Scuba wetsuits are an important part of your diving ensemble.
They do more than just keep you warm in colder waters.
They also aid in buoyancy and even help to protect you from abrasive surfaces to a certain extent.
These factors, and others are why it is so important to get the best wetsuits for you.
We decided to closely inspect and test the more popular suits to determine which ones were actually worth their price tag.
Best Scuba Wetsuits
These are the scuba wetsuits options that we found to be of greatest value:
The following scuba wetsuits are made from durable materials, have excellent insulation properties, and allow for enough of movement underwater.
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How to Choose the Best Scuba Wetsuit
In order to find a scuba wetsuit that is right for you, you need to be armed with the proper information.
This guide will help you understand all of the components involved in choosing a scuba wetsuit. This is what you need to know:
Scuba Specific Tag
Wetsuits are not just used for diving and snorkeling. Numerous people also wear them while surfing or trying out other watersports.
“However, these wetsuits are not interchangeable with scuba suits”
Scuba wetsuits have been specifically designed to withstand the conditions present beneath the water.
This means that these suits are better equipped to keep you warm, despite the lower temperatures and the pressure underwater. They have also been designed with buoyancy in mind.
Therefore, when shopping for a scuba wetsuit, you need to make certain that it is scuba specific.
Full Dive Suits vs. Short Dive Suits
The most common designs for wetsuits are the full suit and shorty designs. A full suit offers coverage for the entire length of the arms and the legs. This is why they are used in cooler climates, where divers need a greater amount of insulation. Since they cover the majority of your body, these suits are also useful for protecting your skin from abrasive surfaces or underwater creatures.
What the shorty suits offer is freedom of movement. Since your limbs are less restricted, you are able to use them with ease. These suits are usually only adequate for the warmest of waters, however, or if you will be diving or snorkeling close to shore.
Perhaps even more important than the design of the suit is the thickness of the material. Scuba wetsuits are available in various thicknesses. They typically range from 2mm to 7mm. When choosing the thickness, you will need to take into consideration the temperature of the waters you are diving in. However personal factors also have an impact on this decision. For instance, certain individuals are more or less likely to feel the cold and will require a suit that works in accordance to these tendencies.
As a rule of thumb, however, you can wear a 2mm suit if you will be diving in waters above 29°C or 85°F. A suit with a thickness of 3mm will be appropriate for water between 21°C and 28°C (70°F – 85°F). A 5mm suit is good for temperatures above 16°C (60°F). Nonetheless, for temperatures below 20°C, you may require a 7mm suit. For lower temperatures, you will have to don gloves, booties, and perhaps even a hood to stay warm.
|3mm||21°C – 28°C (70°F – 85°F)|
|5mm||>16°C (> 60°F)|
There are two instances, in particular, where you will need to choose warmer suits. The first is if you tend to dive at greater depths. The farther down that you dive, the more compressed your suit gets. This causes it to lose some of the insulating properties. The other reason for a warmer suit would be if you will be doing consecutive dives within a short period of time. These divers may have a greater susceptibility to the cold.
The best scuba wetsuits are either made completely or largely of neoprene. Neoprene rubber is made up of millions of gas bubbles that are trapped inside the structure of the material. This is what gives the suits their insulation properties. Therefore, when a small amount of water enters the suit, your body heat warms it and the neoprene allows it to remain at this temperature, thus ensuring that you remain warm. Furthermore, the suit doesn’t need to remain dry to keep you insulated.
There are different types of neoprene, however. The best – and the most expensive – is gas blown neoprene. This consists of numerous nitrogen gas bubbles in the material. Due to this, it withstands compression due to continuous pressure while diving. This makes the suit more durable, allowing you to use it for a longer period of time.
Then there is the chemical blown neoprene. This material is cheaper and also a bit more comfortable than the gas blown option. However, when you use it over and over again, the suit is bound to lose its insulation more quickly.
Front Zipper vs. Back Zipper
Front zippers tend to be popular since they are easier to use. Because you can reach it, you don’t need someone else to help you get into your suit. Back zippers, however, are best if you want durability. This is because they don’t have to contend with as much movement or the stretching of the neoprene. Therefore, these zippers typically last longer. Many divers find that they also offer a better fit.
Seams and Stitching
The ways that the seams on the suit are constructed will determine just how long a particular suit will last. There are several types of stitching for the seams:
- Glued stitch: this involves a stretch of glue placed over the seams. When used alone, this method doesn’t offer a lot of durability. However, when used along with other stitching methods, the glued stitch improves the comfort of the suit.
- Over-lock stitch: this stitch, too, will not last for all that long. It is achieved by sewing the two edges of the neoprene together. This is typically found on lower end scuba wetsuits.
- Flatlock stitch: this is one of the more comfortable stitches. It involves two overlapping pieces of neoprene and the stitch joining them together. This works best when combined with a glued stitch.
