Choosing a Scuba Diving Wetsuit

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Choosing a Scuba Diving Wetsuit

What is a Scuba Diving Wetsuit?

 

A Scuba Diving wetsuit is generally a thicker suit that is worn when diving and the reason that they are thicker is that when you head underwater, the deeper you go, the colder it gets. When diving you can be under water for up to an hour so keeping warm is a must as it can be quite unenjoyable when cold. Dive Warehouse is located in Queensland where even our winter isn't too crazy cold however the most commonly used suit is a 5mm  in thickness. Up north in tropical waters a 3mm can be used throughout summer. Its always better to be too warm than too cold. Wetsuits come in many different thicknesses from 1mm through to 8mm which is what would be worn down in Tasmania or NZ. 

 

This blog is going to give you a run down on scuba diving wetsuits including the brands, the fits and styles as well as the thicknesses. There are so many to choose from that it can get a little confusing with which one is the best. Everyone has an opinion of what they like so here is some information to help guide you to your best option.

 

The Fit:

All of the brands fit differently however do come in a female and male fit. The female suits are of course contoured to suit the female body including hips and chest areas. The male suits tend to have broader shoulders with longer arms and legs and less shape. Trying a wetsuit on is the best idea as each body is different so one wetsuit is not going to fit everyone. You may like the 1st option yet the 3rd may fit your better so keep an open mind when looking for one. A wetsuit should fit you extremely firm, like a second skin really. It should be a battle to get it on as if it goes on easily then it's too big! The tighter the wetsuit, the warmer it will be.

 

The Style:

There are a few different styles to choose from including a front zip, rear zip of two piece suit. It really is a personal choice so try a couple and go from there. The two piece suits tend to come with a hood attached and are the warmest, then the rear zipper is next in warmth and finally the front zip. The rear zipper is by far the most popular choice when diving. You can also get under garments called thermal wear that are designed to be worn under your wetsuit to give you an extra layer of warmth. These come in sleeveless, short sleeve and long sleeve tops as well as shorts and long pants.

The Material:

All of the suits are made with neoprene, however some are stretchier than others. Also the inner material can change from suit to suit including neoprene and thermal fleece. The fleece suits are of course warmer however not everyone likes the feeling of fluff against their body when diving. Depending on the brand and the material will determine on how they fit and how comfortable they are. Although neoprene is not waterproof, it will keep you warm if the suit is fitted correctly. 

The Thickness:

Depending on where you are diving majority of the time will determine on which thickness to go for. Here on the Gold Coast in Queensland we wear a 5mm through winter and a 3mm in summer however the 5mm can double up as a summer suit also if you only wanted to own the one. Down further south  they tend to go for more on a 7mm as its needed with the waters temperature down there. Up north a 3mm would be suitable or even just a stinger suit if no warmth if needed. Everyone's temperature runs differently so some divers will opt for a 5mm all year round, even in summer and then you hve those guys out there who can wear a 3mm in south Queensland and dont feel the cold. 

 

How it should fit:

 

A Wetsuit should fit as snug as possible which means it will not be easy to get on. If a suit goes on easily, it's too big! The way that wetsuits work is to be firm enough to prevent fresh water from constantly entering. If you have water flowing through you will always stay cold. When a wetsuit fits correctly, there will be minimal water in the suit so your bodys heat can warm the water that is in the suit to keep you warmer for longer. There are many different styles and fits out there so make you try a few on before you choose your perfect suit. They come in male and female sizings and for scuba diving in Queensland, a 5mm suit is recommended for all year round. If you get a little warm in it, simply open the neck and flood the suit with fresh water and you will cool down instantly.

 


 

 


 

The Brands:

Some of the brands that we carry in diving wetsuits include Cressi, Mares, Enth Degree and Probe with a few styles in each brand. There is no brand that is better than the others; it really does come down to the fit.

 

Happy diving! 

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