Drysuits, you either love them or hate them
When you bought your very first drysuit, I’m sure you were really happy with it. Drysuits are meant to keep you dry, until they don’t because of the tiniest hole. Drysuits can be very challenging at times, especially when you use them on a daily basis like us instructors do.
The first time I used a drysuit was probably at the end of 2016. The water was getting much colder due to it being winter. It was time that I did my PADI Drysuit Specialty. What an experience it was! It’s very comfortable and best of all, I was warm and dry! What more could you wish for. After my PADI Drysuit Specialty, I needed to buy my own drysuit. Drysuits can be a very big expense, but for me it was totally worth it. I love my drysuit, but when it leaks, my relationship with my drysuit is not the best. I enjoy teaching the PADI Drysuit Specialty as I get to see most students have the same reaction as me when I did my PADI Drysuit Specialty.
I will discuss the following topic’s; materials and different placings of the zips.
Drysuits come in different materials, shapes and sizes. The most common materials that are used for drysuits are: Neoprene, crushed neoprene and trilaminate.
Neoprene suits are beneficial in that they provide thermal protection, whereas with others, you will need to wear additional undergarments. The neoprene suits are more form fitted, which means less air to be used in the suit and offer the diver a more streamlined suit. Neoprene suits are economical in the sense that they are typically less expensive, and eliminate the need to buy undergarments as well.
Crushed neoprene dry suits are basically a super-thick wetsuit that’s been crushed or compressed. Compression makes the suit thinner, waterproof and reduces buoyancy changes as divers ascend or descend. Neoprene suits are warmer than trilaminatesuits, but they are also heavier. So with crushed neoprene suits, we will need to wear more weight than with trilaminate suits. Divers can wear lighter undergarments compared to trilaminatesuits.
A trilaminatesuit is made up of three thin layers of material laminated together. That’s where it get’s it’s name “tri” meaning three. Trilaminate suits are the lightest weight drysuit of all, but the strongest types of dry suits. The suits dry very quickly after diving or rinsing. Trilaminate material is also available in a very thin, breathable configuration that is used for diving in the tropics. The cut of these suits can be a bit more comfortable than a typical cold water dry suit, since the warm water suit is designed to be used with less insulation. For long duration dives in warm water, this is an especially good way to keep warm in the tropics if you get cold very easy.
Front or back zip. Which one appeals to you? It depends on how much you would like to spend on a drysuit and what type of diving you are doing.
I recon that, depending on the brand, a front zip drysuit is more expensive than back zips. Front zip drysuits are easier to get out of as you can unzip yourself from the front and across your body. With back zips, you will need some assistance as it unzips from left shoulder to right shoulder along your back. While technical diving, in a twinset, you will learn how to do a valve drill (closing your cylinders) with a back zip and this initially, will restrict you from reaching your valves. With a front zip, you will have more flexibility to reach your valves.
Overall, choosing your own drysuit depends on how much you are willing to spend on it and what type of diving you are going to use it for.
If you want to learn more about drysuits why not consider doing your PADI Drysuit Specialty with us.