MUSTO Drysuit in Classic Boat Magazine
One-piece surface immersion suits like this are often seen as superfluously extreme by many yacht sailors, although their value to dinghy sailors has always been known. This one, the breathable Dinghy Drysuit from MUSTO, has been around in one guise or another since 2001 – and the one we tested was the latest design from the 2013 spring/summer collection.
They have come on quite a bit in recent years, in terms of comfort and weight, and this one feels very light to wear. It’s not the top-spec £600 MPX suit, but has certain advantages over it, not least in the 2mm neoprene ‘glideskin’ cuffs and neck, infinitely more comfortable than the latex cuffs of the MPX and other suits.
The look, all black with a chunky zip, is a cross between diver and government assassin. It is fairly easy to don and remove singlehanded, and the internal braces (as well as that light weight) mean that it does not sag down while wearing. I tested it out with a full immersion on the Upper Thames on a chilly day this April, floating for about five minutes in water of 2°C. There was no cold-water shock and I was completely dry and warm! Many people have told me that a drysuit changed their life. Now I know what they are talking about. Getting back to the car park or changing room and not needing to tease off cold clothes, is a novel feeling. I will be using the suit in July when sailing from Land’s End to the Scilly Isles and will report back then.
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