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Dry Suit Fit

When shopping for a drysuit, choosing a size can be notoriously difficult. After all, there are a lot of measurements to take into account – chest, inseam, feet, neck, arms, etc – all in one garment. Additionally, these garments are built to be used primarily in a seated position, which requires a different fit than, say, a pair of jeans which are usually fit for a standing or relaxed sitting position.

Even after getting a drysuit, you may not even be sure that you have the right size. People new to drysuits are often quick to return a suit that actually may be a great fit in the end. Here are some tips to help you pick the right size suit.

  • First and foremost, remember that dry suit fit is somewhat subjective. What some people consider to be ‘huge’ others may describe as ‘perfect’. Also be ready to return a suit (or even order 2 suits and send one back) to find the fit you love. Dry suits are expensive, and should last for many years – take the time to get the fit you want.
  • Dry suits often look gigantic and poorly fitting when worn standing upright. This is because we have to put a lot of extra fabric in a suit to accommodate the range of motion used while paddling.
  • When you first get your suit, adjust the belt to rest on your hips, then sit on the floor with your knees bent like you’re in a boat. Then tuck forward, extending your arm like you’re going to roll. Most of the extra fabric in the legs and up the back is probably gone- but there should be a little extra.
  • Next, while sitting upright, bring your elbows together in front of you. They should get within 3 or 4 inches of each other before there is binding. It’s ok if the suit is a little tight across your back when your elbows are touching.
  • Generally speaking, less room in a drysuit is better – lots of extra space inside a suit is hard to heat and can make for a ‘colder’ suit. You want a little extra room so you’re not stretching the fabric when doing every day paddling maneuvers, but you don’t want the suit to be way too loose.
  • Also take into consideration the amount of layering you typically wear while using your dry suit – it makes sense to test your fit with this layering on.
  • Remember that IR can do basic tailoring on your suit- this is not that uncommon. We can lengthen and shorten arms and legs, as well as swap gaskets and feet sizes as well. Note that while we’d love to do this for free, this tailoring does require a small fee which is listed in on our repair and maintenance page.

Still have questions?

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