Wet suit vs dry suit
When planning a dive for a diver it is vital to choose the right suit , and not to get lost in their diversity? Wetsuit vs drysuit? Let’s try to understand.
Water conducts heat away from the body 25 times faster than air, so adequate protection in water below 32 degrees (the temperature at which the body can retain its own heat) is essential for comfort and safety.
The first choice when deciding on which exposure protection best fits your needs is to determine what water temperatures you plan to dive in. If they will be below 16 degrees Centigrade (60°F) a drysuit will almost certainly be best choice. Above that water temperature a wetsuit would normally provide the best solution.
Drysuits keep you warm in cold water and above it protecting you from the wind.
But drysuits aren’t cheap and you will need additional training to use it.
When you wear a wetsuit it retains thin layer of water next to your skin allowing your body heat that water and keep you warm. But it’s needs time. After that the wetsuit will be very comfortable.
Usually wetsuits made of neoprene. High quality neoprene could stay with you a long time. Large scuba manufacturers like Probe, Cressi, Northern Diver, Sonar etc will guarantee it.
You need to know about the difference between Scuba diving and snorkelling wet suits and surface sport wetsuits(for wind surfing and surfing).
Types of Wetsuit (depend from water temperature)
- Semi DrySuits reduce the flushing effect of the warm water being washed out of the drysuit by cold water entering, the special material around the ankle, wrist and neck areas make this possible.
- Full length steamer is essentially the same as a shorty wetsuit but these wetsuits include full length arms and legs. These wetsuits will provide extra warmth as well as protection from minor cuts or injuries.
- Layer systems have replaced traditional semi-drysuits, they give more warmth and versatility. Two or more layers are better at retaining.The warm water and also allow the use of thinner neoprene which create extra warmth.
- Shorty wetsuit will be super in the warmest water. A wetsuit with short arms and legs is best used in not cold water or long duration dives.
Usually there are three main thicknesses of wetsuit: 3 mm, 5 mm and 7 mm. Drysuits are thicker.
Wetsuits and Drysuits Fit
A wetsuit should be snug, if it feels comfortable and you move ok, it should be fine. Scuba wetsuits have a longer zip than surface wetsuits which make them somewhat easier to get on and take off.
A zip will not stretch to allow for the extra movement required in say wind surfing. The neoprene panel at the base of the zip is made as long as possible to allow the back of the suit to stretch, a feature not necessary for scuba diving.
Wetsuit and a Drysuit Features
Plush lining is best described as tiny loops of weave that stand proud of the internal surface. The idea is to trap more layer of water within the wetsuit.This lining also gives the body a very comfortable and soft feel. In the case of the Probe iDry range, this lining not only adds extra warmth, but also dries very quickly, which is great if you’re taking the wetsuit on and off.
Plastic zippers are less susceptible to corrosion, but also weaker than metal. It is better to prefer zippers of well-known brands like YKK. In thick suits it is better to use zippers down to the ankle. They facilitate the process of dressing in the suit.
Also on thicker suits you can find additional material down the spine and above the kidneys. They can provide better comfort, because there are key places of heat loss.
The layer of material between the zipper and the body protects the body from micro-injuries and stops the flow of water through the zipper .Zip Baffle will also work for your comfort in your wetsuit and drysuit.
Modern wetsuits in titanium coating are often supplemented with a titanium lining, which helps stop heat loss by reflecting it from the body. It also heats the thin layer of water in the websuit, as heat is reflected. This creates a double positive effect.
Increasing Your Wetsuit’s Warmth
As the wetsuit ages, the neoprene bubbles become smaller (or rather crushed), which in turn means a reduction in the heat retention offered by the wetsuit. This process cannot be stopped. Over time, there will be a question of replacing it with a new wetsuit.
However, you can increase the body heat potential by layering, a “Rash vest”, which is a thin lycra, (similar to a tight-fitting T-shirt) is ideal.
After each use of the wetsuit and a drysuit, it should be washed in fresh water, and then let to dry naturally away from direct sunlight.
For better care, it is also recommended to use a special shampoo for neoprene.
The right shampoo helps retain neoprene and remove odor. The worst thing about real neoprene wetsuits is ozone, which attacks neoprene and can weaken it, leaving unpleasant sticky spots on it, usually in places of stress, which happens at a certain stage (usually when you wear a suit to dive!)
If you plan to use yours wetsuit or drysuit again soon it is a good idea to hang it on a wide shoulder hanger to allow it to dry.
