Well today the fine folks at Halcypn taught me a better way to leak test my drysuit. Thank you!

I’d always plugged up the wrists and neck seal with the suit, like I was wearing it. Fill it with air, and stray it with soapy water looking for leaks.

While this often works, it doesn’t always reveal the leak… As I learned from a few very wet & cold dives.

What you’ll need:

  1. Suit clamps for wrist & neck seals (or full soda cans and an aluminum 80)
  2. 1 gallon soapy water (dishsoap is fine)
  3. Chalk to mark leak spots for patching (I used my God daughters sidewalk chalk)

Here are the new steps I learned…

  1. Turn suit inside out (don’t worry if the feet/boots are screwed up and not all the way inverted)
  2. Flip inflator valve (so you can inflate the suit)
  3. Apply clamps to wrist seals. (Or push in full 12oz soda pop cans)
  4. Pour in 1 gallon of soapy water.
  5. Leave release valve on inside of suit, (but be careful not to over pressurize). The suit pressure trying to get out is now acting like the ocean trying to get in…so it won’t release the pressure.
  6. Close zipper
  7. Clamp neck seal. (or use an aluminum 80, but moving the suit around later becomes “more difficult”.)
  8. Make sure the inside of your suit (now on the outside) is dry so you can see leaks.
  9. Inflate suit 3/4. Pick up, flip over, move the soapy water all around to coat the “inside” of you inverted suit
  10. Finish inflating
  11. Look for leaks

Mine showed up right away…

Here are the leaks by where the zipper closes…

Here at the top of the zipper too (picture taken after I deflated the suit, so you can only see the chalk ring that used to show soapy bubbles).