Our guide to picking a drysuit this winter...
Drysuits are an essential part of cold weather watersports. Their primary function is keeping the body warm, which is achieved by providing 100% waterproof protection. A drysuit will also allow enough space for multiple layers to be worn underneath. Historically it’s been sailors who have embraced drysuits, however, they can also be used for kayaking, water skiing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and other sports where you’ll be in contact with cold water. The more frequently you’re going to be in the water, the more heavy-duty and durable you’re going to want your drysuit to be. Deciding on which features you want your drysuit to have will inevitably determine your purchase choice. Things to ask are whether it has windproofing or waterproofing, is there a hood and if so does it decrease visibility, is it brightly coloured for extra safety, and does it have a front or back zip. You don’t need to have all these elements; however, they are important to consider.
A new addition to an already established collection, Typhoon have kept true to its core of delivering a high performance, versatile and robust drysuit. The main feature of the Multisport 5 Hinge is of course the revolutionary hinged entry system which has been incorporated into the suit making it incredibly easy to put on whilst providing exceptional freedom of movement. Very popular for enthusiastic kayakers, but still handles itself on a sailing boat.
Designed by and for professional sailors, the Helly Hansen Aegir Survival Drysuit is at the top of its game when it comes to protection and performance on the open ocean. The use of fleece within the collar and hood provides extra insulation while its waterproof breathable socks will ensure the feet remain dry when battling large swell and intense winds. So, if you’re serious about your sailing, this drysuit is the ultimate piece of clothing for optimum protection against the elements.
Combining durability and comfort along with all the necessary essentials, the Gul Ladies Code Zero is a high-performance drysuit which is designed using contoured body panels to reduce snagging and windage. Other features also include glide skin neck and seal cuffs which make it easy to pop your head and hands in whilst remaining warm. The high seas won’t be brutal on the body with this drysuit.
Designed to cope with the most extreme conditions, the Typhoon PS330 has been tested during extreme kayaking in the Arctic and circumnavigations around the British Isles – plus the Volvo Ocean Race, the Sydney to Hobart – so you know it’s legit. From these tests, Typhoon have been able to manufacture a quality drysuit which perfectly combines performance, durability and most importantly, safety.
If ocean exploring is your thing then this drysuit is made for you. Equipped with a fully adjustable storm hood, a smooth non-chaffing neck seal and hard wearing socks, there is no doubt Palm have considered all possible conditions you’ll face out on the water – and when it comes to sea kayaking and kayak fishing – there really is no drysuit alternative.
If you’re insanely committed to kitesurfing during the deep depths of winter, then Mystic have you covered. Their neoprene drysuit featuring a latex neck and arm cuff, front-zip entry, reinforced kneepads and key pocket on the inside will enable you to spend those extra hours on the water – wind permitting.
Whichever drysuit you pick it's always important to take care of it before and after each use. Rinsing with fresh water, both on the inside and outside, will ensure you're removing all contaminants whilst clearing away sand and dirt from the zip. Once cleaned, you should hang it out to dry in a well-vented area - preferably upside down to allow draining. Finally, make sure your drysuit is completely dry before storing away, and be mindful that paint and other chemical fumes can damage latex seals.
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