If you do not plan to dive in the near future, you should (as soon as it is completely dry) carefully fold it (without sharp folds) and place inside a black lining. To stop ozone, which destroys the material, a wetsuit and a drysuit would be stored in a cool dark place.
Unlike a wetsuit, the principle of operation of a dry suit is that the layer of air near the skin holds water from the outside, which is the best thermal insulator. Dry suits are made mainly of trilaminate and neoprene.
Each of them has its disadvantages and advantages.
Difficult to get on and off due to close fitting and very buoyant.
Choosing the right size of a dry suit, it is necessary to take into account the various sizes of manufacturers. As some sizes of a drysuit dressed in underwear are considered, and others – a shirt and jeans.
When choosing a drysuit or wetsuits, you should put on the clothes in which you plan to dive under it. Then the suit should be closed, fastened with a zipper and the air drawn out by pulling the seal on the neck to release the air and then squatting. When most of the air is released, you should release the seal on the neck to prevent the air from replenishing the suit when you get up. After that, try to get on your knees, and place your feet on the floor in the style of a Cossack dancer.
This is done to make sure that the legs are long enough, and if you think it is pulling and uncomfortable in the perineum, the suit is too short for you.
It is important that the suit is long enough so that your legs can bend completely. While in the Cossack position, embrace your arms as if trying to keep warm. This way you will make sure that the suit has enough shoulder width to move freely.
For shoes, choose a standard shoe size or one size larger if you use thick thermal shoes.
The cuff release is located near the wrist on the cuff and is controlled by simply raising the hand to the highest point, where the air pressure in the dry suit causes the one-way valve to open and expel excess air.
Shoulder or automatic reset is again located near the shoulder.
The dump valve has a spring that is sensitive to pressure, which allows it to automatically release excess air from inside the dry suit.
In fact, not everything happens automatically.
However, it is popular for use in more expensive drysuits.
Caring For Latex Seals
The drysuit will have tight seals on the neck and wrists.
They can be made of both neoprene and latex. The latter are more successful, but not durable. They can be replaced at home, but it is recommended that a professional technician replace the seals, because a flooded drysuit due to a faulty seal can be a frightening and dangerous experience.
When you get your drysuit, the seals will almost certainly be too tight, and if you look at the inside of the seals, you will notice thin rubber rings. They show where you can cut seals to improve the comfort and fit of your seal. Tip: cut off the rings one by one with a sharp tool. The seal should remain tight, as the seal will weaken over time, but only to the point of causing dizziness or tingling.
Main Points To Consider When Purchasing A Wetsuit VS Drysuit
The fitting of the wetsuit is important.When you choose a wetsuit remember to take any underlayers into account when you wear a wetsuits.
Make sure the suit sits snugly but does not cause discomfort.
Check the protection at the wear points. Try to open and close the pockets using gloved hands.
If you regularly wear a drysuit, half-open in between dives, take one with braces.
Check the length of the drysuit. You can easily squat and cross your arms. Check warranty issues
A long warranty can indicate good drysuit quality.
Drysuit with socks will require additional shoes. Make sure the boots fit the dry socks of the drysuit and they still fit in your fins.
Frequently Asked Questions about Suits for Scuba Diving:
Do you put on clothes underneath your wetsuits?
Wetsuits are created to keep you warm without the need for additional layers.
You have the option of going naked and wearing nothing below your wetsuit. Other than a swimming suit, most people don’t wear anything underneath their wetsuits. Female divers wear bikinis or one-piece swimsuits, while male divers wear board shorts.
Men could wear cycling shorts or equivalent under their wetsuits and ladies could wear a one-piece swimsuit. When you remove your wetsuit, you will happy if the undergarment to be constructed of quick-drying material.
Change to a thicker wetsuit or wear thermal Lycra or neoprene shorts under your wetsuit if the water is colder. You’ll gain more insulation and keep warmer this way.
How tight should my wetsuit be?
A wetsuit should, in principle, fit properly, almost like a second skin, but not so tightly that your freedom of motion is restricted. There should be no holes, pockets, or rolls of neoprene, and the sleeves (if full-length) should fall at the hand bone and the legs just above the ankle bone.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of drysuits for scuba diving?
Drysuits prevent water from penetrating the skin of the garment. As a result, these suits are more warmer than wetsuits and are suitable for cooler water.
Another advantage of drysuits for scuba diving is that they keep you warm even when you’re not in the water. This is due to their ability to endure wind chill.
Drysuits are perfect if you’ll be spending a lot of time out of the water and diving in lower temperatures.
The main disadvantages of drysuits are that they are substantially more expensive than wetsuits and that appropriate use requires additional training.