For ocean explorers that aren’t held back by a little cold water, drysuits are an excellent way to keep your body warm and comfortable even in the coldest of waters. There are two layers to these products- the first hugs your skin much like a wetsuit, and the second layer fits a little baggy and cinches at the neck and cuffs to ensure that no water penetrates to reach the skin.
Unlike wetsuits, these products are made to keep water from even touching your skin. Plus, the layer of air that stands between you and the water is heated by your own body heat to keep you comfortable when the temperatures plunge. Not only are these products great for ocean exploration, but they can also be used when engaging in outdoor activities in the snow and ice all while keeping your body nice and warm without a lot of extra bulk. We did some research to find out what makes the best drysuit to provide you with a list of the top products are currently out there on the market.
- Stohlquist Ez
- Fabric dry socks included
- Gul Gamma
- Comfortable fleece lining
- O'Neill Boost
- US Navy approved
10 Best Drysuits
The outward appearance of this design looks very sharp, and it is offered in two colors: mango and black. The mango design has black accents on the sleeves and on the knees, and the black option is accented by sharp red stitching.
The neck and cuffs around the ankles and wrists are made from a durable layer of neoprene that feels soft against the skin. The outer shell is composed of nylon fabric that has a thick Hydrophobic coating. The front of the unit also has a pocket that runs from hip to hip that is used to store necessary items.
It is offered in sizes that range from small and run all the way up to extra large. Many users find that this product is pretty true to fit and love how the fabrics offer them a full range of motion while engaging in activities without feeling too tight or constricted.
This particular brand is going to set you back a little bit of money. While it isn’t the most expensive option out there on the market, it does pack a punch of a price tag. However, past users have raved about how great and effective this product was on their outdoor adventures, making it well worth the price tag.
If you are in the market for something that not only looks good but is also incredibly effective at keeping you warm in colder climates- this is going to be your best bet if you are willing to dish out the extra money.
- Front zipper pocket
- Fabric dry socks included with purchase
- Trusted brand
- Some users claim the neck gasket fits a little too tight
The outward shell of this design is made to look like a racecar driver. It is offered in a solid black design that has red accents along the sleeves and the breast, and it has the Gul logo printed along the front in big bold letters. Unfortunately, this is the only color option available in this style.
The interior layer of this design is made from a lightweight fleece liner that feels comfortable against the skin. The outside shell is made from gcx fabric that is considered to be incredibly waterproof as well as windproof. The seams of this product are heat tapes to further ensure that there is no chance of water penetrating through the surface and making you cold.
Sizing options available for this model range from small and scale all the way to extra large. Many users find that the fit is a little smaller than they would like, so it might be in your best interest to buy one size up than what you find you would normally buy.
If you were looking to save a little bit of money- this option is offered for about half of what our number 1 choice is listed. The reason this is a little bit less is that it isn’t as lightweight as the Stohlquist option.
If you are looking to get your hands on something that will keep your body warm when engaging in any number of outdoor sports that takes place in cold water or low temperatures, this is an excellent option that is set at an affordable price.
- Front zipper
- Comfortable fleece lining
- Seat and knee panels
- Runs small
This model is offered in just one color: solid black. It has white accents along the sleeve, and the classic O’Neill logo printed on the sleeves as well as along the ankle. There are no other colors options available in this design other than black.
The materials used for this model are constructed from nylon that is coated with a waterproof substance that is also wind resistant. It sits loosely on the skin so that you will always have maximum flexibility and movement while you are out on the water.
The size range for this model ranges from extra small all the way to extra large. They provide an easy to read sizing chart that uses the measurements of your body to indicate which size is right for you. If you are between sizes, it is better to go a little bit bigger so that you aren’t hindered in your movements.
This model runs right down the middle of the road in terms of price. It isn’t the most expensive model available, but it is far from being the least expensive. If you were looking for something from a trusted company that has a long line of trusted customers behind them, and you are willing to pay a little bit more- this is a great value.
Some athletes just want something that is simple, won’t stick out in a crowd and is incredibly effective at keeping them warm in cold waters. This will be an excellent addition to your next outing when the temperatures begin to plummet.
- Brand recognition
- US Navy approved
- Some have discovered that it has a tendency to leak
There are two different color choices that users can select- orange and red. Both colors are incredibly bright and they are punctuated by sharp black accents along the cuffs, neck, and waist. Like any good Stohlquist design, it also has a function zippered pocket that runs from hip to hip.
The chest and cuffs are accented in latex materials that are coated in comfortable neoprene that shapes easily to the shape of your body without running the risk of hindering movement. It also has a seat and knees that are padded with Cordura to add a little bit more support when the waters become rough.
