Buying a Drysuit
For divers who want to be able to dive in a wide variety of conditions and environments, a dry suit is an essential piece of equipment. Owning your own suit adds a level of comfort and convenience to your dive preparations, but you need to know and consider a few things before making a purchase.
Dry suits enable users to dive in an expanded range of water temperatures, opening up a wider world of possibilities for travel and diving. While the suits certainly require an investment, the fact that they often last for as many as 10 years makes them well worth the money. However, keep in mind that a well-made suit will generally have a longer lifespan.
As you shop, pay attention to these key elements of the dry suit:
- Fit - While off-the-rack suits will fit most, a custom – or partially custom – suit will ensure a flawless fit. Always factor in the undergarments you’ll have on under the suit.
- Zippers - Generally the most expensive part of the suit, watertight zippers are critically important. Be sure to check thoroughly the quality of a suit’s zippers.
- Thigh pockets – Easily accessible thigh pockets are a major asset for storing and reaching accessories when you’re underwater.
- Ease of use – If a suit is unusually difficult to don or doff, it will lead to frustration. If you’re buying off the rack, be prepared to try on a number of suits to find the right one for you.
- Inflator and exhaust valves – Well-placed valves make it much easier to add or release air as you ascend and descend.
The PADI Dry Suit Diver course can be taken before or after you buy a dry suit. In it, you’ll learn dry suit diving techniques as well as tips for selecting, using and caring for dry suits. Your local PADI dive shop can advise you and answer your questions when it comes to purchasing your dry suit and also provide the training you require. So now you don’t have to wait until summer to dive again.
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If you have any great tips or advice on dry suits why not leave them in the comments below.