Some people are scared to try scuba diving, while others love this sport and always find excuses for diving.
It’s more like my favorite fruit-durian. Either you love it or hate it. Or just don’t have the courage to try it.
For me, at least, the fear of sea snakes makes me sick and all frightened.
But my girlfriend is an enthusiast, and I’ve been privy to her breathtaking videos and countless stories and mysteries of the underwater world. So, I always knew it was only a matter of time before I bowed to the pressure.
But first, I needed to learn the basics of scuba diving.
Last year, while on a sabbatical from work, I decided to face my fears and enroll in a private lesson. Over a month, I went from being terrified of the deep end of the pool to loving the weightless feel, particularly when my feet didn’t touch the ground.
Now that the main hurdle was out of the way, I enrolled for the Padi Open Water Diver course, a diver certification for recreational scuba diving.
It’s probably one of the greatest decisions I’ve made in my life; life underwater was more beautiful than I imagined.
Of course, the first few sessions scared the hell out of me, but with time, the magic started to unfold right in front of me.
The tranquility was far unparalleled, and it was indeed peaceful down there. So quiet.
But there’s one thing that bugged me a lot. Cold.
See, I’m a sensitive guy, and the slightest cold tends to get better of me.
While we were not even in winter yet, my wetsuits couldn’t shield me from the biting cold, and I had to cut short my dive.
Once out of the water, my instructor recommended a scuba drysuit.
As it turns out, the best diving dry suits are more protective and must-have pieces of kit for divers who regularly explore cold waters.
From first-hand experience, I realized that the right drysuit promotes proper exposure protection, keeping you from getting hypothermia. Plus, the right option increases the enjoyment of your dives, lengthens your diving sessions, and opens up new scuba diving adventure locations.
But with plenty of dry suits in the market, it can be nerve-racking to find an option that will keep you dry and shield you from the biting cold.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about the selection, because in the guide below, I’ve reviewed several options that I tested and came to like. I’m also sure they’ll be helpful to you.
Table of Contents
The Best Scuba Diving Drysuits For The Money
#1 AQUALUNG Fusion Bullet Drysuit - EDITOR'S CHOICE
Few designs can stand up to as rough conditions as the Aqualung Bullet.
This insulated drysuit is a tricked-out model that comes with a host of genius elements of technology such as the dual-layer and AirCore inner to make it among the best performing drysuits for scuba diving in the market.
But how good is this model?
First, this heavy-duty silicone drysuit has been reinforced for maximum durability, so it can take a beating. But the real advantage of the Fusion Bullet is you can fix any tears in the silicone should the worst happen.
Aqualung is also a front entry suit, so you don’t need to rely on your dive buddy when putting this on. The semicircular zipper makes Aqualung easy to get in and out of, even if you’re by yourself.
As if not enough, it also comes with a proprietary Rapid Zip System that lets you easily remove the outer neoprene layer.
Want to know the benefit?
The design allows for faster drying once you’re out of the water. It’s also a handy design when you need to update your look since the outer layer can be purchased separately and easily changed. You can replace the outer shell without the need to purchase a whole new dry suit.
Fusion bullet also combines a breathable AirCore lining with a neoprene shell. I’m a big fan of this innovative dual-layer design as it insulates you effectively against the cold waters.
At the same time, the layer remains comfortably cool on land, even in hot air temperatures. This is something that no other scuba drysuits can offer.
The dual-layer benefits don’t end there; the system distributes air evenly inside the suit, which helps maintain correct trim and buoyancy. So, you shouldn’t have any issues with floatation or bubbles, even when cold water diving.
It also comes with a discreet auto-exhaust inflator valve, which means hands-free buoyancy adjustment, and this is perfect for technical diving.
Aqualung’s ergonomic design of the dual-layer remains perfectly streamlined with almost no restriction of movement. The expandable cargo thigh pockets also remain functional without causing much impact to your trim.
I’ve had one go in Aqualung, and one of the greatest benefits compared to other drysuits is that there’s a lot more give size-wise, so borrowing a friend’s suit is more practical than most suits.
The models also come with Air mesh suspenders that are compression resistant, and this not only helps with extra insulation but also comfort.
