Whether you’re whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking, or anything in between, a good drysuit is essential gear. Drysuits keep you warm and dry even in the most extreme conditions. This guide will walk you through the most important factors to consider when choosing and buying drysuits for kayaking. We’ll cover features, materials, sizing, and recommendations for the best drysuits for kayaking.
What is A Drysuit For Kayaking?
A drysuit is an essential piece of equipment for kayakers who want to continue their paddling adventures in cooler or wetter environments. A drysuit keeps you warm and dry by creating a barrier between you and the water, allowing you freedom of movement while protecting you from cold river and lake temperatures.
Wearing a drysuit allows kayakers to enjoy extended paddling trips year-round, even in frigid conditions. When the mercury starts to dip and fall foliage tours beckon, a drysuit keeps your core temperature up and your spirits high. Made of neoprene or rubberized fabrics, drysuits feature water-tight seals at the neck, wrists and ankles to prevent leaks. Some include built-in hoods for total coverage when spray conditions worsen.
But with so many options on the market, how do you choose? Here’s our list of the best drysuits for kayaking.
List of the Best Drysuits For Kayaking
Check out the thorough reviews of the best drysuits for kayaking below.
The Crewsaver Atacama kayaking drysuit with front zip & undersuit offers superior performance with its 3 layer fully breathable fabric construction and Glideskin neoprene wrist and neck seals. As a well-established designer and manufacturer of marine safety gear for over 50 years, Crewsaver creates high-quality products utilizing the latest technologies.
The drysuit features include articulated arms and legs for unmatched freedom of movement, an elasticated waist for a custom fit, adjustable internal braces, and a leg pocket with attachment point. The flexible YKK Aquaseal zipper provides durability. Reinforced seat and knee areas plus removable braces enhance comfort.
Made from 100% nylon with PU coating, this USA-made Gill drysuit offers high-performance protection for kayaking. Utilizing XPLORE+ 3-layer fabric technology, the drysuit delivers a durable, breathable, and fully waterproof finish. In-built adjustable braces, a flexible YKK Aquaseal watertight zipper, and pre-marked glideskin collar and cuffs allow the suit to mold comfortably to the wearer’s body. The fabric socks increase the drysuit’s resilience while the low thigh cargo pocket provides storage.
Worn over regular clothing layers, this drysuit is well-suited for sailing, dinghy sailing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. After use, hand wash in fresh water and hang to air dry – avoid bleaching, tumble drying, or dry cleaning. Infused with PU coating on nylon and polyester reinforcement materials, this versatile drysuit delivers watertight protection along with mobility for various water sports.
The PKEDW drysuit for women provides rugged waterproof protection and comfort for demanding whitewater paddling.The three layers of OEKO-TEX certified, 160D P/Taslon neoprene and special coatings create watertight seals at the neck and sleeves, making it durable and breathable. The extra neoprene over-cuffs and latex gaskets further shield the suit from leaks.
The durable fabric, reinforced at the seat and knees,withstands the bombardment of wind,rain and spray while the moisture-wicking liner carries sweat away, keeping the paddler dry and comfortable. The front zipper allows unrestricted movement while the internal suspender system and adjustable waistband provide in-suit comfort.The removable hood and pockets store small essentials.
Ideal for entry-level kayakers and boaters seeking a cost-effective alternative to pricier drysuits, this drysuit will keep paddlers warm through harsh conditions. However, to maximize the lifespan, the suit should be washed in fresh water and hung to dry inside-out after each use.
Incorporating three layers of advanced waterproof materials and special coatings, the PKEDW Men’s drysuit effectively balances rugged waterproofing with breathable comfort. Constructed from OEKO-TEX 160D P/Taslon Plain FD fabric with waterproof latex neck, wrist, and ankle seals, the drysuit boasts self-draining neoprene over-cuffs to ward off water intrusion. Undergoing 100% fill testing, the drysuit guarantees to retain a dry interior while its lightweight design allows freedom of motion for casting and paddling. British drysuit latex gaskets provide superior elasticity and durability, rivaling name brands at a lower price point. The flexible front zipper optimizes comfort and movement without assistance. Adjustable neoprene waistband and zippered chest pocket with key lanyard further enhance conveniences.
The MOOKTA drysuit uses advanced three-layer waterproof materials with special coatings, resulting in a suit that is waterproof, breathable, and comfortable. The waterproof rating is an impressive 20,000mm and the breathability is rated at 7,000g/m2/24h. The latex neck and sleeve seals are soft and flexible while maintaining waterproof integrity. An additional layer of neoprene on the neck, cuffs, and ankles enhances durability. The ergonomic design allows for easy donning and doffing while facilitating freedom of movement. Adjustable features and a fully waterproof zipper make for a customized fit.
