Which do you prefer, Between a wetsuit vs. drysuit kayaking? This is an essential question for anyone who takes kayaking seriously. If you’re new to the sport, it may seem like there’s not much difference between the two options. But as soon as you go out on your first few trips, the benefits and drawbacks will become more evident. This article will discuss why wetsuits are better than drysuits and vice versa and how to choose which suits your needs.
If you’ve been kayaking before, you might have noticed two types of wetsuits: dry and wet. The difference between the two is how they work to keep you warm.
A dry suit keeps your body completely covered in waterproof fabric, while a wet suit only covers your legs and arms with neoprene material. In this blog post, we will cover the benefits of each type of wet suit so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you!
What are the benefits of a Wetsuit?
Wetsuits work well in cold water, which allows for increased muscle control. Dry suits are designed to keep the wearer completely dry, but they can be challenging to get on when wet. Which one is best?
Avoiding the cold is as simple as ensuring that you’re adequately clothed; a wetsuit or a dry suit is required if you’re out on chilly water.
On the surface, a wetsuit and drysuit appear virtually identical, which can be perplexing for novice paddlers unsure which one to wear in different climates.
Why Do I Need One?
Cold shock, swim failure, and hypothermia are the most common hazards of winter kayaking.
Even in the most frigid seas, having a wetsuit or drysuit and preparing ahead can reduce risks and keep you safe.
Even after being immersed in cold water, the most crucial component of kayaking in the winter is keeping warm. You must stay active to maintain your core body temperature and protect your hands and feet.
How to Deal with Wetsuits, and When Should You Use One?
A neoprene wetsuit is made of a fabric called neoprene, a type of rubber. Neoprene is a stretchy, rigid, semi-permeable material that allows for forming a thin layer of water between it and your skin.
Wetsuits are usually made from neoprene, a polymer that forms a thermal barrier that prevents heat loss when combined with warm water. Because neoprene is malleable and does not restrict movement, it is utilized in various paddle sports such as surfing and kayaking.
Wetsuits are most effective in water temperatures cold enough to drop your core body temperature dangerously but warm enough that a sealed drysuit would be uncomfortably hot.
An excellent illustration is kayaking on a considerable body of water, such as a lake. Even during the hottest summer months, the depth and volume of the lake might keep the water cool.
A wetsuit will keep your core temperature safe if you get wet, but it is also pleasant enough to use when not in the water.
Things to consider before Buying a Wetsuit:
There is a wide range of wetsuits in many different designs on the market. To make choosing the appropriate one easier, we’ve compiled a buying guide that covers the essential features.
Should be Fit:
A wetsuit must fit tightly since it must keep a small layer of water next to the skin. If your wetsuit is too large, the layer of water will expand, and you won’t be able to heat it enough, making the suit useless. When purchasing a wetsuit, make sure it fits snuggly while not restricting.
Wetsuits come in various thicknesses; the thicker the neoprene, the warmer the wetsuit. Using three digits and a slash to indicate thickness, wetsuits are represented as follows: The material’s thickness around the chest, legs, and arms (in that order) is characterized by these numbers.
Wetsuits are built with a thicker torso and thinner arms and legs to keep your core temperature high while allowing you more mobility.
If you’re not sure what thickness you’ll need, check out this chart to see the typical water temperature in your region and compare it to the average temperatures listed.
It’s just as crucial to guard your extremities while immersed in cold water as to keep your core body temperature up. Fortunately, wetsuits come with various add-ons such as hats, gloves, and boots that can be utilized to keep fragile areas like fingers, toes, and ears warm.
What are the Types of Wetsuits?
The torso, arms, and legs are all covered by a wetsuit. This wetsuit is ideal for chilly locations with low air and water temperatures. It can also be used with boots, a cap, and gloves to provide complete coverage of your extremities.
The torso and thighs are covered, but the spring suit exposes the rest of the extremities. This type of wetsuit is best suited to conditions where the average temperature is hot, but the water temperature is cold.
The Long John
The Long John wetsuit is sleeveless and covers the entire length of the leg. It’s best utilized in warmer climates and is popular among surfers and surf kayakers.
Wetsuits can be bought in two parts: covering the torso, arms, and legs. Kayakers like wetsuit bottoms because they are uncomfortable on extended trips, and they use a spray skirt to dry their lower bodies.
Wetsuit Pros &Cons
How Drysuits Work And When To Use One?
Drysuits, as you might expect, keep you dry. Most drysuits have gaskets at the neck and wrists and built-in boots that support the entire suite, waterproof and leakproof.
Drysuits, unlike neoprene wetsuits, are not a thermal barrier. Thus, additional warm clothing must be worn beneath to maintain your core temperature stable.
Drysuits are best suited to cold weather climates where the water temperature regularly dips below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. While they are more restricting and less pleasant than a wetsuit, they are the only viable method of staying warm and dry in such low temperatures.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Dry Suit:
There are several factors to consider before buying a dry suit for kayaking or other water sports:
Determine the primary purpose of the dry suit. Will it be used for recreational paddling, fishing, or extreme conditions? This will help you determine the features and level of protection you need.
Consider the material of the dry suit. Neoprene and Gore-Tex are common materials used in dry suits. Neoprene is more flexible and provides better insulation, while Gore-Tex is more breathable and waterproof.
Make sure the dry suit fits well. It should be snug but not tight, as a poorly done dry suit can be uncomfortable and restrict movement.
Look for a dry suit made of high-quality materials and built to last. Consider the manufacturer’s reputation and read reviews from other users.
Dry suits can range in price from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. Determine your budget and look for a dry suit that offers the features and protection you need at a price you can afford.
Dry suits require regular maintenance, such as washing and drying after each use, and may need to be repaired or replaced over time. Consider the maintenance requirements and cost when choosing a dry suit.
Consider your personal preferences, such as the style and color of the dry suit, as well as any additional features you may want, such as pockets or a hood.
Drysuit Pros And Cons
How To Choose An Appropriate Suit: Final Thoughts
Being able to kayak in cold weather and frozen rivers opens up a world of new paddling possibilities. You may take advantage of these possibilities by ensuring that you have the appropriate clothing to warm you.
A wetsuit is a thin, flexible waterproof garment with a neoprene outer layer protecting the wearer from the cold while surfing. On the other hand, a dry suit is an insulated suit designed to keep water out when swimming or snorkeling in colder temperatures.
Wetsuits are often used in ice-water environments with a chilly water temperature but a reasonable air temperature. Even in the sunniest areas of the year, deep water can have a low temperature, so wearing a wetsuit will keep you warm without causing you to overheat in the water.