Wetsuit vs Drysuit: What is the Difference for Scuba Diving?

Wetsuit vs Drysuit
8 Aug 2018

Wetsuit vs Drysuit: What is the Difference for Scuba Diving?

Are you getting ready to venture out on a scuba diving trip? Having the right equipment is key to your enjoyment! It’s possible that a wetsuit or drysuit may be on your list of items to prepare. We’re going to take a deep dive into wetsuit vs drysuit differences and how they will affect your overall diving experience.

Wetsuit Vs Drysuit

Scuba diving requires that you wear drysuits or wetsuits, and it all depends on the type of diving you’re participating in. Both work great, but they have specific characteristics to keep you comfortable. Let’s take a look at the major things you need to consider when choosing between the two.


Are you scuba diving in cool to cold temperature water? Wetsuits are best for this type of environment. They comprise of neoprene and tightly fitted to the body. Wetsuits do come in a couple of styles. Some wetsuits cover the full length of your arms and legs, while others just cover up to your thighs and shoulders. The thickness of the wetsuit can vary, rangeing from thin to very thick. The colder the water, the thicker the wetsuit should be. Wetsuits work by taking in a layer of water once you get in the water. The layer of water that is between your skin and the suit heats by your body temperature. Even if the outside water changes temperature, the water that’s already in your wetsuit will stay warm. No additional water is able to get into your suit once the initial water has entered, keeping your body temperature stable during your dive.

Dry Suit

A dry suit is different than a wetsuit in a few ways. Dry suits are for icy water temperatures. They insulate your body to keep you warm while keeping you dry. The material they are built out of is thicker than a standard wetsuit. They are still developed with neoprene, but also have a waterproof shell outside of the neoprene. They come with undergarments for added warmth, such as a hood, boots, and gloves. A dry suit has seals about your feet, neck, and hands to keep water from entering in. They don’t allow the initial layer of water in like a wetsuit does, but they do require extra insulation for warmth. Your body will be able to feel the temperature of the water on the outside which is why additional layers are needed under the dry suit.

Choosing What You Need

Now that you know the major differences of wetsuit vs drysuit, choose which one you need based on the type of trip you’ll be taking. If you’re going deep sea diving in near to frozen water, a drysuit with added insulation will be your best bet. If you’re snorkeling, or in cool to cold water, a wetsuit works fine for these purposes.

In addition to your drysuit or wetsuit, ensure you have packed all of the other essentials you’ll need for your scuba diving trip. Need help with this? Take a look at some other articles about preparing here.

You may want to see what education we have to offer regarding this and investigate possibilities of learning this amazing sport further and enhance your knowledge.