Here at Dive Right In Scuba, we pride ourselves on our vast selection of drysuits and accessories as well as our relationships with drysuit manufacturers. With this in mind, it is no secret that we take care of a good amount of drysuit customers. Most of those customers are buying their first drysuit and are often suffering from the initial sticker shock of the cost of their new drysuit. Hey, we understand…a good quality drysuit isn’t something that comes cheap. So, oftentimes our first time drysuit customers take it like a punch in the gut(or wallet…you choose) when we start the discussion of undergarments. Well, just about every suit will require a quality drysuit undergarment and(trust us on this) the cost of the suit, undergarment, and accessories will seem but a distant memory when you take that first drysuit dive in total comfort. With all of that in mind, what drysuit material is best for you? That depends on your personal preferences and types of water you normally dive in. In our normal spirit of being helpful, allow us to hit the high points of each type…trust us we’ll be quick so you can get back to diving.
This is one material most of you have experience with, especially if you’re the outdoor type. We all know fleece to be soft, comfortable, and easy on the packing space. Of course, not many know that it has a great application as a drysuit undergarment. In addition to the above listed benefits, fleece has amazing inherent moisture wicking properties. This comes in handy when you either sweat or have a leak in your suit…it keeps the moisture off of your skin. Also, with its lack of “loft” many divers find it to be useful as a base layer when in frigid waters, or as a sole drysuit undergarment solution in moderate temps or when wearing a more form fitting cut of drysuit.
Loft undergarments are a great solution for those frigid waters where a more robust warming solution is necessary. These undergarments are similar to a camping sleeping bag in design. All that is needed for a little added warmth under a drysuit is a puff of air or argon to “loft” the material. This undergarment type is best used with a thin moisture wicking base layer.
Merino wool undergarment is excellent at regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin. The wool provides some warmth, without overheating the wearer. It draws moisture(sweat) away from the skin, a phenomenon known as wicking. The fabric is slightly moisture repellent(keratin fibers are hydrophobic at one end and hydrophilic at the other), allowing the user to avoid the feeling wetness.
The newest player on the field of drysuit undergarments is the incompressible type material. Labeled with product names like “Spacetek”, these materials are designed to not compress with depth. When wearing a drysuit, this equates to less air or argon having to be added to the suit for warmth. This allows the diver to be less buoyant…thus requiring a little less lead on the weight belt. In addition, incompressible materials provide space age moisture wicking properties as well as more insulation where it’s needed, like the body core.
As you can see there are a number of option when it comes to what material to use for your drysuit undergarment. With that in mind, the team here at DRIS can surely get you set up with exactly what you need.