The Best Drysuits for Scuba Diving Reviewed by ScubaLab | Scuba Diving

The Best Drysuits for Scuba Diving Reviewed by ScubaLab

ScubaLab tests 9 new models for its 2019 drysuit review.

Drysuit diving opens a whole world of possibilities — from pristine wrecks preserved by cold water to extreme locales such as the arctic or simply a local lake. ScubaLab's team of test divers evaluated and reviewed nine of the best drysuits for scuba diving, reviewing the suits on fit, durability, comfort and more.

See the results of our tests below.

Drysuits

ScubaLab staff also evaluated suits for construction and ­materials used, focusing on quality of manufacture and the suitability and durability of materials used.

Jon Whittle

Head-to-Head Testing

While the purpose of any ­thermal protection is to keep you warm, the actual job of a drysuit is to keep you dry while ­undergarments keep you warm. Our testing focused on evaluating how well a suit performed its central role of keeping a diver dry, and what level of comfort, stability, control and convenience the suit provided.

Test divers ­rated each suit in 13 categories:

Ease of donning: Whether the suit provided sufficient access to get into it ­without ­excessive delay or ­trouble, and whether it’s possible to don the suit without ­assistance
Fit/comfort/range of motion above surface: Whether the suit fit ­divers ­properly while allowing a full range of ­motion before ­entering the water
Range of ­motion submerged: Whether the suit permits ­unrestricted movement ­submerged
Comfort/­effectiveness of seals: Whether the design and construction of neck and wrist seals ­efficiently and ­comfortably seal against ­leaking
Buoyancy/trim/attitude control: Whether the suit allows the diver to maintain full ­control of depth and position
Boot comfort/­security: Whether the boots ­provide proper ­comfort and support for swimming and walking
Inflator valve: Whether the inflator is located for easy access and allows the diver to predictably add gas to the suit
Exhaust valve: Whether the exhaust is located and operates in such a way that the diver can ­easily control how gas is vented
Air movement: Whether the suit allows the diver to maintain control over the shifting of air in the suit, particularly during changes in depth or attitude
Drag/streamlining: Whether the suit maintains a streamlined profile in the water Fit/comfort at depth: Whether the suit provides comfort for extended periods
Pockets/accessories: Whether the suit has features such as cargo pockets, and how they perform
Ease of doffing: How easily the suit can be taken off, and whether it can be done without assistance

Dives were conducted at ­Devil’s Den Spring and Blue Grotto Dive Resort in ­central Florida in 72 ­degree F fresh ­water. Test divers wore similar undergarments with each suit to gauge thermal qualities as well as overall fit, cut and sizing.


Read More: 12 New 3mm Scuba Diving Wetsuits Tested By ScubaLab


Aqua Lung Fusion Bullet w/ AirCore

Aqua Lung Fusion Bullet w/ AirCore

Aqua Lung Fusion Bullet w/ AirCore

Jon Whittle

Construction: Dual-layer design, with breathable AirCore lining and user-replaceable high-stretch-neoprene shell
Sizes: Five men’s sizes; available made to order
MSRP: $2,349-$2,449
Contact: aqualung.com

Our first impression was that this suit has a lot of zippers, due to the dual-layer design with zips and Velcro attaching the lining to the high-stretch shell. Our second impression, as one test diver noted, was, “Wow, is this comfortable!” In hot topside conditions, the breathable AirCore lining made it the rare suit we didn’t bake in, while at depth the dual design kept the suit ­streamlined and allowed effortless control of air movement with virtually no restriction of motion. The replaceable seals were unobtrusive (although the neck ring sometimes rubbed between collar bone and BC straps when topside), and the ­outer skin can be replaced in minutes. The semicircular zipper makes it easy to get in and out, and the expandable cargo pockets are functional and trim. Versatile, comfortable and capable, the Aqua Lung Fusion Bullet with AirCore is our Testers Choice.

