5 Best Caving Suits and Overalls in 2023

Last Updated on 27/08/2023

best caving suits and overalls

Who Makes the Best Caving Suits?

In this guide, we share the best caving suits and overalls for crawling around caverns underground without getting soaked or covered in mud. You will learn whether you need a fully waterproof PVC overall or would be better with a Cordura caving suit. We also share the benefits and downsides of caving suits further down the page.

If you are a caving or speleology enthusiast, then a caving suit is a no-brainer, just like carrying two caving headlamps in case one dies. A caving suit protects your entire body from abrasions, dirt, and sometimes water. They also prevent dirt from going down the back of your pants as you scooch along the floor and won’t get caught in tight passages as it is all one piece.

The alternative is you ruin perfectly good clothes, and even hiking pants with reinforced knees don’t last very long when all you do is crawl through caves.

5 Best Caving Suits and Coveralls

Splav Speleo Coverall Light Cordura 500 Caving Over Suit


Speleo Coverall Light Cordura 500 Caving Over Suit Original

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  • MATERIALS: Cordura 500D 100% Nylon. Double Silicone Coating Reinforcing material: PVC 650 g/m2
  • FEATURES: Inner belt, Harness compatible, Reinforced seat, knees, and elbows, Microfleece collar, Internal pocket, external pocket, Duraflex technology

The Splav Speleo Coverall Light Cordura 500 Caving Over Suit is the toughest caving suit we have tested and after nearly 18 months of use, there are no rips to the PVC reinforcement or the Cordura fabric. At first, it feels a little stiff and not very flexible but trust me, that soon goes away, and you are glad that it is more tough than flexible when you are crawling over jagged rocks.

If you prefer to wear knee pads inside your suit, then the Splave Speleo Coverall is an excellent choice because it is tough enough to withstand the pressure created by the padding. The PVC is so good. It provides padding as well as protection and waterproofing. You can get it in a couple of colors, including green which looks quite cool, but orange and black is probably the best-looking caving suit color.

The Splav Speleo Coverall is perfect for dry and wet conditions; however it is not totally waterproof. It does keep you dry until you fully submerge underwater, and then it does leak but dries out very fast because it is not made from cotton. If you wear this every week, you should be able to get around 3-5 years of use without having to start patching it up like some others.

SUMMARY: If we had to pick one caving suit to last as long as possible and not break the bank, we would highly recommend this caving overall. It is not totally waterproof but will do a pretty good job and is ten times better than replacing your jeans every four months.

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West Virginia Underground Caving Coverall Cordura Plus

West Virginia Underground Caving Coverall Cordura Plus

  • FEATURES: Inner suspenders, harness compatible, reinforced seat, knees, and elbows, Internal pocket, velcro closures, concealed hood in collar
  • COST: $190 – $245 at last check

The West Virginia Underground Caving Coverall Cordura Plus is an excellent option for anyone who explores caves regularly. There are users who report their suits are still going strong after four years, and we can vouch for this extra tough caving suit. I wish it had an outer pocket just to keep my knife and extra light, but this is something we can live without (if we must).

The reinforcements provide really good protection when crawling on your elbows and knees or sliding down slippery tunnels on your butt. We also really like the hood feature, which isn’t the best but is definitely better than nothing. You can certainly put it to use in tunnels with lots of drips, and it can be worn under your helmet.

SUMMARY: We really like this suit, and it fits almost as well as the Splav cave suit above. You can choose between red and blue as well as many different sizes, including a custom fit service if you like. Overall this is well worth some consideration before you buy the Splev Speleo.


Meander Criou PVC Suit

Meander Criou PVC Suit

  • MATERIALS: Double coated PVC fabric
  • FEATURES: Welded seams, harness compatible, reinforced seat, knees, and elbows, Internal pocket, velcro closures, concealed hood in collar
  • COST: $180 at last check

The Meander Criou PVC Suit is one of the best waterproof overalls for cavers and speleologists around the world. The PVC fabric is super durable and one of the thickest PVC caving suits out there. Because of its thickness, it does feel rather stiff at first, and if you ever tested the older Meander overall, then this will be noticeably tougher.

Cavers love this suit for its durability and abrasion resistance. Even if you drag your body through tight tunnels and sharp rocks, this material just doesn’t get caught on anything or snag like most other fabrics. The welded seams mean you never have to worry about seam seals degrading over time, and anything with stitching has been double-stitched and coated for incredible robustness and longevity.

SUMMARY: If you are looking for a waterproof PVC caving suit, then this is the one we would recommend. You may have to get used to the stiff material at first, but after a couple of uses, it improves, and you will be glad it is so thick when you are brushing against jagged rocks underground.


West Virginia Underground PVC Caving Coverall

West Virginia Underground PVC Caving Coverall Long Life

  • MATERIALS: Double coated PVC fabric
  • FEATURES: Inner suspenders, harness compatible, Internal pocket, velcro closures, concealed hood in collar
  • COST: $180 – $230 at last check

The West Virginia Underground PVC Caving Coverall is another PVC suit like the Meander Criou, which is made from such thick and durable material you don’t feel afraid to damage it when exploring caves. The PVC on this jumpsuit feels a little more flexible and just a little softer, which may affect the durability, but this has yet to be seen.

