Latest News: Forums Cruising Non-breathable drysuit?

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  • #4614

    I currently sail in either a £5 ex-eBay 5mm wetsuit or, more usually, normal clothes with oilies and sailing boots. However I have always wanted to upgrade to a drysuit, but finances have prevented this.
    I’ve found a fairly cheap drysuit but it is not a breathable one. I can understand that this is a bit of a compromise.
    Just how bad is it likely to be, though? Surely nobody would make and sell them if they were unusable??

    Dave Bevan

    How cheap?

    Depends on your expected use (1hr winter club race or longer day sail). Also important to have the right undergarments that wick away any moisture.


    I have used both breathable and non breathable dry suits. For comfort the breathable one is best. I have used one for a week of cruising and was very glad of it. I didn’t overheat when the sun came out and I didn’t have an excess of moisture inside the suit. When it finally stopped working and started leaking I found it leaked everywhere there was a fold in the material. I chose a dry day, sealed the wrists and stuck a hosepipe in the neck. everywhere there was a fold in the fabric water oozed out.

    My next dry suit was non breathable. I bought it because it could be easily repaired. After a couple of hours wear I find the condensation build up makes the outside of the inner layer wet. At the end of the day I have to dry the dry suit inside out then right way round. A non breathable dry suit keeps the water out but the inner fleece or mid layer will be damp.


    Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I lost out on the suit 🙁
    Might be time to talk to Santa though…


    My limited experience would suggest that “breathability” of an outer garments depends on the layers beneath and the temperature gradient, perhaps, between the skin and outside air. Windspeed seems to have an effect, as does rain, etc.
    Wearing a chunky fleece under anything from a high-tech breathable drysuit to an old pvc oilskin (for mucky jobs) leaves the fleece damp on the outside, but comfort levels are good. There were some more scientific tests that produced similar results. A breathable outer is part of a “system” of garments.

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