Finding your right size might be a little bit more difficult than some of the other designs, because it is only offered in small, extra large, and extra-extra large. Almost 90 percent of users found that the fit they selected fit their body just as they expect. If you are ever in doubt, it is better to go one size up because you can always adjust the cuffs to fit your body without sacrificing movement.
The price tag found on this design is going to sting a little bit. It is considerably more expensive than the EZ design, but it also offers a lot more protection from the cold, and it also is a little bit more practical and stylish. If you were looking for something that will last through all of your extreme cold water adventures- this is going to be worth the hefty price tag.
If you are in the market for something that is functional, comfortable, and will make you look like a professional athlete while out there on the water- this is a really great product, if you can swing the price.
- Trusted brand
- Additional zippered pocket
- Neoprene coated cuffs
- Some feel the neck gasket fits too tightly
This model only comes in one color- black. It has a lot of sharp white accents along the seams, as well as the Hollis logo printed in white letters on the front of the breast. It has the addition of two large pockets located on the side of the thighs to place all of the gear that you will need while you are out there.
There are two distinct layers of fabric that work in tandem to keep you warm while out on the water. The base layer is composed of Lavaskin- which is a material that is designed to keep you warm and maintain body heat while in cooler climates. The top layer is made from incredibly thick neoprene that is very flexible as well as resilient.
The good news is that Hollis offers a myriad of sizes to ensure that you get the best fit right out of the box. Sizing options include small, medium, and large. The extra large options range all the way up to 3XL. Short options are also available in most sizes.
While it doesn’t fit or behave the way like the traditional style, the cost runs pretty much the same. This isn’t the most expensive model out there on the market, but it isn’t the least expensive either. If you want something that is effective and fits like a glove- this is well worth the price tag.
For adventurers looking for something that will keep them warm even when swimming in incredibly cold waters- this unit is going to be your best bet. Your skin is still going to get wet, but it won’t feel cold.
- Fits tightly to skin
- Additional pockets on the thighs
- Many size options available
- Some found the velcro on pockets began to tear after only a few uses
There is only one color option available in this model: solid black. The breast and the arms are accented with sharp red fabric, and the logo of Crewsaver runs along the front in white block letters. It also comes with two roomy pockets that are located along the top of the thighs for easy access to additional gear.
This model comes with a base layer that is made of fleece and designed to keep the body dry and comfortable. On top of the fleece is multiple layers of nylon that are taped at the seams to ensure that no water penetrates through. The neck is composed of flexible neoprene so that it is comfortable and effective at keeping water out.
There are only two size options available for this design- small and medium. If you are unsure of your fit, it is always better to go one size up from what you would normally wear.
The best feature about this product is the incredibly reasonable price point. This is one of the more affordable options out there, but keep in mind that even the least expensive design out there is still significantly more expensive than a wetsuit.
If you don’t want to pay the hefty price tag of some of the higher end designs, this is an excellent place to start. It is incredibly affordable and will keep you high and dry when you want to stay warm out there in the elements.
- Comes with an additional carrying bag
- Easy to equip
- Some users have found a little water penetrates through zipper
- Runs small
The design of this is what makes it stand out from the rest of the pack. The pants are light grey in color and they come down long enough to ensure that no water can penetrate via the bottom. It has a black top with an orange undershirt and sharp orange accents along the seams. The design makes it possible to zip up the neck to keep yourself 100 percent dry, or wear the neck unzipped for what Ocean Rodeo calls ‘stand-by mode’.
Ocean Rodeo uses Ventor fabric that is incredibly breathable and warm, but it is also incredibly lightweight. In fact, the weight of this model is one of it’s best features. Ocean Rodeo uses materials that are cut in such a way that it will not make you feel like you are being hindered by excess and bulky fabrics.
Another place where this unit really shines is the available sizes. There are so many options that are available that you are sure to find one that fits your body type perfectly. Sizes include extra small and work their way all the way up to extra-extra large. There are also options to upgrade some designs to ‘king’ models, which are slightly longer and bigger.
The price of this design will cost you a good deal of money. It is one of the most expensive designs to make this list. However, if you wanted to ensure that you got something that is incredibly effective, and also makes you look good while you are at it- this is an excellent deal.
For those that want to stay warm and dry while out there in the elements, but also want the option to breathe a little bit by unzipping the neck, this product will be a welcome addition to your next cold water adventure.
- Sharp exterior design
- Option to unzip the neck for ‘stand-by’ mode
- Many size options available
- Runs a little large
Crewsaver Phase 2
This model is only offered in one color option- grey. It is accented with bright orange pops of color around the sleeves, breast, and chest. It also has a black seat as well as black accents on the shins. The pockets that are located on the front of the thighs are a little more shallow than some of the others out there, and the flap closure might not make it all that practical.
The materials used to make this design are completely waterproof. The neck is composed of a special type of neoprene called Glideskin that sits a little more comfortable on the neck than some of the others that are out there on the market. It also has reinforced knees so you don’t have to worry about the material wearing down on places that typically wear out first on outdoor gear.
