Best SUP Drysuits

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Below we go through the best SUP Drysuits as we explain what makes a good paddle boarding drysuit and what properties you should be looking for in one. 

I’m not going to lie, a proper drysuit can get pretty pricey. However, if you are looking to make the most of winter it can be a great investment. Especially if you learn how to properly maintain and care for your drysuit which we give insights into in the FAQ section.

When Should I Use a SUP Drysuit?

You should use a drysuit for stand-up paddle boarding when the water becomes 10 degrees C and lower. Keep in mind this measurement is for diving, but at the same token you always want to dress as if you are going to be falling into the water. Better safe than sorry right? 

A lot of people also get confused as to when to wear a wetsuit vs when to wear a dry suit. The most basic answer to this is when wearing a wetsuit you ARE going to get that initial cold shock of going into the water. So you want to make sure that the water is not super cold (like 10 C (50 F) and under). When you do get to that water temperature you want a dry suit. 

If you are paddling in warmer water check out our Best Wet suits for Paddle Boarding guide.

Best SUP Drysuits

Below is a list of the Best SUP drysuits for paddle boarding. We made sure to look at paddle-specific brands that specialized in paddle boarding and paddle sports for our picks. As paddle boarding requires a different set of movements compared to wakeboarding, kayaking, or diving we chose drysuits that reflected as such. 

Best Paddle Board Drysuits

  1. Kokatat Men’s Legacy Dry Suit – (Top Pick)
  2. Kokatat Women’s Icon Dry Suit – (Womens Pick)
  3. NRS Men’s Navigator Semi-Dry Suit – (Semi-Dry Pick
  4. NRS Extreme SAR Dry Suit – (Visibiity Pick)
  5. Level Six Emperor Dry Suit – (Baggy Fit Pick)
  6. Level Six Cronos Semi-Dry Suit-MoltenLava – (Budget Pick)
  7. Mustang Survival Men’s Hudson CCS Drysuit – (Premium Pick) 

1. Kokatat Mens Legacy Drysuit

The Kokatat Legacy Drysuit uses the best drysuit material which is GORE-TEX Pro fabric. This high-grade GORE-TEX allows this suit to be 100% waterproof when used properly. The size is adjustable to about 3 inches per size. See the size chart above. 

In comparison to other drysuits out there testers from a bunch of different backgrounds commented on how the drysuit originally felt stiff but upon trying it on it felt super lightweight, like they weren’t even wearing a drysuit. 

Kokatat is able to make this drysuit more durable because they added some more layers in their GORE-TEX construction compared other GORE-TEX drysuits, They also added extra insulation in the socks and seams by adding latex gaskets with neoprene punch through the neck opening and wrist cuffs.

As with many other quality drysuits, the Kokatat Legacy has an easy cross-chest entry zip which makes getting into the drysuit easier compared to vertical zips. As with most men’s dry suits these days it also has a front relief zipper so that when nature calls you can just climb to the side of your board and go. There is also an adjustable waist strap that allows you to adjust the waistline how you would like it. 


  • One of the thickest GORE-TEX materials out there
  • Lightweight compared to many drysuits
  • Can be used for most paddling activities
  • Easy to get on thanks to cross-chest zip
  • Gaskets will last if taken care of properly


  • Not a lot of customer reviews

2. Kokatat Womens Icon Gore-Tex Pro Drysuit (Womens Pick)

Another one by Kokatat although the Icon is designed for more advanced paddlers who tackle the more extreme environments such as white water paddle boarding (or kayaking) or some ocean surf.  Thankfully the Icon drysuit will not cause any restrictions as the arms and legs are made to be flexible to match your movements while paddling. 

Much like the legacy drysuit the Icon is made of 200 denier GORE-TEX Pro breathable fabric which gives this drysuit a lightweight feel while on the water. Especially handy for those winter paddles where you want to maximize movement while having ample breathability. This wetsuit is made to take a beating so if you have the proper training and experience you can use this for white water kayaking, paddle boarding, or use it in surf conditions. 

