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5 Best Drysuits For Scuba Diving

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From well-preserved shipwrecks to thriving kelp forests and iconic tectonic divides, cold-water scuba diving offers some of the most impressive sites you’ll ever experience. Not to mention a lack of crowds. This is an amazing experience but it is not something that can always be done with ease.  Without proper exposure protection, you’re going to struggle seriously and that’s where a drysuit comes in.

AT A GLANCE: OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST DIVE DRYSUITS

Not only will a drysuit prevent hypothermia, but the right drysuit will also tremendously increase the enjoyment of your dives. This is not to mention that it can lengthen your diving season if you don’t have easy access to warm waters year around. The other great thing is that it will open up new diving locations around the world for you to visit and explore. 

Whether you’re ready to buy your first drysuit or you just want to learn more about the best drysuits for scuba diving you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out what the best drysuits are for this year.

Best Drysuits For Scuba Diving

Man wearing a Fourth Element Argonaut Flex 2.0 on the beach
  • Material: Flex trilaminate, kevlar reinforced
  • Seals: Neoprene or silicone
  • Hood: Yes
  • Pockets: 2
  • Zip: Front
  • Boots or Socks: Neoprene socks with dry boot option

Fourth Element is easily one of the biggest brands in diving, and the quality of its products speaks for itself.

The Fourth Element Argonaut Flex 2.0 is one of the best drysuits on the market. The impressive design and Bio-mapping custom-fit service make this one of the most comfortable drysuits available.

The Flex-Trilaminate material is thick, rugged, and durable without sacrificing your range of movement. It also has two pockets that also have internal pockets, D-rings, and bungee cords so you won’t lose any of your gear.  It is quite handy. 

If you’re looking for a drysuit that delivers what’s promised, then look no further than the Fourth Element Flex 2.0.

What we love

  • Great for extreme, and mild conditions
  • Duratex panels
  • Two tech pockets
  • Front entry
  • Apeks inlet and exhaust valves
  • Custom fit

Downsides

  • Due to Bio-map service can take around 12 weeks to make.
  • Expensive
SEAC Mens budget dry suit on white background
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Seals: Neoprene
  • Hood: Yes
  • Pockets: 1
  • Zip: Rear
  • Boots or Socks: Integrated boots

The SEAC Warmdry is an ideal first drysuit for any recreational diver who’s ready to commit to diving in colder waters.

A low-profile design creates a beautifully streamlined drysuit that’s flexible and comfortable. Made from high-density neoprene, the SEAC Warmdry drysuit provides exceptional thermal insulation without becoming heavy or bulky. The semi-flexible boots allow your feet to move easily and can be turned inside out for quick drying. 

The Glid-Skin neck gives you a solid seal to keep the water out and allows you to get in and out of it easily. The semi-rigid boots are also handy as you can flip them inside out to speed up the drying process. 

If you’re looking for a great budget drysuit that’s easy to use and provides exceptional warmth, then the SEAC Warmdry 4mm is the best option for you.

What we love

  • Excellent thermal protection
  •  24 month warranty (if bought new)
  • Comfortable seals
  • Flexible & lightweight

Downsides

  • Boots don’t provide much grip
  • Sizes come up a little small
  • Only 1 large pocket
AquaLung best overall dry suit on white background
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Seals: Neoprene
  • Hood: Yes
  • Pockets: 2
  • Zip: Rear
  • Boots or Socks: Integrated boots

Loaded with innovative features at a reasonable price, the AquaLung Fusion Bullet is our best overall drysuit.

The AquaLung Fusion Bullet drysuit combines AquaLung’s patented breathable AirCore lining with a high-stretch neoprene shell. This innovative dual-layer design means that this drysuit is super warm underwater, but remains comfortably cool on land. Even in hot air temperatures. Which is something that no other drysuit can offer.

The semicircular zipper makes this dry suit easy to get in and out of, even if you’re by yourself. And the expandable cargo pockets remain functional without causing much impact on your trim.

What’s more, the ergonomic design of the dual layers ensures that this drysuit remains perfectly streamlined with almost no restriction of movement.

The outer layer of this drysuit can be purchased separately and easily changed. This means that you can replace the outer shell without having to buy a whole new drysuit.