Size options could become a little problematic because it is only offered in a small and an extra large. However, if you find you find you are unsure about your size, it is always better with this type of gear to go a little bit larger rather than smaller.
One of the best features about this design is the really affordable price point. It isn’t the least expensive model out there, but it is by far the least expensive. If you were looking for something that runs in the middle of the road in terms of price- this is going to be your best bet.
For those that want something that looks sharp and is effective- this is a great product. What makes it a great product is the really reasonable price point that will keep you warm without breaking the bank.
- Easy to put on
- Fleece base included
- Some find the neck to be a little tight
- Can be a little bulky
The outside of this design comes in one color- solid black. There are no pops of color at the seams or anywhere else on the unit for the exception of the logo that is printed in white block letters across the body. It has one large pocket that runs along the side of the thigh and is able to be zipped closed.
The exterior of this product is composed of a series of polyester and nylon materials. Where this product really shines is the addition of a 250 PSI hose that is used to pump air right under the exterior shell to create a layer of warm air between you and the cold water.
There aren’t a whole lot of sizing options offered with this design, unfortunately. Sizes include small, medium, and extra large. If you feel that you are on the fence of what size to get, it is better to get a size that is just a little bit bigger to avoid an uncomfortable fit that limits your movements.
If you expected something that has a pressure hose that is used to blow air into it would be incredibly expensive, you would be absolutely right. The cost of this design is far more than many others out there on the market, but users like its innovative design and it’s durability so much that they all feel it is well worth the padded price tag.
If you are in the market for something that is a little bit different that is designed to keep you just as dry as if you were standing on land- and you had the extra money to spend on its high price tag- this will be a great addition to your next nautical adventure.
- Addition of PSI hose
- Easy to put on
- Keeps users incredibly dry and warm
- Limited size options
- Very expensive
Level Six Emperor 3.0
The look of the outside shell is probably something you haven’t seen before. It is offered in two distinct colors options that include red and yellow. Each color is accented with charcoal grey panels that serve to be very slimming. There is a heavy duty zippered pocket that runs along the front from hip to hip that is perfect for storing additional gear.
Instead of using neoprene for the neck and wrist gaskets, Level Six utilities latex. It has additional padding around the knees and the elbows to prevent excessive wear that could potentially lead to leaks. It has a 3-layer exhaust system that is incredibly lightweight and breathable, but also 100 percent waterproof.
There are a lot of sizing options offered by Level Six so that you can be sure that you get the exact right fit for your body. Sizes include extra small and work their way up all the way to extra-extra large. They also have a detailed sizing chart so that you can be sure you know exactly what size that you will need to buy.
The price of this unit is a little bit on the expensive side and leans to be one of the more expensive models out there on the market. It does, however, come with the benefit of a 1-year warranty in case anything goes wrong with it out in the water.
If money is no option, this is a really great option for outdoor adventurers that don’t like to be hindered by a little bit of cold water. Plus, you can get out there knowing that it has a 1-year warranty and a line of very satisfied customers behind them.
- Easy to put on
- Unique style
- Very expensive
Criteria Used For Evaluation
Naturally, the number one thing that we looked at when researching these types of products was just how good they were at keeping you dry. However, there were a number of other factors that we took into consideration too, such as weight, design, features, and ease of use. If a product kept you dry, but it was also incredibly bulky and cumbersome, and also weighed you down to the point that you become tired simply standing up on your surfboard- that isn’t a very good product. It is important to keep in mind that these serve a higher function than your traditional wetsuit, so you are probably going to end up paying a lot more than you did your wetsuit. We only mention this so that there aren’t any surprised when you flip over your first price tag. Here is a list of some of the things that we looked at when conducting our research to bring you the best drysuits out there on the market.
We already warned you that these products boast a pretty high price tag, but we wanted to make sure we selected products that were still within the realm of reason. Most of the products that we selected had a price tag the ran right down the middle of the road– meaning they weren’t the most expensive out there but they weren’t the most expensive either. We also wanted to make sure that we included a few lower priced options like those from Crewsaver. These products wear a lot different than wetsuits, and it would be a shame if you spend your hard earned money on one of the higher end models only to find out you don’t like how they feel when equipped. The Crewsaver options were priced significantly lower than many of the other options, but they still used high-quality materials such a fleece and neoprene to make for a comfortable and durable fit.
This was one of the most important aspects that we considered, because if it isn’t made from waterproof materials, then it is just an expensive rubber suit filled with water. Neoprene and latex are to of the top materials to keep your eye on when selecting a design that works for you. These materials are the best of the best when it comes to blocking out water, but they are light and comfortable enough that they won’t hinder flexibility or range of motion. While materials such as canvas that is coated with waterproof materials might also be effective, they can often become incredibly heavy and weigh you down a great deal.
