Whether you’re snorkeling, surfing, paddleboarding, or diving, if the conditions are cold and wet then you will need to wear a wetsuit to keep you warm. If you plan on heading into the water for a second session later in the day, then you need to find a way to dry your wetsuit in just a few short hours. To do this, you will need a wetsuit hanger and/or a wetsuit drying rack.
A good wetsuit drying rack should be able to support the weight of your damp wetsuit and leave as much surface area exposed to air to facilitate faster drying. It should also ideally not crease or leave permanent marks on the neoprene material of your suit. You may want a portable one to take with you for travel, or perhaps a larger one for personal use at home. We cover all of these options and more in this review, so keep reading to learn more.
Malo’o Portable Drying Rack – Best for Travel
- ✔ NO SCRATCH: We’ve added padding to the top handle and behind each hinge so when you hang the DryRack over your side mirror, you will NOT scratch...
- ✔ FAST DRYING TIME… Increased airflow from air circulating around the drying bars lets your gear dry much faster than hanging it on a railing or...
- ✔ FOR EVERY OUTDOOR ADVENTURE … Whether you need for scuba, camping, hunting, fishing, surfing, snowboarding or other adventures, the Malo’o...
If you are traveling or planning on spending the entire day outside, then you need a portable drying rack to bring with you. In that case, the Malo’o wetsuit drying rack is a durable and versatile option for drying your wetsuit while on the move.
It works by hanging from the side-view mirror (or any other suitable place) of your vehicle which is very convenient; you don’t need to worry about where or whether you are capable of setting up the rack as long as you have your vehicle with you. You can also hang it from car roof racks, garage roofs, thick tree branches, and so on.
Additionally, the Malo’o rack has padding around its top handle and hinges so that it won’t scratch or damage your car in any way. The padding is durable and should survive the lifetime of the rack itself.
Furthermore, the Malo’o portable drying rack can be folded up easily and quickly in order to save space in storage. Lack of space is a major issue since you are bringing along so much other gear with you, so its collapsibility is a huge help.
As for how it can efficiently dry you wetsuit, its hanging rails are thick and provide sufficient air circulation to facilitate quick drying of your gear. The bars are corrosion-resistant and its thickness means it won’t leave crease marks or damage the wetsuit as it dries. You can hang just about anything you need from it: wetsuits, drysuits, fishing gear, jackets, a snowboard, and many more.
The only downside to this kind of wetsuit is that if you aren’t able to rinse off the saltwater from your wetsuit, then it can drip onto the surface of your car and discolor the bodywork of your car over time. This would have to happen for a long time for you to notice, and chances are you are rinsing your wetsuit after each session anyways, but it’s something you should know about.
Overall, the Malo’o portable drying rack is a convenient and affordable option that allows you to bring a highly portable rack to dry your wetsuit no matter where you are. It was originally a Kickstarter project that met its backing goal and is now a tried-and-true product. The fact that so many people felt the need to donate shows there was truly a need for a product like this, and its benefits are very enticing.
Best Indoor Wetsuit Drying Racks
We found that an affordable and effective way to dry our wetsuits indoors is to get a large enough clothes drying rack and simply draping the wetsuit over it. This way, you don’t even need a hanger and it leaves plenty of surface area exposed to the air with no creasing.
There are many benefits this provides:
- It’s affordable.
- You can easily assemble it.
- Some are collapsible so you can fit it in the trunk of your car.
- Easy to replace if you need to.
- You can use it for laundry as well.
Since your wetsuit will be dripping wet, you should set up the laundry rack in the bathtub where the water can safely drain away without staining or damaging the floor or carpet. We leave the wetsuits like this overnight and then turn the wetsuit over in the morning.
If for some reason you have to set up the rack outside of the bath, you can simply put a bucket under the laundry rack and place the arms/legs of your wetsuit in the bucket so that all the water will eventually drip there instead of on the floor.
The downside to using this kind of drying rack for your wetsuit is that it is made of metal, meaning it will eventually rust. Your mileage may vary; we have used a drying rack for years and there is only a small amount of rust. Even if we had to replace it soon, we more than got our money’s worth at this point.
The products below are examples of the kind of drying racks that you can set up at home to dry your wetsuit. Recommending a specific product can be a little tricky depending on the size of your bathroom. If you only have a walk-in shower or don’t have a lot of floor space, look for a laundry rack that is taller rather than wider. With that said, a taller drying rack is likely to fall over when outside in windy weather, so it’s best to leave it indoors.
