Kayaking is a fun activity, but when it affects your body negatively, it is no longer fun. This is the reason you need the best drysuit for kayaking. When your body is exposed to cold water for long, there can be side effects. The best kayaking drysuit will keep you from being cold, wet, and uncomfortable. They also offer warmth provided by the thermal cloth underneath.
Finding a drysuit is easy. Choosing the right drysuit is not as easy as many people think. You may find a drysuit that fits but still not suitable. The guide below will help you arrive at the right drysuit by analyzing different features of the drysuit. We look at the best drysuits for kayaking reviews below to help you learn more.
Quick Picks: The Top-Rated Drysuit for Kayaking
In a hurry? Check our best pick above, or keep reading for product reviews and buying guide!
Why Do You Need a Drysuit for Kayaking?
The main reason is to keep you dry and warm in the water. The drysuits are best suited for cold waters and can be uncomfortable in warmer waters. It also allows for prolonged immersions with less risk of hypothermia.
How to Choose a Drysuit for Kayaking?
The most common material is nylon. It is tear-resistant and durable. In some instances, nylon is mixed with a hydrophilic chemical treatment. This will make the suit water repellent.
The seals of this suit (gaskets) are made from a neoprene material to avoid skin abrasion.
The seat and the knees of the drysuit are made from abrasion-resistant materials. Since such areas of this suit are at risk of wearing, manufacturers use Cordura fabric as it is abrasion-resistant.
There are two fits for a drysuit; tight or loose. Choosing the type of fit depends on the water temperature you are kayaking in. A loose-fitting drysuit is suitable for cold waters and where there are higher risks of immersion, for example, whitewater.
The looser a drysuit is, the more thermal protection it offers. When the weather is calm and temperatures friendly, you can go for a tighter dry suit to reduce the bulk.
Some of the models feature proprietary breathable linings like Gore-tex and eVent. The linings are semi-permeable and allow sweat vapor to pass across the drysuit. This will keep your body dry and prevent a buildup of sweat.
This is specifically vital to kayakers because physical activity in non-breathable drysuits can be fatal. It can allow for moisture buildup, therefore affecting the effectiveness of the drysuit to keep you warm. Wherever possible, choose a drysuit that has a breathable lining.
Mostly, entry types in drysuits are either at the front or the back. There are not any specific benefits for either of the types of entry. However, men prefer the “front type” as it makes it easy to answer the ‘call of nature.’ The front entry often has a “relief zip.”
Modern technology has brought about two-part drysuits that connect at the waist area. Such types of suits are easy to get out and in. Other benefits are that the drysuits can sometimes be used either alone as a jacket or a trouser. This eliminates the reason for wearing a full drysuit if you have a spray skirt.
Below are some additional features you may want to consider when looking for the best drysuit for kayaking.
- Waterproof pockets
These will allow safe storage of your valuable personal items including keys and phones. You can also store vital gears like GPS units.
- Reflective material
This is a key feature when it comes to safety. Large crafts can fail to notice the kayakers. Also, the chances of rescuers to see you quickly is why the material should be reflective. Buy drysuits with bright colors and reflective strips.
- Nylon loops
This is important for suits designed for fishing in cold water. The series of nylon gear loops allows an angler to retain their tackle within reach.
- Shoes and gloves
Not all drysuits are delivered with booties attached to them. Therefore, remember that sometimes you will have to purchase your kayaking shoes and gloves.
A drysuit is probably your second most expensive item after your kayak. Taking this into consideration, make sure you purchase a great drysuit that at least offers a one-year warranty.
However, this will not protect you from the usual wear and tear. It will only cover manufacturing failures, which occasionally happen in parts. For example, the seals can fail.
Product Reviews of The Best Drysuit for Kayaking
This suit has a two-part design and several adjustable seals. This will allow you to use it in different “modes.” When in the “dry-mode,” this drysuit can be sealed fully at the neck, ankles, wrist, and waist. You can quickly transform it into the “standby mode” through loosening the neck seal or opening your dry zip.
This model is made with 100% breathable materials, which makes it flexible. It also allows for mobility within the kayak since it is a loose fit drysuit.
The drysuit is made with tough and wear-resistant materials. The most common materials are nylon and Cordura.
It has wader belts whose function is to prevent the water from getting into your suit. This happens when you accidentally get into the water during the “standby-mode.”
Thanks to its features, this drysuit is ideal for kiteboarding, windsurfing, sailing, and SUP, in addition to kayaking. Well, it is quite a versatile drysuit.
- It has multiple modes for versatility
- It has adjustable seals
- Features wader belts
- It lacks a spray skirt
The outer part of this drysuit is made of 100% nylon. Cordura, an abrasion-resistant material, is used to reinforce the shoulders, elbows, knees, forearms, and seat area.
