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Wetsuit or Drysuit which is better and why

Wetsuit or Drysuit What Should You Buy

What is the Difference Between a Wetsuit and Drysuit and What Should You Buy?

We were asked what is better a drysuit or a wetsuit?   Before we answer that question it's important to know what are you going to be doing in the water?   These suits act very different and buying the wrong one won't help.  

Wetsuit Details

Let's go over a few differences of the suits first.  The wetsuit fits tightly around your body and these can come in many different styles.  The 2 most popular wetsuits are the full suits and spring suits.  The full cover more of your skin and would be used in cooler water.  The Spring suits are cut short on the sleeves and above the knees exposing even more skin.  Not only can you get wetsuits with different coverage you can get them in different thickness.  To keep it short the thicker the suit the warmer it should keep you.  The wetsuit allows water the enter small membranes in the suit and uses your body heat to keep that water warm.  This creates a barrier between you and the cold water.  Wetsuits will also allow for increased mobility.  Consider what you will be using the suit for before you make your purchase.  Example:  If you need to go underwater a wetsuit would be a better choice.  

The Drysuit

The Drysuit works a bit different by not letting water touch your skin, or letting water into the suit.  With that said most drysuits will let a small amount of water in usually by the neck, wrists, ankles, and back zipper.  With a drysuit, you can wear your normal clothes underneath.  If you are getting into extremely cold water dress warmer just like you would on a cooler day.  Loose fitting clothes like sweatshirts and sweatpants seem to work really good.  Try and avoid pieces that bunch up like Hoodies.  If you really get the itch to be on the water after the ice melts then a drysuit might be a better choice.  In the northern states having both drysuits and wetsuits is not out of line.  If you want to extend your season by a month or two you can start with a drysuit and move to a wetsuit as the water warms.  Drysuits are a little easier to share if you have a crew of riders that want to split the cost of a suit.  

To help you better choose go over these questions:

  • What is the purpose of buying the suit? 
  • What will you use it for?   Surfing Ocean Waves = Wetsuit
  • Will other people use it?  Yes = Consider a Drysuit
  • Do you need to go under the water?  YES = Wetsuit
  • What is the water temp? Like Ice = Drysuit
  • How Much flexibility do you need?  Lots = Wetsuit
  • What is your Budget?  Under $200 = Wetsuit

Both of these suits have their pluses and it all depends on what the primary use will be.  If you purchase a wetsuit check out our care and cleaning post to make your suit last even longer.  You can shop all our Wetsuits, Rash Guards, and Drysuits at 88 Gear


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