Bare Aqua-Trek 1 Pro Dry

Bare Aqua-Trek 1 Pro Dry

Bare Aqua-Trek 1 Pro Dry

Jon Whittle

Construction: Breathable four-layer Cordura nylon
Sizes: Seven men’s sizes; five women’s sizes
MSRP: $1,199.95
Contact: baresports.com

Bare calls the Aqua-Trek travel- and budget-friendly, and they’ll get no argument from us. Ours weighed 4 pounds in medium large, and packed more compactly than any other suit. That was partly because of the lightweight, breathable fabric, but also the design, with soft boots, fixed seals and a nontelescoping torso. As for the price, it’s even friendlier than it looks because it includes a set of Bare’s Ultrawarmth Base Layer undergarments. In the water, divers praised the trim fit and streamlined profile that allowed very good range of motion. Air movement in the suit was predictable and easy to control, though test divers found the exhaust valve just a bit too far forward, possibly to keep sufficient clearance from the rear shoulder zip. Comfortable, easy-traveling and nicely made, the Aqua-Trek, as one test diver noted, is “no frills, all performance.”

Camaro Drytec Lite 3.0

Camaro Drytec Lite 3.0

Camaro Drytec Lite 3.0

Jon Whittle

Construction: Trilaminate design constructed with polyamid, elastane and polyester
Sizes: 14 men’s sizes; 11 women’s sizes; available made to order
MSRP: $1,895
Contact: camaro.at

This suit’s lightweight, flexible material gives it a very good range of motion. “Stretches like Gumby,” one diver commented. In addition to a generous amount of give, the stretchy trilam also keeps the suit close to the body for a comfortable fit that doesn’t drag in the water. Testers felt that the suit’s air movement overall was good but disliked the placement of the exhaust valve, which required an exaggerated arm-up motion to vent. “Too far forward and too low,” one test diver noted. The fixed latex seals were effective, and the neck seal has an adjustable, titanium-lined neoprene closure that’s tall enough to help retain heat. The padded suspenders, with a handy zippered key pocket, are ergonomic, with a Velcro-closure front entry that’s ­comfortable and convenient.

Dive Rite 901 Series Front Zip

Dive Rite 901 Series Front Zip

Dive Rite 901 Series Front Zip

Jon Whittle

Construction: Butyl-rubber core sandwiched between layers of polyester
Sizes: 14 men’s sizes
MSRP: $2,700
Contact: diverite.com

Dive Rite is known for its rugged tech and cave gear, and that pretty much describes this new front zip. The fabric is a butyl-rubber core sandwiched between layers of polyester, which makes it tough but still flexible, if a bit heavy. It won’t mind some scraping on rocks, with thick, textured rubber pads protecting the seat, elbows and knees from midthigh to shin. While ours was sized on the beefy side, it was easy to control attitude and maintain trim. “This suit just hovers,” one tester noted. The boots were comfortable and supportive, though the ankles seemed large for the boot size, and there are no ankle adjustments. The thigh pockets have an assortment of bungees and rings inside, and the flaps have daisy-chain web loops for ­attaching cutting tools and/or other accessories.

DUI FLX Extreme

DUI FLX Extreme

DUI FLX Extreme

Jon Whittle

Construction: Trilaminate made of butyl rubber sandwiched between layers of polyester, with Cordura knee reinforcements
Sizes: 15 men’s sizes; 18 women’s sizes; available made to order
MSRP: $2,876 standard sizes; $3,276 custom
Contact: divedui.com

This well-made suit — a top contender in our test — ­collected very good scores across the board. Test divers found that the long entry zipper and supple latex seals made for easy donning and doffing. Unlike the quick-­replacement seal systems on some suits, which can be uncomfortable or cumbersome, the ZipSeal rings on the FLX are so soft and unobtrusive that it’s easy to forget they’re even there. The well-balanced suit allowed divers to maintain buoyancy, trim and attitude with hardly a thought. Managing air movement, even when changing depth, was just as easy, with the exhaust valve placed for effortless venting, helped by the suit’s stretch. “The best thing is the way it held/released/moved air just how I wanted it to,” one test diver commented.

