One of the hardest times to dry a wetsuit can be overnight and waking up and having to put on a wet wetsuit first thing in the morning for your early morning surf, swim or scuba dive is never fun – especially in the depths of winter.
However, there are a quite a few simple ways that you can quickly dry your wetsuit overnight guaranteed. Even if it's cold and raining these techniques will work so you can wake up to a fresh dry wetsuit ready for your next session.
I've put on way too many cold wet wetsuits in my time and in this article we'll look at the different techniques you can use to ensure your wetsuit dries overnight.
1. Use A Wetsuit Dryer
A wetsuit dryer is a specific device to (you guessed it) dry wetsuits.
It usually consists of a wetsuit hanger with a built in waterproof fan that blows air in and through your wetsuit drying it in under 1-2 hours, even in colder weather.
Some of these wetsuit dryers even come with heating elements inside to warm up the outside air by around 15ºC/27ºF. This helps to dry the wetsuit even faster but isn't so hot that it'll cause damage or deterioration to the neoprene fabric of this wetsuit.
I've created a list of the best wetsuit dryers on the market and some of these, like the Blawesome, can dry a wetsuit in as little as 20 minutes on a warm day or in under 2 hours in colder weather (like you would find at night).
Other wetsuit dryers like the Underwater Kinetics HangAir Wetsuit Dryer doesn't have a heating element and just runs a fan. It's completely waterproof and can be run using either the mains power from your house or the 12 V power plug in your car.
If you want to absolutely guarantee that your wetsuit will dry overnight and you want a simple solution then a wetsuit dryer is your best best.
The ones with heating elements are a bit pricey and will set you back around $140-$300 but the ones like the HangAir are much more affordable around the $100 mark.
2. Use A Wetsuit Hanger (and Hang Inside or Outside)
A regular hanger is an ok way to dry a wetsuit. However, it fails to open up the inside of the wetsuit so air can easily flow through and dry your wetsuit both inside and out.
A better option is to invest in a wetsuit hanger.
These are hangers that are specifically designed with wider shoulders to both spread the weight of the wetsuit (and not stretch the wetsuit when it's fully wet) and also to open the wetsuit up allowing outside air in.
This speeds up the drying process and will help your wetsuit dry overnight.
I've created a full list of the best wetsuit hanger on the market but my favorite pick is the Ho Stevie! wetsuit hanger. It's simple, lightweight and packs away small so you can take it with you and dry your wetsuits while traveling.
The downside of a wetsuit hanger is that it won't ACTIVELY dry your wetsuit with a fan like the wetsuit dryers do. This means in cold wet weather they could still fail to completely dry your wetsuit overnight.
During warmer months they should do the job but during colder months I suggest you combine a wetsuit hanger with some of the other techniques mentioned below – such as using a fan, towel drying your wetsuit, squeezing out excess water as it dries and more.
3. Use Fans To Dry Your Wetsuit
On a cold rainy night, you won't be able to hang your wetsuit outside to dry and it's unlikely to dry inside by itself overnight.
A fan is a great way to dry a wetsuit faster than it otherwise would and the great thing about it is it's cheap to do and most people have access to a fan in their house.
If you have some floor-standing fans then hang your wetsuit up on it's hanger, indoor clothesline or on the back of a chair and point the fan directly at the wetsuit.
The air blowing over the wetsuit will cause it to dry a lot faster than it otherwise would and in just 3-5 hours your wetsuit should be mostly dry.
For multiple wetsuits set your fan to rotate so it blows air at all of the wetsuits, it just might take a little longer.
If you don't have a standing fan but you have a room with a roof fan in your house the hang your wetsuit under the fan and turn it onto its highest setting. The cool air blowing on the wetsuit will help it to dry faster.
On cold nights though you don't want the wetsuit in the same room you're sleeping or the fan will make you extremely cold.
It’s best to towel dry your wetsuit before hanging it to dry so the water doesn't drip all over your floor.
4. Towel Dry Your Wetsuit Before Hanging It Up
One of the mistakes people make when drying their wetsuit is they rinse their wetsuit and then hang it to dry completely dripping wet. This will take much longer to dry than if you were to towel dry your wetsuit first.
The concept of towel drying is simple.
Lay down a large towel on the ground and lay your wetsuit flat on top of it. Roll up the towel so the wetsuit is now inside it.
With a buddy each grab one end of the towel and twist in opposite directions. Eventually the towel will get really twisted and really tight.
Now have your buddy pull the towel away from you and you pull the towel away from them. This will exert a squeezing pressure on the wetsuit forcing a lot of the water out and into the towel.
Your wetsuit will still be damp after this but it'll be a lot drier than it would have been otherwise and it should now dry overnight.
Now use a wetsuit hanger and fan (or other method) to completely dry the wetsuit.
5. Squeeze the Water Out of Your Wetsuit As It Dries
Hang your wetsuit in your bathroom on a drying rack or with a wetsuit hanger and hang it to dry.
Wait about 30-60 minutes and you’ll see that water has started pooling in the bottom of the suit near the ankles as well as the wrists due to gravity. Squeeze out the water as best you can.
Repeat the process, squeezing out the water. You can also combine this with turning the wetsuit inside out each time you do it so both sides dry evenly.
Once the water stops pooling, you can leave it to dry.
6. Turn Your Wetsuit Inside Out Every Couple of Hours
If you use a wetsuit often you'll know very well that sometimes the outside will dry completely only for your to turn it inside out and find the inside is still completely wet.
To dry your wetsuit overnight you'll want to stay with it inside out as the inside is the part you want to be dry the most.