What we love

  • Dual-layer design keeps you warm underwater but cool on land
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Highly flexible
  • Streamlined pockets
  • Durable & longlasting

Downsides

  • Lots of zips & velcro due to it’s dual-layer design
Aqualung best for women dry suit on white background
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Seals: SLT technology
  • Hood: Yes
  • Pockets: 1
  • Zip: Back
  • Boots or Socks: Integrated socks with dry boot option

The Blizzard Pro has an excellent range of movement and flexibility, which makes it one of the most comfortable and easy-to-put-on drysuits available. 

It is a rarity as well because it uses a special PAH-free neoprene. This means that is not made with petroleum-based products.  An environmentally friendly wetsuit is a growing trend and something to take note of. 

The drysuit is outfitted with a neoprene neck seal and replaceable silicone wrist seals, which gives the drysuit and very comfortable, yet effective feel with its impressive buoyancy control and harness features.

Another bright spot on this drysuit is the hood with a smoothskin face seal. This prevents water from getting in and will allow for air that is trapped to escape without you getting wet.

What we love

  • Super comfortable
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • SLT technology and Yamamoto neoprene
  • Ultra-reflective safety strips

Downsides

  • Can bulge slightly in the shoulders
  • Quite expensive
Bare X-mission evolution dry suit for tech diving on white background
  • Material: Nylon Trilaminate
  • Seals: Nylon
  • Hood: No
  • Pockets: 2
  • Zip: Front
  • Boots or Socks: Neoprene socks with dry boot option

Bare’s X-Mission Evolution is designed with the advanced tech diver in mind.

Its trim has been cut to deal with advanced cave dives and is hardy enough for the tightest penetrations.  The ripstop material that it is made from will aid you in case you bump into a wall or get in and out of the water. It also packs down very well and is lightweight for a drysuit, so you can travel with it with ease. 

The drysuit boasts an adjustable elastic waistband for you to situate yourself more comfortably.  Also for your comfort, you can remove the inflator valve backer pad to prevent some squeezing at deeper depths. A lot of drysuits wear out at certain parts faster due to friction so this wetsuit has replaceable suspenders as well as a crotch strap to make it more customizable and fixable yourself. 

Although it’s been designed for advanced tech divers, the X-Mission performs well as a recreational drysuit.  One great thing is that it comes in all sizes from small to 4XLs and in tall sizes as well.

What we love

  • Designed by a cave diving team
  • Highly durable material
  • Anatomically cut for comfort
  • Two sturdy tech pockets on the thigh
  • Excellent low-profile Apeks valves
  • Women’s and men’s sizes available

Downsides

  • Very expensive

How To Choose The Best Drysuit

Drysuits are not the cheapest piece of scuba diving gear. So it’s important to consider a few things before buying your own.

Best Drysuit Material

Recreational drysuits come in 2 main materials which are neoprene or membrane. Which drysuit material you choose depends on your personal preference and the type of diving you plan on doing.

Membrane Drysuits

 

Membrane drysuits (also referred to as trilaminate, laminate, and shell suits) are made up of 3 or more layers of fabric which make them waterproof.

Membrane drysuits are very robust but they don’t offer any thermal protection. So it’s important you buy enough undergarments to keep you warm underwater.

They generally have a looser fit than neoprene drysuits so you can add more insulation underneath.

If you will be diving in varying degrees of cold water then a membrane suit offers you more flexibility to adjust your undergarments to different temperatures.

What’s more, because membrane drysuits are thin they’re super lightweight which makes them ideal for traveling. Plus they’re easy to clean and quick to dry.

Man wearing a membrane dry suit

Neoprene Drysuits

As the name suggests, neoprene drysuits are made from neoprene, just like a wetsuit.

However, unlike a wetsuit, a neoprene drysuit will have a lining on the inside and outside which makes them fully waterproof.

Neoprene wetsuits are significantly thicker and warmer than membrane drysuits, which means you need fewer undergarments to stay warm.

Neoprene drysuits are also more form-fitting and flexible which many divers find more comfortable.

 

ScubaPro neoprene dry suit on white background

However, due to their thickness neoprene drysuits are much heavier and bulkier. They’re also easier to puncture than a membrane drysuit.

Plus the bubbles in the neoprene will have an effect on your buoyancy when diving deeper.

More expensive neoprene drysuits will undergo a process of crushing or compression to make them thinner and more durable.

A compressed or crushed neoprene drysuit is even more flexible and has less effect on your buoyancy as the bubbles are also compressed.

Best Drysuit Seals

close up of a dry suit neck seal

The seals are arguably the most important part of your drysuit.

Typically you will have 3 seals on your drysuit; one at the neck and two at the wrists.