DUI Yukon II

DUI Yukon II

DUI Yukon II

Jon Whittle

Construction: Ripstop nylon, butyl rubber, polyester trilaminate
Sizes: 15 men’s sizes; 18 women’s sizes; available made to order
MSRP: $1,650 standard sizes; $2,050 custom
Contact: divedui.com

One of DUI’s “standard” suits available in fixed sizes, the Yukon II boasts extras including replaceable seals and a well-designed thigh cargo pocket. But the suit’s main feature is really its overall construction, with an attention to detail that you’d expect to come with a steeper price. ­Double-coated seams are meticulously taped and glued, and the rip-stop trilaminate has a rugged, durable feel; our suit still looked new after multiple dives in rocky ­conditions. The telescoping torso and a cut that eliminates horizontal underarm seams provided a comfortable fit and very good range of motion. The neoprene neck cover could have been longer (or adjustable), and while the suit’s fabric is tough, we’d still like reinforcing patches at the knees. With solid performance and high-quality design and construction at an attractive price, the Yukon II is our Best Buy.

Scubapro Evertec Dry Breathable

Scubapro Evertec Dry Breathable

Scubapro Evertec Dry Breathable

Jon Whittle

Construction: Breathable nylon, polyurethane, nylon trilaminate
Sizes: Six men’s sizes
MSRP: $1,840
Contact: scubapro.com

The breathable fabric made this suit as comfortable above water in the heat as it was submerged. While it seemed large in the shoulders topside, divers reported no unwanted air shifting, even with exaggerated movement, and the suit was overall quite trim in the water (though the thigh pockets, which we rated excellent for functionality, tend to drag a bit when empty). The neoprene neck collar provided good protection against cold spots, and the exhaust valve was well-placed and predictable. The replaceable seals, which fasten with clips, are well-protected with wide cuffs and are easy to change, although they have a slightly bulky profile, and the neck-seal ring sometimes rubbed on collar bones. Test divers appreciated the suit’s many nice touches such as the zippered interior pocket big enough for a wallet, and the comfortable, quick-release suspenders.

Seac WarmDry

Seac WarmDry

Seac WarmDry

Jon Whittle

Construction: 4 mm neoprene with nylon interior
Sizes: 11 men’s sizes; nine women’s sizes
MSRP: $899
Contact: seacsub.com

The only neoprene suit in the test, the WarmDry stood out thanks to its snug, comfortable fit. Constructed of insulating 4 mm neoprene, this suit fit very much like a 5 mm ­wetsuit, making it very streamlined. With a ­rear-shoulder zip, the suit was easy enough to don and doff with help, though its stiff metal zipper required some vigorous tugging. Testers found the neoprene neck seal very dry and comfortable. The wrist seals were no less comfortable but sometimes a bit leaky. The exhaust valve performed well, even though it’s located quite far forward, but testers didn’t care for the overly abrupt inflator valve, which required a soft touch. Buoyancy, trim and attitude control were top-notch, and the suit’s close fit helped provide excellent control over air movement. “Loved the way it just stayed in any position I put it in,” one tester commented.

Waterproof D7X NyloTech

Waterproof D7X NyloTech

Waterproof D7X NyloTech

Jon Whittle

Construction: Nylotech fabric shell with Kevlar reinforcements at wear points
Sizes: Seven men’s sizes; four women’s sizes
MSRP: $3,299
Contact: waterproof-usa.com

Waterproof’s walrus logo seems fitting for the D7X, which is tough enough that it might have been made from the hide of a polar sea creature. The Nylotech material is thick and rugged yet also soft to the touch, and the suit has Kevlar reinforcements on knees and other high-wear areas. The suit has SI-Tech quick-replacement rings for fast field repairs (ours were silicone, but latex is also ­available). “Bone-dry” is how one tester described the seals. The suit’s fit was relatively slim and anatomical, helping to keep the suit ­nicely streamlined. Divers found the D7X “­extremely ­comfortable,” but also found controlling air movement sometimes finicky, although less so with thicker ­undergarments. In fairness, this is a suit that would be much more at home in polar climes than our Florida spring test dives.

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