You’ve just invested in a drysuit and want to extend its lifespan. From when you first receive your drysuit, to drying and washing it, this guide will teach you how to keep your drysuit in good condition.
How do I put on my drysuit?
To try it on, step into it and use the internal braces to adjust accordingly. Make sure the zips are locked into place before use, as they can be stiff when new. For over the shoulder zips, hold the material and pull it down rather than outwards, or the zip might come off its track. Once you’re zipped up, crouch down and open the neck seal to remove the air out of the drysuit. Take care of any sharp objects that may damage the drysuit.
After buying a new drysuit, you might find that the latex gaskets are uncomfortably tight. While they do stretch over time, you can speed up the process by placing something slightly larger than your neck, wrist or ankle in the gasket and leaving it overnight.
How do I wash my drysuit?
Rinse your drysuit with freshwater after every use. This is especially important if you’ve been wearing it in saltwater, as the salt can damage the suit. Every now and then, it’s a good idea to use a shampoo specifically made to be used for Gore-Tex or drysuits, as this will prevent any dodgy smells and protect the waterproofing. Never use soaps or other chemicals not meant for drysuits or Gore-Tex.
Sunscreen, insect repellent and other chemicals may be detrimental to your drysuit’s latex gaskets. Whilst it’s important to stay protected from UV rays while boating, you must wash off any marks immediately after removing the drysuit.
How do I dry my drysuit?
Before you store your drysuit, make sure that it’s completely dry – otherwise you’ll be greeted by the smell of damp next time you get it out. Ideally, air it out in the house or on a clothesline outside. Do not use a tumble drier. You should also avoid too much direct sunlight, as UV rays will break down the latex gaskets. Petrol fumes can also have this effect, so think twice about leaving it in the boot of your car. Make sure you hang your drysuit up properly, with a sturdy hanger such as one intended for suits and coats. Drysuits can be heavy compared to other clothing, so the extra support will be necessary.
How do I look after my drysuit's zips?
Zips can become stiffer over time, so a good tip is to lubricate each zip with some Vaseline and a Q-tip. Each zip should be completely open when the drysuit is not in use. You can also use a toothbrush to clean the zips with a zip cleaning solution. Just be sure not to use the toothbrush on your teeth afterwards!
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