Do drysuits keep you dry when diving or swimming?
If you’ve never worn a drysuit before you may be wondering, ‘does a drysuit keep you dry?’
If you’re looking for a quick answer to , “does a drysuit keep you dry”, the answer is yes. But there are exceptions to this if the suit becomes compromised. Please read the rest of this article to find out more.
Do drysuits keep you dry?
The name of a drysuit implies that it is designed to keep you dry in water. Which it does.
The design of a drysuit is such that:
- The drysuit itself is made of waterproof material that will keep the water out and keep you dry.
- Your feet are enclosed within integrated boots or socks as a part of the suit.
- Your neck and wrists have a watertight seal to prevent water from entering the drysuit.
- Plus the entry part of the suit for putting it on and taking it off is closed using a waterproof zip.
It’s therefore the combination of the above three main properties that keep you dry in a drysuit, but there are exceptions to this.
More Reading: What is the difference between a wetsuit and a drysuit?
Exceptions of when you may get wet in a drysuit
As the name implies, drysuits are designed to keep you dry underwater. But I couldn’t finish this article without explaining the exceptions of when you can get wet in a drysuit.
These exceptions are as follows:
- The integrity of the drysuit itself may become compromised and let water in this way.
- The neck and wrist seals may get damaged or worn and leak water.
- The waterproof zip may fail and therefore leak water.
Depending on which of the above problems occur with your drysuit, will depend on the resolution to fix the problem. Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.
1. The drysuit itself is compromised and has a leak
The main body of a drysuit can get compromised during use. This can easily happen if you kneel on a sharp object and puncture the suit. Or it can happen over time and small holes in the material can appear. This usually happens when you catch it on something. But it can also happen over time as your drysuit ages.
Unfortunately and most of the time you only discover a leak of this nature when you’re using your drysuit. It’s only when you’re underwater when you suddenly feel wet and cold. But you’ll also find that if the hole is only very small, say like a pin-prick size, you’ll only discover this on deeper dives.
If your drysuit is old and you have a water leak in it, it may be time to replace it. However if the suit material has been compromised due to it being caught on a sharp object, this can be repaired.
Either you can repair the suit yourself, or alternatively you can send it off to have your drysuit professionally repaired.
2. Neck and wrist seals get damaged or worn
The neck and wrist seals on a drysuit are probably the most delicate park of the suit. It isn’t uncommon for these to get damaged when you’re putting your drysuit on. Plus over time they become perished.
Whatever the reason why the neck or wrist seals become compromised, these can be replaced quite easily.
You can replace either a neck seal or a wrist seal on a drysuit. This can be fixed as a DIY job. Or you can choose to have it fixed by a professional drysuit repairer. If you’re going to replace the seal yourself, you’ll need to buy the seal itself, together with some special glue.
To do it yourself to replace a drysuit seal, you also need something like a large coke bottle to put in the sleeve to help with the repair.
3. The drysuit zip fails and lets water in
The third reason why a drysuit may not keep you dry is when the zip fails. Over time the zip can become worn and begin to leak. This doesn’t mean the end of your drysuit, as you can buy a replacement zip.
But like with a hole in the suit itself, you only really find out your zip leaks when you’re in the water.
Of course with all of the above problems with drysuits, you can have the suit ‘leak tested’ before you use it for diving or whatever sport you need it for. At least this way you find the leak before getting in the water.
Zip maintenance and use wax for lubrication
It’s important to use a special type of zip wax or silicone to put on your zip in order to make it easy to open and close, but this also prolongs the life of your zip too.
I hope you enjoyed this article about whether a drysuit keeps you dry
I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof Gopro’s!
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about whether drysuits keep you dry?) please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and snorkeling) for you to read and learn about these fabulous sports.
Have fun and be safe!