to top 10 table

Best Diving Wetsuits

last updated Mar 26, 2019

If you are a professional, recreational, or even an up-and-coming diver who wants to explore the vast wonders of the ocean, you either will find out or already understand how many pieces to the puzzle that there are. It just so happens that owning a diving wetsuit (or drysuit) is another one of the seemingly infinite numbers of pieces in the giant puzzle known as diving.

A wetsuit will completely alter your diving experience as they are designed to keep you warm, comfortable, flexible and protected while under water. There are some key design features to keep an eye out for, however, and that is why you are here today. Enjoy, as you learn all you need to know about diving wetsuits.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research

icon
Xcel Thermoflex
99.5/100 our score
Materials
100
Protection
100
Comfort
99
Overall Fit
99
Xcel Thermoflex
Why is it better?

Features a semi-dry back zipper for enhanced protection

Ideal for deep water diving

Designed with durable DuraFlex knee panels

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Xcel Thermoflex
Test Winner: Xcel Thermoflex
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
12
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1,689
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
14
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Sami Kritz
By Sami Kritz:

Finding the right diving wetsuit will you keep safe and comfortable underwater. In this update, we have organized the descriptions of each product and added an "Other Factors to Consider" section. With our new interactive layout, you can vote on which criterion is most important to you, and then re-order the list accordingly! If you have any questions, don't forget to check out the FAQ!

Sorting Options
Materials Protection Comfort Overall Fit By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99.5
Materials
100 %
Protection
100 %
Comfort
99 %
Overall Fit
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$389.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99
Materials
99 %
Protection
99 %
Comfort
99 %
Overall Fit
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$199.95
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Materials
98 %
Protection
99 %
Comfort
98 %
Overall Fit
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$449.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
Materials
98 %
Protection
97 %
Comfort
97 %
Overall Fit
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$369.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Materials
98 %
Protection
97 %
Comfort
96 %
Overall Fit
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$99.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Materials
96 %
Protection
96 %
Comfort
95 %
Overall Fit
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$118.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Materials
96 %
Protection
95 %
Comfort
94 %
Overall Fit
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$329.95
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Materials
94 %
Protection
94 %
Comfort
92 %
Overall Fit
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$199.00
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Materials
92 %
Protection
90 %
Comfort
93 %
Overall Fit
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$284.95
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Materials
90 %
Protection
92 %
Comfort
89 %
Overall Fit
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$114.95

Top 10 Picks

1. Xcel Thermoflex

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99.5
Xcel Thermoflex
Amazon Link
Materials
100
Protection
100
Comfort
99
Overall Fit
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$389.95
Pros:

Features a semi-dry back zipper for enhanced protection

Ideal for deep water diving

Designed with durable DuraFlex knee panels

Cons:

One user noted the fit in the elbows was tight

Not all wetsuits are tailored to cold and deeper waters but the 7/6mm Thermoflex Wetsuit most certainly is. From top to bottom, you would be hard-pressed to find a more impressive wetsuit for either warm water or cold water.

Read more

Materials
Due to the 7/6mm makeup, this is an ideal wetsuit for deep water diving. The 7/6mm is made up of ultra-stretch neoprene and this provides you with the freedom of movement you crave.

Durability and Protection
To ensure no cold water can seep into your suit, the semi-dry back zipper and seamless drylock waist are integrated. Additionally, the suit is designed with DuraFlex knee panels to help minimize wear-and-tear.

The glued and blind-stitched seam design keeps water out and the seamless drylock wrist seals are an exclusive technology to enhance comfort.

Comfort
Adequate padding has been designed around the legs and the midsection. Coupled with this is a plush liner and this combination increases the overall comfort. Also, the ankle zipper system implements inner flaps for even more comfort.

Overall Fit
One user, who noted he was quite tall, pointed out that the fit of this wetsuit was a bit tight in the elbows. No matter, there are a wide number of sizes to select from (from small to 4X-large).

Overall
It is not a real surprise to see so many diving enthusiasts rave about the design and performance presented by the Thermoflex Wetsuit. Taller folks may have to put up with some tightness around the elbow, but that is about it.

