer the same protection from the elements so most divers most divers will want to wear a boot over the top, such as traditional wetsuit boots for scuba divers.

 

4. VALVES

The valves on your drysuit allow you to adjust your buoyancy. As you ascend, the air trapped within the drysuit will expand and the valve allows you to release that pressure. An inflator valve will connect to your first stage which allows you to add air to the suit, while the dump valves are either manual or automatic. An automatic dump valve will release excess air when there is too much pressure.

The dump valve should be situated on the arm between the elbow and shoulder to allow for effective air release.

 

5. SEALS

Wrist and neck seals are crucial for keeping you dry. They need to be tight enough to stop any water getting in, while not cutting off any blood supply. They are usually made of neoprene or latex rubber but can also come in silicone. You may wish to purchase a spare set of seals to have handy in case of any damage to the existing ones.

Latex seals are widely available and affordable, although silicone seals may be a better option for divers with a latex allergy. Neoprene seals can stretch but not as much as latex or silicone.

 

6. MAINTENANCE COSTS

Be prepared to invest money into the maintenance of your dry suit. This will keep it in the best condition possible and increase its longevity. Keep in mind what potential maintenance or repairs you might have to pay for during the dry suit’s life, such as valve repair or new seals.

 

7. FIT

While wetsuits hug your body, a drysuit should be a looser fit. It needs to be loose enough so you can wear thermal garments or other suitable clothing underneath. However, the seals around your neck and wrists need to be tight to keep water out.

 

8. POCKETS

You may wish to look for a drysuit with thigh pockets to allow you to store items such as a slate, torch or other tools. The thigh is an accessible area for a pocket.

 

The Adventure Xperience

 

 

 

SCUBA DIVING DRYSUIT REVIEWS

 

1. BEST DRYSUITS FOR TECHNICAL DIVING

BARE X-MISSION

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

 

MATERIAL: Trilaminate

BOOTS/SOCKS: Tech boots

FEATURES: Elastic crotch strap, neoprene collar with water drain, front TIZIP Master-Seal Zipper, M-PADS for knee protection

PROS: Lightweight, even with the tech boots.

CONS: A little bulky

 

 

 

HOLLIS DX 300X

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

 

MATERIAL: Trilaminate

BOOTS/SOCKS: Neoprene socks

FEATURES: Knee pads, velcro pockets, silicone seals

PROS: Light, easy to get on, replaceable seals

CONS: Material not stretchable which can restrict movement, silicone seals are delicate

 

 

 

WATERPROOF D7 PRO ISS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

 

MATERIAL: Trilaminate

BOOTS/SOCKS: Boots

FEATURES: Chill guard, warm neck valve system

PROS: The warm neck valve and chill guard offer extra protection from the cold, heavy duty suit

CONS: Sizing runs large so a small female may not get a watertight fit

 

 

 

 

2. BEST DRYSUIT FOR OVERALL USE

FOURTH ELEMENT ARGONAUT FLEX

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

 

MATERIAL: Trilaminate

BOOTS/SOCKS: Neoprene with dry sock option available

FEATURES: Tear-resistant fabric, two thigh pockets, customizable

PROS: Versatile. Extremely rugged. Will work in extreme cold conditions with the right thermal undergarments as well as warmer climates with lighter clothing underneath

CONS: Price tag – it’s expensive, but without the additional features you would expect for that price

 

 

 

 

3. BEST DRYSUIT FOR TRAVEL

WATERPROOF D6 LITE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

 

MATERIAL: Trilaminate

BOOTS/SOCKS: Boots

FEATURES: Lightweight, easy to fold, latex seals, drain valve at neck, adjustable suspenders

PROS: Lightweight suit making it ideal for travel

CONS: Boots are a narrow fit

 

 

 

 

 

4. BEST DRYSUIT FOR COLD WATER

SCUBAPRO EVERDRY 4

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

 

MATERIAL: Neoprene

BOOTS/SOCKS: Socks

FEATURES: Zippered leg pocket, hood, rear zipper, large kneepads

PROS: Neoprene means you can wear thin undergarments due to its insulating properties

CONS: Large fit around the shoulders and upper back

 

 

 

WATERPROOF D1 HYBRID

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

 

MATERIAL: Trilaminate

BOOTS/SOCKS: Boots

FEATURES: 3D mesh lining for extra warmth, integrated silicone seals, warm neck valve,

PROS: 3D mesh lining is designed for better insulation, making it ideal for cold climates

CONS: Quite an investment – this is the most expensive of all the drysuits we reviewed

 

 

 

 

5. BEST DRYSUIT FOR COMMERCIAL / EMERGENCY DIVERS

VIKING PRO SURVEYOR

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

 

MATERIAL: Unvulcanized rubber

BOOTS/SOCKS: Boots

FEATURES: Gas and watertight heavy duty zips, rotating inlet and exhaust valves

PROS: Extremely durable for all conditions, including contaminated water

CONS: This is a heavy-duty suit so may be too bulky and heavy for recreational divers

 

 

 

 

6. BEST DRYSUIT FOR COMFORT

BARE TRILAM HD TECH

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

 

MATERIAL: Trilaminate

BOOTS/SOCKS: You can choose

FEATURES: Can choose between boots and socks, latex and neoprene seals, vented neck drain, low profile exhaust valve, no-stitch technology

PROS: Easy to move around in, lightweight

CONS: Latex wrist seals a bit difficult to get through

 

 

 

 

7. BEST DRYSUIT FOR ENTRY-LEVEL DIVERS

BARE D6 PRO DRY HD

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

 

MATERIAL: Neoprene

BOOTS/SOCKS: Boots

FEATURES: Vented neck drain, no-stitch technology, TIZIP MasterSeal with low profile

PROS: A warm drysuit, can choose between latex and neoprene neck seal, adjustable low-profile exhaust valve

CONS: Bit heavy and bulky

Top 10 Best Dry Suits For Scuba Diving of 2017 – Scuba Diving Gear and Equipment Posts – Dive Products and Accessories
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