The Best Women’s Drysuits - How to Choose the Perfect Drysuit for You (2022)

The Best Women’s Drysuits - How to Choose the Perfect Drysuit for You (1)

We can’t all be diving in warm tropical waters all the time, and some of the best sights to be seen are found in much cooler climes. So what do we do when we need to keep warm underwater? Don a drysuit, of course!

Shopping for a drysuit is not the simplest task, though. With the wisdom from our Girls that Scuba community, we’re here to help you find the best women’s drysuit, as well as sharing what you need to know about drysuit materials and drysuit undergarments.

The first thing to consider when you’re shopping for a new drysuit is what material to choose. The two most common drysuit styles are trilaminate (also called membrane) suits, and neoprene drysuits. Both have their advantages and disadvantages for different types of diving.

Membrane or trilaminate drysuits are constructed from a triple layered fabric - generally a waterproof rubber centre with flexible fabrics on either side. This is usually nylon or similar, but commercial or technical drysuits can also be layered with Kevlar for its hard wearing properties.

Trilaminate suits are generally bulkier, with more of an airspace between the diver and the suit. Trilam has little insulating power on it’s own, and it’s actually the undergarments which will keep you warm underwater. You can customise these layers depending on the water temperature, making it a great option for those who dive in areas where the water temperature fluctuates throughout the year (such as UK diving).

The Best Women’s Drysuits - How to Choose the Perfect Drysuit for You (2)

Crushed or compressed neoprene has stronger insulative properties alone than trilaminate. As they don’t need to leave as much space for thick undersuits, neoprene drysuits have a much closer fit than membrane suits. This means the diver is more streamlined underwater, moving more efficiently with less drag than in a trilaminate suit.

Whilst crushed neoprene is naturally more buoyant than trilaminate (which some see as the main downside to neoprene), the additional layers needed underneath a trilaminate suit can also be similarly buoyant. We recommend talking to other drysuit divers in the location you plan to dive to work out which combination of suit material and undersuit will work best for you.

(Video) Drysuit buying guide FOR BEGINNERS - How to fit a drysuit 🧑‍🚀

When thinking about drysuits, you should consider your suit itself and the undergarments as equally important. It’s a full exposure suit system, rather than the suit doing all the work on its own.

The most important properties with drysuit undergarments are insulation and wicking, which means drawing moisture (sweat) away from the body. Natural fibres are generally best for this, with merino wool being a popular choice. Undersuits used to be thick and bulky, but fabrics have come a long way. You will now find endless options of customisable layers which are less buoyant, have stronger insulative properties, and are much easier to wash.

The Best Women’s Drysuits - How to Choose the Perfect Drysuit for You (3)

Fourth Element drysuit undergarments are always some of the most highly recommended, as they have a whole wardrobe of customisable base layers available. This means you can choose based on the water temperature and your personal cold tolerance. The toasty Fourth Element Arctic layers are perfect for underneath trilaminate suits, whilst their thinner Xerotherm top and leggings would work for neoprene drysuit users.

Bare’s drysuit layers are also popular within the GTS community, with their SB Mid Layers and Ultrawarmth Base Layers being particular favourites.

Fit is one of the most important factors when choosing any scuba diving equipment. This is particularly true for exposure suits, where a badly fitting suit will mean the suit doesn’t keep you as warm as it should.

(Video) Choosing a Drysuit

With drysuits you have the added consideration of buoyancy. If a drysuit doesn’t fit well, areas of excessive air can make it really challenging to get your buoyancy right. It can even be potentially dangerous - large air pockets in places such as your legs can make you more likely to end up in a feet-up runaway ascent.

The Best Women’s Drysuits - How to Choose the Perfect Drysuit for You (4)

With this in mind, most drysuit manufacturers will offer a tailoring service to achieve the perfect drysuit fit. This often means adapting their off the peg suits with some modifications, sometimes for free or for a small additional cost.

For a truly perfect fit, look for completely made to measure suits. This can also come at an extra cost, but it will be worth it to have a suit which is streamlined exactly to your body’s proportions. This is also a great option for plus size divers.

With our community discussing scuba equipment on a daily basis, we definitely know which brands get the approval of women in the dive world. These are seven scuba brands which come highly recommended for women’s drysuits.

