Fleece Layering (without zippers) under Drysuit?

Hello All,

First Post! Hope to learn a ton here.

My wife and I have been giving the drysuits a go and testing them in cold waters. We sat in 36deg river water (very slow current) for about 15 minutes and didn’t even feel cold. So I figured we layered properly.

BUT, our warm layer underneath was thick fleece that we had to tape (thick gaffer’s tape) over the zippers to prevent the zippers from damaging the inside of the drysuit. So, I am researching fleece layers and it seems like everything I find has zippers of some sort. Even pullovers have zippers.

Any suggestions here? Procedural, manufacturer, etc.?

thanks a bunch.

Look at IR {Immersion Research} They have a very nice bunny suit {One-sie} where you enter thru the neck. They have a couple of different weights, I like the heavier one. No zippers.

I have two “bunny suits” for under dry suits. They are like the old style union suit underwear ( with a drop seat in back) but made of stretchy fleece with no zippers or buttons. One is made by Kokatat (that I got used at my local outfitter’s consignment department for $10 – new they are $180) and has a thin flexible zipper that won’t harm the oversuit. The other is a no-name I got on Ebay. The no name one has soft stretchy neoprene around the neck and upper chest so it is put on by stepping into the neck opening. Just search Ebay for “dry suit liner”. Here is one I just saw for $60.

Depending on the temp’s you are being prepared for, have you thought about a union suit longjohns? Just a few large smooth buttons in the front, a couple in the back and available from cotton to modern materials.

I’ve spent many, many days in a drysuit with fleece layers with zippers underneath and have seen zero evidence of damage to my drysuit. I mostly wear an older version of the Stohlquist Bunny Suit, which is designed specifically for use under drysuits. It has a full length from zipper in the front from the neck to the crotch, but the heavy fleece means the slider, and certainly the teeth, have little contact with the drysuit.

If you can find Mysterioso M-tech base layers, they’re quite terrific. No zippers on tops or pants.

Lounge pants. AKA pajama bottoms. This time of year, at least normal years when stores are open, thick poly fleece or wool lounge pants can be found very reasonably priced on the clearance racks. These will be lots cheaper than any kind of technical, high performance gear specifically made for sports. Just be sure to avoid cotton, which is the most common fabric used for lounge pants. No zippers.

You should be OK with fleece intended to be worn as a base layer, those zippers are all small and generally flexible. The outerwear zippers tend to be heavier, but most of them are also not the most perfect fleece for under a dry suit in terms of wicking etc.

What Celia said.

But if you want a drysuit liner option sans zippers then the Stohlquist Vapor Drysuit Liner works great. Unique (to me) double shoulder closure entry.

I have a few leftover that could use a good home.

See you on the water,
Marshall Seddon
The River Connection, Inc.
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