Woman in a wetsuit holding scuba diving equipments
The most important thing is that you want to be comfortable. Remember, you are going to be in your wetsuit for anywhere between 45 minutes all the way up to a few hours or more at a time. If you get underwater and feel uncomfortable, there isn’t anything that can be done about it.
You want to make sure that you find a wetsuit that is snug but not suffocating. For ladies, as you know, this is where the main problem lies. There are too many points of the wetsuit that often are uncomfortable. Many wetsuits are either suffocating in the chest area or too tight around the hips. They just aren’t made for the many different shapes women come in. The wetsuits we are going to look at take this into consideration.
After comfort, the next important point to consider is the durability of it. The last thing you want is to spend over a hundred dollars on a wetsuit that begins to deteriorate after a few dives. This usually happens on cheaper wetsuits around the seams. The shoulders and knees are also areas that tend to wear out quickly. The shoulders because of the BCD rubbing on the suit and the knees because of the constant movement of the legs.
We find that the zipper area is where wetsuits tend to give out first. The worst wetsuits we’ve had have worn out after only a few dives.
This has mostly occurred on wetsuits where the zipper is stitched poorly. When you move the zipper up and down, this typically creates tension around the bottom.
This can especially be a problem for women when the wetsuit is too tight. You get more tension in the zipper area than normal. An alternative is a wetsuit where the zipper is in the front but these are few and far in-between.
You also want to take a look at the seams. With any piece of clothing, this is generally the most vulnerable area. Wetsuits are no different. If the seams look cheap then chances are they are going to start unraveling sooner rather than later. This is going to shorten the shelf life of your wetsuit and lead you to need to buy a new one sooner. Always make sure that the wetsuit you are buying has seams that are stitched as well as glued together. If they are only stitched chances are they will begin to tear after only a few dives.
After you have comfort and durability accounted for you can move on to the fun part, colors, and design.
We’re big fans of Akona wetsuits. They are durable, comfortable, and built to last. The company also has a reputation for top-notch customer service and support. If you ever have issues with Akona products you can guarantee they will be handled promptly. Plus, they make the Quantum wetsuit using an eco-friendly process. An added bonus if environmental protection is important to you.
What we like
The Quantum is made from stretchy material which easily conforms to different shapes. Many other wetsuits tend to lack any give and can be hard to fit around your body. If this is an issue you’ve experienced, the Quantum may be a good option for you.
You can find these suits online for much cheaper than you could at a dive shop. We’ve seen the Quantum run around $200 or more in dive shops. Online, it can be found for around $170. This is a great price for this level of quality and makes it more accessible to different budgets.
All the seams are both glued and stitched. This is important as seams that are only stitched have a tendency to separate after only a few dives. The zipper is also made from marine grade brass which is resistant to corrosion. The shoulders are also padded to protect the wetsuit from the rub of the BCD. Lastly, the knees have padding to protect from the general wear and tear that happens in that area.
What we don't like
As we stated above, the Akona Quantum can be found for a relatively cheap price online. But, it still ranks as a mid-priced wetsuit. If this is your first wetsuit or if you are on a tight budget, this may be a bit more than you are willing to spend. There are other quality wetsuits which can be found for much less than the Quantum.
One complaint that we have after using this wetsuit is that the back velcro can become stuck on the suit. This isn’t unique to the Quantum. What’s different though is that the Quantum has two velcro pieces. A smaller piece that holds the zipper in place and a larger one that goes over that. The issue is that the smaller piece can get stuck to the wetsuit so that you need help to remove it.
A few users have complained that the material did not recover to its original size after using it a few times. This is likely a sizing issue where they needed to go up a size. But, it is a reminder that you need to be careful about sizing as there is little leeway with this suit if you get it wrong. The suit will stretch out to fit you but you may have problems with the suit stretching too much.
Bare has been making wetsuits for 40 years. Their experience making quality wetsuits shines through in their products. Bare’s various lines of women’s wetsuits continue this tradition of quality.
Our favorite of their women’s lines is the Nixie. It comes in a wide variety of sizes and is made specifically with women’s shapes in mind. This is in contrast to unisex suits which generally fit men better than women. You can’t go wrong with the Nixie line if you are looking for a quality wetsuit to last of many years of diving.
