Would you like to know which are the top wetsuits for diving that are available?
A scuba diving wetsuit helps to keep you warm while you are underwater and helps to protect you from stings, scrapes, cuts, and the sun as well. That is important when you are diving. Buying a high-quality wetsuit should be viewed as a sound investment in your safety and comfort while you are diving.
The best thing about owning your own wetsuit is you won't ever have to use one of those awful rental suits that smell like pee ever again. Just that fact alone should get you very excited about purchasing your own wetsuit!
When it is time for you to begin looking for the best wetsuit to dive in, you will want to find one that will hold up for many years and keep you warm on all of your future underwater adventures. There are numerous styles and models that are available for you to choose from. So how do you find the best diving wetsuit to suit your needs?
That is why we are here. Previously we discussed how to choose other types of scuba gear such as dive regulators, scuba masks, dive computers and much more. Now it is time for us to discuss the best diving wetsuits for you.
8 Things To Take Into Consideration When Looking For The Best Wetsuits For Diving
Diving wetsuits are available in various thicknesses. Most models are at least 7 mm, 5 mm or 3 mm. Also, there are some for warm water diving specifically that are available in 2 mm and 1 mm.
If you find a wetsuit where the thickness is denoted with two numbers, for example, 3/2 mm, the first number refers to the torso thickness and the second one is the thickness of the legs and arms.
So, how can you tell which thickness is the best for you? Everyone has a different cold tolerance, but the following are some guidelines to help give you a general idea.
7 mm: 50 to 70 degrees F (10-20 degrees C)
5 mm: 60 to 70 degrees F (16-20 degrees C)
3 mm: 70 to 85 degrees F (21-28 degrees C)
2 mm: above 85 degrees F (29 degrees C)
Are you still not sure which one to select because you dive both in very cold water and warm tropical water? If that is the case, you should get two different wetsuits. Get one that is designed specifically for cold water diving and another one for warm water diving.
You could go with a 5 mm with gloves and hooded vest to use in cold water. However, it isn't the best option for you. Purchasing two wetsuits will cost you more upfront. However, it will pay off over the long-run because you will be much more comfortable when you are underwater.
If you are planning on diving in very cold water, then you will need a dry suit along with good undergarments to stay warm. If you have haven't used one of these types of suits ever before, then you should read our guide on the differences between a drysuit and a wetsuit.
There are three different styles of wetsuits: farm john, full and shorties.
Typically a shorty wetsuit is cut right above the knee and has short sleeves. These suits are easy to put on and very comfortable.
This style of wetsuit provides you with a bit more extra warmth and also helps to protect your legs and arms from jellyfish and coral that you may run into when you are underwater.
Farmer John/Jane Wetsuit
These are two-piece wetsuits. One piece is the jacket. The other piece of the suit is an overall (sleeveless top and long legs). This is an excellent option to wear in very cold water since the core has double the amount of insulation. Free divers like the style due to the shoulders having added mobility.
There are three different kinds of material used on scuba diving wetsuits: lycra, closed cell neoprene, or open cell neoprene.
Closed Cell Neoprene
This is the most commonly used material on wetsuits out of three options. They have a rubbery feel and are rigid. They last longer and are less expensive compared to open cell wetsuits. However, there are some downsides to them as well. They are harder to take off and put on and don't insulate as well compared to open cell wetsuits.
Out of all three of the materials, open cell offers the best quality. It is more flexible and softer compared to closed cell material. The features enable it to form to the body of the diver, which provides very efficient insulation, offers a great range of motion, and feels nice against the skin. The disadvantages to open cell wetsuits is that they are more susceptible to getting damaged and are more expensive.
This material provides a thin protection layer which works well with very warm water diving where it isn't even necessary to wear a wetsuit in order to stay warm. Although no thermal insulation is provided by a lycra wetsuit, your skin is protected from the sun as well as rocks, sharp corals and jellyfish while you are underwater.
4. Scuba Specific
While any wetsuit can potentially keep you warm while you are underwater, it may not be the best suit to wear for scuba diving. Why? Because diving wetsuits have been designed to compress when at depth. Buoyancy is also taken into considerations by scuba diving wetsuits.
5. Stitching Construction
Whenever you are reading the product descriptions for diving wetsuits, you might notice that manufacturers like throwing stitching terms around, which can make you feel like you need to translate a foreign language. That is why we have broken the terms down for you. That way you will be able to recognize every stitch and be able to determine which is the best for you depending on the kind of diving you are planning on doing.
There are four major kinds of seam constructions: GBS with seam tape, GBS (glued and blindstitched), flat stitch (or flatlock) and overlock stitch.
This type of stitch is stitched on the inside. That means on the outside you won't see the stitching. This type of stitching is good for warm water that is at least 65 degrees F since some water may seep in through the seams.
Flatlock stitching or flat stitch looks similar to railroad tracks. You can see them from the outside. It has a flat interior seam construction, which makes it much more comfortable compared to the overlock stitch against the body. Some water might seep through the seams, so this type of stitch is recommended for use in warm water that is at least 62 degrees F.
This is narrower than flat stitch but does have a similar appearance. The construction is best suited for colder water since these seams are glued instead of stitched, which helps to prevent seepage from occurring.
Fluid Seal, or blindstitched with seam taping, is the same thing as blindstitch except the inner seams are either covered or reinforced with tape. No or very little water seeps through the seams, making it the best type of stitch in extremely cold water that is 50 degrees F or colder.