The rear zip design goes across the shoulders which makes getting in and out of the wetsuit a bit more straightforward. The only issue is that it is in a rather awkward spot so be sure you are paddling with someone to help you zip on and off. Although you should be doing that anyway in winter conditions 😉


  • One of the Thickest most flexible GORE-TEX designs
  • Breathable and made for lots of movement
  • Gaskets allow for a waterproof seal that should last years and years if well taken care of
  • Features Kokatats limited lifetime warranty


  • The skirt is not particularly handy for paddle boarding although it is non-intrusive
  • There is no relief zipper on the back for women

3. NRS Men’s Navigator GORE-TEX Semi-Drysuit (Semi Drysuit Pick)

So what are the differences between a full drysuit and a semi-drysuit you may be asking? Unlike the other full drysuits we mentioned the NRS Navigator GORE-TEX Semi Drysuit has neoprene protecting the neck gasket instead of latex. Neoprene is not as waterproof as latex so if you do take a tumble you may get a bit of water in the suit. So why would people choose to go this route? 

Many people who have tried dry suits hate the restricting/ tight feeling that latex has around their necks and wrists. So they opt for the semi-suit with neoprene gaskets which is much more comfortable to have on. Especially for longer trips

Basically, use Semi-Drysuits for calm water conditions IN CASE you fall into the water while you use a full drysuit for more rough conditions. So for about 90% of the cases for paddle boarding a Semi-drysuit would be more than efficient. In this case, the Navigator is the best of both worlds as it has Neoprene and latex at the wrist gaskets with mesh holes under the wrists that drain water captured between the latex gasket and neoprene cuffs. 

Some features of the NRS Navigator include 3 3-layer GORE-TEX Pro which is waterproof and windproof, and a storm hood with bungee adjustments. It also features a front zipper entry, relief zip, and a pair of booties attached. 


  • One of the best-made “Semi-Drysuit” picks out there
  • Very little water will converge thanks to the mix of latex, neoprene and drain holes between
  • A great pick for casual winter paddlers in calm waters
  • All the necessary accessories are included in a high-quality drysuit
  • High level of visibility 


  • Would not be our #1 pick for white water paddle boarding or rougher waters
  • Only has latex on the wrist gaskets and not the neck

4. NRS Extreme SAR Drysuit (Visibility Pick)

  • Material: Triton Fabric
  • Zipper: Front Zip
  • Type: Men’s Full Drysuit
  • Sizes: Size Chart

While this is labeled to be used for “Rescue professionals” it can still be used by civilians for paddle boarding. The plus side is that this is a very reflective drysuit that stands out against the water at the very slight possibility that you need rescue. 

One of the main reasons why this Drysuit is a few hundred dollars less is the fact that they use 320 Denier Triton fabric instead of GORE-TEX for added wear and tear which makes it durable but also heavier overall. This is ideal for those who will use the drysuit quite a bit including use in some less than ideal conditions. Thankfully because it is made for rescue professionals it has a good amount of flexibility in movement. 

One of the good things about this drysuit is that it has everything you would expect from a well-made drysuit including latex gaskets in the neck and wrists as well as booties, relief zipper, and a buckle closure waist belt. 

This is also a great drysuit to get if you are a tour guide and you want an extremely durable wetsuit at a fairly reasonable price tag. On the NRS site, all three customers have given it 5 stars.


  • Costs less than many drysuits on this list
  • Has a lot of reflective tape and bright colors which helps you stand out in case of rescue
  • Made of durable materials
  • Reinforcements on the knees seat and elbows which is handy for sitting/ kneeling on your SUP


  • Not made of more breathable GORE-TEX materials
  • Made of Rescue professionals in mind so it may be a bit heavier fo paddle boarders

Level Six Emperor Drysuit (Baggy Fit Pick)

  • Material: eXhaust 3.0 fabric w/ Condura panels
  • Zipper: Rear Zip
  • Type: Men’s Full Drysuit
  • Sizes: Size Chart

The Level Six Emperor Drysuit has some of the highest customer satisfaction ratings that we have found with a quality drysuit. It features British-styled latex wrist and neck gaskets which help keep the inside of the drysuit dry. It also has front and rear relief zippers that feature a T-handle style zipper that makes it easy to grip and zip/ unzip. 

