Stay Warm and Relaxed. This collection of wetsuits, drysuits and accessories offers so many options to choose from — and new technologies are expanding those options by the minute — that there’s no excuse for feeling uncomfortable at depth.
What You Need to Know: Drysuits
Drysuits can be constructed of neoprene or combinations of nylon and vulcanized rubber that offer no thermal protection.
Body warmth is maintained by an undergarment of varying materials worn beneath the membrane.
Semidry wetsuits have neck and wrist seals that minimize water movement and heat loss but still work as wetsuits do, by heating water next to the skin.
Drysuits function with similar seals but have an airspace between the body and the suit material that must be filled with air from the tank to prevent squeeze as pressure increases.
Air is vented from a drysuit with an exhaust valve normally located on the upper left arm, the highest point of the suit.
P-valves, special one-way valves on the inner thigh of a drysuit, allow exactly what the name implies.
Vacuum-pack yourself before diving to minimize the air in the drysuit by putting your finger underneath the neck seal, crouch down and hug yourself to force the air out of the suit. Remove your finger and stand up.
To check proper weighting, lift your arm above your head and feel the air move up your arm. Smaller divers should have an air bubble that goes from their wrist to midforearm. Larger divers will feel it go as far as the elbow.
Get the Perfect Fit: Drysuits
Come prepared when trying on drysuits by bringing the undergarment you’ll use with it, or your thickest if you own more than one.
A properly fitted drysuit should allow you to reach behind your head with full mobility and without straining the shape of the suit.
When sized correctly, the suit should allow you to spread your legs without binding or creating uncomfortable pressure.