3mm & 3/2mm full women's wetsutis are some of the most popular wetsuits worn for water temperatures 59 degrees Fahrenheit and warmer. Women's 3/2 wetsuits have 3mm thick neoprene throughout the entire wetsuit. 3/2 wetsuits typically have 3mm thick neoprene in the chest, back, and legs with 2mm thick neoprene in the shoulders and arms. The thinner neoprene in the arms and shoulders allow for more mobility through out the arms for sports like surfing and swimming. 3mm wetsuits is made of 3mm thick neoprene throughout the entire wetsuit. Flatlock stitched 3/2mm wetsuits allow for water to enter the suit through the seams and therefore not as warm as (GBS) glued and blind stitched sealed wetsuits. If you are looking for more thermal protection from a 3mm full wetsuit, consider wearing boots, hoods and gloves. Read the bottom of this page to learn more about 3 & 3/2mm suits.
Most 3/2mm wetsuits have 3mm thick core body (chest and back and legs) with 2mm thick arms and shoulders. What makes a 3/2mm wetsuit more or less expensive is the stretch within the 3mm and 2mm neoprene. Additionally, the seam construction of the wetsuit also determine the cost of the wetsuit. The least expensive seam construction is flatlock seams. These seems allow for some water to pass through the seams because there is not glue used before the stitching. Sealed seamed wetsuits or otherwise called glued and blind stitched (GBS) cost more because of the labor and materials involved in assembling the wetsuit. Read more below about flatlock seam suits versus 3/2mm (GBS) glued and blind stitched seams.
Flatlock wetsuits allow for a small amount of water to come through the seams, in really warm waters, the benefit of this is not over heating in the suit. Flatlock wetsuits are typically only made in 3mm thick suits and thinner. Flatlock 3/2mm wetsuits are typically less expensive because of the labor and material involved in manufacturing the wetsuit.
Sealed 3/2mm full wetsuits are made for folks who want to stay warm in their suits for longer periods of time. The difference between a sealed suit and a flatlock suit is the amount of water that can come through the seams. Another advantage of (GBS) sealed seam wetsuits is that the stitching needle does not go through both pieces of neoprene, it goes halfway through so it does not create holes that water can leak through. These suits are first glued along the seams then stitched so you get double the seal to prevent water leaks. Sealed suits typically cost more than flatlock seam wetsuits.
Combo wetsuits (two piece wetsuits) are made up of 3mm under jane, this is a full length suit with sleeveless arms. It is layered with a neoprene 3mm jacket that goes over it. When the 3mm Jane and 3mm Jacket is worn together you get 6mm of protection in your chest and back and torso.
So wetsuits have laminates on the outside and inside of the wetsuit. If the suit you are looking at cost more, it likely has a higher stretch laminate on the inside and outside of the suit. Another factor in cost is the quality of rubber used in making your wetsuit. Eco friendly wetsuits are made of neoprene free materials so they typically cost more because it a specialized material. Additionally, the amount of stretch in the rubber used in your suit also can impact the price. More stretchy wetsuits cost more than ones that do not have much stretch. Finally, wetsuits have a weld or tape on the seams to provide a better seal and a more durable seam, these features can also cost more.