While the Emperor drysuit is not made of GORE-TEX it does use some of its own proprietary eXhaust 3.0 fabric which consists of 4 layers. 

  1. DWR (Durable Water Repellent Finish: the top layer that beads off water all the while keeping the drysuit breathable
  2. Nylon Face Fabric: Used to protect the Teflon membrane from being damaged all the while keeping a layer of breathability
  3. Teflon Membrane: This is the main waterproof/ breathability layer which uses microscopic pores that water molecules cannot slip through but vapor from condensation/ heat can get through making it breathable. 
  4. Interior Membrade Shield: This is mainly an added layer of protection for the Teflon membrane in the interior of the suit which protects against constant friction and rubbing. 


  • Uses a well made proprietary materials that mimics GORE-TEX
  • Has relief zippers on the front and back
  • Has high customer satisfaction ratings on multiple platforms
  • Zippers are easy to grip for easier access


  • May be fitted to be more bulky than what paddle boarders would like

Level Six Cronos Semi-Drysuit (Budget Pick)

  • Material: eXhaust 3.0 fabric w/ Condura panels
  • Zipper: Front Zip
  • Type: Men’s Full Drysuit
  • Sizes: Size Chart

For those who want a good waterproof drysuit but don’t want to completely break the bank, we offer the Level Six Cronos Semi-Drysuit as our budget pick. The Cronos would be a great drysuit for the majority of paddle boarders looking for a casual paddle in cold water conditions. I would not use this for more intensive uses like white water paddle boarding or surfing though.

Unlike the NRS Navigator Semi Drysuit, the Cronos does have a latex neck gasket although it does have the neoprene punch-through protector which does not make the neck as waterproof as some of the full wetsuits as neoprene absorbs water. However, assuming you are wearing a PFD (Which you really should!) the neck should not get super soaked to begin with as the PFD always aims to keep your head above water. 

The Level Six Cronos is complete with the front cross zip entry, a relief zipper, as well as reinforced knees which is crucial for paddle boarding as oftentimes when paddling harder strokes you are bending your knees more. Not to mention sometimes you want to kneel or sit making that reinforced layer even more crucial. 

Like the Level Six Emperor Drysuit, the Crono is made of their proprietary eXhaust 3.0 Waterproof breathable nylon. See above for layer specifics. 


  • Most affordable drysuit on the list
  • Has latex gaskets on neck and wrists
  • Great for most calm water paddle boarding conditions
  • Keeps proprietary eXhasut 3.0 nylon found on more expensive Level Six Drysuits


  • Would not use in Surf or Whitewater conditions
  • This is not a drysuit I would intend to submerge regularly

Mustang Survival Men’s Hudson CCS Drysuit (Premium Pick) 

  • Material: MarineSpec BP
  • Zipper: Front Zip
  • Type: Men’s Full Drysuit
  • Sizes: Size Chart

Mustang Survival is one of my favorite paddle clothing brands as they are meticulous and well thought out for paddlers. The Hudson CCX drysuit is no different as it uses Marine Spec BP which provides abrasion and puncture-resistant waterproof fabric. 

Marine Spec BP is made of 70 D Nylon which is fused with the internal bi-component membrane, hydrophilic PU membrane, and PFC-free hydrophobic PU coating making the wetsuit very breathable and windproof which is definitely something needed in winter conditions. 

One of the things that makes this drysuit stand out is its internal suspender system. This helps keep the wetsuit centered at all times instead of sagging down as is the problem with many baggy styles of drysuits. This is a very handy feature for paddle boarding as most of the time you will be standing upright and you don’t want to constantly be reshuffling the suit on you while paddling. 

