Dry Suits provide maximum thermal protection.
Although primarily used in cooler water, in temperate water they let you make more dives and longer dives even if you could use a wetsuit.
Dry Suits get their name because they keep you dry, except for (typically) your head and hands, over which you wear neoprene wetsuit hoods and gloves.
All dry suits cover the entire body. Neoprene dry suits are made of the same material as wet suits, except they exclude water.The neoprene provides insulation.
Shell dry suits consist of two pieces. The first is a shell suit, made of one of many materials (crushed neoprene, trilaminate, urethane, vulcanized rubber), that keeps you dry.
The second is the undergarment, also of several materials (bunting, open foam, ThinsulateTM), that provides the insulation. Suits used in the coldest water have dry hoods and dry gloves or mitts.
Dry suits provide more insulation for divers by keeping you dry.
They offer most thermal protection of all exposure suits and they make a noticeable difference in how long you can stay comfortable in underwater temperatures of around 18 degrees Celsius.
They are the main option for all comfortable dives in water colder than 10 degrees Celsius.
Air conducts heat relatively poorly, so the dry suit insulates you with a layer of air. Divers often wear extra insulating material as an undergarment. Unlike a wet suit, everything between your skin and the water reduces heat loss. Also unlike a wet suit, they fit relatively loosely.
In cooler water - below about 21 degrees C - divers may also need exposure protection for their head, hands, and feet. Wearing additional neoprene garments also protects hands and feet from minor cuts and abrasions. This extra protection comes from these three main exposure suit accessories.
Drysuit Tip - Be prepared to invest more than for a comparable wetsuit. However, dry suits last substantially longer (10 years or more is not unusual) and when you consider the additional dive time they give, they pay for themselves.
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