BONBON 3 Tier Clothes Drying Rack
- 3-tier clothes drying rack with 2 side wings
- Features 6 foldable shelves
- Easy to move - features 4 rolling casters which are lockable
This 3-tier drying rack with 2-side wings provides ample space for you to dry your wetsuits and other gear. This is best to set up in a bathtub because of the large amount of space it occupies.
Honey-Can-Do Drying Rack
- 3-tier drying rack for saving on electricity and helping clothes last longer
- Durable steel construction with rust-resistant silver-coated finish
- Removable Mesh top shelf for sweaters or other flat-drying items
This foldable drying rack comes with either 2-tiers or 3-tiers so you can dry multiple wetsuits at the same time. It uses a durable steel construction and is coated with a rust-resistant silver finish. The top shelf has a removable mesh top that is ideal for adding stability to any flat drying items. It can be folded down to 2.5” flat for easy storage or to take with you while traveling. You can set this unit up anywhere, including the balcony, kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room. It’s tall, so it’s great for those with limited floor space or a walk-in shower.
DIY Wetsuit Hanger Racks
Quite a few people have had success making their own wetsuit rack using PVC pipes and connectors. This sounds like a fantastic option if you want to go the DIY route. It can literally be as simple as using a single PVC pipe, drilling holes at each end, and then threading some wire through it to make the hook.
Or, you can make a more complicated setup with a fan that blows warm air to speed up the drying process as seen in the video below. Here, you can see a neat garage setup and some human ingenuity to make a simple yet effective DIY drying rack.
Outdoors Wetsuit Drying Racks
The best options for an outdoor drying rack is either the Malo’o portable drying rack which we reviewed above, some kind of PVC piping setup, or else a metal laundry frame that you can set up under an awning. PVC pipes will not rust so they are a versatile wetsuit rack if you have the DIY skills to make a drying rack setup yourself.
Since the Malo’o drying rack now exists, you don’t have to go the DIY route if you’re willing to spend $30-40 for a professional quality product that you can rely on.
You could also try using a wooden frame as your outdoor wetsuit rack. There are many disadvantages to this, however. It can get waterlogged or moldy after a few months of outdoor use. Furthermore, the wood can splinter and poke holes in your wetsuit and fingers. The option exists, but there are better solutions available.
How to Dry Your Wetsuit Quickly
Before even hanging your wetsuit on a drying rack to dry, there are some steps you should follow to speed up the drying process. We are assuming that you’ve already rinsed your suit with freshwater and your suit is still dripping wet.
The first and most obvious step is to use a dry towel to absorb as much of the excess water as possible. Wrap your wetsuit up in a large towel or two and then squeeze the water out by stepping on it. You can use your hands if you want, but using your bodyweight is an effortless process.
Next, make sure the drying rack is set up in a well-ventilated location away from direct sunlight. The sun’s UV rays can deteriorate both your wetsuit and the drying rack itself, so try to keep it in a shaded area. If you have a fan, use it to blow at the wetsuit. Make sure nearby windows are open so there is airflow.
When drying your wetsuit, you should turn it inside out to ensure that the inside dries first. This is because it’s much more comfortable and convenient to put it on if at least the insides are dry. Ideally you have enough time between sessions to completely dry your wetsuit, but if you don’t, then try to dry the insides first.
If you are attentive, then every 20 minutes or so you can squeeze the ends of the wetsuit where water has pooled up and is dripping from. This is usually the ankle and wrist area of the suit. Be gentle when squeezing so that you do not damage the neoprene.
Why Do I Have to Dry My Wetsuit?
You might be thinking it’s acceptable if the wetsuit is a little damp between sessions. There are many issues if your wetsuit is not fully dry. First, it’s simply unpleasant. When you have to wake up early in the cold morning and you put on a damp wetsuit, it’s not a fun experience that you want to repeat.
Second, a damp wetsuit is harder to put on. With a dry wetsuit, your hands and feet will slide through easily. Moisture increases friction and makes it much harder to slip your hands and feet through. You can experience this phenomenon if your body is wet and sweaty and you try to put on a dry wetsuit. Ideally, both you and your wetsuit are dry to make donning the suit a quick and painless process.
Lastly, there’s also the issue of mold and bacteria growth. If your wetsuit is always damp, it’s going to be a haven for these harmful organisms. You should always endeavor to dry your wetsuit as quickly as possible after each session.
Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API