7 Best Sailing Drysuits (2022)

Drysuits are an essential part of sailing foul weather gear that keeps you warm and dry in wet conditions.

Sailing drysuits are specifically designed to keep your clothes and skin dry when rain, spray, and waves crash over the boat. They make it possible to stay on the deck or in the cockpit and control the vessel during bad weather or high seas.

What is a Sailing Drysuit?

A drysuit looks similar to a diving wetsuit, but the operational principle is different. A wetsuit soaks up water but keeps you warm by insulating you, whereas a drysuit keeps the water out completely.

Drysuits are coveralls made of waterproof synthetic material. They are lightweight and durable and designed to keep water out by staying tight around your extremities.

You can wear warm clothes underneath the drysuit. In this way, it acts a lot like a sealed raincoat. Except unlike a raincoat, a drysuit stands up well to huge volumes of water in the form of horizontal spray and waves.

Wetsuit vs. Drysuit

Staying dry is particularly important on a sailboat, as you're above water and exposed to the wind. In foul weather, the wind is often much higher than normal, which can cause hypothermia in relatively warm conditions.

A drysuit is better for sailing than a wetsuit, as the wind can turn a wetsuit into a wearable evaporative cooler and make you even colder than when you started. Drysuits keep water out, which keeps you warm.

Can you Swim in a Drysuit?

Many people wonder if you can swim in a drysuit. Generally speaking, it's easier to swim in a wetsuit. Drysuits don't fit as tightly as wetsuits, and the same material that keeps water out also holds water in.

That said, there are some drysuits designed specifically for swimming, and they serve the purpose well. Most drysuits are suited for wading through deep water, and they function a lot like fly fishing suits.

Qualities of the Best Drysuits

The best drysuits are durable, lightweight, and cleanable. Cleaning is often overlooked when choosing a drysuit, but it's an essential part of keeping the suit pleasant and hygenic.

Flexibility is an important aspect of comfort, and the best drysuits are either flexible or roomy enough to allow a good range of motion. This is especially important on sailboats, where you need to perform complex tasks.

Qualities like an elasticated waist and articulated arms and legs are important and a mark of a high-quality drysuit. Sailing drysuits vary in terms of features, but these basic qualities are usually found in the best examples.

How to Stay Warm in a Dry Suit

One of the main reasons we use drysuits is to stay warm, as getting wet is one of the quickest ways to lose body heat. Staying warm in a dry suit isn't always as simple as putting it on, which is why it's essential to choose the right underclothes for insulation.

(Video) Top 5 Best dry suits Review in 2022

Traditionally, sailors wore unsealed rubber or waxed canvas ponchos to stay warm in wet and windy conditions. Underneath, they typically wore heavy woolen clothing. Wool makes a lot of sense, as it's one of the only fabric materials that stay warm when it's wet.

However, wool has some notable drawbacks. For one, it's quite heavy, and it's especially heavy when it's wet. This can be dangerous, especially if you fall overboard. Today, dry suits form to your body and seal completely, eliminating the need for wool.

You can still wear wool to stay warm in a dry suit, and many people choose wool socks to keep their feet warm. Many sailors agree that fleece is a superior material, as it's lighter and more comfortable than traditional heavy wool. Synthetic materials are also an option, and thermal clothes are increasingly popular.

7 Best Sailing Drysuits

Choosing a high-quality drysuit is essential if you're an offshore sailor and still a great idea if you mostly sail in coastal waters. Here are seven of the best sailing drysuits on the market today.

7 Best Sailing Drysuits (1)

1. Crewsaver Atacama Sport Drysuit

TheCrewsaver Atacama Sport drysuitis a high-quality drysuit designed for use in all weather conditions. It features all of the basics and includes an additional fitted undersuit for insulation.

The Atacama Sport drysuit is based on the popular Cirrus drysuit, which has been a mainstay of sailing drysuits for quite some time. This drysuit isn't just for sailing, as it was designed for water sports like kayaking and jet skiing.

