A drysuit is a full-body waterproof suit, usually designed for diving, and usually of rubber or neoprene. This is in contrast to a wetsuit that allows water to seep between the suit and the wearer's skin. Drysuits are usually much more expensive than wetsuits.
A drysuit is better than a wetsuit when diving in cold waters for two reasons besides the cold water not entering it:
- A drysuit allows the wearing of wool and other warm underwear
- Air trapped inside the suit is a good insulator
Drysuits feature seals around the neck or face and around the ankles and wrists, if not fitted with integrated socks or gloves. Some drysuits feature an open face hood while others end at the neck seal. Waterproof zippers are the most common type of fastening.
Movement in a drysuit is more cumbersome than in a wetsuit. Also, a diver in a drysuit must be educated to know how to manage the air quantities inside the suit - if all that air were to find its way to one leg, the lift concentrated in one position could cause difficulty in movement and managing the body position.
An immersion suit or survival suit is a drysuit for people who may be plunged unexpectedly into the sea, for example helicopter passengers. It is not worn all the time, as it would be too hot or cumbersome. It is therefore quite loose so that it may be put on quickly over other clothing. It is very buoyant to help the wearer float.
As such suits are often made of rubber-backed materials, some rubber enthusiasts enjoy dressing in drysuits for pleasure or in sexual settings. The ability to inflate the drysuit with air brings joy to others.
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