2. Mares Flexa

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99
Mares Flexa
Amazon Link
Materials
99
Protection
99
Comfort
99
Overall Fit
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$199.95
Pros:

The new zipper design will not dig into your body

Integrated glued and blind-stitched seams enhance protection

There are varied thicknesses of neoprene used throughout

Cons:

One user noted that the measurement guide was not accurate

The Flexa Wetsuit has a long list of incredible features but what will have divers enamored is the varied thicknesses of neoprene that are used throughout. This allows the Flexa to increase the flexibility and warmth in necessary locations.

Read more

Materials
Throughout the body of the Flexa, there are variable thicknesses of the Trilastic material. The reason this is dubbed the 5.4.3. Wetsuit is there are five, four, and three-millimeter thicknesses of neoprene in specific locations.

Durability and Protection
An additional layer of neoprene has been stitched into the back of this wetsuit for added protection against leaking water.

A rather ingenious design is at work here. Mares uses a glued and blind-stitched seam and they do so with a hooked needle. Basically, it does not fully penetrate the neoprene and prevents a passage for water to go through.

Comfort
The new zipper on the Flexa is not going to dig into your skin and it even comes with a smooth neoprene flap for additional comfort and pleasure.

Overall Fit
There are sizes available from small all the way up to XXX-large. Now, be wary, one user pointed out the inaccuracies of the measurement guide and noted it was two sizes wrong.

Overall
While you need to be careful with the fitting as the measurement guide may be misleading, the strategically placed levels of thickness allow this suit to deliver flexibility and warmth where it is needed the most.

3. Hollis Neotek

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Hollis Neotek
Amazon Link
Materials
98
Protection
99
Comfort
98
Overall Fit
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$449.95
Pros:

Comes in several different size options up to XXX-large

Fitted with gusseted pockets on both sides

Can be used for waters colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit

Cons:

Some buyers have reported some quality issues with the pockets

You need someone to help you zip the suit

Right from the get-go, it is obvious that this is not a normal wetsuit. First off, it sports gusseted pockets that can hold your essential items. However, it also sports seams that are quadruple glued and covered with a liquid seam.

Read more

Materials
This is one the thickest wetsuits on this list; at least, in certain areas. Much like the previous wetsuit, this has neoprene thicknesses of eight, seven, and six millimeters throughout. Overall, the neoprene used is compression-resistant.

Durability and Protection
Both the arms and the legs are properly sealed to prevent water from sneaking through. In addition to this, the tight barrier around the neck also assists in keeping water out.

All the seams that have been sewn into the Neotek Wetsuit have been quadruple glued and then butt joined with a blind stitch. All of which is covered by a unique liquid seam.

Comfort
One experienced diver of 15 years left a review of the Neotek and they claimed it was the most comfortable wetsuit that they had ever owned. Wow, that is saying something.

Overall Fit
Sizes are available from small to XXX-large and there have not been too many buyers who have complained about sizing inconsistencies. All in all, it seems true-to-size.

Overall
What makes this wetsuit tick are its unbelievable neoprene construction and its high-quality seams. Other factors are involved, such as its comfort and fitting, but that is reason enough to make a serious push for this product.

4. ScubaPro Everflex

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
ScubaPro Everflex
Amazon Link
Materials
98
Protection
97
Comfort
97
Overall Fit
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$369.00
Pros:

Accommodates sizes all the way up to 5X-large

It is assembled with a solvent-free water-based glue

The single blind-stitched seams ensure ideal comfort

Cons:

The arms and legs only sport 2mm thicknesses

Although the Everflex is one of the thinner wetsuits on this list, it still remains one of the best because of its all-out performance. Plus, as ScubaPro uses fewer seams and panels than other wetsuits, it allows for maximum flexibility.

Read more

Materials
Right from the start, it is worth bringing up the solvent-free water-based glue that this wetsuit is assembled with. But, it gets better, as the Everflex utilizes an X-foam formulation of 100 percent neoprene.