The Best Women’s Drysuits - How to Choose the Perfect Drysuit for You (5)

Santi is a Polish brand which offers trilaminate suits, and their E.Lite Drysuit is a GTS favourite. There is a significant women’s presence on their team, which perhaps contributes to their great suit offering for women.

They offer 12 women’s sizes, and leg and arm lengths can be adjusted on their standard sizes within the price of the suit. For more custom sizing, they also have a made to measure service which uses 24 measurements for a perfectly adjusted fit. It’s always worth trying dive equipment in person, and Santi’s global network of dealers makes them widely accessible.

Bare Drysuits

Bare is always a brand which comes up when women ask about great fitting wetsuits, and apparently their drysuits are no exception! This could once again be impacted by having women involved in their design process.

Bare offer mostly trilaminate suits with a few neoprene models, too. Their neoprene suits in particular (Guardian Pro Dry and Guardian Tech Dry) are often praised by women in the GTS community. Their size range includes 11 standard women’s sizes, with short and tall options available in some sizes. Custom sizing is also available.

(Video) Drysuit buyers advice from a paddle shop
The Best Women’s Drysuits - How to Choose the Perfect Drysuit for You (6)

With their base layers being so great, it only follows that the drysuits over the top are brilliant too. Fourth Element have two drysuits on offer - their trilaminate Argonaut 2.0, and the crushed neoprene Hydra.

Like many drysuits, the Argonaut is entirely customisable - you can change seals, valves, boots, pockets, and choose to install a p-valve. The Argonaut isalso fullymade to measure,and the fitting can bedone in person at a Fourth Element dealer or online via their BIOMAP system.

The Hydra comes in 11 sizes with short and tall options, and Fourth Element have an interactive sizing tool to help you find the correct size from your measurements.

O’Three Drysuits

O’Three are the experts when it comes to compressed neoprene drysuits (although they do offer a trilaminate suit too). They are passionate about the benefits of neoprene drysuits for the reduced bulk and buoyancy from base layers, and the improved streamlining underwater.

Whilst the number of standard sizes is small compared to other brands (with a total of six women’s sizes visible online, noticeably less than their men’s), they do have a free remote tailoring service. You receive your estimated off-the-peg size, communicate with O’Three via video call or by emailing pictures, send the suit back to them and it will then be returned to you once it’s been tailored.

This “Off the Peg - Made to Fit” service includes small adjustments to seals, changing boots, and adjusting leg length. For larger adjustments their “Off the Peg - Made to Fit Plus” service will set you back an additional £100. If you’re based outside of the UK, you will also incur the cost of the extra shipping to have the suit customised. Other customisations include seals, boots, p-valves and pockets. For fully made to measure suits, you can plan a fitting at their store in Dorset, UK.

(Video) Dry Suit Guide

The Best Women’s Drysuits - How to Choose the Perfect Drysuit for You (7)

From the neoprene experts to the trilaminate experts, Otter drysuits are also a UK-based bespoke drysuit manufacturer whose suits are worn and loved by divers all over the world. Their drysuits are customisable as standard - you have the option to upgrade seals, add dry gloves, change boots, or add a p-valve.

They have a generous 14 off the rack women’s sizes on offer, with 2-3 shorter and taller options per dress size. For an additional £125 any suit can be made to measure, which is generally well worth the cost. Their made to measure system works from 26 measurements to ensure a perfect fit.

The Best Women’s Drysuits - How to Choose the Perfect Drysuit for You (8)

If custom suits from specific drysuit manufacturers are harder to get for you, some of the big name scuba brands have fantastic drysuits in their ranges, too. Aqua Lung’s Fusion drysuit line is popular and is a unique suit featuring two layers, one for warmth and one for flexibility. This style requires a different approach to donning and doffing, so definitely try it on in person to work out if it’s right for you.

Their compressed neoprene Blizzard and Blizzard Pro drysuits are also worth considering if one of the seven women’s sizes works for you.

Scubapro Drysuits

Much like with Aqua Lung, Scubapro is such a huge global brand that their drysuits should be easily found around the world. If you can find the correct fit, they are well constructed suits which can last many years of dry diving.

They offer both neoprene (Exodry and Everdry) and trilaminate suits (Evertech), however, they are limited by their sizing. The Everdry only offers 6 sizes for women, and we’d love to see this match up to the 10 sizes offered for men. Additionally, Scubapro don’t offer any customisation of sizing so any tailoring must be taken on by a third party.

