Choosing the Best Wetsuit for Scuba Diving

Wet suites that are designed for scuba diving come in various thicknesses. Most wetsuit models will feature 7mm, 5mm, or 3mm thickness, while there’s also wetsuits designed for warm water diving that come in 2mm and 1mm versions. Should you locate a wetsuit where the thickness is represented by two numbers, for instance, 3/2mm, you will see that the first number is for torso thickness, while the second number is for legs and arms. To help you choose the right thickness, simply remember that 2mm is for temperatures above 85° F, 3mm is for temperatures between 70 – 85° F, 5mm is for temperatures between 60 – 70° F and 7mm is for temperatures between 50 – 70° F.

Style


You will notice that scuba diving wetsuits come in three style options, including farmer john, full, and shorties. A farmer john wetsuit is essentially a two piece wetsuit. The first piece is an overall (sleeveless top with long legs), while the second piece is basically a jacket. This is ideal for extremely cold water as it provides double insulation for your core.
A full wetsuit provides more warmth when compared to a shorty wetsuit and will protect your legs and arms from jellyfish and coral that you might encounter underwater. A shorty wetsuit basically has short sleeves and stops just above your knee. They are ideal for warmer weather and is much easier to get into.

Material

Wetsuits for scuba diving come in three material types, including lycra, closed cell neoprene, and open cell neoprene. A lycra wetsuit provides a thin layer of protection and is best suited for warm water diving. Although they don’t feature thermal insulation, they do protect you from the sun, rocks underwater, sharp corals, and jellyfish.

Closed cell neoprene scuba diving wetsuits is considered the most common between the three options. They offer a rubbery feel and are very rigid. While they last longer and cost less when compared to open cell wetsuits, there are certain downsides. They don’t insulate like open cell wetsuits and are far more difficult to put on or take off. Open cell wetsuits offer the best quality. They are more flexible and softer than the other three options. They also offer more efficient insulation and provides an incredible range of motion underwater.

Stitching Construction

You will find a total of three seam constructions, including blind stitch, flat stitch and overlock stitch. An overlock stitch is essentially stitched on the inside of the wetsuit which means you won’t find any stitching on the outside. It’s perfect for warm water as it might seep through the seams at times. Flatlock or flat stitch wetsuits resemble railroad tracks and can be seen from the outside. It’s also far more comfortable than an overlock stitch.

A blind stitch almost looks like a flat stitch, but it’s far more narrower. Blind stitch wetsuits are best suited for cold water as the seams are stitched and glued together. This will prevent any seepage while scuba diving as well.