A diving suit is an essential part of diving equipment. A diving suit provides insulation and therefore ensures that it does not cool too quickly in the water (this occurs in the water about 20 times faster than out of the water). It also protects you against sharp rocks and underwater life. There are different models of diving suits. In general, we know two main models of diving suits: wet suits and dry suits.
Wet (Wetsuit in English)
It is the most popular and most economical wetsuit we can find. Depending on the area it will be more or less millimeters, and we can even acquire it with different pieces to adapt it to our needs. The most common is to find these options:
The most used in water sports that require thermal protection such as snorkeling, surfing, bodyboarding, etc. There are several thicknesses, depending on the thermal insulation we need. The thickest (5mm and 7mm) allow us to dive in winter (up to about 13º we could use it if it is a good suit). The finest are to dive in corals and avoid friction or to spend long periods of time in the pool.
Here at Portosub we use the Diver suit from Cressi in temperate times for classes that are 7mm. In Winter we use the 7mm Cressi Facile suit. This car comes with a double watertight cuff on the feet and hands.
In addition, it incorporates an inner vest to give more shelter. With this suit students who pass through the center, receive classes at 13th and 14th without problem, as long as we are in a safe time on the water.
It has almost the same protection of a semi-dry suit and even becomes more comfortable because of its frontal closure.
They are designed to give us greater versatility if we dive in different areas or have stations with a very marked climate. They are composed of a single piece and an auxiliary piece in the form of a jacket, which we can use or not, depending on the cold. Adding the jacket protects the trunk better, avoiding heat loss. We have several models that use this format:
Short or Shorty
It is used in hot or tropical waters. It is mainly used to prevent chafing from diving equipment. In Spain it is unusual to see or use them.
The wet suit is used for snorkeling and diving and comes in various thicknesses. How does a wet suit work? A suit closes, as it were, as a second skin of your body. It is very tight to the body but has to be comfortable and must be able to move well. Most wet suits are made of neoprene (in combination of nylon). In addition to the thermal properties of the material itself, it has a layer of water between the skin and the material. Due to its body heat, this layer of water is heated and good insulation is obtained.
Top wetsuit for you
1. Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit 5/3mm
- TRIATHLETE MAGAZINE EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD WINNER / LAVA MAGAZINE BEST VALUE WETSUIT – Suitable for all levels. Ironman & USAT approved. Athlete endorsed. Comes in wide range of sizes to insure a perfect fit.
- PROVEN TECHNOLOGY EQUALS SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE – Hydrodynamic neoprene made from Yamamoto #39 and #40 with SCS silicone coated SyPrene. 5mm thick core buoyancy panel / 3mm lower legs and back / 2mm arms and shoulders.
- EXCEPTIONAL FUNCTIONALITY – Full range of motion. Unsurpassed 680 percent flexibility. Highest grade anti corrode internal wetsuit zipper from YKK which greatly reduces drag as you move through the water. Super soft low neck with smoothskin on both sides and because it is so soft, it feels like you hardly have anything around your neck.
- MAXIMUM BUOYANCY – 5mm wetsuit, which is the maximum buoyancy allowed in triathlon wetsuits. Creates nearly double the buoyancy than 3mm suits, which are not recommended for cold waters. Float higher. Move faster. Save energy.
2. REALON Womens Wetsuit Full 3mm 2mm Neoprene Surfing Scuba Diving
- Womens wetsuit full body designed for surfing, snorkeling, diving and boarding etc
- Premium neoprene wetsuits for women and girls to keep warmth in water
- Surfing suit with stretchy materials comfortable enough for all day wear
- Durable overall flatlock stitching provide comfortable and athletic fit
- Anti-abrasive kneepads and heavy duty 10V back zip with long leash
3. Seavenger Alpha 3mm Neoprene Fullsuit Wetsuit
- HIGH QUALITY FABRIC — 3mm neoprene wetsuit material is ideal for warm to temperate waters.
- WEAR WITH BCD — Tough shoulder and knee pads add extra strength for surfing or wearing a BCD.
- PREVENTS CHAFING — Flat-lock stitching is soft and comfortable enough for all-day wear.
- SUPER STRETCHY — High-flex neoprene panels in the knee and armpit maximize movement in the water.
- EASY ON AND OFF — Extra long leash and a sturdy, bulky zipper makes it easy to slip in and out of.
4. O’Neill Men’s Epic 4/3mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit
- Zipper closure
- Ideal Value Driven Wetsuit; Perfect For Surfing, Diving, Paddle Sports, Lake Activities, And Beach Days
- Backzip System Provides Easy Entry And Exit With A Water Tight Seal. Krypto Knee Padz
- Ultra Stretch Neoprene: Incredibly Soft Premium Material Has Superior Feel, Flexibility, And Elevates Performance
- Seams Are Blind Stitched And Triple Glued (GBS); Keeping Water Out And Increases Durability Of The Product
- Wind-Resistant FluidFlex Firewall Panels Provide Extra Insulation And Protection Against The Cold
5. Hevto Wetsuits Men and Women Guardian 3mm Neoprene Full Scuba Diving Suits
- Why do you need to wear a wetsuit? – In cold water, wetsuit can keep the body extra warm. The working principle of diving suits is that when water enters the clothes, and then leaves a thin layer of water on the body. Then the body keeps moving to generate heat, heating and keeping the body warm. At the same time, in open water, you can avoid being injured by marine organisms, and avoiding water pollution causing skin sensitivity. The wetsuits provide you a better protection.