This drysuit is suitable for kayaking, diving, snorkeling, sailing, surfing, and various other water sports and activities. In order to maximize performance and longevity, it is recommended to thoroughly rinse the suit with fresh water after each use and dry from the inside out.
The MOOKTA drysuit incorporates new technological advances to provide waterproof, breathable and comfortable protection for diverse water activities. Utilizing a layered design with 3 layers of nylon fabric and special coatings, the drysuit achieves waterproofness up to 20,000 mm and breathability of 7,000 g/m2/24 hours. Extra neoprene reinforcement at the neck, wrists and ankles increases durability.
In summary, the technological advancements in the drysuit’s materials works in harmony with an ergonomic design that facilitates freedom of movement while participating in activities like kayaking, diving, snorkeling and fishing. Adjustable features, self-draining zippers and attention to detail come together to deliver a comfortable, high performing dry suit for water sports.
Utilizing new OEKO-TEX certified 160D P/Taslon Plain FD fabric with a 3 layer waterproof coating and neoprene components, the VZKAK drysuit delivers rugged durability and breathable comfort. The latex neck and sleeve seals, along with neoprene cuffs and ankle seals, ensure excellent waterproofing.
An additional protective neoprene layer on high abrasion areas prolongs the lifespan. The adjustable suspension system,durable zippers and integrated neoprene socks provide a customized fit and freedom of movement. The avant-garde ergonomic design allows for easy donning and doffing without assistance.
Each drysuit undergoes individual leak testing to guarantee out-of-box dryness and reasonable service life. Comparable to premium brands at a more economical price, this drysuit offers exceptional performance for demanding applications like ocean paddling, whitewater kayaking, river snorkeling and neoprene diving, enabled by thoughtful design details, rugged construction and superior materials.
Incorporating newly developed technologies, the VZKAK drysuit for kayaking delivers rugged waterproofing and breathability through a multi-layer construction of 160D P/Taslon Plain FD textiles and special coatings. The modernized avant-garde design allows for an easier donning process and enhanced freedom of movement. The latex neck and sleeve seals, neoprene neck and wrist cuffs, and additional protective neoprene on key areas provide comfort and durability to withstand demanding whitewater environments.
Ergonomic hook-and-loop closures and dual-adjustable overskirt ensure a customized, lock-down fit. Integrated neoprene socks further waterproof the feet. The rear-entry zipper with relief zipper enhances accessibility. Each suit undergoes individual testing to verify waterproof functionality out of the box, offering premium performance at an economical price point.
The GUL Drysuit utilizes a three-layer, hardwearing GCX3 waterproof fabric that delivers both full wet weather protection and breathability, making it the perfect outer layer for demanding water sports. Contoured body panels reduce snagging while articulated arms and knees allow optimal mobility. Moreover, its fully taped heat sealed seams ensure 100% waterproofing.
Featuring Gul’s Eclip Zip entry system with VELCRO touch fastener zip guard that protects the YKK Aquaseal dry zip to facilitate easier donning, additional attributes encompass glide skin neck and wrist seals, latex socks, internal adjustable braces, and a zipped arm pocket with drainer for extra storage.
The Molsta Drysuit features a rear-entry zipper that flexibly moves with the kayakers to maintain optimal performance during difficult kayaking movements. Comprised of a tri-layer waterproof and breathable fabric, the drysuit keeps the wearer dry throughout exercise. The zipper design utilizes both Ti-Zip rear-entry and relief zippers, which are waterproof, airtight, convenient, and increase suit durability. Neck and wrist closures use soft latex gaskets for comfort, while reinforced knees, seams, and high-wear areas improve wear time.
An ergonomic design allows the drysuit to adapt to different body shapes through wrist, waist, and ankle adjustment systems, enabling athletes to maximize performance and improve physical conditioning. The tri-layer fabric, in conjunction with the adjustable design and Ti-Zip zipper, work together to provide a drysuit that allows kayakers to focus fully on executing difficult maneuvers without compromising range of motion or suit integrity.
How To Choose The Best Drysuits For Kayaking?
Kayaking is not just a sport, it’s an experience. Gliding across the water in your tiny vessel feels like flying. But staying warm and dry often requires the best drysuit. Here’s my guide to help you choose the perfect one.
Know the Difference Between a Wetsuit and Drysuit
Wet suits provide warmth while allowing water inside. Dry suits keep all the water outside, insulating you from the elements. Drysuits are vital for kayaking in cooler water or when prolonged submersion is likely.
Find the Right Material
Neoprene is the most basic drysuit material. It provides some warmth but allows for mobility.
PU-coated nylon is more durable but also more restrictive.
