What Size Should I Buy?
Drysuit sizes are a collection of several measurements, and it's important to do them all accurately. Don't rely on your regular clothing sizes, because we measure things differently than manufacturers of shirts and pants. Definitely don't rely on the size of another manufacturer's drysuit: that might be different too. Follow these steps and you'll get the right size the first time.
1. Get hold of a friend. It's nearly impossible to do some of these measurements yourself, and they're good to have in any case.
2. Print out the following worksheet. Really. It'll be helpful.
3. Use a cloth measuring tape – the kind seamstresses use. A steel carpenter's tape will not work.
4. Wear the thickest undergarments that you intend to wear beneath the drysuit. These can easily add an inch or more to some measurements. If you measure yourself in a swimsuit or street clothes and then wear heavy fleece under your drysuit, it will be too tight.
5. Measure your dimensions in either inches or centimeters as follows, and write down the results in the right-hand column on the worksheet:
height: Measure when standing barefoot.
leg length (inseam): Standing barefoot with your feet a few inches apart (less than shoulder width), hold one end of the tape against the bottom of your crotch. Your friend will measure the distance to the floor.
chest: Go around where it's largest. Women should wear the kind of bra or top that you paddle in.
waist: Measure above the hip bones, around where it's largest. Don't suck your belly in to make a better impression.
shoe size: Use your regular shoe size. If you don't know it, stand barefoot with your heels against the wall, then mark the floor at the end of your longest toe and measure the distance from the wall.
6. Circle your measurements on the worksheet. If you're on the border between two sizes, go for the larger one. If you're smaller than Small, circle Small anyway.
7. Choose the drysuit size that corresponds to the size of your largest dimension, as shown below. In other words: if all of your dimensions are Small or Medium except your leg length, which is Large, you should choose Large. Some extra room in a few dimensions is a lot better than too small in even one dimension.
Example: Choosing Your Size
Here's an interesting article about drysuit sizing.