But there may also be seals around the ankles. Or around the face, if the drysuit features a fully integrated hood.

Drysuits seals come in 3 different types; latex, silicone, and neoprene.

No drysuit seal will last forever but each type has its pros and cons. So let’s take a look…

Latex

Latex drysuit seals are effective, affordable, and very flexible. However, they can feel tight and they’re more liable to tear.

Latex seals will also stretch and degrade over time. Plus they’re no good if you’re allergic to latex!

Silicone

Silicone seals are a great alternative for a membrane suit if you’re allergic to latex. They’re incredibly comfortable, provide an excellent seal, and are easy to change. But silicone seals are quite fragile and require a ring system to be attached to the suit.

Neoprene

Neoprene seals are the toughest and provide even pressure against your body. However, they’re not as effective or stretchy as the other seals. You may need to fold a neoprene seal to make it fully watertight.

Best Drysuit Zips

Drysuits can have front entry zips, U or back zips, and shoulder zips. The location of the drysuit zip is down to personal preference and whatever you find easiest.

A front zip is easier to close by yourself but a back zip gives a more streamlined look.

You can also add a P-valve to most drysuits, aka a pee zip, for an additional cost.

Drysuit Socks Or Boots

Drysuit sock on white background

Once you’ve decided what material you want your drysuit to be made of, it’s time to think about your feet. Drysuits will either come with built-in socks or boots.

Some drysuits will end in a thin neoprene sock.

Although waterproof, these socks are not thick enough to protect your toes from the cold. Nor sturdy enough to protect your feet from rough ground.

With this style of drysuit, you will need to wear rock boots. Rock boots come in a variety of styles and sturdiness to suit the environment you’re diving in.

Rock boots are easy to repair and replace. Plus they have a tighter, more custom fit which makes your finning much more efficient.

However, they’re heavy to travel with and are an additional cost on top of buying the drysuit. You may also need to go up a size in your fins to accommodate your rock boots.

Bare Force ! drysuit boots on white background

If you’re looking for a reliable pair of rock boots, we recommend the Bare Force 1 rugged drysuit boots.

With their heavy-duty sole, easy lacing, and superior fin strap stability these are a great drysuit boot for all environments.

Built In Drysuit Boots

built-in drysuit boots on white background

The majority of drysuits come with built-in boots. The leg of the drysuit simply ends with a boot.

These built-in boots will be made from the same material as the drysuit and will feature some sort of sole for grip.

Built-in boots are easier to put on, lighter to travel with, and significantly more affordable than rock boots.

However, they usually don’t fit as well and are harder to replace.

Frequently Asked Questions

A drysuit works by preventing water from coming into contact with the diver’s skin. Because water conducts heat away from the body 20 times faster than air, a diver who stays dry underwater will lose body heat much slower than when diving in a wetsuit.

Contrary to popular belief, a drysuit alone doesn’t actually keep you very warm. Air by itself isn’t particularly insulating. Therefore drysuits have a loose fit which allows you to wear clothes or other insulating layers underneath.

A drysuit works by preventing water from coming into contact with the diver’s skin. Because water conducts heat away from the body 20 times faster than air, a diver who stays dry underwater will lose body heat much slower than when diving in a wetsuit.

Contrary to popular belief, a drysuit alone doesn’t actually keep you very warm. Air by itself isn’t particularly insulating. Therefore drysuits have a loose fit which allows you to wear clothes or other insulating layers underneath.

All of the dive computers we’ve listed above are intuitively designed for recreational divers so they’re relatively easy to use. 

It’s not always easy to access all those tropical diving destinations that we dream about. This means that sometimes we have to dive locally in order to satisfy our underwater cravings. And for most of us, diving local means cold water!

What’s more, there are some seriously spectacular cold water dives around the world that can only be reached in a dry suit. A drysuit opens up scuba diving all year round and anywhere in the world.

If you’re frequently diving in water temperatures below 60° F (15° C) then it’s definitely worth buying your own drysuit. Drysuits are well worth the investment and the little time needed to learn how to use one properly.

Drysuits are usually used for scuba diving in waters below 60° F (15° C) or if planning to dive for extended periods of time.

Remember water conducts heat away from your body 25 times faster than air. So even if the water isn’t below the typical threshold for drysuit diving, many divers will opt for a drysuit to make sure they’re comfortable.

What temperature you need for diving in a drysuit will completely depend on your personal tolerance for the cold. Some divers are happy diving in a thick wetsuit in water temperatures as low as 50° F (10° C). While others will reach for a drysuit as soon as the water drops below 75° F (24° C).