- What is the Guardian (Ⅰ) wetsuit? – The Guardian (Ⅰ) wetsuits are specially designed for adult men and women. It is made of 3mm neoprene + nylon elastic fabric. It is environmentally friendly, healthy, soft and comfortable, and skin friendly. Flatlock stitching, the line is delicate and neat. Guardian (Ⅰ) full wetsuits can keep you warm, help you float more easily, and help you master swimming and diving skills faster.
When we try on the wetsuit, we will try to bend our knees or bend over. If it is too uncomfortable or restricts movements significantly, then we may need one size up.
Pinch the wetsuit to separate it away from the body and so we will check the excess space. If we manage to do it too easily and an air pocket is created, the suit is also too big. Keep in mind that the neoprene feels tighter on land than it will result in water.
In short, the best wetsuit has to move when we move. It must have the exact size so that when we submerge the water it will penetrate like a pump that sucks it from the outside, creating a thin layer that reduces the cold.
Another important factor when choosing a good wetsuit is to consider its length with respect to how it will protect our joints from the elements. You may have the right fit for the body, but if we have too long arms or legs, the suit may be somewhat short, exposing the wrists and ankles.
On the other hand, if the arms or legs of the wetsuit are too long, it will not create the proper seal on the joints and water can easily penetrate through them. Again, this steals heat from the body allowing cold water from outside to enter the suit.
A suitable two piece suit
Some divers prefer a two-piece wetsuit , as it can offer greater mobility. Both pieces must fit perfectly against the body.
The two-piece suit is a more voluminous option, but it can provide more heat around its core. They usually have a hood attached to the top, so be sure to check that the hood fits comfortably over the head, creating a tight seal around the face.
If the hood is too tight , it can cause tension in the neck and headache, so it is crucial to check the size correctly.
Different types of wet suits
The most common sizes are 0.5 mm, 2 mm, 3 mm, 5 mm, 6.5 mm and 7 mm. Sometimes there are also different thicknesses used in a suit. There are different models for a suit such as the short suit, the jumpsuit, the long john, the farmer john (jane for women), a full suit or a two-piece suit. The short suit covers the upper torso, arms and legs. The jumpsuit is made up of one piece and covers the entire legs. The farmer john is like a bib pants. The two-piece suit usually consists of a jumpsuit or farmer john and a loose jumpsuit or a thin shorty. Two-piece suits are popular because they have a fairly large temperature range.
In general, it can be said that in warm tropical water (27 degrees or more) it is enough to have a suit with a thickness between 1 or 3 mm. It is possible to have enough with a short suit. If you are going to dive in water between 20 or 27 degrees, you need a suit with a thickness between 4 or 6 mm. If you enter to snorkel or dive in water less than 20 degrees you need a wet suit with a minimum thickness of 7 mm or a two-piece wet suit.
When diving (or snorkeling) in cold water (below 10 degrees Celsius) it is necessary to wear a dry suit. With a dry suit your clothes underneath are kept … dry. Then the water does not enter and the air that is between your body and suit is heated so that the heat can be maintained. Diving with a dry suit is very different from diving with a wet suit. The amount of air in the suit can be regulated. Of course the air in the suit affects buoyancy and therefore neutral buoyancy. For example, when he ascends he has to release the air from his suit.
This type of combination is a hybrid between wetsuits and diving suits. Composed of 4 to 7 mm thick neoprene, this semi-waterproof suit isolates almost completely from the water, thanks to its sleeves and back closure. Its thermal protection is less flexible than a wet suit and the inability to inject air into the interior results in greater compression in the body depending on the depth.
- – Perfect for water with a temperature between 10 ° C and 20 ° C
- – An excellent result thanks to the ease of use of the wetsuit and the thermal comfort of a waterproof suit
- – Less water circulation, allowing better insulation than with wet combinations
- – A combination of one piece
- – This combination requires less weight
- – No training is needed to use this suit
This suit is used mainly by divers experienced throughout the year in cold or very cold waters, and also by sports or technical divers who occasionally submerge in cold places. The dry suit is the final bulwark against water, completely isolating the body from the dangerous liquid. This type of suit comes in three different models, the wetsuit, the compressed wetsuit, and the trilaminated combination consisting of three layers of different fabrics with less insulation power, but with greater resistance to breakage. For each model, the clothes you wear under your suit fulfill the function of thermal protection. For trilaminate, several layers of clothing are recommended. This combination model requires a different use of wet and semi-wet suits. There is an inflator connected to the air cylinder to inject air into it. This mechanism prevents compression when the pressure is increased during immersion. The injected gas forms an air layer that serves as thermal insulation. Be careful, since the air has a real impact on your buoyancy. The gas circulates freely inside your suit and can become concentrated in the lower part of the body causing an uncontrolled ascent, with the feet up.