Meanwhile, the silicone wrist and neck seals offer greater comfort around the neck and wrist area and don’t let wet gush inside. I prefer the silicone seals over the latex seals or neoprene seals.
Diving on the Aqualung feels amazing as they don’t require much air on the descent to prevent the squeeze. They also make neutral buoyancy and proper trim a breeze.
Plus, they’re amazingly comfortable and easy to dive in while making teaching in the cooler months a breeze.
#2 SEAC Men's Warmdry - Best Drysuit for Recreational Diving
The Seac Warmdry is the perfect first drysuit for the recreational diver ready to commit to cold water diving.
It’s a budget option too but comes with a host of features to promote better scuba diving performance.
For instance, it features a Glide Skin neoprene tape neck seal, along with quality Aquastop latex wrist seals and a latex neck seal, which ensures water stays out where it belongs and that it doesn’t gush into your body.
It also comes with a fabric storage bag, neoprene hood, hose, and strap. For a budget option, we were impressed that it came with such a long line of features.
But how does it perform?
Seac Warmdry neoprene drysuit is an incredible dry suit, coming with a low-profile design that creates a beautifully streamlined body that won’t drag you when reaching the depths of the water.
It’s also a high-quality model that can work well for recreational divers and beginner scuba divers spending their time exploring and enjoying some cold-water dives.
Seac Warmdry utilizes high-density 4mm neoprene.
One of the greatest advantages of this choice of material is the exceptional thermal insulation. I dove in 40-to-45-degree water for approximately 45 minutes wearing a long sleeve t-shirt and running pants only.
However, I would have liked 7mm instead of 4mm for the long days in cold water. Overall, though, I’d say it does what it needs to and at a reasonable price.
While offering thermal insulation, it weighs 50% less than any other traditional dry suit, so it shields you from the biting extreme cold conditions without becoming heavy or bulky.
And as with our top pick, Seac’s neoprene wrist seals are provided with Aquastop technology. The glide skin collar will keep you warm and dry during the dive.
In addition, the high-strength materials on the most stressed parts such as the elbow, knee, and shoulder are reinforced and non-slip to avoid abrasions.
Seac also integrates semi-flexible Kevlar-reinforced boots, which are thin enough in the soles to make traversing the rough ground and gravel more comfortable. The compressed density neoprene boots can also be turned inside out to dry and fit easily inside the wetsuit fins.
Warmydry’s water performance is also pretty good. It’s thin and moves more like a wetsuit, and the thermal insulation of the neoprene material seems good even in deep water.
However, if I had to do it over, I preferred a split front zipper for easy self-wear.
Nonetheless, the Seac is a great budget drysuit that is easy to use and offers exceptional warmth.
#3 Scubapro Evertec LT - Most Flexible Drysuit
From the first glance, Scubapro Evertec LT doesn’t look like a drysuit that offers much movement, but you couldn’t be more wrong,
The LT is a trilaminate drysuit utilizing a new lightweight fabric. The ripstop outer shell is 25% lighter than typical drysuit material and offers a small stretch.
Once you’ve the suit hoisted on your body, you’ll understand better how lightweight it feels and appreciate the roomy design with excellent flexibility.
Combined with a telescopic torso, the Scubapro Evertec heavy-duty suit gives riders awesome mobility for maneuvering in the water and reaching overhead. For me, at least, I love the flexibility because it makes it so much easier to climb ladders when hoisting myself back to the boat.
The ripstop material isn’t only light, but it also remains heavy-duty, so it’ll take on everything you throw at it like a champ. It’s also abrasion-resistant and perfect for frequent cold water diving.
Plus, it comes with a soft Kevlar fabric that remains strong and keeps you from abrasion, even after abuse. Yet, it’s flexible and doesn’t hinder movement, and will even make the suit perfect for swimming.
As with our previously reviewed dry suits, Scubapro features latex seals and is finished with neoprene socks. A neoprene neck seal on the neck warmer comes with two adjustable straps for promoting a snug fit, while the Tizip dry zipper sits discreetly under a protective flap.