So it really depends on how much you feel the cold and how long you’ll be in the water.

The seals of a drysuit should be a snug fit but not uncomfortable. If you’re new to diving in a drysuit, a snug neck seal might feel a little uncomfortable out of the water. But once you’re submerged, a properly fitting neck seal is comfortable.

The main body of a drysuit should not be tight. A drysuit needs to be loose enough to allow you to wear enough insulating layers and move freely. If the drysuit becomes tight when adding undergarments or moving around then you should go up a size.

A drysuit will keep you dry but not warm. It’s waterproof and windproof but doesn’t provide any insulation. If you don’t wear anything under your drysuit you’ll probably get rather cold! So you should wear additional layers underneath your drysuit to keep you warm.

Although a drysuit seals the water out, it’s still likely you’ll get a little damp from perspiration or if there’s a tiny leak.

Therefore the best type of clothing to wear under a drysuit is made from materials that still insulate when wet.

Anything made of fleece, wool, or polypropylene is great. But not cotton. Take a look at some of the available types of drysuit undergarments.

For diving in extremely cold water, it’s recommended you wear a one-piece undersuit. This is basically a sleeping bag with arms and legs that you wear underneath your drysuit. With varying thicknesses available you’ll be nice and toasty throughout your dive.

Yes, you definitely need to wear a BCD with a drysuit. When scuba diving with a drysuit you still use your BCD to control your buoyancy.

The only reason you add air to your drysuit to equalize the pressure inside the drysuit at depth and help keep you warm.

You want to have the minimum amount of air inside your drysuit, just enough to be comfortable and prevent a drysuit squeeze.

If you treat it right, a good quality drysuit can last you 10 years or even longer. Taking proper care of your drysuit, before, during and, after diving, is essential if you want your drysuit to last you a long time.

Just like your BCD and regulators, a drysuit also requires regular servicing to keep it in top working condition.

This mostly depends on the temperature of the water you’ll be scuba diving in. And a little of how much you struggle with the cold and your experience level.

A drysuit will keep you much warmer than a wetsuit.

However, because of their tight fit, wetsuits are more comfortable and offer significantly better flexibility and mobility than a drysuit.

What’s more, drysuits are a little trickier to use, especially for beginners.

Simply put, a drysuit keeps you dry and a semi-drysuit let’s water in.

A semi-drysuit is more similar to a traditional wetsuit. Made from neoprene, a semi-drysuit features seals that are designed to minimize the amount of water exchanged in the suit. Whereas a drysuit is made of heavier duty materials and has better, tighter seals that keep the water out completely.

Semi-drysuits are designed for diving in cold water. Drysuits are for diving in even colder water. A drysuit will keep you much warmer out of the water and in between dives than a semi-dry or wetsuit.

Scuba diving in a drysuit requires you to learn a few techniques. To begin with, drysuits can be a little tricky to use, from putting it on to controlling your buoyancy and getting the weights right. But once you’ve got the hang on diving in a drysuit it’s pretty much the same as diving without one.

The main difference when scuba diving with a drysuit vs a wetsuit is that you’ve now got another airspace to consider. Not only will you need to equalize this airspace, but it will also have an impact on your buoyancy.

There are also a few potential problems that can occur when diving in a drysuit that you need to be familiar with. As a result of these additional skills, it’s recommended you complete a drysuit certification before diving in a drysuit

Although it’s not strictly mandatory to get a drysuit certification to go diving in a drysuit, most dive centers will ask you for proof of certification before doing a drysuit dive or renting one.

What’s more, getting properly trained on how to dive in a drysuit will save you a lot of frustration. Not to mention that the incorrect use of a drysuit can seriously jeopardize your safety underwater.

A good drysuit for scuba diving is a worthwhile investment if you’re frequently diving in colder water. There’s really is nothing that takes the joy out of diving faster than being freezing cold.

And when looked after properly, these drysuits are sure to keep you warm and toasty for several years to come.

So now you know all of the best drysuits for scuba diving it’s time to make your choice!

Which drysuit did you pick? Have you tried diving in your drysuit yet?

Let us know your experience below.

Looking for other dive accessories to go with your new drysuit?

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    My name’s Austin Tuwiner, a PADI Divemaster based in South Florida. With nearly 10 years of diving under my belt, I’ve accumulated the knowledge to help readers become better divers, buy their next piece of gear, and plan their dream dive vacation!

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