Your drysuit will last you for years to come, so don't be afraid to invest in quality. These three suits are top of their class in terms of comfort and performance and boast additional features like replaceable seals, high-stretch breathable covers and durable, heavy-duty construction.
Aqua Lung Fusion Bullet with AirCore
$2,349 - $2,449; aqualung.com
This drysuit’s dual-layer design uses zippers and Velcro to attach the breathable AirCore lining to the high-stretch neoprene shell. This allows the suit to be warm and insulating underwater, but remain cool and comfortable topside, even in blazing hot conditions. The neoprene cover keeps the lining streamlined while allowing for excellent control of air movement in the suit and a perfectly natural range of motion. The semicircular opening is easy to zip and unzip on your own and replaceable seals are convenient and unobtrusive (although the neck ring can sometimes rub on the collar bone out of the water). The suit’s suspenders are padded and very comfortable — they also feature a handy zippered accessory pocket.
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Dive Rite 901 Series Front Zip
This rugged drysuit, constructed of a butyl-rubber core sandwiched between layers of polyester, is well-suited for tech and cave divers. The stiff, heavy material is durable yet flexible, and its complemented by thick, textured rubber pads on the seat, elbows and knees for added protection. The suit offers great attitude control and effective seals on the neck and wrists. The suit’s semi-rigid boots don’t have ankle adjustments, but are both comfortable and supportive. The front-zip entry is easy to get on and off. Large thigh pockets hold plenty of cargo and have an assortment of bungees and rings inside with daisy-chain web-loops on the exterior flap for attaching cutting tools and other accessories.
Waterproof D7X Nylotech
This drysuit’s heavy-duty, abrasion-resistant Nylotech fabric is rugged, yet surprisingly soft to the touch. The boots are equally sturdy and Kevlar reinforcements can be found throughout the suit on the knees and other high-wear areas. A diagonal front-entry makes it possible to secure the metal zipper and cover flap without help and the SI-Tech quick-replacement rings —available with very effective silicone or latex seals — make field repairs quick and painless. The suit’s slim, anatomical fit is comfortable and keeps it nicely streamlined in the water. Managing trim, attitude and air movement is easiest when diving with thicker undergarments, as this resilient suit seems built to withstand the extremes of a polar expedition.