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Old 02 March 2021, 03:11   #1
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Wet Suit or Dry Suit - Pros & Cons - What's best?

Hi there

I got quite cold this winter. I have an old sleeveless wet suit, Its a bit torn in places and I definitely need to upgrade.

But to what?

I don't think I can afford both, so should I get a Wet Suit or a Dry Suit. I've had wet suits for diving but never had a dry suit, largely because they are expensive.

What would you experienced guys suggest?

Wet or Dry?

What recommended makes?

How much will it set me back?

What do the Police, Forces and RNLI use?

What other questions should I be asking?

Many thanks in advance.

Miss Guided
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Old 02 March 2021, 03:32   #2
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It all depends - on what boat and in what use.

When out on the lifeboat I use a dry suit, as a good possibility I may end up IN the water, but on a fairly dry boat it's not great when you don't and the sun is out.

On my rib, can't remember the last time I wore anything other then a coat and dry trousers or shorts, and that includes the winter. This would change if I was in the North Sea in the deepest depths of winter, but I'm not.

When I had the sib it was often a dry suit as it was going to be a wet day no matter what we did.

If you're staying dry, if your boat is dry, dress correctly for the conditions, not in a wet or dry suit.

As tod ry suits, I have a Polar Bear for rescue and boating. It's great and British made. If going wet stay away from the diving ones and look at the cheaper supermarket with a fleece underneath - more flexable and moveability.
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Old 02 March 2021, 07:58   #3
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I mainly agree with Mr. Treerat.

It all depends on what you are doing, how long you'll be out, conditions, how wet your boat gets and how comfortable you like to be.

I'd only wear a wetsuit if I intended to go swimming / snorkelling as part of the trip - even then I might change on the boat.

Between October & end of March I will always wear my drysuit when out.

Other times usually anything from drysuit to salopettes & jacket to shorts & shirt depending on weather - but always take the salopettes & jacket + gloves & hat in case of change in conditions.

There are several threads on here about dry suits. Again it is deciding a spec for what you want, and size of budget.
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Old 02 March 2021, 10:54   #4
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Thank you both

Sound like Oilies and boots will do the trick, and if you get stuffed, turn around and go home!

MGx
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Old 02 March 2021, 13:08   #5
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I use my RIB for waterskiing and definitely find a wetsuit best as you have a lot more movement and flexibility. Wetsuits come in different thicknesses so for winter, I would use a 5mm. Wetsuits are a lot less vulnerable to damage
Drysuits: If you are using in the sea, the seals on a dry suit can perish and will need replacing. If exerting energy waterskiing etc, you can overheat and get uite sweaty.
On the upside for dry suits, as long as the seals and zip are good, and you wear a woolley bear, you can stay toasty.
As previous people have said, it depends what you are wanting to do.
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Old 02 March 2021, 15:39   #6
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Don’t know if you can still buy semi dry wet suits that have seals to help prevent water flushing, wind chill is a problem with wet suits if travelling at speed for a long time. I wear a dry suit all the time.
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Old 02 March 2021, 17:17   #7
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Wetsuit, drysuit, there is a middle ground.

Let's rule out wetsuits now. Unless you're planning to be in the water, then why? Even 5mm winter suits. I haven't even mentioned toilet options and having to dislocate your shoulders to get into them.

Drysuits, probably the pinnacle of being layered up, dry and zipped into a neoprene neck and cuff combo. Even expensive second hand.

The other option. Hi-bib trouser and jacket combo. I've been using XM brand for years, but yacht two piece does make sense. When it's warm, layer down, when it's blowing a hoolie, layer up. Helly Hansen, Henri Lloyd, Musto. Truth be told you're into drysuit territory on some of these makes.
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Old 02 March 2021, 18:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
Wetsuit, drysuit, there is a middle ground.
...
The other option. Hi-bib trouser and jacket combo. I've been using XM brand for years, but yacht two piece does make sense. When it's warm, layer down, when it's blowing a hoolie, layer up. Helly Hansen, Henri Lloyd, Musto. Truth be told you're into drysuit territory on some of these makes.

Another option would be a flotation suit - easily get a fladen suit for the same sort of price as a wetsuit; two piece option too.
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Old 03 March 2021, 06:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
Wetsuit, drysuit, there is a middle ground.

Let's rule out wetsuits now. Unless you're planning to be in the water, then why? Even 5mm winter suits. I haven't even mentioned toilet options and having to dislocate your shoulders to get into them.

Drysuits, probably the pinnacle of being layered up, dry and zipped into a neoprene neck and cuff combo. Even expensive second hand.

The other option. Hi-bib trouser and jacket combo. I've been using XM brand for years, but yacht two piece does make sense. When it's warm, layer down, when it's blowing a hoolie, layer up. Helly Hansen, Henri Lloyd, Musto. Truth be told you're into drysuit territory on some of these makes.


Plus one for this, just like skiing snowboarding just add under it what the weather needs. From full thermals and another jacket under it to shorts and T-shirt if warmer but want to stay dry. Assuming your not actually intentionally getting into water!
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Old 03 March 2021, 11:40   #10
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I am in the dry suit camp, but thats mainly when I am solo on my rib and in case I hit a big wave and go in. My biggest fear is doing that, and not being able to get back in if Im on my own, so always wear one if its just me and my PLB on me.

If I have others onboard who I know could handle the boat, I'd be a bit more relaxed and maybe wear shorts and a Gill windproof jacket. I'd never wear my wetsuit due to the wind when its dry. I find they only retain heat when they are wet.
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Old 08 March 2021, 16:25   #11
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Another vote for the floatation suits, these are relatively cheap and come in various styles like one piece, two piece and zippers so you can take a pee.

I regularly dive and also skipper dive boats here in Australia where even here I get cold in a wetsuit due to wind chill. In saying that, wetsuits have come a long way with modern materials like Yamamoto neoprene etc, which stretch over 300% meaning they fit like skin and extremely comfortable. I dont buy any wetsuits with zips as even the so called waterproof zips let water in and are extremely hard to zip up. A Yamamoto suit is made from limestone and the style I use is two piece farmer Jon style (slip the bottoms on first then the top overlaps the bottom). I use a homemade lubricant to slip the suit on which doesn't wash out while under water as the suits fit so well being stretchy.

With the floatation suit just be aware if you do get hot and have a two piece suit and take the jacket off you will float legs up if you happen to fall overboard. In saying that I use a two piece one I brought out here from the Uk which has been used for over 10 years now.
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Old 08 March 2021, 17:00   #12
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Wetsuits for me, everything i do is water sports related. As mentioned wetsuits come on leaps and bounds every year, let alone that cheapy one you bought 15 years! I currently have 4 for different times of year and activities, plus boots and hoods.

You can even get 6mm hooded suits for surfing north shore Scotland in February! But yes, if you don’t plan on getting wet they are pointless.
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Old 09 March 2021, 01:02   #13
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....which stretch over 300% meaning they fit like skin .....
I need the stretch but without the fit!
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Old 09 March 2021, 01:47   #14
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I need the stretch but without the fit!
would need to stretch a bit more than 300% to be the same size as my skin
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