There are three main advantages drysuit divers have over wetsuit divers:
Comfort is a desire of all divers and it can mean something different to each diver. Comfort can be the way the suit fits - wetsuits can be uncomfortably snug. It can also be the flexibility/mobility of the fabric - wetsuits can be thick and bulky and inhibit your movement. Comfort can also be the moment when you realize you’re not thinking about your equipment and just focusing on the scenery. Wetsuits provide a very small “comfort zone” and when divers continually dive outside of this, enjoyment and motivation gradually decrease and they eventually stop diving. A proper-fitting drysuit constructed from quality materials greatly expands the “comfort zone” contributing greatly to a diver’s comfort in all kinds of water conditions.
Warmth is a key factor affecting comfort. This factor is not so subjective – science has proven that a diver loses body heat 25 times faster in water than air. Unless you’re diving in 98.6 degree water, every diver loses warmth in a wetsuit. Drysuits made from the right materials, coupled with proper insulation, reduce or eliminate the effects of cold on a diver’s body.
Enjoyment can be greatly enhanced when a diver doesn’t worry about their comfort or the cold. The effect of cold does not have to be bone-chilling to alter a diver's enjoyment or safety. Symptoms can be as simple as loss of motivation and energy. Physiologists refer to this as "unjustified fatigue." A drysuit reduces fatigue, which contributes to less air consumption and longer dives – and greater enjoyment.
The “Comfort Zone” Each diver has a different "comfort zone." Wetsuits provide a very narrow "comfort zone" with little room for adjustment. Their performance is impacted by fit, dive depth, and changing environmental demands. Dive time, repetitive dives and a diver’s personal metabolic rate also affect this. As a result, many wetsuit divers are on the edge of, or outside, their "comfort zone," often resulting in discomfort and fatigue – a potentially unsafe situation.
What is a Drysuit? Today’s drysuit systems consist of a shell suit to keep you totally dry, and insulated garments to keep you warm. This approach allows each diver to adjust the level of insulation for their own personal "comfort zone." These modern drysuit systems also maintain their insulation at depth.
The Compression Factor. Increased depth means increased pressure – more compression. The drysuit system's compression-resistant insulation means warmth and comfort at all depths. To a wetsuit diver, compression means decreased insulation. A wetsuit offers 1/2 its original insulation at 33 feet, 1/3 at 66 feet, and merely 1/4 at 99 feet. Decreasing insulation at potentially colder depths is uncomfortable and can have dangerous results. No current wetsuit system allows the diver to make the individual adjustments required to maintain performance with changing depth.
Why DUI? As the world’s leader in the design and manufacturing of drysuits, DUI provides a wide variety of drysuit and insulation strategies to meet the broad thermal protection, comfort, and performance requirements of every diver. This is made possible by DUI's extensive experience and innovative technologies. And all DUI drysuits are manufactured in the USA. There is a difference.