How to Choose a Dry Suit
Dry suits are essential for cold weather paddling. A dry suit will help to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable when temperatures drop.
Safety should be your number one concern. Paddling in the cold increases risk. A dry suit helps minimize risk in the event of a swim or rescue. Wearing a dry suit could save your life or the life of someone in your crew.
Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a dry suit.
Fabric (Nylon or Polyester)
Immersion Research Dry Suits are offered in two shell fabrics, each offering it's own distinguishing features.
The Devil's Club and all new Women's Sahalie Dry Suits use abrasion resistant 240g/m² nylon face fabric. Nylon is very durable, but when compared to other waterproof breathable shells, it can feel stiff and heavy.
The 7Figure and Aphrodite Dry Suits use 3-layer PCW 100% recycled polyester which is naturally hydrophobic. This means the suit stays light (even when wet) and dries quickly. Polyester shells are more breathable than nylon, but don't have the same abrasion resistance.
All of our suits are treated with C6 DWR (durable water repellent) finish to help prevent the outer shell from absorbing water. Nylon is used in all high wear areas (socks, knees, and seat) for maximum durability across our entire dry suit line.
The Devil's Club and 7Figure have similar feature sets. An adjustable external webbing belt secures the suits at the waist. Both suits use YKK® AquaSeal® rear entry zippers. Rear entry zippers are lower profile and most paddlers find them to be more comfortable than a similar front entry zipper. Additionally, both suits have a YKK® AquaSeal® front relief zipper.
The main differentiating feature between the 7figure and the Devil's Club dry suits is in the outer tunnel. The 7figure uses a stretchy, one piece neoprene band that helps reduce bulk in the midsection. The Devil's Club uses a more traditional, adjustable outer tunnel with hook and loop tabs on each side.
The Aphrodite uses a unique, clamshell zipper that doubles as both a relief and entry zipper. When paddling, it's designed to sit conveniently out of the way of your backband. The single zipper reduces potential failure points and when used as a drop seat, makes it quick and easy to relieve yourself during the day.
Using YKK® AquaSeal® zippers, the Sahalie is a rear entry dry suit with a front relief zipper. The front relief zipper is intended to be used with a funnel. Using a funnel can be intimidating, but team paddler Jo Kemper outlines the benefits here.
Both of our women's suits also feature webbing belts at the waist as well as adjustable outer tunnels with hook and loop closures.
Dry suit fit is very complex. Height and weight are the most important markers for size when determining the proper size. Size charts can be found on individual product pages. If you'd like a personal recommendation, please contact our customer service team.
For 2023, the 7figure and Devil's Club suits use the same pattern, so the fit is nearly identical between the two different models.
The waist zipper on the Aphrodite requires extra material in the midsection to allow the zipper to open wide enough to be easily used for both entry and relief. This additional material can provide a better fit for women with curvy or athletic builds.
On the other hand, the Sahalie uses a women's specific cut that offers more room in the hips, plus a shorter tunnel and sleeves in comparison to our men's rear entry suits. Because it does not have a drop seat, it does not require as much fabric in the midsection as the Aphrodite. If you're looking for something with a slimmer fit, the Sahalie may be the best option.
If you're looking for additional information, please don't hesitate to contact our customer service team.