Things to consider when selecting a Diving Wetsuit:
Water temperature – Please review our Temperature Guide, it will help you determine what types of gear are available. Cold water diving requires cold water specific diving wetsuits. These wetsuits are specifically designed to withstand the compression that results from going deep underwater. They are also typically made of materials that help to maximize your body’s thermal protection.
Water depth – You may be surprised to learn that the enemy of all wetsuits is depth, not water temperature. As you descend, your neoprene wetsuit compresses very quickly - in some cases to half of its surface thickness within the first 35 feet.
Consider the diving depths you anticipate undertaking before determining the best cold water wetsuit for your needs.
DIVING WETSUIT SYLES
Skinsuits / Non Neoprene
Skinsuits are not made of neoprene. These suits can be made with Lycra blends of material or Poly Fleece blends of material. The Lycra blends do not provide warmth / thermal protection. The Poly Fleece blends are typically used as layering pieces under wetsuits to help wick away water and retain body heat.
Springsuits / Shorty
Springsuits wetsuits are available are often identified by their short legs. These wetsuits can have short sleeves or longs sleeves. They can also have back zippers or chest zippers. They are often worn in warmer waters. These wetsuits offer some thermal protection as well as UV protection.
Fullsuits / One piece Jumpsuit
Diving wetsuits called fullsuits are the most common. Scuba diving full wetsuits have full length lets and arms. A fullsuit offers more thermal protection than a springsuit. Full suits can come in different thicknesses for different temperature ratings.
Two Piece Combo Wetsuits / Farmer John & Jane
Two piece combo wetsuits overlap in the core body. There is a John and a Jacket. Where the two pieces of wetsuit overlap is in the core providing extra thermal protection. The Farmer John & Jane are sleeveless with full legs and the Jacket has long sleeves.
When looking at wetsuits there are three main material options. Closed cell neoprene, open cell neoprene, and Lycra. The neoprene suits generally have a nylon outer shell, but the most efficient types have a smooth rubber shell which is commonly referred to as "Chicle" meaning chewing gum in Spanish.
Closed cell neoprene: The most common of the three mentioned, these suits are easily identifiable by their rigid, rubbery nature. They are less expensive and longer lasting than open cell suits,` but they have several downsides. Closed cell suits are much more constrictive, difficult to get into and out of, less efficient at insulating, and can be slightly abrasive during long diving sessions.