For adventurous souls who love the water, staying warm is a necessity. Your options for what to wear in the water to keep from developing hypothermia include wetsuits and drysuits. Each type of suit is designed to meet specific needs, so it’s important that you choose the correct one for what you plan to do. 

As your local boat dealer, Germaine Marine is happy to provide you with a detailed breakdown of the differences between wetsuits and drysuits so that you know which type of thermal insulation is best for the types of activities you like to do in the water. So whether you’re an avid angler or a watersports enthusiast, you’ll find the information you need below.

What Are Wetsuits?

A wetsuit is ideal for those who participate in watersports. These garments are designed to keep you warm and buoyant while also protecting you from abrasions. They are made from foamed neoprene and they come in many varieties to suit different water temperatures. Wetsuits are ideal for somewhat cold water or when you think you may be splashed while in your boat. It is important that your wetsuit fits you snugly in order to keep you warm, and you’ll also need to invest in some other accessories for additional protection, like gloves, hoods and waterproof footwear of some type.

What Are Drysuits?

A drysuit is made to keep you dry, even when you’re submerged in the water. They are looser than wetsuits, which means that they provide less thermal insulation. A drysuit will keep out all water and is ideal when you need to stay dry in particularly cold water, like when you’re fishing in winter or far off the coast.

Drysuits are made from either woven fabric or foamed neoprene, like wetsuits, but they have a rubber coating or other type of watertight treatment in order to make them completely waterproof. This can make drysuits much heavier and more cumbersome than wetsuits, and it also means they aren’t great to wear in warm weather or warm waters where you don’t need to be as well insulated. Drysuits tend to cost more than wetsuits do, too.

How Are They Best Used?

Deciding between a wetsuit and a drysuit requires you to think about what it is you’re doing in the water. The water temperature is an essential consideration, since wetsuits are good for water that is over 65°F, but anything lower than that is going to require you to wear a drysuit so that you don’t develop hypothermia. 

Warm-water activities like surfing, rowing or water skiing will be too difficult to do in something bulky like a drysuit. But if you’re going fishing or sailing in the winter, then a drysuit is ideal to keep you insulated in even very cold water. Drysuits aren’t as flexible as wetsuits, either, so they can restrict your movement to some degree. They’re also good for commercial diving and search-and-rescue operations.

Putting on a wetsuit by yourself is a simple task, but putting on a drysuit often requires additional assistance, which you’ll want to bear in mind while making your final decision. Overall, a wetsuit is best if you are going to be in reasonably warm water and need freedom of movement, but more dangerous conditions will require a drysuit.

Wetsuits and drysuits are best used for specific conditions, so make sure that you’re choosing the correct one for your purposes. Still need a boat for all your marine adventures? Visit one of our dealership locations to check out our selection of new and used boats for sale. Germaine Marine has locations in American Fork, Utah, and Mesa, Arizona.