- – Perfect for cold and very cold water
- – No contact with water
- – Need for less weight
- – It is necessary to learn how to use it
- – More experience
Best drysuit for you
1. Stohlquist Amp Drysuit with Tunnel Drysuit
- Waterproof/breathable 4-Layer Twin Sensor, Relaxed fit
- MasterSeal waterproof cross-chest entry and relief zippers
- Neoprene coated Duraseal latex neck and wrist gaskets with adjustable neoprene wrist over-cuffs
- Attached, universal fit fabric drysocks, built-in tunnel, zippered arm pocket, reflective panels.
- Cordura reinforced seat and knees with mesh drainers and articulated armored knees.
2. Hollis Men’s NEOTEK Semi-Drysuit
- 8/7/6 mm mix of compression resistant and superstretch neoprene
- Exclusive “ThermaSkin” inner liner. G-lock horizontal front zipper with internal bib
- Neck, Wrist and Ankle internal dams. Seams are quadruple glued and butt joined with a blindstitch
- Liquid glued seams cover entire suit. Technically-friendly thigh pockets on both left and right thigh for storage of accessories
- Seams sewn and double taped for extreme protection. Attached hood standard
3. Stohlquist Bunny Insulating Suit, Blue, Large
- 4″ high
- 7″ wide
- Should fit snug, but not too tight
Different types of drysuits
The distinction between the various dry suits has been made by the materials, the place of the zippers and if there are booties or tops attached to the suit. Most dry suits for recreational or technical diving are made of neoprene or trilaminate. A wetsuit is more flexible and fits better than a trilaminate suit. It also has greater thermal insulation. The great advantage of a trilaminate suit is that it always has the same buoyancy so it is ideal for neutral buoyancy.
There are diving suits that combine properties of dry suits and wet suits: the semi-dry suit. The biggest difference is in the seams, the joints and the dry zipper. Through this closure, the shape of the seam and the joints of the arms, legs and neck there is less water flow. As a result the water stays longer in the suit and stays warm for longer.
T shirts or rashguards are usually made of lycra and nylon or polyester and are not suitable for diving. They have little isolation but they do protect it from the sun, rocks and underwater life. They can be worn under a wet or dry suit for additional insulation. They are more suitable for swimming and snorkeling in hot water.
What diving suit to wear depends on your personal preference and physical characteristics (Do you feel fast cold?). You also have to take the following factors into account.
Where are you going to dive? In tropical waters, in the Mediterranean Sea or do you prefer under the ice? The water temperature determines the thickness of the suit and whether it has to cover the entire body or not. The deeper you dive, the colder it is. The depth also has an effect on the diving suit itself. The deeper it goes, the more the insulating effect of the material decreases due to water pressure.
The duration of the dive also affects the type of suit you should wear. If you want to dive for a long time you need a thicker diving suit. Also the number of times you dive, body temperature (and thermal sensation) and the condition of the suit (is the suit already dry again?) If you want to dive again this can influence. What is your diving style? Do you like to move a lot in the water or do you prefer to be floating? In the latter case it is advisable to wear a thicker diving suit.
How to choose the thickness of your suit?
The principle is very simple: the colder the water, the thicker the diving suit will have to be. You can consult our temperature / thickness correspondence table given as an indication. Other external factors may affect these data such as your age, body mass, fatigue, diving frequency, etc.
Water temperature / thickness
- – Above 28 ° C = vest, top, short diving suit or 3mm suit for people sensitive to cold
- – Between 25 and 27 ° C = 3 mm full neoprene
- – Between 21 and 25 ° C 5 mm full suit
- – Between 17 and 20 ° C = 7 mm full suit with hood
- – Between 13 and 17 ° C = 7 mm full suit with hood plus vest
- – Between 10 and 15 ° C = semi-dry suit
- – Less than 10 ° C = dry continuation suit
Don’t forget that you can complete your diving set with a pair of gloves, slippers and a hood. The latter is highly recommended when the water temperature is quite low (below 20 ° C). In fact, a diver loses 80% of his body heat through the head.
What size diving suit?
Finding the ideal diving suit model can be difficult, as there are numerous models, ranges and brands. Arm yourself with patience and above all try different diving suits before finding the one that best suits you. Under no circumstances should you wear a suit that only serves your neck and chest. You must feel free while moving.
- You can’t know how the suit will really be before the first dive. That’s why it is advisable to first rent a suit and if you like it, you can always buy it later.
- Physical characteristics such as height and weight, body fat and metabolism affect heat management. Do you feel cold fast? Then choose a thicker wetsuit.
- In hot weather, put on your suit just before diving if you can’t overheat quickly.
- Consider the amount of lead. Different types of diving suits have different effects on their buoyancy. If you dive for example with several layers, you will need more lead.
- Use a hood in cold water because a lot of heat is lost through the head.
Keep in mind when testing a dry suit that the inflator and ventilation valve can be operated.
- Note that the suit is not too tight and that you can put your fins on yourself.
Wear the fins when you are going to try the dry suit.