Kayaking takes you from your comfort zone to the middle of nowhere on the water. Rough tides and chilling water make it more daring. For your guide, we have managed to select the Top 5 best drysuits for kayaking in 2022.
Remember, adventure doesn’t mean leaving all luxury and safety gear at home. This is where drysuits come in which protect you from both the chilly weather and rough currents.
Waterproof fabric, breathable material, water-tight gaskets and seals, water-resistant pockets, reflective stripes, gear loops, enough mobility, and sufficient space for wearing inner thermal layers, all are important factors in deciding the best drysuits for kayaking.
Features to Consider before Buying Drysuits for Kayaking
A drysuit as the word suggests is made to keep you dry during any water sport or activity. Here are some key kayak drysuit features that are worthy to consider:
Drysuit material must be waterproof and breathable. Some options in terms of construction are:
- Gore-Tex: It is a highly durable material. This high-end laminate fabric material is manufactured from ePTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). Although, it’s quite expensive as compared to other drysuit materials. Because of its higher level of breathability that is essential for making high-end drysuits for kayaking. This is why no other drysuit material competes with Gore-Tex in terms of durability and breathability.
- Nylon: Here comes the nylon material. It provides enough water seal as this special urethane-coated nylon is treated with a waterproof coating. In addition, it’s quite cheaper than other drysuits’ materials. But, it is not much breathable as Gore-Tex. Sweating and inside build-up moisture can be a drawback of nylon.
- Proprietary Laminate Fabric: It is a great combo of a waterproof-but-breathable membrane that’s coupled between the two material layers. They are a cheaper alternative to Gore-Tex, but typically not as breathable as compared to the “real one”.
Water-tight Gaskets or seals
After considering waterproof material for selecting a good drysuit, water-tight seals are also essential to ponder for ensuring that the drysuit works appropriately. Here are some options:
- Latex: It is the most popular choice of drysuit material for making the neck, wrist, and ankle seals. Because latex gaskets guarantees to keep water out of the drysuit. The only drawback is that some people are allergic to latex material and some find the latex gaskets especially the neck gaskets, a little uncomfortable.
- Neoprene: It is softer and more comfortable as compared to latex but can’t compete with latex in terms of preventing water.
- Combination: Good news is that some manufacturers offer a perfect mix of latex and neoprene to provide you with the best of both fabric seals.
Entry points are strategically made to gain maximum efficiency and comfortability of drysuits for kayaking. There are two options in this regard:
- Front entry: In this option, the entry zipper is placed across the chest. The main zipper starts from the shoulder and runs toward the side of your waist. Typically easier to put on, comfortable, and zip up by oneself.
- Rear entry: The main zipper runs across the back of the drysuit and between the shoulders. Most common among whitewater kayakers, who have to couple the suit with a spray skirt. However, one issue is that one may need someone’s help for closing it.
- Two-piece Drysuits: The separate top and bottom drysuits come with a zipper that runs across the waist. It joins the top and bottom into a full-body drysuit. Moreover, it also allows you to use these parts separately.
- Relief Zipper: Also known as a “drop seat” on women’s models. Apart from the main zipper, it is also an important feature to consider for bathroom breaks, when buying the best drysuits for kayaking.
First and foremost, drysuits should give enough mobility and comfort. Generally, they come in two types of fitting:
- Tight-fitting: In mild temperatures, prefer a tight-fitting drysuit that is less bulky for improved mobility.
- Loose-fitting: If you plan to kayaking in cold waters with a higher risk of immersion and hypothermia then go for a loose-fitting suit. It will allow you to wear thicker inner thermal layers for keeping you warm.
Check the drysuit on the following criteria:
- It well accommodates the underneath layer.
- Don’t feel too tight when you are in a sitting position or join your elbows together.
- Feel well-fitted around your waist.
- The built-in dry socks fit you properly.
- The neck gaskets are not too tight to make you uncomfortable and not too loose to welcome the water inside.
- Finally, allow enough mobility throughout your paddling stroke while kayaking.
- Waterproof pockets: These pockets keep your essential stuff i.e. GPS units, cellphones, keys, and flares, from water.
- Built-in dry socks: They help in keeping your feet dry and warm during kayaking. However, best to be coupled with neoprene booties for extra protection.
- Hoods: Comes in either built-in or removable. They are helpful if you love to kayak in the rain and extreme weather conditions.
- Reflective stripes: It is optional but a safety feature. A vibrant-colored striped kayak drysuit improves your visibility and is extremely useful in emergency rescue missions.
- Reinforced patches: Increase the overall durability of drysuits to have reinforced patches in high-wear points i.e. the knees, elbows, and seat.
- Gear loops: They help keep the lighter gear within your reach. Generally made of nylon fabric and handy enough to kayak anglers.
Our Top 5 Picks for Best Drysuits for Kayaking in 2022
VZKAK Drysuit for Men with Front Zipper
With a 3-layer waterproof material, VZKAK uses a special coating treatment for their drysuits that makes them lighter, more rugged, and long-lasting.
- The special 3-layer fabric comprises:
- A treated outer material that can withstand heavy rain, strong currents, gusty winds, and abrasions.
- One middle protective layer is made to protect your body.
- Finally, there is a moisture-wicking liner that is meant to sweep away the moisture from inside while paddling out.
- Waterproofness is almost 20,000 mm.
- It features self-draining neoprene neck and wrist over-cuffs that help to keep water from coming in.
- Moreover, the fabric material is breathable so no more worries about sweating and in-build-moisture. Overall breathability is 7000 g/m2/24h.
- It is also reinforced at the pressure points like the seat and knees to boost its durability and make it long-lasting.
- This drysuit features waterproof latex neck and sleeves gaskets that offer softness to the skin, and are quite comfy.