Edgesuits use a thin layer of neoprene coated with PU. They offer the best of both worlds – durability and flexibility.
Consider Multiple Entry Options
Back zippers offer easy entry and exit but less warmth. They work well for shorter paddles in warmer weather.
Front zippers offer better insulation. They are trickier to use but ideal for colder water.
Stretch panels allow the most movement. Look for zip-free options with a stretchy neck and ankle cuffs.
Check the Seams and Seals
Well-sealed seams and closures keep water out and heat in. They are your drysuit’s most vital components. Try lifting the limbs and bending to check flexibility near seams while inspecting the seals for wear or imperfections.
Look for Extras that Suit Your Style
Flotation panels add buoyancy for swimming or rescue.
Spray decks protect your head and neck from wind and waves.
Inflatable chairs allow you to sit higher in the kayak for better vision.
Gloves, attached or separate, ensure warmth and grip.
Frequently Asked Questions When Picking Drysuits For Kayaking
Q: How do I stay warm in a drysuit?
A: Make sure the drysuit fits properly and all seals and seams are in good condition. Wear thermal base layers under the suit. Use a spray deck, gloves, and a neoprene neek seal if available.
Q: Are drysuits hard to get into and out of?
A: Some entry options like rear or side zips make drysuits easier to get into, while front zip options provide better insulation. Stretch panels also make for easier entry and exit. However, drysuits generally involve more effort getting into compared to wet suits.
Q: How do I prevent water from leaking into a drysuit?
A: Ensure all seals, zippers, neck seals and wrist seals are in good condition with no damage. Apply silicone seal to the seals if needed. Check all seams for holes or cracks and repair if found. The drysuit needs to fit properly without being too loose.
Q: Do I need a drysuit if kayaking in summer?
A: For warmer water temperatures in summer months, a drysuit may not be necessary for short kayaking trips. A wetsuit or rash guard may suffice. However, for all-day trips or on colder summer days, a drysuit provides more comfort by keeping you dry.
Q: How long do drysuits last?
A: High-quality drysuits can last 5-10 years or longer with proper care and storage. Make sure to hand wash the suit to protect the seals and avoid machine washing. Store flat or loosely hanging to avoid compressing the seals. Inspect and replace damaged seals or zippers as needed.
Q: Why do I need a drysuit for kayaking?
There are many reasons why a drysuit should be considered an essential piece of gear for kayakers, especially for kayaking in colder climates or open water. A drysuit keeps the wearer completely dry by creating a waterproof barrier, which provides numerous benefits. Staying dry allows the wearer to trap heat much more effectively through insulation layers underneath the drysuit. This critical insulation helps maintain body temperature and ward off hypothermia, even if you end up entering the cold water. Remaining dry also protects against wind, waves and rain, adding to your comfort on long trips. Some drysuits include built-in flotation panels for additional buoyancy and safety. Overall, a well-fitting drysuit enhances both safety and comfort for kayakers, allowing you to stay in the water longer before needing rescue.
Q: Differences between wetsuits and drysuits for kayaking
Here are the key differences between wetsuits and drysuits for kayaking:
- Water exposure – Wetsuits allow water inside the suit to provide warmth, while drysuits keep all water outside to keep the wearer completely dry.
- Insulation – Drysuits offer better insulation since no water enters the suit. This makes them better for colder water and longer paddles.
- Buoyancy – Some drysuits have built-in flotation panels for added buoyancy, which can be useful for swimming or self-rescue. Wetsuits typically don’t provide extra buoyancy.
- Comfort – Drysuits offer more comfort since the wearer stays completely dry. Wetsuits can feel clammy after getting wet from sweat or immersion.
- Versatility – Drysuits can be used in a wider range of temperatures and conditions compared to wetsuits which work best in warmer water.
- Safety – Drysuits reduce the risks of hypothermia since the wearer stays dry. This buys more time before needing rescue in cold water.
- Mobility – Wetsuits tend to allow for more flexibility and range of motion since they are thinner and use stretchier materials. Drysuits can restrict movement more.
- Cost – Drysuits are generally more expensive than wetsuits due to more complex construction and materials.
In summary, wetsuits are best for warmer water kayaking while drysuits provide the most protection from cold temperatures, waves and wind. It comes down to your intended environment, duration and protection needs. Drysuits maximize safety and comfort in colder, open water kayaking while wetsuits work well for warmer, calmer trips.
Having the right drysuit while kayaking is essential to stay comfortable and safe while enjoying the sport. A high-quality drysuit will keep you warm and protected from the elements no matter what conditions you face. Focus on features that offer the most comfort, flexibility and breathability to prioritize performance above all else. With the right suit, you’ll be able to focus on paddling and enjoying every moment on the water. Stay safe and have fun!
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