How to choose the right drysuit for you
October 12, 2022
Did you know that the human body loses heat 25 times faster in water than in air? And the colder the water – the quicker you’re going to cool down.
This is why drysuits are an essential piece of kit for watersports enthusiasts living in cooler climates or anyone wanting to extend their sailing/kayaking/SUP season in more temperate seasons.
A drysuit’s primary function is to keep you dry! Drysuits allow you to continue having fun on the water without freezing, and they do this by providing a 100% waterproof barrier between you and the H2O.
When purchasing a drysuit, there’s a lot more to consider than just staying dry, as not all drysuits are created equal.
Made from a variety of waterproof materials such as heavy-duty nylon, drysuits are not designed for warmth when used in isolation. Drysuits are designed to be worn over clothes or multiple layers of insulating garments, and how much you’ll need to wear under it to keep you warm needs to be considered when you’re buying as it’ll affect the sizing and fit.
Think about the water temperature, how much time you spend in the water (generally on a par with how good you are (or not!) at your chosen activity) and your own personal temperature characteristics – if you feel the cold, leave room for little extra thermal protection.
This is a huge topic, so if you’d like to know more about layering there’s a blog designated to the importance of base and mid layers on the website.
Drysuits can be used for a variety of watersports from sailing to SUPing – basically any activity where you’ll be in contact with cold water. The more often you’re likely to be in the water, the heavier duty and more resilient you’re going to want your drysuit to be.
Look for drysuits made from durable waterproof material, with reinforcement in key areas to reduce the effect of wear and tear. Ideal for dinghy sailing, Typhoon’s Runswick Front Entry drysuit is made from waterproof and breathable TX-4 fabric with PU-reinforced knees and seat, which offers extra durability where you need it most.
If you regularly enjoy more than one on-water activity, and let’s face it most of us do, but you can’t shell out for more than one drysuit, and let’s face it most of us can’t, you might want to think about a multisport drysuit – one that allows you to seamlessly switch between dinghy sailing, paddleboarding or kayaking.
Hugely popular across a variety of different disciplines, Typhoon’s Multisport 2.0 Back Entry is waterproof, breathable and robust. It’s all about comfort and performance on the water, with a latex neck seal to keep you dry and an adjustable neoprene warm neck cover for particularly chilly days.
Movement and flexibility
There’s nothing worse than a drysuit that you must literally do battle with, just to get it on.
Mobility and comfort are key when considering any drysuit. You want to be able to get ready quickly, paddle freely when kayaking, or high-five your friend when your dinghy crosses the line first.
Cut, the position of the zip and the material of the neck and wrist seals are all factors to consider. Typhoon’s Ezeedon 2.0 Front Entry drysuit is not only one of the lightest suits to wear, thanks to its Front entry YKK® Aquaseal zip and Glideskin neoprene neck and cuff seals, it’s also one of the easiest to don.
Articulated throughout, the Ezeedon also ensures hauling yourself back onto your paddleboard when you’ve fallen off is a piece of cake! There really is no better test of mobility than that! And what’s more – it comes in a women’s specific fit too meaning there’s plenty of room around the hips and upper legs and the excess fabric across the shoulders has been removed.
Imagine it’s cold and wet, you’re all toasty in your drysuit and then nature calls. Do you want to have to literally strip everything off to be able to take a bathroom break? Of course, you don’t, but so often that’s the case with drysuits – to keep the water out, they have to keep you in!
Keeping hydrated while afloat is important, so the ability to easily visit the loo is a consideration if you’re going to be using a drysuit. For example, Typhoon’s MS Rapid Back Entry drysuit has a suitably placed YKK® Aquaseal convenience zip across the groin area for the boys, while the Hendra Hinge Entry drysuit takes care of the girls. The Hendra’s has a specially adapted zip placement for women, which can be used as a drop-seat convenience feature, allowing women to go to the loo in a more natural position without having to take everything off.
Do you need to carry a map or chart? A timer or sailing knife? The thigh pocket on Typhoon’s Max B Front Entry drysuit is utility-personified and just ideal for those small must-carry items.
If you’re on a multiday trip, would additional exposure protection be useful if the weather changes? An adjustable hood or fleece-lined collar for example? Typhoon’s Multisport SK Hinge Entry comes with both and is suitable for ocean, offshore and coastal kayaking trips.
These little extra features are not make or break when deciding on which drysuit to buy, but they’re certainly something to think about.