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Difference Between Wetsuits and Dry Suits

Difference Between Wetsuits and Dry Suits

Have you ever looked at a wetsuit and a dry suit side by side? They are similar in some ways, but the difference is stark. The first thing you will notice is that they are made of different materials. Wetsuits are usually made from neoprene rubber, while dry suits use synthetic or wool fabrics. Dry suits also have zippers on them that allow for easier entry and exit than your average wetsuit zipper does. So what’s the benefit of either one? Read on to find out!

What is a Wetsuit?

A wetsuit is a close-fitting garment that covers the whole body except for the head, hands and feet. Wearing one of these can be really beneficial because they provide insulation from cold water. They are made from neoprene rubber which means they have to stay wet in order to work properly.

The most important thing about a wetsuit is that it should fit snugly around your chest area without being too tight or restricting movement. If you plan on diving while wearing your suit, make sure there’s no extra material near your wrists and ankles so you will have more mobility when swimming through currents.

Wetsuits typically come with zips down either side that allow easy entry and exit – this also makes them impervious to water.

There are two types of wetsuits, shorty and long-sleeved. Shorty suits can be worn by all members of the family whereas long-sleeved ones should only be worn if you have a slim body type because they will fit tightly around your chest area, preventing more room for movement.

Wetsuit materials: Wetsuits are made from neoprene rubber which means this material needs to stay wet in order to work properly – so make sure not to wear one while drying off after getting out of the pool or ocean! This is also why it’s important that you get fitted for your suit before wearing it on any trips; otherwise there might be too much extra material hugging your skin , or not enough to allow you to move around.

Wetsuit care: Washesuits should be washed every month with a detergent that is specifically designed for neoprene rubber, and they can either be hung up to dry or put in the clothes dryer set on low heat.

What is a Dry Suit?

Dry suits are made of various neoprene and other materials that will keep you warm if your body gets wet. Dry suit material does not need to stay wet in order to work properly, so they’re a great option for those who want more mobility while wearing one. While some people don’t like the feel of drysuits on their skin, there is also a type called “neoprene-free” which most people find more comfortable – but it might be too stiff or bulky for swimmers with smaller builds.

Wear time: Wetsuits can only be worn during swimming activities when water temperature stays at 50°F (or warmer) all day long; whereas dry suits can typically handle anything up to freezing temperatures .

Drysuit Materials: Dry suits are typically made of rubber, neoprene or other wetsuit-like materials.

Drysuit Features: Drysuits come with a number of features that make them more comfortable and flexible for swimming – including velcro straps to adjust the tightness around the neck, chest and waist; reinforced seams along the length of arms and legs (to allow more bend without risk); extra material in key places like underarms, as well as at crotch level to ease movement when sitting on wet surfaces.

Costs: Wetsuits can be fairly affordable depending on what type you buy, but dry suit prices will vary quite a bit based off quality and brand. A good start is $100-$200 for an entry-level suit.

Difference Between Wetsuit and Drysuit

Water Temperature

Dry suits are commonly associated with ice-diving and cold water diving, but some divers prefer to wear them in warmer weather. For example, if you’re less tolerant of the colder temperatures or just don’t want a wetsuit on your skin when it’s warm out then opting for a dry suit is probably going to be easier than attempting any other type of dive gear that might not work as well under those conditions.

Insulating Power

Dry suits are well known for their insulation capabilities, which is part of the reason that they’re more popular than wetsuits in colder water. Wetsuits typically provide better ventilation and less protection from cold waters to compensate for this lack of thermal insulating power.

Dry suits are capable of keeping you warm in water as cold as 28.44°F, but they’re not always effective when the air temperatures are higher than 77°F outside (or 86°F inside). Wetsuits work well for any type of water temperature and can be worn by themselves or with a dry suit over top depending on your preference.

Ease of use

Dry suits are typically easier to put on and take off than wetsuits. The types of body padding needed for a dry suit is much less extensive than that required for a wetsuit, making the process faster and more straightforward. Wetsuits require you to peel them off from your feet up in order to change into another one when it’s time to come out of the water; this can be messy and laborious if there’s any sand or saltwater still inside. A wet suit also requires periodic rinsing with fresh water between dives so that they don’t get too smelly! Dry suits do not need this type of care as long as they’re kept clean.

Buoyancy Rating

The buoyancy rating of a dry suit is higher than that of a wetsuit. Wetsuits typically come in from 0-200 lbs, whereas most dry suits are rated at about 350lbs or more. The extra weight helps you stay afloat better and also gives your body the ability to adapt easier to changes in depth by using water as an equalizer for pressure on both sides of your body. As with everything else though there’s trade offs: these larger weights make it harder for divers who want to free dive without any assistance all day long to wear one but they’re perfect for recreational scuba diving where air tanks are used which offer enough buoyancy support when combined with the jacket/bodysuit.


Dry Suits are more mobile than Wetsuits. They allows you to move your arms, legs and body in all directions without any restrictions. Dry suits also provide enough mobility for divers who need to carry a tank or dive gear with them when they’re diving. The flexibility of the material prevents it from restricting movement like neoprene does on wetsuit wearers. Dry suit users can walk around easily even after wearing one for hours underwater because there’s no pressure exerted on their joints due to the watertight seal between the zipper and fabric that keeps out water while allowing air inside so you don’t experience ‘the bends’. You do not have this same range of motion in Wetsuits since they’re made from a thicker material with a tighter fit.


Dry Suits require a lot more maintenance than Wetsuits. Dry suits are made to be watertight so they have zippers that must be lubricated regularly and fittings for the hose or regulator that need to stay free of corrosion by using silicon grease on them after every dive, which can get expensive if you’re diving often. The dry suit also needs a periodic check-up at least once per year with some attention paid to areas like seals and valves since it is porous due to its breathable design

Wetsuit care is much simpler because all wetsuits only come in one thickness and don’t usually leak when properly maintained. They may require occasional rinsing off but other than that there’s little upkeep required.

Last modified: June 9, 2021