Some other noteworthy features of this wetsuit include the Closed Comfort System neck seal which ensures no water gets in in case of a fall into the water. Removable knee pads attached by adjustable tabs can be particularly useful when paddling on your knees fighting extra wind or currents or simply just giving your feet a break. 


  • Lots of well-thought-out features including suspenders
  • Has a loop for hanging the drysuit to dry
  • Adjustable knee pads help kneeling feel more comfortable
  • YKK aqua seal zippers are some of the best in the industry
  • Ideal for most forms of cold water paddling/ paddle boarding


  • Is fairly expensive
  • Not sure why there are no latex seals around the wrists

Considerations When Getting a Drysuit for Paddle Boarding

Below are some considerations you need to think of when choosing a drysuit specifically for paddle boarding. One of the first things I will say is when getting a sup drysuit, look for a company that makes a lot of paddle sports gear. You go through different motions paddling a paddle board as opposed to diving which requires a different set of movements.


A drysuit is a fairly substantial investment so be sure to be true to yourself and ask this question. “Will I realistically paddle in the winter?”. If this is not even a question for you then congratulate yourself on being hardcore and go and get yourself a drysuit!

Drysuits span from about $500 for a used one all the way to $1600 plus for a brand new GORE-TEX drysuit. With most cases of dry suits I’d recommend getting a new one as the latex on the gaskets tends to start wearing out at the 5-6 year mark with frequent use. If you get a brand new drysuit there will be no question marks here as you will be the sole owner and therefor know how it was taken care of. 

Next you ask yourself

Semi Drysuit or Drysuit? What’s the Difference?

As you’ve probably seen in my list there are a few Semi – Drysuits listed there and they are usually a few hundred dollars cheaper. So what is the difference?

Semi Drysuits are called such because they don’t have a complete waterproof seal on the neck and wrist gaskets. Many semi-drysuits have neoprene cuffs or an overcoat over the cuffs that protect splashes from getting to the cuffs. Sometimes they won’t have booties attached to the suit either. 

People will often opt for Semi drysuits 

  1. For Price
  2. They find latex cuffs to be uncomfortable
  3. They don’t plan on getting the drysuit submerged and only plan on using it for calm water paddling

Other semi-dry suits like the Cronos and the Navigator will have a latex seal but it is surrounded by neoprene cuffs that absorb water. This will allow only a little bit of water in but not a noticeable enough about where the drysuit gets swamped with water if you fall in.  

Complete drysuits, if fitted correctly will keep you completely dry thanks to full latex gaskets. These are the dry suits that white water kayakers, as well as surfers and kiteboarders use in cold conditions. They can also be used by paddle boarders in rougher conditions such as white water paddle boarding, SUP surfing, or coastal paddling. 

People will opt for Full Drysuits

  1. They want full coverage 
  2. They plan on paddling in rougher conditions
  3. They know at some point they will get dunked

Know what conditions you are paddling in and then make the choice that makes sense for you. 

Drysuit Anatomy and Materials used  

For drysuits the areas you want to look for when it comes to the quality of the materials are:

The Material of the Full Drysuit: Usually GORE-TEX is the standard although these days quality drysuit companies are coming up with their own proprietary materials that can do the same thing. Look at how the waterproof layering is produced to fully understand how it’s made. Most manufacturers who make quality drysuits will have an illustration of how its made.

The Neck and Wrist Gaskets: Usually Latex is the way to go unless you opt for a Semi-dry suit that uses neoprene or a mix of neoprene and latex but has a more relaxed fit. This is the area that is most likely to take in water so make sure that the latex is not damaged. You want to make sure that these gaskets are tight but not too tight where your face or hands are turning red. You can stretch out the gaskets over a small mixing bowl to get them to fit better if they are super tight. 

Zippers: It goes without saying that drysuits need waterproof zippers.  You can choose between metal or the newly made plastic zips.