This drysuit is particularly useful for rough weather sailing, as it provides a superior range of motion compared to others on the market. It's also rather slim and tight-fitting, which is useful for moving around in cramped or complex spaces such as the cabin of a sailboat.

The design of this drysuit is subdued, and there isn't much excess material hanging around the elbows and other areas. This is advantageous on a sailboat, as excess material can snag and get caught in rigging and mechanical devices.

Overall, the Crewsaver Atacama Sport sailing drysuit is an excellent option for offshore sailing. It doubles as a water sport drysuit, so you can use it during a wide range of unrelated activities.

7 Best Sailing Drysuits (2)

2. BR1 Core Sailing Trousers

Here's a different kind of drysuit that's just as popular as a full drysuit. For warmer climates, theBR1 waterproof Core Trouseris an excellent choice. Trousers look like overalls and keep your core dry while exposing your arms for the best possible range of motion.

(Video) Best Dry Suits in 2022

Trousers are particularly popular in tropical regions where harsh weather often accompanies extremely hot weather. Trousers are breathable and still waterproof, meaning they're comfortable and functional.

Another benefit of the BR1 Core Trouser is that it's lightweight and relatively loose-fitting. This makes it comfortable to wear, yet it still sinches down in essential locations.

The BR1 Trouser is waterproof and windproof, making it ideal for spray and choppy conditions. When the weather begins to cool off, you can use it in combination with a waterproof top, effectively creating a full-body drysuit.

When you go below, simply shed the top, and you'll be comfortable. These premium sailing trousers are an excellent example of the market, and they're an affordable piece of an essential foul weather kit.

7 Best Sailing Drysuits (3)

3. Gul Dartmouth EClip Zip Drysuit

The Gul Dartmouth EClip Zip Drysuitis a zip-up sailing suit with some unique features that make it stand out. It's a full-body suit that keeps you dry from head to toe and features sealed socks to keep your feet dry in the worst conditions.

This is a premium drysuit that's constructed with three layers of waterproof fabric. The multi-layer construction is common in the industry, but the Gul Dartmouth drysuit utilizes superior materials compared to some other manufacturers.

All seals on the Gul Dartmouth drysuit are made of neoprene, which is a durable and waterproof material that stands up well to all kinds of weather conditions. Neoprene is also comfortable and non-allergenic. However, there is latex in other parts of the Gul Dartmouth drysuit, such as the socks. People with latex allergies should take this fact into consideration.

The Gul Dartmouth drysuit utilizes a horizontal zipper system, which is unique in the market. This zipper is designed to open the suit wide enough to get in and out comfortably, which is difficult on traditional drysuits. The zipper is also waterproof, and it's not a weak point where water can enter easily.

The Gul Dartmouth drysuit is breathable, but it may not be ideal for the hottest climates. Drysuits can become uncomfortable in tropical climates, especially during the summer when temperatures can exceed 100 degrees. That said, its waterproof and windproof qualities are good enough to justify taking it along in any environment.

The Gul Dartmouth drysuit is roomy and ideal for use in cold conditions. Due to the extra space inside and the fully-waterproof design, there's plenty of room for fleece or other warm undergarments. You can purchase a specially-designed sailing under fleece to go along with the Gul Dartmouth drysuit, though it's not included when you purchase the suit.

(Video) Best Kayak Fishing Drysuit

7 Best Sailing Drysuits (4)

4. Gill Dinghy Drysuit

The Gill Dinghydrysuitis a great drysuit for sailing and watersports. It's lightweight, comfortable, and goes on easy without too much trouble. Plus, it's made of high-quality materials, which makes it ideal for long-term use.

Like most premium drysuits, the Gill Dinghy drysuit is flexible in all the right places and durable in spots that need extra reinforcement. Like the previous model, this drysuit features a cross zipper, which makes it easy to slide on and off.

The Gill Dinghy drysuit is designed for use in severe weather. It's a dinghy drysuit, which means the designers intended it to keep sailors of small open boats warm in bad weather. With that in mind, it makes a particularly good drysuit for larger vessels with more spray protection.

