Wetsuits are a type of water-protective clothing used in swimming, diving, and surfing

main differences

between wetsuit and drysuit

When it comes to diving, there are two main types of suits: a wetsuit and a drysuit. A wetsuit is made of thin neoprene, while the material in a drysuit is synthetic. Neither suit traps water as well as each other, but it’s important to choose the right one for your diving needs. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between wetsuits and drysuits.

diving needs

choose the right

Water Resistance

Drysuits have an extra layer

One of the major differences between a wetsuit and a drysuit is the material they are made of. A wetsuit is made of thin neoprene, a material that absorbs water quickly to maintain a diver's body temperature. Wetsuits take advantage of the water to help reduce heat loss but are generally not enough on their own.


Wetsuits also feature elastic at the wrists, ankles, and waist to help maintain a close fit when a diver is in or out of the water. On the other hand, a drysuit is made of a synthetic material that is designed to be waterproof, as well as thermal. A drysuit's shell prevents water from entering and coming into contact with the diver's skin.


Another difference between wetsuits and drysuits is water resistance. Due to the material, wetsuits are not completely waterproof and will absorb some amount of water into the suit jacket or pants. Once a wetsuit is wet, it will keep you warm, but a dry suit is considered to be completely waterproof.


Wetsuits and drysuits are generally not interchangeable due to the difference in fit between the two suits. typically Gore-Tex, to assist in keeping water out of the suit. Both suits should be used with a pair of thermal underwear to help protect the diver from extreme cold.


Whether a diver is in or out of the water, both wetsuits and drysuits should be comfortable to wear. Wetsuits are generally easier to put on and take off than drysuits due to their lack of zippers. Wetsuits are also designed with elastic at the waist, neck, wrists, and ankles to help maintain a tight fit.

tight fit

comfortable to wear


This allows for a more streamlined approach when a diver needs it most — while diving. Wetsuits are also made with more stretchy material, which makes them more comfortable to wear. On the other hand, a drysuit is designed with more features to help maintain a tight fit.

 The neck, elbows, and wrists are lined with Velcro for a secure fit that does not come loose during diving. In addition to a secure fit, both suits have zippers and snaps that help make putting on and taking off a suit easier.

Drysuits are also designed with built-in elbow pads that keep the suit jacket in place and prevent the sleeves from riding up when they are wet. Wetsuits do not have seals or built-in elbow pads, which requires divers to purchase them separately.

Seals & Elbow Pads

Drysuits and wetsuits also differ when it comes to seals and elbow pads. In a drysuit, seals help to keep water out of the fabric in case a diver is exposed to white water or gets into an accident. As you can see, there are many differences between wetsuits and drysuits.  Both suits are designed for diving, but the differences in the materials and features make them better suited for different diving environments. 

differences betweeN wetsuit and drysuit