wear under dry suits ?

After reading dry suits/wet suits I have decided to get a dry suit.But I don’t know what to wear underneath. Any help would be appreciated.



polypro and fleece
Depending on how cold it is I wear either polypro or fleece pants and a polypro shirt.

I dress warmer on my legs than on my torso as I generaly work my upper body harder than my lower.


I’m typicaly on narrow rivers where swims are short high energy afairs. If I was on open water and not very confident of my ability to quickly get out of the water I’d beef up my torso insulation. Maybe wear a fleece sweater and roll to cool off?

Still have to dress for the water
I tend to wear something like a polartec 200 fleece head to toe with a polypropylene top under the 200. I also wear some pretty heavy wool/ snth socks under the booties. Keeps me wicked warm.

I wear a pair of nordic blues on my hands and chotas on my feet and keep a neo hood with me although I cant stand to wear it unless my head is getting wet.

I rarley go out in super cold weather and try to avoid days where the temp is less than twenty degrees or when the wind is blowing. Still, there are opportunities. Like today for instance. Freakishly warm today. Suppose to get into the forties. Woo-hoo! Leaving work early and hitting the ocean before the relatives start congregating for holidays. Ocean temps are still toasty compared to that slush that is surely just around the corner.

Similar to above
We got our drysuits late this last season, so had a number of days in them down to 40’s air temp and less on the water, with some wind and rain. Water is freezing now so…

Similar to above posters - we wear polartec in appropriate strengths, the same stuff we wear for snowshoeing or hanging around a pretty drafty old house. Polypro base layer if colder, thogh I’ve worn a rash guard top too. Campmor or Sierra Trading Post tend to be good sources.

I did find that for open water paddling I needed to beef up my top a little more than my bottom, as suggested by an earlier paddler. Again, dress for swimming. A dry suit by itself only manages the dry part, still need warmth.


Try it
As we are reminded here in the community, no accounting for individual taste, body type, and various conditions one is going out in.

Thus and so, with a friend and with no current or wind blowing you out to sea, etc. hop in the water with the worst conditions you could have and experience the results, with the ability to be helped out if necessary. Stay in for 10 minutes, try swimming around to see how that affects you. Try it in rougher water to experience how much faster you get cold, etc. That way you really know for you, and not for the average person.

Like the joke, head in the freezer, feet in the fire, on average you are comfortable.

Layers and layers
Multiple thin layers are more versatile insulators than one thick one. All the posters have figured out what works for them. I would experiment with having a few fleece weights if you already have them in your closet. You need a good wicking layer underneath too in the form of underwear. However dont try to wear three layers of 300 weight fleece; you will feel like the Michelin Man and your PFD might not fit!

Wool works, too
I use it regularly for hands and feet, but it also works for underlayers and insulating layers.

Tight and thin close to you

– Last Updated: Dec-24-04 12:04 AM EST –

to get the moisture off your skin, Capilene and silk are my favorices.

Polartec 200 for an outer layer. Perahps an extra layer of 300 as well. I have a polartec 150 bib which gets used as a mid layer with a 200 or 300 top over it. The bib has a mid back thru crotch to chest full zip, so I can stay covered up while taking a break, even if I must take the drysuit off. I'd rather have 200 for the bib but it was way cheap. If the water is really cold I'll put on some 150 pants over the bottom and a 300 top.

Here is an article for what to wear.
Here is an article regarding what to wear under a dry suit. Hope it helps you out.