It features an elasticated waist, large cargo pocket, and adjustable elastic braces for custom-fit comfort. The Gill Dinghy drysuit is constructed with four layers of waterproof fabric, which is one layer more than the industry standard. While that doesn't necessarily make it more waterproof, the additional layer of the fabric increases the durability and longevity of the suit.

The Gill Dinghy drysuit is breathable and features fully tapered seams for durability and comfort. The finish is waterproof and water-repellant, which prevents water from sticking to it and spreading around when you go down below to the cabin.

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5. Palm Atom Back Zip Drysuit

Here's a popular drysuit designed for kayaking that's also useful for sailing in rough weather conditions. Kayaking drysuits are advantageous, as they're designed for a sport that requires a good bit of flexibility and a wide range of movement. Many sailors find kayaking drysuits to be more comfortable and durable than others.

This drysuit falls into the 'ultra-premium' category, as it's made with the very best materials available. This is the kind of drysuit that you buy once and use for years. It's a professional suit which works well in most weather conditions.

Like the Gill Dinghy Drysuit, the Palm Atom Back Zip drysuitutilizes four separate layers of material to make up its waterproof shell. These four layers are heavy duty and designed to stand up to wear and weather. It features reinforced panels for long life and double-taped socks for toughness.

Another notable feature of this drysuit is its lack of four-way seam joints. It also features latex wrist and neck gaskets, which are tough and long-lasting. That said, people with latex allergies may want to use caution before purchasing this drysuit.

The outer collar of the Palm Atom drysuit is made of neoprene, which is comfortable and flexible. The drysuit seals around the waist using a belt-like strap, which makes it easy to adjust and remove. Overall, the Palm Atom drysuit is an excellent option for sailing with a partner, as it may be tricky to zip from the back yourself.

(Video) Top 5 Best Kayak Dry suits Review in 2022

7 Best Sailing Drysuits (6)

6. Prolimit Nordic Sup U-Zip Drysuit

The Prolimit Nordic Sup U-Zip drysuitis an affordable and durable drysuit with a unique zipper system and full-body protection. From a distance, the Prolimit Nordic drysuit looks like it utilizes suspenders and a separate pair of pants. But in reality, the entire front unzips, allowing easy use and removal.

The Prolimit Nordic drysuit is designed specifically for use in winter conditions. It's an excellent option for sailors in northern latitudes, where conditions get much colder and windier than in the gulf or the Caribbean. The Prolimit Nordic drysuit works well with fleece liners as well, which are necessary for cold conditions.

Unlike many sailing drysuits, the Prolimit Nordic drysuit comes with an added flex panel at the back to make bending and twisting side-to-side easier. Many people find that drysuits tend to bind up during these motions, which is why the Prolimit Nordic suit has an advantage.

Generally speaking, suits like the Prolimit Nordic are ideal for wearing for long periods of time. In colder conditions, the suit is warm and has room for additional insulation below. For summer conditions, this breathable suit is a good option. That said, a set of drysuit trousers would be more ideal for hot tropical conditions.

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7. Gul Code Zero Drysuit

The final sailing drysuit on our list is an affordable option designed specifically for cold weather. The Gul Code Zero drysuitis a full-body waterproof drysuit with a fleece lining designed to keep you warm in harsh wind and spray.

Like the other Gul drysuit we featured, the Code Zero is made from high-quality layered waterproof material and designed to stand up to harsh conditions. It's tight around the neck and wrists, ensuring a snug fit and reliable water tightness.

The Gul Code Zero drysuit features flexible material in all key areas, which allows it to stretch when needed. This is advantageous, as it allows you to manipulate the suit to tend to winches, lines, and move freely around the vessel without trouble.

This particular Gul drysuit comes with a fitted fleece liner as a separate unit. This is useful, as you can use the fleece liner when you're below in the cabin to keep warm in cold weather. The liner is the same shape as the drysuit, and it slides in with ease.