But every few hours or so consider flipping your wetsuit the other way around so it dries evenly and you don't have one side dry while the other side is completely wet still.
Combine this with the fan technique, squeezing your wetsuit out or some of the tips below.
7. Use Your Heater To Dry Your Wetsuit
If you're trying to dry your wetsuit on a cold night and you're heating your house anyway then why not use that heat to dry your wetsuit faster?
You can place your heater near the wetsuit and have the wetsuit either hanging over a clothesline or a chair or just place it on the floor.
The thing is here you want to be really careful not to have the wetsuit too close to the heater as it may melt the neoprene rubber. Check on it regularly to see how it's going.
Also, once your wetsuit is nearly dry you'll want to move it away from the heater and leave it to dry naturally or in front of the fan. The rubber is less likely to melt while the wetsuit is still wet (as the water absorbs a lot of the heat) but once it's dry the neoprene can get damaged so be careful there.
8. Tumble Dry Your Wetsuit (Yes You Can Do That Safely)
Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures and believe it or not but you can put your wetsuit in the dryer if you need to, you just need to follow some precautions.
The key here is to only use your dryer on cold or warm air only (not hot air) and to limit the amount of time your wetsuit is in the dryer.
You want to check it regularly and pull the wetsuit out when it's nearly dry but not yet bone dry. This will stop the neoprene from overheating and melting.
This isn't something I would do to my wetsuit all the time and techniques mentioned above like a wetsuit dryer or even just a fan are usually better solutions. But if you're in a pinch and need it dry without a couple of hours this is a good option.
9. Makeshift A Boot Dryer Into A Wetsuit Dryer
If you live somewhere where it snows then you might already have a boot dryer that you use in winter to dry your boots and gloves.
To do this hang your wetsuit on a wetsuit hanger (or any regular hanger will do) and place the legs of the wetsuit over the boot dryer so it blows air up and into your wetsuit.
You may need to do some fandangling with the heights of your wetsuit hanger to make this work but I've found string or rope allows me to set different sizes for my wetsuit vs kids wetsuits etc.
When using a boot dryer make sure you choose the cold air only option as you don't want to damage the neoprene fabric as this can make your wetsuit shrink.
There are a variety of boot dryers that have a fan only setting. I like the DryGuy DX Forced Air Boot and Garment Dryer (at Amazon) as it has plenty of drying posts so you can dry multiple wetsuits at a time and it has a no-heat fan only setting.
You can also use a boot dryer without hanging your wetsuit up. It just won't work as well.
10. Use A Hair Dryer
Honestly this isn't a great option as the time and manpower it takes to make this work is hardly worth it but if you're desperate and have no other options then a hair cryer can be used to quickly dry your wetsuit in a matter of hours.
First thoroughly squeeze out the wetsuit using the towel method mentioned above and then either blow the hair dryer over your wetsuit like you would to your hair or set it to fan only (no heating) and stick the hair dryer in the neck, ankles or wrists or your wetsuit.
You just have to be really careful here as hair dryers and water aren't a great combination so if possible avoid the hair dryer touching the wetsuit at all.
11. Use An Iron (With Great Caution)
If you're really desperate then yes you can iron neoprene without turning your wetsuit into a pile of melted rubber.
Ironing your wetsuit can quickly remove a lot of the water but turning it into steam, drying your wetsuit fairly quickly.
However, if you do this USE EXTREME CAUTION.
Always have your iron on its lowest setting, have something between the iron and your wetsuit (like a towel or tea towel) and also keep the iron moving. Never stop on one spot for too long as you could melt the neoprene rubber.
12. Hang Your Wetsuit Outside
One of the most common and easiest ways to dry a wetsuit overnight is by hanging it outside. You'll want to keep it undercover in case it rains but in warmer temperatures simply hanging your wetsuit outside (especially if it's a windy night) will do the job.
If there’s some sunlight left when you get home, make sure to hang your wetsuit in a shaded area, as wetsuits should never be hung in direct sunlight.
When possible, it’s best to wash or rinse your wetsuit before hanging it up to dry and as already discussed make sure you ring it out before hanging it to dry so it dries faster.
Additionally, it’s best to hang your wetsuit inside out, and then turn it back once the inside is dry so the outside can dry as well.
A wetsuit can take anywhere from 6 to 24 hours to dry when simply hung outside. How long it takes to dry is determined by the thickness of the wetsuit and the weather.
13. Hang Your Wetsuit Indoors
If it’s raining outside or you live in an apartment like I do then you’ll have to hang your wetsuit inside to dry.
Hang your wetsuit in your bathroom using a wetsuit hanger or a drying rack. Never use a wire hanger as it can damage the neoprene material that the wetsuit is made of.
Hang it in your shower or over your bathtub so the dripping water doesn't accumulate on your floor.
If it’s hot enough, your wetsuit should be able to dry within 6 to 12 hours.
Ensure there is enough ventilation in the bathroom as it will help with the drying process, and remember to hang it inside out and then turn it back once the inside is dry.
14. Spin Dry Your Wetsuit
While it's not usually advised to put your wetsuit in the washing machine there are some circumstances where it's ok.
If you have a front loader washing machine or a top loader without a center piece then spinning your wetsuit dry using the washing machine can help it dry faster overnight.
Simply place your rinsed wetsuit in the washing machine and turn it on for a spin cycle. This will remove A LOT of the extra water in your wetsuit (much like the towel technique mentioned above).
Once complete hang your wetsuit to dry like you normally would. You'll find it'll dry a lot faster and should dry overnight even in cold weather.