- Blind stitch: the blind stitch is the strongest of all of the stitches. The material is first glued together and then stitched on both sides. These stitches are interlocked with one another which makes it an incredibly strong seam.
One of the most difficult aspects of choosing the right wetsuit is the fit. One of the reasons why it is so hard to find the proper size is because each manufacturer has their own sizing chart. Therefore, you may find that you need a different size from one wetsuit to the next.
The sizing charts available with most suits should make it a little easier to find the right fit. In the end, however, it is only after donning the wetsuit that you can truly determine whether or not it is the one for you.
You will need a snug fitting suit. This limits how much water can be stored in the suit. While a thin layer of water is required, anything more than will take a longer time to heat up. While it does need to fit close to your body, you should avoid getting anything that will restrict your movement too much. Of course, you should remember that what may seem restrictive when dry can actually become more stretchable under water.
Another to keep in mind is the fit around your wrists, neck, and ankles. These are the points through which the water can enter into the suit. The better the fit around your body, the less likely that water will seep in.
The Best Scuba Wetsuits Reviews
Below, you will find detailed reviews regarding the scuba wetsuits that we have determined to be the best.
Why You Should Get It: The Bare Velocity 5mm strikes an excellent balance between insulation and movement, giving you greater mobility.
Who This Is For: This is a great buy for scuba divers who like to get a little more active on their dives, for instance, by spearfishing.
Why We Like It: What we liked most about this suit was that it was constructed so well. The company has pinpointed the areas of the body that require the greatest amount of flex. Here there are full stretch fabrics that allow you to move more fluidly and comfortably.
The wetsuit also consists of a Glideskin collar. This forms a seal around the neck completely and even helps the water to stop coming through at the zipper. There are also similar seals midway up the arms and the calves. This, too, minimizes the amount of water entering the suit.
The suit makes it more comfortable to kick as it comes equipped with back knee flex panels. The front of the knee is well designed too. There is PROTEKT knee protection that protects you from abrasions while reducing the amount of wear and damage to this area. To top all of this off, the seams are double glued and have SECURE-LOCK seam stitching.
At 5mm, this wetsuit is more than capable of keeping you warm in moderate to cold waters. Due to the stretch of the material, it is also a lot easier to find a suit that fits right.
- 100% Super-Stretch throughout the entire suit will stretch 200% more than standard neoprene
- Better fit and mobility, due to its super stretch capabilities
- Adjustable Velcro collar - helps keep cold out
- Zippered Ankles provide comfortable fit, tight seal
- Knee pads provide exceptional grip and durability, Back Zip with Leash (pull cord)
Why You Should Get It: The Mares Flexa 8/6/5 wetsuit is perfect for staying warm even in the coldest of waters.
Who This is For: This is best suited for divers who want to brave cold water but still require a suit that is flexible enough to allow for movement.
Why We Like It: The Mares Flexa is composed of varying thickness throughout the suit. The torso, where all of your main organs are located, is made of 8mm neoprene. This ensures that your core is kept warm, regardless of the water temperature. The arms and legs are made up of 6mm neoprene while the neck, wrists, and ankles have 5mm of material. This is done so that there is a balance achieved between insulation and flexibility. To add to the warmth offered by this suit, there is also a Therma Plush interior. This thermal layer creates even more warmth inside of the suit.
The distinctive knee pads are Supratech anti-scratch polyurethane. This helps to protect the knees of the suit from wearing out or from being scratched even when rubbed against abrasive surfaces. The zipper as well as the way the wetsuit has been designed makes it a lot easier to take this suit on and off.
- 100% ultra-stretch Neoprene resulting unparalleled comfort & freedom of movement
- Custom neck closure eliminates snagging suit materials
- Trilastic Material, Thermo Plush Inside, Back Zipper, Skin-On-Skin Zipper Seal
- Supratex Anti-Scratch polyurethane knee pads
- 8mm on torso, 6mm on arms and legs, 5mm seals at the neck, wrists and ankles
Why You Should Get It: This is a multi-function wetsuit – you can wear it for multiple water activities and have it still be comfortable. It is best suited for warm and cool waters.
Who This is For: The Hyperflex 3/2 is ideal for those who want one wetsuit that can do it all. From scuba diving to surfing, the Hyperflex can handle it.
Why We Like It: This suit proves that thicker doesn’t always mean better. While the suit is no more than 3mm at certain areas, it still provides more than enough insulation. If you are looking to dive in relatively cool or warm waters, you will be quite comfortable.
Perhaps what really stands out with this wetsuit is its versatility. You really can take this suit from one activity to the next without blinking. The other advantage with the Hyperflex suit is its durability. Since it has also been designed to be adequate for surfing, the outer surface has been constructed to be abrasion resistant. There is also additional comfort around the knee to help with the kicking.
