On another forum a kayaker posed the question about the benefits of Wet Suits and Dry Suits that was worth reposting.
Wet Insulation vs. Dry Insulation.
Wet – garments will get wet, stay wet but trap varying degrees of warmth. This could be baselayer cloth like wool/poly pro/polyester etc. add a shell layer and you’re comfy after being dunked when back out of the water.
Neoprene is designed to be insulative immersed with the thicker the rubber the greater the insulation. (Most kayaking neoprene is up to 3mm, thicker gets restrictive) Water between will be warmed but it’s the foamed rubber that’s the insulator. Back topside, with the sun shining you roast. With the neoprene wet and the wind blowing you chill from evaporative cooling. Add a shell layer and you’re back to comfy.
Dry route – seal away the water.
Dry suits, (separates are never fully dry) take that shell layer concept as a onesie add booties, latex wrist and neck gaskets with a waterproof zipper and breathable fabric and you’re dry in.out of the water. While the air in the suit (minimal preferred) is an insulator it’s the lifting layers that you wear under the suit that provide the insulation especially when immersed.
Wet suit + splash wear, more economical, doesn’t cover as wide range of temperatures and less comfort time in water.
Drysuit costs more. Allows for kayaking whenever there isn’t ice in your way, and the air temperature/conditions are sane with a greater degree of temperature range adjustment with varying the insulation layers, or just roll/swim to cool off.
I carry both options at my store.
Ok. Thumbs are tired.