- For making it more sturdy and durable, the neck, cuffs, and ankles areas are treated with an extra protective neoprene layer.
- It comes with a zipper around the torso that makes wearing it on and out, a breeze. So, there is no need to request help.
- To keep one’s feet from soaking, it also features integrated 160D P/Taslon Plain FD neoprene socks.
- For bathroom breaks, there is a relief zipper.
- It features a slim-fit design that makes it fit perfectly.
- The material and seams make it a fit, flexible, and light drysuit that is perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, swimming, diving, snorkeling, fishing, surfing, rafting, boating, and other water activities.
- It is also an affordable drysuit that is ideal for entry-level paddlers or occasional boaters, which don’t love to pay more for a drysuit as compared to paying for their kayak.
- Comes in 4 fun colors to make it a stylish choice for everyone.
SEAC Men’s Warmdry 4mm Neoprene Dry Suit
The SEAC’s Warmdry-suits are ideal for hardcore recreational divers and whitewater kayakers. Because the high-density 4mm neoprene material is specially made to withstand severe open water conditions.
- Come with a tough outer lining made from Powertex and heavy-duty poly PK to make it waterproof and abrasion-resistant.
- Also, there is an inner nylon lining for sweeping out inner moisture build-up.
- The sturdy and waterproof metal zipper. Also, there is a protective flap over the zippers.
- The drysuit also features semi-rigid boots that protect the feet from water and are made from quick-drying material.
- For making it more durable, the seams are blind-stitched on the exterior with inner neoprene tape.
- It offers a glide skin taped collar and smooth Aquastop wrist closures for keeping out the water.
- There are also bellowed 1000-denier Cordura pockets to carry essential gear.
- A fabric storage bag, hood, hose, and straps are included with the drysuit.
Mookta’s Kayak Waterproof and Breathable Drysuits
Mookta drysuits come with an adjustable & self-draining design, waterproof zipper, and excellent details for giving you a great kayaking experience.
- It comes with an advanced three-layer waterproof fabric material that is also treated with a special coating. This makes it a lighter, waterproof, and breathable option.
- Features water-resistance of almost 20000mm, and breathability is around 7000/m2/24h.
- For making it dry from the inside out, its middle layer is treated with a microporous polyurethane coating.
- In addition, the polyester inner layer is softly knitted inside to keep out moisture.
- Features soft latex-made neck and sleeves seal to make it more comfy and waterproof.
- Extra protective neoprene layered neck and cuffs ensure durability.
- The drysuit includes waterproof 3-layered socks for foot protection.
- To make it a drysuit king, the entry zipper and front zipper are airtight and waterproof.
- Weight is 1.2KG-1.8KG, while in a dry state.
- Best for swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, river rafting, and other daring water activities.
Stohlquist EZ Drysuit
With a cost-effective option, Stohlquist EZ drysuits come with Stohlquist’s special 4-Layer Twin Sensor nylon fabric material. The Stohlquist’s proprietory fourth layer provides extra thermal protection in freezing water and weather conditions.
- The fourth layer of this drysuit is made from the best DWR treatments, sturdy nylon shell material, waterproof, and breathable treatments for excellent comfort and protection.
- It also comes with a super comfy, super stretch, and quick dry neoprene neck gasket.
- To ensure the best fit, Stohlquist even provides customized aftermarket fittings on the neoprene neck gasket.
- Its advanced dura-seal wrist gaskets provide ultimate UV resistance and are super tear-resistant.
- It features breathable and waterproof dry socks that offer comfort and are easy to wear.
- Also, come with sleek and articulated armored knees for extra protection.
- It also features standard well-placed arm and thigh pockets for easy access and less interference.
- The drysuit offers a relief zipper for a natural call.
- In short, this drysuit offers enough mobility and the front entry zipper helps it easy to wear.
Gill Dinghy Drysuit
With an advanced 4-layer drysuit manufacturing technology, Gill drysuits are an ideal choice for kayaking in extreme water and weather conditions.
- Made from premium 4-layer fabric manufacturing for ultimate comfort and protection against severe water conditions.
- For water prevention, it comes with the in-built adjustable braces, pre-marked glide skin collar, and cuffs that perfectly fit and adjusts to your body. So, no more skin irritation and good water protection.
- Its outer nylon layer is treated with a polyester PU coating for water and abrasion resistance.
- The drysuit includes fabric socks that are so comfortable on your feet.
- The high-pressure areas like knees and seats are reinforced for increased durability.
- For extra comfort and perfect fit, the pre-marked glide skin collar and cuff seals are available in a custom fit.
- Also, it includes a protective external YKK Vislon zipper that is waterproof and smooth.
- There is an elasticated waist Low profile thigh cargo pocket for carrying important gear.
Aftercare Drysuits Tips & Tricks for the Drysuits
Drysuits often come with a high cost. Keeping them clean increases their life. So, here are some useful tips to make your drysuits long-lasting for kayaking and other water activities.
- After wearing, handwash your drysuit with mild detergent and water.
- There are also some machine washable drysuits, but, make sure to give them a gentle cycle. Always remember to see the label first!
- Hang-dry your drysuits after washing. However, make sure to avoid direct sun drying.
- Make sure the drysuit is completely dry before storing to avoid moisture molds.
- Use silica gel packets while storing your favorite drysuits.
- Always check the drysuit zippers and seals for any damage issues.
- Moreover, rinse them off after every use especially if you kayak in saltwater.
Check also: Drysuits vs Wetsuits
She started BeachXplore as a traveling blog covering particularly amazing beaches which she was lucky to visit and research about. Here you can find her writings on the best beaches, guides on beach wear, items, and more.