Durability and Protection
Do not let the 3mm construction confuse you; this is capable of providing excellent thermal protection. In fact, thanks to the superior materials and construction, it can rival the water protection of other thicker wetsuits.

Double blind-stitched seams are used for the outer portion of this wetsuit for enhanced water-tightness. However, the single blind-stitched inner seams provide the comfort you need against bare skin.

Comfort
The multi-thickness panels deliver a superb combination of flexibility and warmth. On top of this, the aforementioned single blind-stitched inner seams feel great against your skin.

Overall Fit
Amazingly, there are sizing options from small to 5X-large with options for tall and short for some of the options. Truth be told, you would be hard-pressed to find a size that is not suitable for you.

Overall
Some may be scared off by the slightly thinner neoprene material but the reality is, this performs better than you would expect it to. Plus, as it uses fewer seams than other designs, it manages to provide outstanding flexibility.

5. Hyperflex Cyclone

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Hyperflex Cyclone
Amazon Link
Materials
98
Protection
97
Comfort
96
Overall Fit
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$99.99
Pros:

Features a durable YKK zipper

Designed with a 100 percent stretch neoprene

Sports a water entry barrier for enhanced waterproofness

Cons:

One woman was not too fond of the neck attachment

Women around the world will quickly fall in love with the Cyclone Wetsuit as it not only is crafted of four-way stretch neoprene but it also features a new water barrier along the back zipper to prevent water from seeping through.

Read more

Materials
Hyperflex could have simply designed their wetsuit with normal neoprene and called it good. But, they decided to go all-out with their Quantum Foam neoprene which provides 100 percent four-way stretch capabilities.

Durability and Protection
Another fantastic and noteworthy feature of the Cyclone is the new water barrier along the back zipper. As the name suggests, this enhances the water protection of the zipper. Plus, the zipper is made with a corrosion-resistant metal slider.

With the glued and double-stitched seams, Hyperflex has ensured that water will have a tough time entering this suit.

Comfort
Several users have raved about the comfort delivered from this wetsuit. With that said, though, there was a buyer who was not fond of the neck attachment of the Cyclone.

Overall Fit
It seems like you may need to go a size or two up, maybe even more. One specific reviewer kindly pointed out that the included sizing chart may be a bit inaccurate and misleading.

Overall
There really is so much to love and be fond of that it is hard to summarize the Cyclone. It could just be the best women’s wetsuit in the world today and it is headlined by its double blind-stitched seams, water barrier zipper, and advanced neoprene.

6. Henderson Thermoprene

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Henderson Thermoprene
Amazon Link
Materials
96
Protection
96
Comfort
95
Overall Fit
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$118.99
Pros:

Provides an excellent performance at an affordable price

You can easily layer clothes underneath

The exterior holds up very well to wear

Cons:

A few buyers claimed the fit was too tight

Henderson proves that a wetsuit does not need to be outrageously priced to be of high-quality. Their Thermoprene is not going to break your bank but it will perform as well or better than other wetsuits of higher price. Is there anything more you could ask for?

Read more

Materials
This is the 3mm version of the Thermoprene but all of them utilize Henderson’s own thermoprene neoprene. As opposed to traditional neoprene, this boasts 180 percent more stretch.

Durability and Protection
Overall, the exterior of this wetsuit holds up well to wear and tear and part of the reason why is the neoprene is laminated with abrasion-resistant fabric. Plus, the flap of neoprene behind the zipper provides enhanced water protection.

Each and every one of the seams has been glued and blind-stitched to prevent any water from even thinking about penetrating the core of this wetsuit.

Comfort
As opposed to standard neoprene, Henderson’s advanced material provides enhanced flexibility and comfort. In addition, the edges of the cuffs are Lycra trimmed which eliminates chafing.

Overall Fit
While a few buyers have expressed their opinions that the wetsuit was too snug for them, the suit is designed with a front zipper for easy access and comes in a plethora of different sizes.

Overall
For some people, they will completely dismiss a product like this because they automatically assume the lower price represents a cheaper and lower-quality item. However, Henderson proves this “theory” to be nothing more than user paranoia.