Overall, the Gul Code Zero drysuit is a great all-in-one cold weather drysuit. It's affordable and comes with Gul's reputation for quality sailing gear. This is the ideal drysuit to purchase for sailing in mild climates where wind and spray can interfere with your ability to sail.

(Video) New Zhik Drysuit - Platinum for 2021

FAQs

Are drysuits better than wetsuits? ›

DRYSUITS VS WET SUITS

Drysuits offer one significant advantage over wetsuits – they keep you warm out of the water as well as in it because they withstand the cooling effects of the wind. The major disadvantage of the drysuit however is its cost and the additional training required to use it.

Do drysuits keep you completely dry? ›

A drysuit, as the name indicates, keeps you completely dry by ensuring that no water gets into the suit. It can be made out of foam neoprene, crushed neoprene, vulcanized rubber, or heavy-duty nylon. It's also fully sealed and uses a combination of wrist seals, a neck seal, and a waterproof zipper to keep you dry.

What are the types of drysuits? ›

The Different Types of Drysuits

There are two main types of scuba drysuits: membrane (also called a shell or trilaminate drysuit) and neoprene. A membrane suit is often made with a trilaminate (or three-layer) design, which is lightweight, easily foldable, and without inherent buoyancy.

Are neoprene drysuits good? ›

Neoprene Drysuits

Neoprene suits are beneficial in that they provide thermal protection, whereas with others, you wear additional undergarments. The neoprene suits are more form fitted, which require less air to be used in the suit and offer the diver a more streamlined suit.

At what temperature do you need a drysuit? ›

Drysuits are usually used when diving in colder waters with temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Some divers

divers
Scuba diving is a mode of underwater diving whereby divers use breathing equipment that is completely independent of a surface air supply. The name "scuba", an acronym for "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus", was coined by Christian J. Lambertsen in a patent submitted in 1952.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Scuba_diving
will also choose to use drysuits when they need to dive for extended periods of time.

At what water temperature should you wear a drysuit? ›

The authors of this website strongly recommend the use of drysuits when paddling in water that is less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Wet suits will provide adequate thermal protection for most paddlers in water between 60-70°F at a lower cost.

Can you pee in a wetsuit? ›

Nothing in your urine will eat away at the seams of your wetsuit or create holes, so don't worry about damaging your suit with a little bit of pee here and there. That said, you should always be sure to properly rinse out your suit in freshwater after a dive to keep it in the best shape possible.

What should you wear under a drysuit? ›

Even though dry suits seal out water, it is possible to get wet from your perspiration or a leak; so as with other outdoor sports, the best types of clothing to wear under a dry suit are clothes made from materials that insulate even when wet. This includes polypropylene, pile fleece, wool, etc., but not cotton.

How long will a drysuit last? ›

Dry suits, with proper care, can last 15 – 20 years or more. This is using the suit on a regular basis- say 100 dives a year. A wetsuit seeing that much use may last five years. In the long run, a drysuit may actually be less expensive.

How is a drysuit supposed to fit? ›

They should get within 3 or 4 inches of each other before there is binding. It's ok if the suit is a little tight across your back when your elbows are touching. Generally speaking, less room in a drysuit is better – lots of extra space inside a suit is hard to heat and can make for a 'colder' suit.

How do you size a drysuit? ›

The following measurements should be taken on the person's front:
  1. Head. Above the eyebrows straight around head. ...
  2. Neck. Around neck at widest point. ...
  3. Wrist. Across wrist bone (make sure hand is relaxed). ...
  4. Forearm. Widest point below elbow (arm relaxed).
  5. Biceps. Widest point on the upper arm (arm relaxed). ...
  6. Armhole. ...
  7. Chest. ...
  8. Waist.

How much does a drysuit cost? ›

You can get into a decent entry level suit for around $1500 (USD). This may not cover the cost of an undergarment, so make sure to ask your sales person what accessories are included with the suit and which ones you will need to add to the overall cost.

Do you stay dry in a wetsuit? ›

The short answer to “is a wetsuit waterproof?” or “do you stay dry in a wetsuit?” is No. Not one bit. It's actually the opposite. A wetsuit depends on the water getting inside the suit and next to your skin to keep you warm.

