Drysuit Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are there different types of drysuits?
Yes, there are different types of drysuits.
You can match the features of a drysuit to the type of activity you take part in. From the leisurely to adrenaline-fuelled.
The 3 main types are:
The recreational suit is the generic entry-level, your basic budget kit. They have a mixture of latex or neoprene gaskets on the neck and wrists.
This suit is matched to those taking part in activities in calmer environments.
Touring suits are usually suited for longer journeys on flat open water, for example paddling on a loch in Scotland.
They are usually hooded with a neoprene neck and storm collar, ready for any weather front that may roll in.
These suits are appropriate for any activity on fast-flowing water where the user is more likely to experience being fully submerged in the water.
They have latex cuffs and neck to minimise any water intake.
Q: Do drysuits have relief zips?
Yes you can buy drysuits with relief zips, but not all of them have them.
Women’s suits tend to have a "drop seat" relief zip at the back of the suit.
Men’s suits can have a quick relief zip at the front, which will either be horizontal or vertical.
Q: Do all drysuits have a back entry?
No, there are front and back entry suits available. In fact Peak PS uses a unique leg entry system too.
Sometimes, people favour a certain entry type due to their previous experience and/or mobility.
On a front entry suit, the zip runs diagonally across the chest from the shoulder to the opposite hip.
On a Back entry suit, the zip runs across the back of the shoulders, this one can be tricky at first to close, but with practice and experience, it will become easier.
Finally, we have the leg entry suit where the zip runs the entire inside length of your legs.
It starts from the bottom near your ankle area and zips all the way up to your groin area down the inside of your other leg.
Q: What type of gaskets are there?
Gaskets are the seals on a drysuit at the wrists and at the neck. The material they are made from can differ.
Latex gaskets which sit closer to skin to form a tighter seal letting in less water. Suits with latex gaskets are more suited to fast-flowing, whitewater enthusiasts.
Neoprene gaskets fit quite snuggly and feel less restrictive than latex and are therefore generally more comfortable. If you end up in the water submerged, neoprene is likely to let in a little bit of water.
Q: Are they all made from the same material?
Drysuits are made from waterproof and breathable materials, such as Gore-Tex, or 3 layer and 4 layer fabrics depending on the manufacturer.
3 layer and 4 layer suits are usually made from nylon materials or materials like Eclipse, which is another version of Gore-Tex.
The materials can be more or less durable and also abrasion-resistant. Kokatat have a lifetime warranty on their Gore-Tex suits.