This model has a well-positioned rear-entry zip to facilitate simple access while at the same time not interfering with paddling. A spray skirt is used for providing a dry seal around the waist area. It also helps in keeping water off your kayak.
The interior of this suit has a great breathable lining. This helps keep your body dry and deal with sweat vapors better.
Other handy features make the suit more useful. There is also a waterproof pocket on the chest to help store your valuables. There is also an emergency whistle in the pocket, which can be accessed easily.
The pockets on the lower side have fleece material as the lining for keeping your hands warm. No more feeling too much cold while kayaking.
The spine on the suit is for comfort and mobility during long kayaking journeys. The front-mounted zip comes in handy when nature calls.
- The drysuit is durable
- It has a breathable lining
- It features waterproof chest pockets
- Some hoped for more color options
This suit is ideal for entry-level paddlers or occasional kayakers. This is because its relatively cheaper. So, you will not end up spending a lot on what you do not use often.
The drysuit will keep you dry from rain and spray from the sea comfortably. The three layers of Hydrus fabric is tough to withstand the heavy bombardment of wind and rain. This is also aided by a spray skirt system.
It offers breathability so that you do not end up getting soaked up in sweat while paddling. The moisture-wicking liner will carry away all the sweat.
The fabric is DWR-treated to withstand abrasion. The knees and seat parts are reinforced with better abrasion-resistant material. This will make the suit last for many years.
There are a variety of colors available, ranging from electric blue to tangerine. These are bright colors that make you easily notable in the waters.
The latex gaskets around the neck, ankles, and wrists are comfortable. There are different types of fit available, depending on your size.
- It is tough and durable
- It is affordable
- The drysuit is comfortable
- It lacks waterproof pockets
This is the perfect choice when it comes to sailing in severe weather conditions. It has inbuilt adjustable braces and pre-marked glide skin cuffs and collar. It will adjust to fit your body so that there is no water entering the suit.
The outer layer is made of nylon that has polyester PU as a reinforcer. It is finished off at the bottom with fabric socks. Also, the reinforced knees and seat areas increase durability.
The drysuit has an external YKK Vislon zipper for protection. There is a low-profile thigh cargo pocket. The pocket is waterproof to help you store your valuables. The zipper is also waterproof.
The model has a breathable lining in the interior. This will prevent the accumulation of sweat in the drysuit. The fully taped seams cover all the holes left by the sewing machine. You can be guaranteed no leakages.
- It has a waterproof pocket
- It has Glideskin airtight seals
- The suit has fully taped seams
- No spray skirt fitting
The drysuit is comfortable and allows mobility. This is aided by an elasticated waist, articulated arms and legs, and internal braces. Also, there are Glideskin neoprene neck and wrist seals.
It comes with a thermal fleece and a dry bag attached to it. This is now no excuse for you not to go kayaking in cold waters.
For durability, the knees and seat are reinforced with abrasion-resistant material.
The fleece offers a high wicking capability to keep you dry. It has loop attachments and hooks for keeping it in place while using the drysuit.
- It has reinforced knees and seat
- The model has seals made of Glideskin neoprene
- It comes with a thermal fleece
- A few complaints about the colors easily fading
What do I wear under a drysuit?
Drysuits do not provide inherent insulation except for a few diving suits. You will need to wear some clothes beneath for this reason. Remember, you can also get wet from your own perspiration. So, wear clothing that insulates when even wet. The best materials include polypropylene, wool, pile fleece, etc., but not cotton.
What are dry socks?
These are loose-fitting socks that come attached to the drysuit. They are used to keep water from your feet and remain dry. Most people find dry socks comfortable as you will have dry and warmer feet after kayaking.
What is a relief zipper?
This resembles the fly zipper on a pair of pants. However, on a drysuit, the zipper is waterproof and runs horizontally. It is used (by men) to relieve themselves when nature calls. For women, there is a drop seat.
What type of footwear should I use with dry socks?
For kayakers, sandals are out. This is because you need to protect your heel and sock while paddling. Wet-suit booties are Ok. The shoes should not be thick-soled as it will take a lot of space in your kayak.
How do you clean a drysuit?
Do not use a top-loading washer when cleaning with washing machines. The agitator can badly damage the zipper. Use minimal amounts of mild soap and rinse with a lot of cold water to remove the soap. Rinse both on the inside and outside of a suit.
Taking care of your body while kayaking is as easy as that. With the above guide, you can keep yourself dry and warm while kayaking. You only need to choose the right drysuit. Always make sure that you can get something that fits you correctly. Look at the size options the manufacturer offers to ensure you get the right one.
Reading more reviews about a favorite drysuit will also help you know if it is worth getting or not. Do not be in a hurry to buy the drysuit if you are not sure. That is how you end up with the best drysuit for kayaking.