(Video) Top 5 Best dry suits Review in 2022

FAQs

How do I choose a drysuit? ›

Choosing the Right Drysuit Fit

It's important to choose a suit that does not restrict your normal range of motion, is easy to operate and is not too tight around your neck, wrists and ankles. Another key factor to consider is the size of the drysuit's boots if it has hard bottom boots.

How do you know if a drysuit is too tight? ›

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.

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.

Do you wear anything under a drysuit? ›

Since dry suits don't provide much inherent insulation (with the exception of some SCUBA diving suits), you'll need to wear some clothes under them to stay warm. The colder the conditions, the more insulation you'll want to wear.

Do you wear socks with drysuit? ›

Boots or socks

Some dry suits have boots and some have socks. With most suits you buy from the shop you cannot choose if you want boots or socks. With brands that make customised dry suits, you usually do have this choice.

Do you need more weight with a drysuit? ›

As a general rule of thumb, most people will need an additional 4 to 6 pounds of weight while diving with a dry suit compared to what they wear with their normal thermal protection while diving in the same waters.

Do you sweat in drysuits? ›

Depending on the weather and the clothing worn, perspiration can build up inside a drysuit.

How warm do drysuits keep you? ›

Wetsuit vs Drysuit – Let's Recap
WetsuitDrysuit
Water temperature> 60° F/16° C< 60° F/16° C
InsulationKeeps you warm when wetKeeps you warm when dry
FitSkin-tightLoose
MobilityBetterWorse
6 more rows
2 Sept 2019

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.

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.

What temperature water should you wear a drysuit? ›

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

What happens if you pee in a drysuit? ›

Peeing in a drysuit is just not a good idea. Not only is it messy, it will degrade the effectiveness of your underwear and you will become extremely cold. Fortunately, there are several options available to drysuit divers. Don't knock adult diapers until you've given them a try.

How do you stop a drysuit squeeze? ›

Make sure that you can open and close the pockets with cold wet hands, and thick gloves. “Buoyancy underwater in drysuit diving can be by using the drysuit only (the jacket is used only at the surface), or by a mixture of the jacket for buoyance, adding air to the suit only to stop squeeze.

What causes a dry suit squeeze? ›

Drysuit squeeze is a type of barotrauma or pressure injury to the skin that is caused by a failure to add air to your drysuit during descent. While descending, the volume of the air spaces is reduced and trapped in the folds of the suit.

Do you still get cold in a dry suit? ›

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.

What kind of boots should I wear with a drysuit? ›

Turbo Boots

These boots are attached directly to the drysuit with a sneaker-type sole and ankle straps. These are preferred by divers who prefer a smaller boot or who like not having to carry an extra set of boots. It is also popular with divers who like maximum ankle flexibility for finning.

Do you need boots for drysuit? ›

Drysuits can have either attached boots, ankle seals (rare, but used by surfers etc), or attached socks.

What do you put on drysuit zippers? ›

The easiest way to lubricate your zipper is to use DUI ZipStick® (635213), running the lubricant up one side of the zipper and down the other. Make cleaning caked-in wax/salt/sand out of your zipper's teeth part of your post-dive equipment rinse (we recommend using an old, soft-bristled toothbrush).

Can you overheat in a drysuit? ›

Overheating before a dive

In situations where the air is warm but the water cold, a prolonged time on the deck of a boat donning a dry suit and other gear can present a risk of overheating to the diver. This is a particular problem to relatively inexperienced divers, who may require more time to dress in.

Do you float in a drysuit? ›

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.

Does your hair get wet in a dry suit? ›

We do not advise buns or high ponytails as they will be quite uncomfortable under your hood, and bunches or twin braids can make a dry suit removal more difficult. Please be aware that your hair is going to get wet, so please bring a towel if you prefer drying your hair afterwards.

How tight is a drysuit? ›

It should be snug, but not tight. If you are new to drysuit diving, a snug neck seal may feel a bit uncomfortable out of the water.

Can I use baby powder on my drysuit? ›

Absolutely! Just make sure what you are buying is in fact talcum and not corn starch.

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.

How do you store neoprene drysuits? ›

How to store and maintain your drysuit - YouTube

Are drysuits 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.

How do you store drysuits? ›

Store them out of direct sunlight in cool, dry conditions. Store drysuits with plastic TIZIP® zippers fully closed. Store suits with metal zippers with zippers open. Do not store them in rooms with combustion sources, such as a furnace room; they can generate ozone, which damages latex.