Do drysuits keep you warm? ›

Depending on the dry suit you select, the suit normally does not keep you warm. Common dry suit material like Trilaminate, vulcanized rubber, coated fabric, and even crushed neoprene suits have little insulating properties.

Do wet suits keep you warm? ›

A wetsuit is a neoprene insulation suit made for warmth and protection in watersports. Wetsuits work by trapping a thin layer of water between your body and the suit. This layer of water is warmed by your body which prevents you from losing too much heat while in the water.

Can you use a drysuit in warm water? ›

To help divers get the most of their warm water dive vacations, DUI has created a drysuit designed especially for them. It is made with breathable/waterproof trilaminate material with M3 Technology giving you the protection you need in the water yet comfortable to wear out of the water, too.

Can you swim in a dry suit? ›

Some divers will prefer wearing a drysuit for out-of-the-water activities due to their restrictions. In cold conditions, when the temp has restricted the wetsuit's movements, a drysuit could be favorable for the task as well.

Can you wear a drysuit in the summer? ›

Diving dry during the summer can also allow a diver

diver
Scuba diving is a mode of underwater diving whereby divers use breathing equipment that is completely independent of a surface air supply. The name "scuba", an acronym for "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus", was coined by Christian J. Lambertsen in a patent submitted in 1952.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Scuba_diving
to remain well-practiced (on dry suit technique) and comfortable. Similarly, it eliminates the need for multiple wetsuits for various water temperatures.

Is it cold in a dry suit? ›

While you need to take your own tolerance to cold into consideration, most scuba divers

divers
Scuba diving is a mode of underwater diving whereby divers use breathing equipment that is completely independent of a surface air supply. The name "scuba", an acronym for "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus", was coined by Christian J. Lambertsen in a patent submitted in 1952.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Scuba_diving
use a drysuit when diving waters below 60° F/16° C. Some divers can tolerate temperatures as low as 50° F/10° C in a 7mm double-layer wetsuit while others put on their drysuit when diving waters below 75° F/24° C.

Does a drysuit get you cold? ›

Bottom line, it's easy to get cold even when you wear a drysuit. But with a little attention to what you wear underneath, every dive can be like a tropical vacation.

Can you dive with a dry suit? ›

In cold water (water below 13℃) we always advise divers

divers
Scuba diving is a mode of underwater diving whereby divers use breathing equipment that is completely independent of a surface air supply. The name "scuba", an acronym for "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus", was coined by Christian J. Lambertsen in a patent submitted in 1952.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Scuba_diving
to go diving with a dry suit. A dry suit is completely waterproof and provides insulation via the air space in the dry suit. This air space, combined with the under suit ensures that you stay warm and can dive comfortably.

Do drysuits keep you warmer than wetsuits? ›

Both are designed to keep you warm and the main difference is in the material and functionality. Wetsuits are made of rubber neoprene and are designed to keep you warm when wet, but unlike drysuits, they are not waterproof. So, if you have a loose fitting wetsuit you will get cold.

Do drysuits keep you warm? ›

Depending on the dry suit you select, the suit normally does not keep you warm. Common dry suit material like Trilaminate, vulcanized rubber, coated fabric, and even crushed neoprene suits have little insulating properties.

Is a wetsuit or drysuit better for scuba diving? ›

Buoyancy.

Wetsuits compress with depth and lose some of their inherent buoyancy. Dry suits allow the diver

diver
Scuba diving is a mode of underwater diving whereby divers use breathing equipment that is completely independent of a surface air supply. The name "scuba", an acronym for "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus", was coined by Christian J. Lambertsen in a patent submitted in 1952.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Scuba_diving
to add air and compensate for the increased pressure at depth. As the wetsuit compresses, it gets thinner and loses insulating capacity. The dry suit does not.

Do drysuits help you float? ›

Because of the drysuit's design, air is present inside the suit. This will keep you buoyant in the water so you spend the majority of your time gently floating on the surface of the water. If you choose a drysuit, we recommend wearing thermal underwear under your suit.

