Drysuits have components that age prematurely if not stored and cared for properly. Following these instructions will extend the life of your garment.
Donning A Drysuit
Remove any jewellery or watches that may snag on the latex seals.
Select the correct under clothing for the conditions. I.E a good base layer to lift any sweat and a thermal layer.
Hold the suit at the waist and pull on like a normal pair of trousers up to your waist. Take care not to stand on any stones or sharp objects when doing this.
Put on your footwear now before putting on rest of suit to protect your socks. Insert your arms one at a time, point your fingers and use the other hand to help pass through the wrist seal gently as possible. Make sure that the seal is seated flat and without folds against the skin.
Slide head into base of neck seal and again use your hands to open neck seal and push head through seal. Adjust the neck seal so it sits against the skin without folds.
The zipper is one of the most sensitive drysuit components.
Great care should be taken when closing the zip.
Drysuits with back zips the zip should be closed by another person. Do not use clips or lines to close the zip on your own. This can damage the zip and cause it to leak. Do not use excessive force; it is very important that under clothing is not caught in the zip as this can permanently damage it. Ensure the slider is pulled straight along the zip. Do not pull at an angle. Do not force the slider forward over a point of resistance. Pull the zip at a slow, smooth and steady rate. Always double check that the zip or zips are fully closed before entering the water. Front zips can be closed by the wearer. Be especially careful in colder conditions when the zipper stiffens and is less pliable.
Always make sure that the main zip cover is fixed into position. This is there to protect the zip.
To remove air from the suit, insert fingers down the front of the neck seal and squat down keeping the arms in, the air will escape and when the air movement has stopped release the seal and stand up.
Removing Your Drysuit
Before undoing the zip rinse it with clean water to remove and sand or debris. When undoing the zipper it is important to fully open it before getting out of the suit otherwise damage can occur.
Reverse the above instructions using fingers to open seals partially. It is often easier to have someone help remove the suit especially when fatigued. It is safer to sit down to remove the lower half of the suit. This also eliminates the chance of damage occurring when removing it.
Care Of Your Drysuit
After each use follow these maintenance procedures to ensure the optimum performance and extend the life of your drysuit.
Once you have finished wearing the drysuit for the day, rinse the outside thoroughly with fresh clean water to remove and dirt, sand or salt. Any stubborn stains can be removed by rubbing the area gently with weak solution of soapy water.
Check the drysuit for any signs of damage, perished seals, broken zips, rips or holes in the fabric. Better to find them now rather than when you next put the suit on. Clean the latex seals using cold fresh water.
Latex seals will perish quickly if any kind of moisturising cream body oils are applied to them. I.e. suntan lotion and midge creams or other oil based products. After you have rinsed your suit, hang it up on a suitable hanger in a shady spot, as you should not expose latex to direct sunlight other than when you are using it. Do not store in a garage as petrol vapours can also attack the latex rubber. You can apply French chalk or non scented talc to seals before storing and wearing.
When dry lubricate the zip or zips.
Once the dry suit is thoroughly clean and dry and the zip lubricated, you should store your dry suit in a cool (0-20c) dry and dark place away from devices that produce ozone such as electric motors and heaters. Also, do not store near or on copper as exposure to these materials can quicken the aging and deterioration of the rubber seals. It is advisable to store the suit hanging up with the zip closed. We reccomend leaving the zip flaps open to stop any bacteria growing if you have not fully dried the area underneath before storing your suit.
Remember never place your drysuit in a washing machine, tumble dryer or drying room and never hang it over a radiator to dry as heat can soften the adhesive used to bond the seam tape to the garment. This can result in leaks at the seams.
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