What we like
The seams on the Nixie are double glued and stitched together to create a stronger and more durable seam. This is a major benefit as seams that are only stitched tend to wear out much faster. In our experience, this can be as little as one or two dives before they start separating.
The Nixie has knee padded knees which help to further protect the integrity of the suit. Knees tend to be one of the first areas of a suit that wear out along with the zipper areas. The extra padding ensures they will not wear out and begin to tear prematurely.
Bare has used s-flex neoprene to create its Nixie line of suits. This provides a lot of stretch which enhances freedom of movement. It also helps to better accommodate a variety of body types for women both large and small. One other benefit is that it returns to its original size much easier. This fixes the problem many wetsuits have of stretching out and becoming too big.
What we don't like
Many users have complained that the wrists and ankles are quite tight with the Nixie line of suits. They are designed to seal around the wrists and ankles to provide added protection. This also helps to keep your body warm. If you have larger wrists or ankles though, you might find these suits to be uncomfortable.
The nixie line of suits is similarly priced to the Akona Quantum. This makes it a mid-ranged suit in terms of price. You are getting a solid quality suit for this price that will last you for many years to come. But, if you are on a tight budget, there are other quality suits you can find for cheaper.
There are no zippers around the wrists and the ankles. This normally isn’t a major issue but with the tighter seals getting the suit off and on can be a bit more difficult. Zippers around the wrists and ankles would make this much easier to slip off and on. Something women with larger wrists and ankles will especially notice.
Cressi is widely known for making affordable dive equipment great for beginners. We personally are not huge fans of Cressi wetsuits. In our experience, they have a tendency to rip at the seams and in the lower zipper area. We usually wouldn’t recommend their wetsuits. But, we are making an exception in this case.
The Cressi Bahia is one of the best wetsuits for women on the market due to its great fit and durability. The Bahis is different than many other suits in that it zips from the front rather than the back.
What we like
The Cressi Bahia has been anatomically cut to women’s specific shapes. This is different than many unisex suits that fit men’s bodies much better than women’s. The Bahia takes into account different points that cause problems such as the hip and chest area. This makes it a great fit for women looking for a wetsuit designed specifically for them.The front zipper on the Bahia is one of the things we like best about this suit. The main issue we’ve had with Cressi suits is that they tend to rip around the zipper area when taking the suit on and off. This is usually due to the tension when pulling on the zipper. To counter this, most wetsuits have a loop to hold when you use the zipper to ease some of this tension. In our experience, this isn’t enough and they tended to rip around the zipper area after only a few uses
The front zipper does a lot to fix this and makes it easier to get into as you aren’t messing with a zipper on the back. Since the zipper is on the front and fits around your body, you won’t have as much tension when pulling it up and down. This should decrease the chance that it will rip around the bottom of the zipper.
The Bahia is one of the cheapest wetsuits on this list and in general. If you are on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice quality for the price, this is the suit for you. Typically, you can find this wetsuit for right around a hundred dollars. This makes it almost half the price of similar quality wetsuits designed for women.
What we don't like
A few women have complained that the collar area doesn’t seal as well as they would like. The main complaint is this allows water in and makes the neck and chest area cold during dives in cooler water. This is something to think about when purchasing this wetsuit for diving cold waters. Some women said they were able to reduce this issue by tightening the chest strap on the BCD. This helped to prevent much of the water from coming in.
Many larger women have complained that the Bahia runs small, even with the larger sizes. Some users stated when they first tried the suit on it was a little tight. But, after being used once, it stretched to their exact size. If you are a larger woman this may not be the best suit for you. Or, you may want to buy a size larger than you would usually order to compensate for this.
Some women complained that the arms were a bit tight which made it harder to get off and on. This complaint was consistent throughout all the sizes. If you have larger arms take this into consideration as you may find it difficult to get in and out of the suit.
Scubapro is a household name with it comes to diving equipment. They’ve been a leader in the industry for over 50 years and have become known for quality gear. The Everflex women’s wetsuit continues this trend and does so in a stylish way. This may be the best-looking suit on this list with all the functionality that you would want in a wetsuit. You can guarantee that you will be warm on your dives with this well-constructed suit.
What we like
The Everflex has both padded shoulders and knees to protect against wear and tear. Typically, wetsuits can wear out around the shoulder areas due to the BCD rubbing on the fabric. The knees can wear out due to regular movement as well as resting on the knees on the bottom. Extra padding in these areas helps to protect your wetsuit and will keep it tear-free for years to come.