7. Bare Velocity

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Bare Velocity
Amazon Link
Materials
96
Protection
95
Comfort
94
Overall Fit
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$329.95
Pros:

Designed to fit all people and sizes

The back knee flex panels add comfort when you kick

Key areas are highlighted for flexibility

Cons:

Not that big of a step up from their 3mm version

Yet another highly impressive wetsuit is the Velocity from Bare. The company uses full-stretch technology to achieve excellent durability and also utilizes seamless underarms for enhanced comfort.

Read more

Materials
Bare utilizes what they dub progressive full-stretch technology for their Velocity Wetsuit. Basically, this construction method combines three different types of full-stretch materials to deliver a mid to cold-water suit.

Durability and Protection
The 5mm contoured and ultra-comfortable glide-skin collar of the Velocity, with a 360-degree neck seal, minimizes the amount of water that can enter in. On top of this, the integrated knee protection provides wear and abrasion-resistance.

Seam Design
Underneath the arms have been left seamless for enhanced comfortability but the main seams are double glued with a Secure-Lock construction.

Comfort
Not only do the seamless underarms aid in the comfort of the Velocity, but so does the back knee flex panels. Basically, these panels are designed to add comfort whenever you are kicking or squatting.

Overall Fit
Mares engineered their Velocity Wetsuit with an anatomically correct pattern and this improves the overall fit. Not only that but the heavy-duty ankle zippers aid in donning and the Velcro collar is adjustable. Oh yeah, it also comes in several different sizes.

Overall
It is quite amazing how a wetsuit of this caliber lands so far down on this list. It truly goes to show the level of competition as all things considered, the Velocity Wetsuit is one of the most consistent and impressive designs out there.

8. Aqua Lung Hydroflex

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Aqua Lung Hydroflex
Amazon Link
Materials
94
Protection
94
Comfort
92
Overall Fit
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$199.00
Pros:

Several women commented on the superb style

The material will stretch 250 percent more than standard neoprene

The back zipper is equipped with a water shield

Cons:

Tends to fit slender women best as several users complain about the tightness

This is another ideal wetsuit for women looking to go diving. Now, one special note about the HydroFlex is that it tends to fit slender women better. It is not too forgiving to women who are slightly bigger (not taller), so keep that in mind.

Read more

Materials
When Aqua Lung claims that their HydroFlex Wetsuit can stretch, they are certainly not exaggerating in the slightest. Their material is dubbed a super-stretch material and it is capable of stretching 250 percent more than traditional neoprene.

Durability and Protection
Both the back zipper, which is built with a water shield, and the hook-and-loop adjustable neck work together to provide added water protection for the HydroFlex. Also, the screened rubber knee pads aid in durability.

From top to bottom, the entire suit utilizes what is known as a flatlock stitch. While it can be prone to water penetration because of this method, it does aid in comfort and flexibility.

Comfort
To be honest, this wetsuit is so comfortable because of the flatlock stitching method incorporated throughout. In addition to this, the screened rubber knee pads also add comfort on top of durability.

Overall Fit
Here is the deal; this wetsuit is better tailored for slender women. The general consensus amongst users and buyers is that the larger sizes accommodate taller women. As such, the fit is going to be too tight for some of you.

Overall
While the HydroFlex is not going to be suitable for all women in the world, it still remains one of the best for those who can properly fit inside of it. Still, it would have been nice if Aqua Lung accounted for a wider demographic.

9. O'Neill Heat

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
O'Neill Heat
Amazon Link
Materials
92
Protection
90
Comfort
93
Overall Fit
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$284.95
Pros:

Utilizes a silicone-based urethane seal

Worth it alone for the fluid seams

Features an external key pocket

Cons:

One user reported the back leaked

Another buyer complained about water getting stuck at the ankles

O’Neill certainly knows how to make a fantastic wetsuit and they actually close out this list with the final two. First up is their Heat Wetsuit and this has been engineered with superior technology that provides awesome protection underwater.