The seams on the suit are comfortable and durable. It utilizes flatlock stitching which sits flat against the skin, so as to not irritate it. Despite being made from rather tough neoprene, the movement with this suit isn’t inhibited at all. This is partially due to elements such as seamless armpits which make it easier to move your arms underwater.
- HIGH QUALITY: Constructed from 3mm premium neoprene this suit provides warmth and durability while...
- WATERSPORTS: Great for all watersports including: swimming, surfing, body boarding, skim boarding,...
- BACK ZIP WETSUIT: Provides easy entry, featuring a durable YKK #10 zipper for dependable service in...
- DURABLE: Flat lock seams assure maximum comfort and durability, the low profile seam helps prevent...
Why You Should Get It: while the Neosport 3mm wetsuit is a shorty, it is still thick enough to make sure that your covered areas are still kept warm.
Who This is For: Divers who want to dive in cool waters but not have their movement restricted.
Why We Like It: this Neosport wetsuit is excellent value for money. This is because it has mastered a rather difficult task – make a shorty warm enough for slightly cool waters. This is precisely what this suit manages by ensuring that the torso and core are kept well-insulated. At the same time, since the suit prevents important joints from being hindered, you get the benefit of a shorty suit as well.
Another great feature on this wetsuit is that it is a great fit. It has been contoured to fit a great variety of body shapes, sizes, and types. The collar can be adjusted with Velcro which means that regardless of your size, there will be no water entering through the suit here.
The wetsuit has also been designed to limit the amount of water entering through the shortened arms and legs. Here, there is Lycra trimming which ensures that it fits around varying arm and leg sizes while still creating a seal. The suit contains a flat locked seal which allows it to remain comfortably against the skin, even when you have been wearing the suit for hours.
- Multi-Sport. This wetsuit is designed for all water sports like diving, scuba, paddle boarding,...
- Warm, comfortable, extremely durable and perfect for all water activities.
- Constructed from soft and comfortable premium 3mm neoprene material.
- 3mm flatlock seams for comfort and durability.
- Adjustable Velcro collar provides the perfect fit for all users.
Why Should You Get It: the Henderson Thermoprene 3mm wetsuit offers the best in both flexibility as well as durability.
Who This is For: this suit is great for divers that need more insulation but don’t want to trade their ease of movement.
Why We Like It: This suit is a bit more expensive than the other options on the list. However, it is fully worth it when you consider the construction of the suit. First off, it is made from thermoprene – a combination of both neoprene and nylon. Due to this, you can expect this suit to stretch up to 75 percent more than suits made only of neoprene. The result of this is comfort and allowing the diver to move more easily. The other excellent feature is the blind stitching. The seams of this suit are interlocked so tightly that no water can seep through. Even better, it also ensures that the suit will last you for longer as well. The additional glue stitching allows the seams to be more comfortable.
The Freedom Flex knee pads, have made allowances for continuous kicking without the worry of wear and tear. There is also an adjustable collar for a better fit.
- Lycra Trim
- GBS-Glued & Blindstiched Seams
- Back Zip Adjustable Collar
- Freedom Flex Knee Pads
- Spine Pad/Zipper Seal, Excellent Multi-Sport Wetsuit
Cressi Playa Women’s Wetsuit – Best Scuba Wetsuit For Women
Why You Should Get It: if you are looking for a shorty wetsuit that is specifically sized for women, the Cressi Playa wetsuit is an excellent pick.
Who This is For: This wetsuit is great for divers in warm water regions, particularly those who are looking for smaller sizes.
Why We Like It: It is not easy to find scuba wetsuits that produce adequate women sizes. This Cressi shorty wetsuit hits the mark quite well, however. It is especially great for women who want a smaller suit and have been unable to find one with other manufacturers. The suit is equipped with a front zipper so that it is easy to slip on and off without any assistance at all.
Made from 2.5mm neoprene, the suit offers just enough protection in warm waters or more shallow regions. The suit is double lined which does increase its durability considerably. While it is meant for scuba diving, this is the type of suit that will work well with lots of other water-related activities.
The arms and the legs on the wetsuit have an elastic, neoprene-based braided seal. The elasticity allows the material to stretch as needed. At the same time, it is tight enough to ensure that no water enters in this way.
- Cressi is a REAL diving, snorkeling and swimming Italian brand, since 1946.
- Front-zip Shorty Wetsuit ideal for snorkeling, swimming, and other water related activities
- The Front-Zip make really easy the donning and doffing.
- Made in 2.5mm double-lined Neoprene that ensure warmth and durability.
- Elastic Ultraspan Neoprene braided seal on arms and legs to keep water out.
These are the best scuba diving wetsuits currently available on the market. They all offer enough of insulation, are durable, and are quite comfortable as well.