What do you wear under a drysuit? ›

Even though dry suits seal out water, it is possible to get wet from your perspiration or a leak; so as with other outdoor sports, the best types of clothing to wear under a dry suit are clothes made from materials that insulate even when wet. This includes polypropylene, pile fleece, wool, etc., but not cotton.

How much does a drysuit cost? ›

You can get into a decent entry level suit for around $1500 (USD). This may not cover the cost of an undergarment, so make sure to ask your sales person what accessories are included with the suit and which ones you will need to add to the overall cost.

Do you wear anything under a wetsuit? ›

You should know that wetsuits are designed to keep your body warm underwater. Some scuba diving gurus advise that you wear nothing under a wetsuit for it to perform its purpose optimally. Wetsuits are designed to feel comfortable on the body even when you are not wearing anything or wearing something.

Can you pee in a wetsuit? ›

Nothing in your urine will eat away at the seams of your wetsuit or create holes, so don't worry about damaging your suit with a little bit of pee here and there. That said, you should always be sure to properly rinse out your suit in freshwater after a dive to keep it in the best shape possible.

Do you need a BCD with a drysuit? ›

Contributor. For Buoyancy control, you must use the BCD. The only reason to put air inside the dry suit is to stay warm and to avoid being pressed at depth. You should use a minimun amount of air inside your dry suit, just to feel comfortable and avoid folds of the suit which will mark your skin under pressure.

How cold can you dive in a drysuit? ›

While you need to take your own tolerance to cold into consideration, most scuba divers use a drysuit when diving waters below 60° F/16° C. Some divers can tolerate temperatures as low as 50° F/10° C in a 7mm double-layer wetsuit while others put on their drysuit when diving waters below 75° F/24° C.

Can you use a drysuit in warm water? ›

To help divers get the most of their warm water dive vacations, DUI has created a drysuit designed especially for them. It is made with breathable/waterproof trilaminate material with M3 Technology giving you the protection you need in the water yet comfortable to wear out of the water, too.

Do wetsuits keep you warm in cold water? ›

This is probably one of our most commonly asked questions – do wetsuits keep you warm? In short, yes, wetsuits do keep you warm. But they won't completely protect you from hypothermia or from the chills.

Can you wear a drysuit in the summer? ›

Diving dry during the summer can also allow a diver

diver
Scuba diving is a mode of underwater diving whereby divers use breathing equipment that is completely independent of a surface air supply. The name "scuba", an acronym for "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus", was coined by Christian J. Lambertsen in a patent submitted in 1952.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Scuba_diving
to remain well-practiced (on dry suit technique) and comfortable. Similarly, it eliminates the need for multiple wetsuits for various water temperatures.

How long should a drysuit last? ›

Of course, a quality drysuit can also last you 10 years or even much longer—if you treat it right. Take care of your drysuit is when you're using it. A drysuit's most critical components—seals and zipper--are most susceptible to damage when getting into and out of the suit.

Can you wear a wetsuit under a drysuit? ›

Of course, a wetsuit under a drysuit can't be beat as the drysuit is better at warding off the wind chill effect. I always wear polar fleece under my drysuit.

Can you snorkel in a drysuit? ›

Answer to your question is YES you can snorkel in a drysuit. You will be at the surface, so you won't really be able to get into TOO awkward a position.

Videos

1. 10 Best Dry Suit - Tactical Gears Lab
(Tactical Gears Lab)
2. Wetsuits vs Drysuits - What You Should Know for Cold Water Sports
(Our Kite Life)
3. Winter Watersports? You need the Crewsaver Atacama Sport Drysuit. Ideal for dinghy sailing and more.
(Force 4 Chandlery)
4. #FridayFocus - Zhik Drysuit
(Sailing Chandlery)
5. SUP Dry Suit Review
(Todd Winslow)
6. Crewsaver Atacama Pro Drysuit - To keep you warm and dry for all watersports activities.
(Andark Diving)

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