Read more

Materials
For a great combination of flexibility, warmth, and flexibility, O’Neill integrated 4/3mm UltraFlex DS neoprene fabric throughout their wetsuit. As such, it is suitable for early spring and late fall diving.

Durability and Protection
Both the chest and back panels add a necessary boost of insulation and the Covert Code Red back entry utilizes a ¾-length zipper that has been coated with urethane. To top it all off, the silicon-based urethane seal blocks all water out.

The Heat has been constructed with a fluid seam weld construction and this attempts to block all water out. Also, the seamless paddle zones manage to increase the amount of flexibility you are provided.

Comfort
That aforementioned silicone-based urethane seal manages to block out water without feeling restrictive or uncomfortable. Additionally, the double Super Seal neck offers soft comfort.

Overall Fit
From small all the way up to XXX-large, there are several sizing options available that should allow you to find the right fit for your body.

Overall
The Heat Wetsuit from O’Neill may not be a flawless or perfect model, but it delivers enough quality for the average diver to be more than satisfied. Hardcore perfectionists may not be satisfied as there are some slight flaws present, though.

10. O'Neill Reactor

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
O'Neill Reactor
Amazon Link
Materials
90
Protection
92
Comfort
89
Overall Fit
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$114.95
Pros:

All the seams are flat-lock stitched

Comes with a YKK back zipper

Features knee pads for enhanced durability

Cons:

Several users have complained about the stiffness and tightness

This version of O’Neill’s wetsuit, the Reactor, is intended for women. Granted you only dive in relatively warm temperatures, the Reactor will be a terrific addition to your diving ensemble.

Read more

Materials
To be clear right off the get-go, this is not a cold-water suit. Instead, the 3/2mm neoprene construction throughout allows this to be better suited for, as O’Neill recommends, temperatures of 69 degrees Fahrenheit to 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Durability and Protection
To enhance the insulation of the Reactor, the chest and the back feature thicker neoprene panels. Furthermore, the knee pads supply much-needed abrasion-resistance.

The flatlock stitching used in this wetsuit enables it to all-but eliminate chafing against the skin. However, it is prone to water penetration; hence, O’Neill recommends it strictly for warmer waters.

Comfort
Outside of the natural comfort that is delivered with the flat-seam construction, the neoprene sleeves are incredibly flexible and the internal flap also shields your skin from abrasions.

Overall Fit
O’Neill supplies women with several sizing options to choose from. With increments of two, you have the option of size 4 through size 16. Now, it is important to bring to your attention that several women found the fit to be too tight and stiff.

Overall
The Reactor is a terrific warm water diving wetsuit but if you are going to be traversing in colder and deeper waters, this just is not going to cut it. Either way, though, be wary of the sizing issues and make sure you order a size you are confident will not be overly stiff or tight.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

When it comes to diving wetsuits, you would be hard-pressed to find one that does not utilize some sort of neoprene. This is the “go-to” material for wetsuits and it is a synthetic polymer that is resistant to weathering. However, most modern wetsuits will not integrate normal neoprene throughout. To enhance the flexibility, you will see a lot of manufacturers integrate a special type of neoprene that offers increased stretching capabilities. Sometimes, even to the extreme of a massive increase of 250 percent more stretch. But, the thickness of the material is also important.

This specification, along with the seam design which will be discussed later, will signify what type of temperature the wetsuit is suitable for. The lower the thickness, the less thermal insulation it can provide. For example, a wetsuit with a two-millimeter thickness will only be suitable for warmer waters around 80 degrees. Yet, one that sports a thickness of 6.5 millimeters and beyond could be suited for waters colder than 50 degrees. Of course, some wetsuits will have variable thicknesses throughout to add warmth and flexibility where it is needed the most.

Protection

All wetsuits are waterproof but that does not mean they are all invulnerable to water penetration. One way to enhance a wetsuit’s water protection is to add specific features that will help resist water from seeping inside. As an example, look for seals at the neck, ankles, and wrists. No matter the type of seal, whether a smooth-skin seal or O-ring seal, it is best if they block water intrusion as these are three key areas in which water can penetrate. Also, the design of the zippers will come into play. Besides being designed to zip the wetsuit shut, they also should sport some kind of water barrier system, such as overlapping teeth, to keep water out.