It might not seem like an important aspect- but if it doesn’t fit right, it isn’t going to be very effective at keeping out water. Plus, if it is too small it might hinder your full range of motion and hold you back from performing at your best. If it’s too big, it might not be great at keeping out water because it doesn’t seal completely, and it will become too bulky and heavy. We liked companies that had a wide array of different sizes that included sizes for the shorter as well as the taller outdoor adventurers. We also really liked it when companies offered a detailed sizing chart so that you can find your measurements and pick the right size for you.
There is nothing wrong with orange exterior shells because it means that everyone will see you and you will be a little safer in case anything goes wrong. However, there is a fine line between wearing something that is brightly colored in order to stay safe and a traffic cone. We tried to shy away from designs that were a little too abrasive on the eyes. We liked designs that used bright colors in moderation and took protective measures into their hands by putting reflective tape along seamlines. At the end of the day, how it looks is not the most important aspect of this type of gear, but everyone wants to look their best, whether they are out for a nice dinner with their family or barreling through whitecaps on a kayak.
Other Factors to Consider
Playing in the water shouldn’t just be something that is reserved for the summer months, it should be something that you can do all year round. If you are equipped with the right gear, and you are sure to the right precautions to ensure that you are safe at all times- there really isn’t anything from stopping you. When finding the right piece of gear for you, finding the right fit is one of the most important things. We touched on it earlier, but it is worth mentioning again. If the company that offers the gear that you want provides a measurement chart- be sure to check your measurements. Sure, it might be a pain to try and find that old cloth measuring tape at the bottom of your sewing kit, but it will be worth it in the long run. It is also worth mentioning that if you feel like these types of suits might not be your cup of tea based on their loose and sloppy fit, you might want to check out semi-drysuits. They don’t keep the water completely off of your skin, but they fit tight like a wetsuit while still keeping you nice and warm as a drysuit.
Q: Why do I need one?
If you love being out in the water in the summertime and wish you could continue kayaking well into the other seasons- it might be a good fit for you. It keeps your body surprisingly warm without adding too much extra bulk, and it keeps cold water far away from your skin. People that benefit the most from these products are
Q: What is the difference between a wetsuit and a drysuit?
They both have to do with being submerged in water- but one keeps your skin wet, and one keeps your skin dry. Wetsuits are typically used by scuba divers or swimmers that want to have a thinner layer of fabric that will keep the sun off of their back as well as maintain a little bit of body heat if the water starts to get colder the further down they travel underwater. The later is designed to keep the water off of your back completely and is designed to keep swimmers incredibly warm, even when the temperatures plummet in the water as well on land. Due to the solid designs that require them to cinch tightly at the neck and cuffs while still fitting rather loose- they often are priced a lot more than their wet counterparts.
Q: How do semi-drysuits work, and do they really keep you warm?
These products often a nice middle ground between the two, but often still carry a pretty hefty price tag. Some users just do not like the feel of two layers of fabric draped over their body- one that fits tight and one that fits rather loose. To try and accommodate those users, companies have created this type of suit that has a tight-fitting design that you would find on a wetsuit, but it helps maintain body heat to keep you warm even when your skin becomes wet. It manages to do this because the thick neoprene that is used for this type of gear actually holds the water against your skin, and utilizes your body heat to warm the water. It is similar to using a layer of air to keep you warm- only in this case is it a layer of warmed water.
Q: How do I wash them?
Unfortunately- this is not something that you are going to be able to throw into the washing machine and call it a day. You want to make sure you clean them after use because oils, dirt, and bacteria can form and essentially hinder the performance on your next outing. To give it a good cleaning, simply rinse off all loose debris with warm water. After that, you will want to wipe it down with warm, gentle soapy water, and then rinse it again. To dry, unzip all of the zippers and hang it upside down in a well-ventilated area. Before you toss it into storage, be sure that it is completely dry.
Q: What can I wear them for?
Scuba diving in cold water may be the obvious choice to use this gear for, but it doesn’t just stop there. If there is ever a climate where you feel that it is too cold to get out there, and you don’t want to be held down with a lot of bulky gear- this could be the solution. People that engage in a myriad of water sports such as white water rafting, kayaking, paddleboarding, or surfing. If the water is a little bit too cold, but you still want to get out there, this gear will not only keep you warm, but it will also keep you dry.
Q: How does it keep water out?
First of all, the outer shell is made from a completely waterproof material so that water just wicks off of the surface. The other way that they keep water out is by providing a right seal around the neck, wrists, and ankles. They do this by using either neoprene or latex. It should be noted that a lot of users have found that the tight necks often fit a little uncomfortable. That’s why it is important to ensure that you get the right size for you. If you get one that fits too tight, it might feel like it is strangling you.