Do It Dry!

Let’s face it, Canadian waters are cold! No matter whether you dive locally, in our mountain lakes, or head out to the West Coast,(one of the worlds top dive destinations btw!), diving in Canada requires some advanced preparation to be warm and comfortable.

For divers who want to be able to dive in a wide variety of conditions and environments, a dry suit is an essential piece of equipment. Owning your own suit adds a level of comfort and convenience to your dive preparations, but you need to know and consider a few things before making a purchase.

Dry suits enable users to dive in an expanded range of water temperatures, opening up a wider world of possibilities for travel and diving. While the suits certainly require an investment, the fact that they often last for as many as 10 years makes them well worth the money. However, keep in mind that a well-made suit will generally have a longer lifespan.

As you shop, pay attention to these key elements of the dry suit:

  • Fit – While off-the-rack suits will fit most, a custom – or partially custom – suit will ensure a flawless fit. Always factor in the undergarments you’ll have on under the suit. Undergarments are best worn in a few layers and should be made of moisture wicking materials. Stay away from wool as it absorbs moisture instead of wicking it to the outer layer.
  • Zippers – Generally the most expensive part of the suit, watertight zippers are critically important. Be sure to check thoroughly the quality of a suit’s zippers. Today’s drysuits may be purchased with a metal zipper or a plastic zipper and each has it’s merits. This is an excerpt from a June 2015 posting on the DUI website:
    METAL OR PLASTIC? WHAT IS THE BEST WATERPROOF ZIPPER?In June 2014, DUI began offering divers the choice of YKK (metal) waterproof zippers and TiZip MasterSeal (plastic) waterproof zippers in their drysuits.After one year of experience, we have an update. Which is better? Metal or plastic?

    As of June 30, 2015, DUI recommends YKK metal waterproof zippers. DUI has been using these zippers for over 25 years and they have proven reliable. These are the zippers of choice for most high performance divers.

    In our experience, TiZip MasterSeal zippers, while acceptable for less demanding recreational divers, have shown inconsistencies in their performance. Some customers have experienced small or intermittent leaks in relatively new zippers.

    DUI will continue to offer TiZip MasterSeal zippers as an option for divers who still prefer this type of zipper. However, all tests show that YKK metal waterproof zippers are more reliable and, when properly maintained, will outlast the current TiZip MasterSeal zippers.

    The choice is ultimately yours so we suggest doing your research before your make the final decision.

  • Thigh pockets – Easily accessible thigh pockets are a major asset for storing and reaching accessories when you’re underwater. If you order a custom or semicustom suit, you will be able to choose which style of pocket and is exact placement.
  • Ease of use  – If a suit is unusually difficult to don or doff, it will lead to frustration. Buying off the rack or having a custom suit made, be prepared to try on a number of suits to find the right one for you.
  • Inflator and exhaust valves – Well-placed valves make it much easier to add or release air as you ascend and descend. If you are buying a custom suit, you can choose a variety of locations for the exhaust valve, maybe even have more than one!


Diving dry gives you more versatility for varying temperatures and will increase your enjoyment while exploring the underwater world.

Give us a call if you would like to learn more! 403-299-7751


Edited PADI Blog March 2013