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What Is A Dry Wetsuit?

Posted by ecostinger on 9th Jan 2017

If you are a paddler, then you probably are aware that dressing properly may mean the difference between enduring an immersion and succumbing to cold shock, cold incapacitation and hypothermia during chilly conditions. Water conducts heat away from the body faster than anything else. They say you only have about 5 minutes to swim in water whose temperature is about 50 degrees before succumbing to hypothermia and eventually drowning especially if you are swimming unprotected.

What’s a Dry Wetsuit?

It’s a protective garment designed to give a layer of protection between the body of the wearer as well as the surrounding water by effectively sealing off all areas of the body which are covered, to ensure no water can penetrate. It accomplishes its function with a waterproof fabric plus a form-fitting design which entails impermeable seals at the neck, wrists, as well as ankles of the suit. Normally, the seals comprise of latex, an impenetrable material which will remain agile for some time while maintaining the impervious seal.

The Inflation Valve and Vent Valve

One of the features of a dry wetsuit that stand out is the inflation valve, which enables the person who is wearing the suit to adjust the suit's buoyancy. This is quite crucial, as the protective garment may sometimes be worn for water activities such as deep diving. The valve injects gases kept in a diving regulator to regulate pressure within the suit, which is necessary for descend.

And when the diver's ready to resurface, they use a vent valve that comes with the suit to expel the gas out of the garment. On some suits, the diver will need to control the valve manually whereas on others, it will function automatically. However, just like any other device, a vent valve is prone to failure. In case of a malfunction, the wearer can release the air in the course of an ascent by slackening off the wrist seals or the neck just a little bit.

Popular Types of Dry Wetsuits

The neoprene suit and the membrane suit are the most popular types of dry wetsuits. The former provides some level of heat insulation and helps to maintain the buoyancy. Generally, it's normally considered the best, as no undersuit is required and neoprene characteristics make it less prone to losing buoyancy should the suit get damaged. The latter is normally made of materials like a mixture ofbutyl rubber and nylon. This type of dry wetsuit doesn't provide any real heat insulation. However, it can be complemented with an undersuit for adequate thermal protection and buoyancy.


As said before, water conducts heat away from the body faster than anything else. Therefore, adequate protection in water below body temperature is necessary not only for comfort but safety as well. It is important to always wear a dry wetsuit for cold water activities to avoid having cold shock and succumbing to hypothermia, a severe medical condition in which your body temperature becomes extremely low. These suits are readily available both online and in local stores that deal in sportswear.