Other Features: Other things to look for include Relief zippers, and add-on booties/ socks that ensure you don’t need to have another layer of gaskets at the ankles (the most likely part that gets wet). Other things include hoods if it’s windy enough and reinforcement areas such as the knees, seat, and shoulders are common areas to have extra material added. 

Layering Makes the Drysuit Effective for Warmth

Drysuits are different from wetsuits in that you can’t go commando in them. You still need to wear what you would normally dress in for winter conditions but have a dry suit on top of it. There is no perfect layering suggestion as weather conditions will call for different layering. But it is a good idea to overdress and take layers off as opposed to underdressing and risking being cold. 

Base Layer: You want something that is moisture resistant like a synthetic fabric such as a rashguard, drysuit base layer, or a thermal base layer that is snug to the body. You also want to make sure that it does not interfere with the gaskets on the neck and wrists though! Usually getting a designated drysuit base layer is best as it’s specifically designed to not interfere with those areas. 

Insulation Layer: You can wear thermal jackets with this layer or something that keeps you warm while paddling. Try to avoid hoodies as the hood will feel a bit uncomfortable with the drysuit over the hood part. Thermal sweatpants will also do as a bottom insulation layer. Just avoid anything that absorbs moisture such as cotton.

Outerlayer: The most important item here is wearing a SUP PFD and a SUP leash! Anything else is ultimately up to you. Heres a list of our favorite Paddle Board Life Jackets here. A waterproof backpack could also be handy to bring along with you. 

Fit is Important

While fit does not need to be as stringent as wetsuits it’s still good to have the drysuit fit both you and the layers you decide to put on inside of it. Each manufacturer will have its own sizing guide suggestions. If you don’t know your complete measurements for your chest, waist, hips, inseam and Torso hoop go to a tailor and they will gladly take your measurements there. 


Below are some drysuit FAQs that we get asked from time to time. 

How Do I Care for My Drysuit to Ensure it Lasts Longer?

You care for your dry suit by drying it out on a rack after each use to prevent mildew from forming. If you have been paddling in the ocean, rinse it with fresh water to ensure the salt doesn’t deteriorate the suit over time. 

If your dry suit starts to have stains and looks dirty, clean it by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid laundry detergent at all costs as this will eat away at the water-repellent layer of the drysuit. 

What’s Better for SUP? A Wetsuit or a Drysuit?

There is no outright better option but there is a better option for the conditions. As a general rule of thumb when the water is 10 C (50 F) and below you should use a drysuit when paddle boarding. If the water is 10 C (50 F) and above then a wetsuit may be a better option. It should be noted that windchill and the SUP activity will also have a part to play in this. 

Paddle boarders usually prefer drysuits in calm conditions as they don’t plan on going into the water and it will protect them better from windchill.

How Do I Put On and Take Off My Drysuit?

You want to first be seated for this. You first want to slide your legs into the pants of the drysuit and slide your feet in the booties if it has them. You can then stand, pull the drysuit up to your waist, and put your hands through the arms of the drysuit, with your hands going through the gaskets. Lastly is the head. You want to use both hands to hold the gasket to fit your head through until it sits just below your chin. Zip the front or rear zip zipper and you are ready to go. 

To take it off you basically reverse the steps starting with the head, arms, waist, and feet. Much like putting on the drysuit, you want to stretch the head gasket with both arms to take it off. 

How Long Does a Drysuit Last?

Drysuits, if made of quality materials and well taken care of can last paddlers 10 years plus. But usually, the more common numbers are within the 5 to 7-year range. If you properly wash and dry your drysuit you will prolong its life by a few years. 

Can You Rent a Drysuit?

Yes, you can rent a dry suit if certain rental companies or retail outfitters have that service. Do a quick Google search on “Drysuit Rentals Near Me” and it will show some locations in your area. 

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Hey, My name is Derek Lenze and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports and over 10 years of various paddle boarding experience. My new-found passion is bringing my stand up paddle boaring knowledge in an explainable and actionable way all the while giving you my unbiased takes.

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