For those of us who turned out for the great racing at the Midwinters at Datchet last weekend, we might all be wondering about warm tech clothing. I guess mostly we were in dry suits, but I noticed fashion guru (!) Charles Apthorp was in some new high tech wetsuit gear.
This all coincides with a very good newsletter received this week from P&B. I realise that if you read the FF blog, you probably subscribe to the same weekly email from P&B !! In case you don’t, there was some very good advice in it on wetsuits vs drysuits, which I include below.
(I’m going to reproduce their text here as I couldn’t find the same material online – I would normally post a link that you could click on to read it)
Wetsuit vs Drysuits
Winter sailing can sometimes feel like an ominous task, especially when facing the British weather which can offer up everything from rain, sleet, snow and bitter winds. The customers that come into our shop looking for winter protection often ask, “What is the best kit for winter sailing?” They are then given the choice of one of our many Drysuits or one of the new hi-tech Winter Wetsuits which are now just as popular.
Drysuits do exactly what the name suggests and keep the wearer dry by preventing the water from contacting the body. Neoprene or latex wrist, feet and neck seals, and a hard wearing waterproof breathable outer layer traditionally make up some of our favourite drysiuts. The Gul Code Zero U-zip Drysuit, NEW Gul Code Zero Ladies U-zip Drysuit and the Neilpryde 3D Curve Drysuit are three excellent examples of great drysuits and are perfect for the winter season!
With the advancements in material technology the leading manufacturers have introduced winter wetsuits and steamers which offer increased flexibility and insulation but unlike the drysuit doesn’t keep the wearer completely dry. With the need for speed, manoeuvrability and flexibility around the boat, suits like the Zhik Superwarm Package, Zhik Superwarm Steamer and the Gill Hurakan Steamer are great solutions for winter racing and are often the favourites for trapeze crews and hiking single handers.
To answer the original question there is no real correct answer. It all come downs to personal preference and what the wearer is looking for. P&B sailor, Oli Wells often switches between crewing and helming and therefore switches between his drysuit (for helming) and winter wetsuit (for crewing) depending on the demands within the two roles on the boat. Either way P&B stock all the leading manufacturers for both drysuits and wetsuits so why not come visit one of our shops and get some sound product advice to help make your decision?