The internal pocket is ideal for keeping small valuables like your phone or a spare torch, although it is not easily accessed without opening the velcro closure. The cuffs are adjustable to stop water from getting in and don’t restrict you from stretching your arms up if you get the right size.

SUMMARY: Overall, the WVUnderground PVC suit is really good for wet caves where you may have to enter shallow pools of water or deal with lots of water dripping from the roof. You can expect it to last around five years of continuous use, which is much better than ripping all your climbing pants to shreds.


Warmbac CL05 Standard Caving Cordura Oversuit

Warmbac CL05 Standard Caving Cordura Oversuit

  • MATERIALS: 1000D Cordura
  • FEATURES: Detachable hood, neoprene cuffs, adjustable collar, 2-way heavy duty zip with velcroed flap, internal pocket, external sleeve pocket
  • COST: €137.95 at last check

The Warmbac CL05 Standard Caving Cordura Oversuit is one of the better-fitting options that have less loose fabric and a closer fit. This doesn’t reduce flexibility, and you still have a free range of movement even in tight spaces. Speaking of tight spaces, because the fit is so good, it means that you can squeeze through the smallest tunnels.

The 1000 denier fabric is twice as heavyweight as the Splav caving suit, which is noticeable when you wear it. This can be a good thing as it provides a tonne of extra protection as well as some added insulation for cold temperatures. You can also get a lighter version that uses 450D fabric if you don’t want as much reinforcement.

SUMMARY: This really is an awesome caving suit that is making a name for itself among speleologists and cave explorers. Unfortunately, it is hard to find distributors in America for this caving suit, but there are a number of websites that offer international shipping.


caving overall made from PVC

Different Types of Cave Suits and Full-Body Overalls

There are two main types of caving suits that work in different environments. Mainly wet and dry caves. Wet caves require additional waterproofing if you want to stay dry, whereas dry caves are pretty hard on gear, so you need something extra tough. Here are the differences between PVC and Cordura caving suits:

PVC Waterproof Caving Suits

Waterproof caving suits made from PVC are designed to be used in wet caves where you have to crawl through mud and water to keep going into a cave. They are best used in cooler temperatures as they can get quite hot otherwise and don’t have any breathability other than opening the velcro strip down your front.

The best PVC caving suits will have reinforcements on the knees, backside, and elbows, as well as adjustable cuffs. A hood is often integrated into the neckline, which feels best when it has a neoprene or microfiber lining. Instead of sealed seams, you should look for welded seams that are much stronger and more appropriate for speleology.

Dry Caving Suits

Dry caving suits don’t necessarily need to be waterproof. However, they often have very good resistance to water. You can, of course, use the classic dickies or Carharrt overalls, but they tear just like all your other clothes. The best dry caving overalls are made from Cordura fabric, which is extra durable and able to withstand tremendous abuse in a cave.

group of cavers with headlamps

Benefits of Caving Suits

If you go out exploring caves often, then a Cordura caving suit is a no-brainer, and there are so many benefits, some of which are listed here:

Ultimate Protection

Caving suits can protect you from getting wet and muddy, but they also provide essential resistance to abrasions so that you don’t come out covered in cuts and bruises. Combined with some knee pads, caving helmet, gloves, and waterproof footwear, you are completely set. Cordura overalls offer the most protection, and you should seek out suits with reinforced patches.

Maximum Durability

Caving suits are designed with durability in mind, so you don’t end up with holes everywhere until they have well and truly been worn out. Unless you have some really tough hiking pants with reinforced patches, then caving suits are by far the most practical option on durability alone. It is so important to have durable gear when caving as it gets literally dragged across sharp rocks whilst you are wearing it.

Total Comfort

Comfort is definitely second to durability, but it is still important to feel comfortable in your gear. Caving suits are great in that they keep you clean and, for the most part, dry, but they also provide insulation and other benefits. One of those is that you never have to deal with getting dirt down your pants as you scooch backward and your top starts to lift.

Better Saftey

Caving suits are very practical for squeezing through tight gaps because they are all one piece which means you never get your belt caught or rip your top. Because you are less likely to get stuck while wearing a coverall for caving, they are technically much safer than regular clothes. And also, as mentioned above, protection against scrapes and minor injuries is another safety benefit.

Downsides of Caving Suits

While the benefits far outweigh the downsides of caving overalls, it is still important that we mention them to give the full picture:


Caving suits can get quite hot if the temperatures underground are not cool. This is rather uncomfortable and not ideal, but a price most speleologists are willing to pay. PVC suits are especially bad and act as a bit of a boiler suit if you exert yourself too much. You can always open the front opening to cool down, but it would be nice if someone made one with ventilation zips under the arms and on the legs.


Even though caving suits aren’t cheap, we feel that in the long run, they will actually save you money if you are replacing your clothes frequently due to wear and tear. If you are into caving, though, then you probably already have hundreds of dollars worth of gear, so what’s another couple hundred?

Are Caving Suits Worth it?

So the big question is whether caving suits are worth it vs regular clothes. The simple answer is yes. Get one, You won’t look back.

In fairness, though, caving suits are only worth it if you use them, so unless you go exploring caves more than six times per year, then maybe don’t worry about it. You can wear them as a ski suit if you want, which does help justify it to your partner or bank balance.


We hope you found this guide to the Best Caving Suits helpful and got all the information you needed. If not, let us know.

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This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

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