What are the different types of drysuits available and what are the pros and cons of each type of suit?
Drysuits fall into 4 main categories: foam neoprene suits, nylon or tri-laminate shell suits, vulcanized rubber suits, and crushed neoprene. Foam Neoprene Suits: These suits are very similar to wetsuits in they are made out of neoprene with the seams sealed. Even flooded, they will retain much of their insulating ability and buoyancy. At shallow depths, they are probably the warmest suits and will require the least amount of undergarment thermal protection. However, like wetsuits, at depth, the neoprene is compressed causing a reduction in both thermal protection as well as buoyancy. Also, they take a long time to dry, and can be very difficult to repair. Like neoprene wet suits, foam neoprene dry suits have a useful life of somewhere around 300 dives before the suit no longer retains sufficient thermal protection. Nylon or Tri-laminate (Shell) Suits: Shell suits are made out of various types of nylon. There is a wide range in the durability and resistance to abrasions of these suits.
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