The seamless neoprene socks and anatomically-shaped neoprene hood helps to extend the suit’s warmth to your feet and head, while the front ToZip MasterSeal, makes it easier to don the suit. Wearing the suit is so effortless that you won’t even need help from your buddy.
Along with the features we’ve mentioned, this neoprene suit also comes with cargo pockets for the safe storage of your accessories. Plus, the pockets are fitted with D-ring for the dive accessories such as keys and other scuba diving gear you might want with you.
Evertec’s water performance is incredible, and it’s easy to see why. While some people may find it a bit restrictive for kayaking, it excels in scuba diving and other water sports.
It’s lighter and more fitting than other dry suits for scuba diving and is built to last for a long time.
The suit also keeps scuba divers warm, and while it’ll only allow you to wear a thinner layer of undergarments than what you would wear with other dry suits, it helps your body retain as much of its heat as possible. You’re less likely to feel cold when drysuit diving with this suit on.
Finally, we can’t discount that Scubapro is a household name in the world of scuba diving, and with the name backing the drysuit, you’ll have all the confidence you need to attempt different adventures.
#4 Gul Gamma Front Zip - Cheap Best Drysuit for Men
Nothing gives you confidence when scuba diving than knowing that you’ve the best drysuit that gives you the flexibility of moving arms while keeping you warm and dry.
This is exactly what the Gul Gamma Front Zip offers.
It’s a good quality drysuit that does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and I’m quite happy with this purchase as it keeps me warm and comfortable in all conditions.
For starter’s the Gul Gamma is a hard-wearing drysuit.
Remember, scuba diving is sometimes wild in every aspect. It’s rolling, angry and roaring, and above all, it’s cold. This is why you need a durable drysuit like the Gul Gamma.
Gamma’s heavy-duty suit stands up to the abuses of Mother Nature and is less likely to leak or wear even after consistent use.
The other feature cave divers love with the Gamm is the colorful designs that it comes with. Gul Gamma is a good-looker, and combined with the water and cold protection features, you’ll be glad to be the best-looking person aboard and most well-protected. The colorful design scheme, especially red and yellow, is also great for any instructor as it keeps them visible.
Putting on this scuba diving drysuit is also easy as it gets, and you won’t even require a helping hand to get it on.
The glide skin neoprene neck seal and seal cuffs make it quick and easy to pop your head and hands into the suit. At the same time, the design also stays snug on the skin without moving about.
But more importantly, the high-density neoprene seal keeps the water from gushing into your skin, so the suit will generally keep you warm and dry, even in cold water.
The ankle and cuff closures are easy to manage as you get in and out for the drysuit. Simply put, you won’t struggle to get in and out of the suit.
Gamma’s articulated arms and legs extend the suit’s durability while the internal adjustable braces provide greater comfort when wearing the suit.
Plus, a flexible vulcanized rubber coating will eliminate the painful rubbing and chafing on your neck, letting your scuba dive in the water all day without irritation.
Performance on the water is also awesome. The suit has wonderful buoyancy, keeps you warm in the chilly water, and won’t restrict your movements.
Overall, the Gul Gamma is an exciting option and is very affordable.
#5 NRS Pivot Drysuit - Premium Drysuit
Our final pick of the best drysuits for scuba, the NRS Pivot Drysuit, is created with comfort and durability in mind.
It’s a hard-wearing and heavy-duty option too, and will easily stand up to the abuses of scuba diving. NRS performance on the water doesn’t fail either, and you’ll see why many divers gush over this suit.
But for me, the standout feature was the entry zipper on the back. While I’ve never had an issue using a suit with a front zipper, I’ve always wondered about having one on the back.
My worry with the NRS was that it would be a challenge to get in and out.
But my worry was for naught because I never had issues getting the zipper open or close and without any assistance.
The suit comes with a big t-shaped handle that makes it easier to gran the zipper and pulls.
And that’s not even the best part.
The upshot of a back zipper eliminates the pressure point from my torose. For me, at least, it saved me from the irritation when my bottom ribs stuck out on a front entry zipper.
But with the NRS, you don’t have to worry about irritation or anything. Getting in and out has also never been easier. You don’t even have to try to get one arm in and out in a specific order. It’s just so much easier and fun.