What do you wear under a drysuit diving? ›

You must select your clothing depending on how cold the water is. Do you have a thick Neoprene dry suit? Then if the weather is warm and the water is (relatively) warm, a thin underlayer like a sweater and sweatpants are probably sufficient.

What happens if you pee while scuba diving? ›

In our previous blog article we have explained that it is perfectly normal to have the urge to pee while diving. It's the body's natural reaction to the underwater environment, conditions and also to the fact that you needed to stay hydrated prior to the dive.

How do you go to the toilet with a wetsuit? ›

Flush your wetsuit to allow the urine to escape. You can do this by holding the chest of your wetsuit and pulling it away from your body once or twice and then pulling on the collar or cuffs of your suit to release, a few times. Try not to pee too close to your buddy!

Why should you not pee in a wetsuit? ›

Peeing in Wetsuits Can Damage Their Fabric: TRUE

Human urine is 90-95% water. The rest are compounds like urea, chloride, sodium, potassium, creatinine, inorganic sulfur, and others. This means that it is slightly acidic and its pH ranges from 5.5 to 7. In other words, urine is corrosive.

What is better for cold water wetsuit or drysuit? ›

In most cold water conditions a wetsuit is more favorable for performance in the water, while drysuits are more favorable out of the water.

How much weight do I need with a drysuit? ›

As a general rule of thumb, most people will need an additional 4 to 6 pounds of weight while diving with a dry suit compared to what they wear with their normal thermal protection while diving in the same waters.

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 will also choose to use drysuits when they need to dive for extended periods of time.

What is better for cold water wetsuit or drysuit? ›

In most cold water conditions a wetsuit is more favorable for performance in the water, while drysuits are more favorable out of the water.

How much is a good dry suit? ›

You can get into a decent entry level suit for around $1500 (USD).

Do you sweat in drysuits? ›

Depending on the weather and the clothing worn, perspiration can build up inside a drysuit.

Do you need boots for drysuit? ›

Drysuits can have either attached boots, ankle seals (rare, but used by surfers etc), or attached socks.

How tight is a drysuit? ›

It should be snug, but not tight. If you are new to drysuit diving, a snug neck seal may feel a bit uncomfortable out of the water.

Can you overheat in a drysuit? ›

Overheating before a dive

In situations where the air is warm but the water cold, a prolonged time on the deck of a boat donning a dry suit and other gear can present a risk of overheating to the diver. This is a particular problem to relatively inexperienced divers, who may require more time to dress in.

Are o Three drysuits good? ›

O'Three are excellent. Neoprene dry suits that are more than a couple of mm thick and uncompressed are pants. £900 for a 5mm uncompressed suit is just silly. If you have the money then an O'Three MTM made from their 1mm compressed material would be a very good suit.

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.

Is it better to have a zipper on the front or back on a wetsuit? ›

The first benefit of a back zip wetsuit is that it is generally more roomy than a front zip wetsuit. This is because the back zips usually open up wider. The back zips are easier to put on as well due to the large back zipper but can't be zipped up as easily by yourself compared to a front zip wetsuit.

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.

What type of suit keeps you warm in the water? ›

Wetsuits are made of a kind of rubber called neoprene. The suit traps a thin layer of water between the neoprene and the wearer's skin. So, the wearer is always wet—that's why it's called a wetsuit. Body heat warms the layer of trapped water and helps keep the wearer warm.

How long do dry suits last? ›

Drysuits require periodic servicing too, which is also pricey. Replacing a neck seal can set you back $100, a valve $125, a waterproof zipper $300 to $500. 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.

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.

Why dry suit is better than a wetsuit? ›

They are more comfortable and easier to put on than a 5 or 7mm wetsuit. A drysuit completely seals you from the external environment, keeping you warm, dry and comfortable even in the coldest water. All over a sudden, your dive season is longer, and you are no longer limited to the warm summer and fall months.

Videos

1. ▶️ Dry Suit: Top 5 Best Dry Suit For 2021 - [ Buying Guide ]
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2. Scuba Basics: Everything You Need To Know About Drysuit Diving
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3. Neoprene Drysuit VS Trilaminate Drysuit | VS Monday
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4. Women's X-Mission Drysuit
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