Sizes will vary from one manufacturer to the next, so before buying make sure you check their size chart first.
It is very important to choose the right size suit to be warm and comfortable while you are underwater. If it is too small you won't be able to put it on and if it is too large then water may leak in.
You want your scuba diving wetsuit to fit snug. If you happen to be in between two sizes, then the best choice is to go with the smaller one.
There are many wetsuits that are available in both women's and men's versions.
So any scuba ladies out there should look at getting a suit specifically designed for women since it will fit much better and keep you more comfortable and warmer while you are underwater.
Although you probably can wear a unisex wetsuit and get away with it, if you are going to purchase your gear you might as well get something that fits you better.
How much a wetsuit costs will be determined by its features, stitching, and thickness. Diving wetsuits may range in price from less than $100 for a thin shorty wetsuit up to more than $400 for a cold water 7 mm diving wetsuit.
When you are selecting scuba gear, your top priority should be your warmth and comfort, and not just how much it costs. Try getting the best wetsuit that you can afford that also suits the kind of diving you are planning on using it for the best. It is dangerous as well as miserable to be cold while you are diving. So make sure to make a wise investment!
Reviews Of Diving Wetsuits
Best Top 10 Wetsuits For Scuba Diving
1. Scubapro Everflex
Very Comfortable Diving Wetsuit
This wetsuit has been designed to naturally move with your body which provides you with high levels of flexibility, stretch and comfort.
This suit's diagonal back zipper is one great feature. It runs from your right shoulder to your left hip that makes it a lot more comfortable compared to a traditional zip that goes along your spine. It is also easier to take off and put on.
The Everflex is definitely for you if you want a great fit.
2. Xcel Thermoflex
"Rugged Diving Suit That Is Built To Last"
This semi-dry suit has been built to last. It is made out of a nylon II neoprene that is compression resistant and of very high quality. All of the seams are blind stitched and quadruple glued.
It comes with a high-quality S-Lock back zipper to keep more water out compared to conventional zips.
The Xcel Thermoflex features dry-lock seamless wrist seals to keep warmth in and water out.
3. NeoSport Premium
"Great Value and Quality"
The NeoSport Premium wetsuit is durable, comfortable and warm.
It offers a very versatile balance of mobility and warmth for using in both cooler and warm water. It comes with flexible knee pads and an adjustable collar.
This is the one for you if you would like to have a very comfortable wetsuit.
4. Henderson Thermoprene
"High-Quality Budget Friendly Wetsuit"
This is one of the top-selling wetsuits.
The Henderson Thermoprene is made out of nylon II neoprene that features 75% more stretch compared to standard neoprene.
It is a great value that makes it perfect for budget-conscious divers who prefer not to have to sacrifice on the quality of construction, design, and materials.
5. Mares Flexa
"Close Attention To Detail"
This high-quality wetsuit features tons of attention to all the details.
The Mares Flexa incorporates various neoprene thickness for various parts of the body. The design helps it be more efficient and flexible to keep you comfortable and warm underwater.
The suit has an internal thermal plush lining that is durable, smooth and soft. Divers love this solid wetsuit.
6. Bare Velocity
"No Huffing and Puffing Necessary"
This full wetsuit has been designed to provide a great fit.
The ergonomic suit design offers excellent performance, comfort, feel and fit. The Bare Velocity has heavy-duty ankle zippers and back, with a loop on the base to assist with getting the wetsuit off and on.
Divers love the suit because it is easy to take off and put on, durable, quick drying, comfortable and warm.
7. Hollis Neo Tek Semi-Dry
"Still Warm Even In Cold Water"
This semi-dry wetsuit has been designed to keep you warm on cold water dives.
The Hollis Neo Tek is made with a LavakSkin inner liner (Hollis exclusive) and 8/7/6 mm compression resistant neoprene. It features a block horizontal front zipper which makes it easy to take off and on and provide a tight barrier against the flow of water.
There are two large pockets on the thighs of the suit which come in handy to carry accessories with you.
8. Aqua Lung Aqua Flex
This flex jumpsuit is made out of AquaFlex neoprene. It has three times the amount of stretch that standard neoprene does.
That makes it easy to take off and put on this suit and to conform well to your body shape. A significant advantage to this kind of neoprene is there is no need for wrist or ankle zippers.
The design keeps you warmer since more water exchange is created by zippers which results in heat loss occurring.
9. Cressi Playa
"Perfect For Tropical Diving Travel"
This suit is a 2.5 mm shorty that offers outstanding warmth.
The Cressi Playa provides an anatomical fit, making it comfortable and easy to swim in. This suit features ultra-span high-stretch neoprene seals on the arms and legs to keep you warm.
The Playa is an excellent choice for tropical diving vacations and to war as an extra layer with a thick wetsuit.
10. Fourth Element Proteus
"Excellent All Around Wetsuit"
This is a very versatile and durable wetsuit.
The Fourth Element Proteus has been built to last. It features Dura Wear patches on the shoulders and hips, to protect against wear from the BCDs and weight belts. Super stretch neoprene is used on the legs and arms to provide more mobility.
The suit's attention to detail and durability make the Fourth Element Proteus one of the top suits for diving around.
Would you like to know which are the top wetsuits for diving that are available?