NRS also claims the back zipper improves the suit’s flexibility and reduces stress on the zipper. I agree on the flexibility element, but my problem is that it’s sometimes hard to get the fabric protective cover to sit down over the zipper without help. Still, I don’t see myself going to a front zip again.
There’s also more overall comfort in NRS. First, as I mentioned, there’s no front zipper to hurt my ribs. The suit also feels just more comfortable. I’m 5’5″, got the large option, and can’t change the fit in any way.
NRS breathability also seems to be on par with some premium dry suits, such as the Gore-Tex. It’s easy and comfortable to wear, while the flexibility is unmatched, so it doesn’t restrict my movements even when swimming.
Durability is also on point, and the NRS doesn’t tear or leak even after consistent use.
The 4-layer Eclipse fabric with a DWR is waterproof and comes with an overskirt with a 5-inch neoprene band for securing the spray skirt into the tunnel.
You also get a drysock that fits well, and when you take a leak, NRS features a relief zipper with a cover.
The high-density neoprene neck over cuff seal offers a water barrier, while the compressed neoprene wrist seals protect the latex.
Overall, I’m quite happy with this purchase, and I would highly recommend it.
Best Scuba Diving Drysuits Buying Guide
It’s no secret that drysuits are expensive. There’re even more expensive if you rush into a purchase and don’t spend some time thinking about the right kind of suit.
But the good news is we’ve compiled a detailed guide to help with the proper selection of the best drysuits.
First, let’s understand how dry suits work.
How Do Drysuits Work?
A drysuit keeps water from getting in contact with the skin.
Doing this shields your body from water that may conduct heat from your body, allowing you to stay underwater for longer.
However, contrary to popular belief, a drysuit alone won’t keep you warm.
Air by itself isn’t particularly insulating, and therefore, most drysuits have a loose fit to allow divers to wear clothes or other insulating layers underneath.
Why Should I Scuba Dive in a Drysuit?
It’s not always easy to access the tropical diving destinations we dream about, and this means we’ve to dive locally to satisfy our underwater cravings.
And for most of us, local diving means cold water.
Plus, some serious cold-water dives around the world can only be reached in a dry suit.
A scuba diving drysuit opens up diving all year round and anywhere in the world.
Generally, a scuba diving drysuit is perfect for those who dive in water temperatures below 60° F (15° C).
Scuba Drysuits Buying Guide: Factors to Consider
Here’re some of the critical factors divers should always consider when selecting the best drysuits for scuba diving.
Recreational drysuits come in two main materials: neoprene or membrane.
The choice of material will depend on your personal preference and the type of diving you plan.
The membrane drysuits are also known as trilaminate, laminate, or shell suits.
They’re typically made up of three or more layers of fabrics, which makes them waterproof.
While they’re quite robust, they don’t offer any thermal protection, so it’s important to have sufficient undergarments to keep you warm.
However, a membrane dry suit is ideal for traveling, easy to clean, and quick to dry because of their lightness.
Neoprene Dry suits
Neoprene suits utilize neoprene, just like wetsuits.
But unlike a wetsuit, they utilize a lining on the inside for waterproofness.
The neoprene wetsuits are also significantly thicker and warmer than the membrane drysuits.
Plus, they’re more form-fitting and flexible, thus delivering better comfort.
However, due to their thickness, the neoprene drysuits are much heavier and bulkier.
They’re also easier to puncture than membrane drysuit. In addition, the bubble on neoprene affects your buoyancy when diving deeper.
But the high-end neoprene drysuits undergo a process of crushing or compression to make them thinner and more durable.
A compressed neoprene or crushed neoprene drysuit is more flexible and will impact your buoyancy less as the bubbles are also crushed.
Besides the choice of material, the seals are arguably the most important part of your drysuit.
A typical drysuit has three seals; one the neck and two wrist seals. But some may even come with seals on the ankles or the face if the suit has a fully integrated anatomically shaped hood.
The common types of seals for drysuits are:
Latex drysuit seals are effective, affordable, and quite flexible.
But they can feel tight and more liable to tear. Plus, the latex wrist seals stretch much and degrade over time.