Also, it is arguable but the seams could just be the most critical aspect of a wetsuit. To start off, you need to address how they are stitched. Given there are several different methods that will alter the performance, this is important. For starters, there is the basic stitching method known as overlock. To be honest, this is the least effective at keeping water out and is not implemented in higher-end wetsuits. Why do you think this is the first you have heard of it until now? Moving up the ladder, there is the flatlock stitching method. While this is tremendous when it comes to comfort, it does create holes and it can allow water to penetrate through.

However, there is one stitching method that rules them all and that is the blind-stitch. All you need to know is this method is the superior one for cold water diving and it is all but mandatory for colder waters. On top of this, you may also see wetsuits integrate a double blind-stitch and this stitches the reverse side for even more protection. Now, you also need to assess how the seams are glued or taped. A lot of times, you will see glued seams and this increases their strength and the waterproof seal. Of course, there are other methods such as a liquid tape which could be dubbed the ultimate seal as it practically creates a 100 percent waterproof seal.

Comfort

A lot of what has already been discussed could be copied and pasted in here as some of it alludes to comfort features. However, instead of mindlessly reiterating facts that have already been claimed this section is reserved to bring to your attention how important the comfort truly is. The last thing you want while diving is to be uncomfortable; so, your wetsuit should not be a nuisance to wear and dive with. Clearly, certain stitching methods aid in comfort but you should not be looking to sacrifice water protection (unless you only want to dive in warm waters).

Instead, look for certain features such as comfortable liners, inner flaps with the zipper system, and zippers that do not dig into your skin. Also, the flexibility and the warmth that wetsuits provide do go hand-in-hand with the comfort. The warmer you are and the less restricted you are, the more comfortable you will be. It is a matter of simple science, after all.

Overall Fit

If you have never tried on a wetsuit or a similar article of clothing, it is not going to fit the way you may think. It is normal to believe you have the wrong size right away due to the nature of the wetsuit and the neoprene construction. While it should not so snug to the point where you can’t breathe, it will fit you tighter than other clothes (that is the point). If a wetsuit is too loose, water will easily flow inside and it will negate the entire purpose of it.

Remember the key areas where water can intrude? Well, in these same areas (which would be the neck, ankles, and wrists, the fit needs to be snug and sealed. Again, though, it should not be too tight to the point of muscle restriction or suffocation. As you can’t try on a wetsuit if you order online, rely on customer feedback to see what actual buyers have to say about the fitting.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
ico Materials
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#2
ico Protection
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#3
ico Comfort
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#4
ico Overall Fit
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
expert tips icon
Temperature vs Thickness

To feel comfortable (temperature wise) underwater, it is recommended to match the thickness of your wetsuit to the temperature of the water that you'll be diving in. For an average water temperature of 73-79 degrees Fahrenheit, a thickness of about 3mm is ideal. If you are a naturally warm or cold person, you may want to adjust the thickness slightly.

Rinse

As with most items that are used below the sea, you need to be sure that you fully rinse the wetsuit with fresh water after getting out of the ocean. The salt water can slowly break down the durability of the suit, causing it to detoriate over time. Additionally, don't forget to take some time to scrub the zipper every now and again to keep it clean and zipping smoothly.

Other Factors to Consider

Durability

Not only for the cost of a wetsuit, but also for your protection, the durability of the wetsuit is vital. That is why you will see body armor integrated throughout each suit. There is no doubt that this protective gear will be put through the wringer. While the knee pads will help add coverage for the knee and leg area, armor such as anti-abrasion patches on high-wear areas (at the shoulders, for example) can significantly aid in the overall durability of the wetsuit.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How do you store a wetsuit?

a:

When winter approaches and the lakes begin to freeze, it is time to retire your scuba equipment for the season. However, how should you go about storing your wetsuit, in particular? Sure, you could just throw it down on the ground without a care but given the expensive nature of high-end wetsuits, you should take proper care of it. So, that means that before you even think about storing it away for the winter, you need to thoroughly wash it and dry it before doing so (which will be discussed in a little bit).