Keep away from these seals if you’re allergic to latex.
Silicone neck and wrist seals are a great alternative for membrane suits, especially for users allergic to latex.
Silicone seals are also incredibly comfortable, offering an excellent seal and easy to change.
The only downside of silicone wrist seals is that they’re quite fragile and require a ring system attached to the suit.
Neoprene seals are the toughest of the bundle and provide even pressure against your body.
Unfortunately, neoprene seals are not as effective or as stretchy as other seals. For example, you need to fold the seal to make it fully watertight.
Zips are necessary for easy drysuit access.
Drysuits come with different configurations for the zips, including U/back zips, front entry zip, and shoulder zip.
The zip location is a personal preference, and all comes down to whatever you find easiest.
However, most divers find the front zip easier to close, but the back zip offers a more streamlined look.
Plus, you can integrate a P- inflator valve/ elastic crotch strap, aka a pee zip, for an additional cost.
Drysuit Boots or Socks
Once you determine the material, type of seal, and zip configuration, the next element to consider is your feet.
Generally, drysuits will either come with built-in boots or socks.
Built-in Drysuit Socks
Some drysuits end in thin neoprene socks.
While waterproof, these socks aren’t thick enough to shield your toes from the cold and not sturdy enough to protect you from rough ground.
With this drysuit style, it’s still important to wear rock boots.
Built-in Drysuit Boots
Most of the drysuits come with built-in rock boots, with the same material as the drysuit. Some will even feature some sort of sole for better grip.
The built-in semi-rigid boots are easier to put on, lighter to travel with, and significantly affordable than rock boots.
Their flaw is they usually don’t fit well. Plus, they’re a challenge to replace.
Best Scuba Suits for Cold Water Diving Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How cold can you dive in a drysuit?
A: Neoprene drysuits are ideal for water conditions below 60° F (15° C) or when planning to dive for an extended period.
Of course, the temperature you need for diving also depends on your tolerance for cold and how long you’ll be in the water.
Q: How tight should a drysuit be?
A: The seals should offer a snug fit but shouldn’t be uncomfortable.
Plus, the main body shouldn’t be tight. It should be loose-fitting to allow you to wear enough insulating layers and move freely.
Q: What can I wear under a drysuit?
A: A drysuit is waterproof and windproof but doesn’t offer any insulation or keep you warm.
If you wear nothing underneath, you’ll definitely get cold.
To stop it from happening, you can wear anything made of fleece, wool, or polypropylene. Generally, anything that can still insulate even when wet. Keep away from cotton.
Also, it’s recommended you wear a one-piece undersuit.
Q: Do I need to wear a BCD with a drysuit?
A BCD will help to control your buoyancy.
Q: How long does a drysuit last?
A: If you take good care of your drysuit, it can last even ten years.
Q: Which is better between a drysuit and a wetsuit
A: This will mostly depend on the temperature of the water you’re diving in. It may also depend on how well you can tolerate cold.
But generally, a drysuit keeps you much warmer than a wetsuit.
However, because of their tight fit, wetsuits are more comfortable and offer better flexibility and mobility.
Q: What’s the difference between a drysuit and a semi-drysuit?
A: The best drysuit will keep you warm, while a semi-drysuit will let some water in.
The semi-drysuits have plenty of similarities to the traditional wetsuits. They’re designed to minimize the amount of water exchange in the suit.
On the other hand, a drysuit is constructed from heavier duty material and has better, tighter seals for keeping water out completely.
While semi-drysuits will protect you in cold water, they’re not much help in colder waters than the drysuits.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
We’ve come to the end of our review of the best scuba drysuits.
If you’re still undecided on what suit to choose, I would recommend the Aqualung Fusion Bullet.
While all our options are incredible in their ways, the Aqualung goes an extra mile to ensure you’ve the best scuba diving performance.
The suit is extremely durable and will stand up to rough usage.
It also has front plastic zippers, so access should be easy.
But more importantly, it comes with a dual-layer that supports better buoyancy and a trimmer fit.
Aqualung’s performance on the water is also at par with some of the high-end and tricked-out models, and it doesn’t require much air on the descent to prevent the squeeze.