Once it is free of moisture, you need to find a dry and cool location to store your wetsuit. It is best to avoid extreme temperatures, such as in an attic or in direct sunlight, as this can degrade the neoprene that comprises the wetsuit. But, there is a bit of leeway on how you store it as it can either be laid flat our hung up. Avoid bending it as the creases may become permanent.

q: Do I need a wetsuit or a drysuit for scuba diving?

a:

Are you aware that there are not only wetsuits for diving but also drysuits? While this guide was intended to focus directly on wetsuits, this is an interesting question in regards to both of them. Scuba diving is the most intense diving you can perform as it requires a breathing apparatus and you are typically diving well below the surface. For scuba diving, warm water suits are not going to cut it as the deeper you go, the colder the water becomes. This is where drysuits are nice as they are optimized for extremely cold diving.

Yet, if a wetsuit is thick enough and sealed with the best stitching and tape it could be suitable for scuba diving; it just depends on how cold the water is. Dry suits are probably better tailored towards extremely cold waters.

q: Can a wetsuit be altered if it does not fit correctly?

a:

Nothing can ruin a wetsuit quicker than one that does not fit right. Literally, it is unusable before you even go diving unless you want to put up with it; which is not recommended in the slightest. However, what if you do receive a wetsuit that is not fitting you correctly; is there anything you can do about it? Besides contacting the seller to alert them of your problem with the size, probably not as there is little you can do. But, some dive shops will offer their services to alter the size of a wetsuit. There are two primary issues with this method, though. Firstly, you need to live close to a trusted and certified dive shop. Secondly, they will charge you an arm and a leg for it, most likely.

At the end of the day, see what the seller can do for you. Hopefully, you can merely swap your wetsuit with another one to try to find the right size.

q: Are linings a necessary component for a wetsuit?

a:

If you are unsure that the wetsuit you are looking at is going to be warm enough for you, you may want to consider linings. See, when a lining is added to a wetsuit it does wonders for the warmth as it improves the thermal properties of the wetsuit itself. This can be ideal if you are planning on diving in waters that creep under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, again, as you dive deeper the water continuously gets colder and the extra insulation may be necessary.

Past the warmth, a lining can also a very soft and comfortable feel, depending on the lining. For example, plush linings will significantly increase the feel and comfort of your dive.

q: How do you wash your wetsuit?

a:

Eventually, all of your scuba equipment will need a good old fashioned washing. The wetsuit is certainly no exception and in fact, is one of the most necessary pieces of gear to wash of the entire ensemble. If you go too long without washing your wetsuit, you will probably notice it give off a potent and funky smell. Depending on the severity of the wetsuit, you may be able to get away with soaking it in cold water (such as from a garden hose) as this will wash away any nasty contaminants such as salt.

But, if you do notice it start to smell, a more necessary action may be required. What you can do is fill a bathtub with cold water and either add a small dose of mild liquid soap or special wetsuit shampoo (which you can order online). From there, it is time to scrub away and be sure to spend extra time on the most potent areas (such as the armpits).

q: Can you wash a wetsuit in the washing machine?

a:

Speaking of washing a wetsuit, this is a question that most people will either ask or be thinking of. After all, why would someone hand-wash something when they can allow a machine to do all the work for them? So, can you indeed wash a wetsuit in a washing machine? Well, the issue comes down to the neoprene.

See, neoprene can become damaged in the washing machine if you are not careful. It may be best to avoid it but if you must, do so on a slow spin cycle with cold water. Also, wash it by itself and avoid standard washing powder to keep the neoprene in pristine condition.

Sources

  1. Leisure Pro, 10 Best Wetsuits for Diving, Online Scuba Magazine
  2. Brian Smith, Best Scuba Diving Wetsuits 2019 – Buyer’s Guide, Diving Blog