The ankles and wrists come equipped with zippers. This greatly helps when putting the wetsuit on and taking it off. It also helps to protect the seams around the ankles and wrists. Since you can unzip them, you will not be putting as much tension in those areas when taking the suit off and on.
The Everflex is designed in a way that minimizes the total number of seams. This helps to increase the overall durability and integrity of the suit. All the seams are also double-stitched and glued so that they will hold up well to wear and tear. This will help you protect your suit for many years of diving.
What we don't like
This is the most expensive suit on this list. It is more than double the price of the Akona Quantum and the Bare Nixie. This is also one of the highest quality suits on the market. If you are on a tight budget then this isn’t the suit for you. But, if you have a flexible budget and want the best money can buy, the Everflex should be at the top of your list.
Some women have complained that the suit runs a bit small. Even with the larger sizes, a few users noted that the suit was a bit to snug for their comfort. To counter this, it is best to order a size larger than you think you need.
A number of users have complained that they have problems putting the suit on by themselves. Putting on the suit is fine but once they get it on they have significant issues getting the zipper up on their own. This may not be a major issue if you always dive with a partner or in groups. But, if you plan on doing any diving by yourself, this may give you troubles.
Pinnacle has long been synonymous with high-quality wetsuits. They have suites for a variety of divers including wetsuits, drysuits, and spearfishing. The Pinnacle Shadow is one of their better-known models made for both men and women. The 1.5mm is great for warm weather or for use as an underlayer to provide extra warmth during cold water dives. It’s a durable and well-crafted wetsuit and, when taken care of correctly, will last you for years.
What we like
The Shadow 2 is the second cheapest wetsuit on this list. Sometimes, it can even be purchased for cheaper than the Cressi Bahia. For the level of quality, you are receiving, this may be the best wetsuit on the list in terms of value and quality. If this is the first wetsuit you are buying the Bahia is a great option to consider.
This wetsuit is built with durability in mind. It has kneepads and elbow pads to protect from general wear and tear and also has a nylon finish on the outside. This will help you to extend the life of your wetsuit for many years. It also has a UV coating which will help protect your wetsuit from damage by the sun.
The Shadow 2 utilizes flatlock stitching. This makes it stretchier and will help to keep your seams from stretching. This is a major plus as one of the first places many wetsuits begin to wear at is the seams. Especially, around the wrists and the ankles. The flatlock seams stretch so they won’t tear as easily as other wetsuits.
What we don't like
Some users have complained that the sleeve length is a bit short. This causes the cuffs to be a bit tight around the arms as they do not sit properly on the wrist as they should. For many people, this may not be an issue. But, if you have longer arms then you may have an issue with the sleeves riding up about 2.5cm (1in) too high.
A few women have complained that the suit fits a little large. Many stated they had to purchase one size under what they normally would. If you are a larger woman, this is a great option for a warm-water wetsuit or as an undersuit during cold water dives.
The Shadow 2 has knee pads which are great for protecting one high wear area of the suit. But, it is lacking shoulder pads which is a major area for wear and tear. Rubbing from BCDs on the shoulders tends to wear through the fabric after a while. Shoulder pads would make this great suit even better and help to extend its longevity.
What’s our pick for the best wetsuit for women?
All of these suits are fantastic options. But, our top pick goes to the Akona Quantum due to it being an overall great suit at a great price. The Quantum packs all of the features of a high-end wetsuit for half of the price. The next closets suit on this list is the Scubapro Everflex which currently retails at $500 on amazon.
We’ve personally used the Quantum for almost two years. After over a hundred dives in various conditions, it still holds up. As of now, there is no sign of wear and tear and the seams are all still intact.
If you cannot shell out the money for the Akona Quantum, the next best option is the Cressi Bahia. As we’ve stated above, we typically don’t recommend Cressi wetsuits due to past experiences. But, the Bahia has stood the test of time. It is lacking some of the features that make the Quantum great. But, it also comes in at half the price of the Quantum and almost a quarter of the price of the Everflex.
For those of you who only do warm water diving, or if you need a secondary suite, the Pinnacle Shadow 2 is the way to go. We like that it comes in at around the same price as the Cressi Bahia with a few more features.
This is list has been created based on our 5 years of experience diving. It is by no means an exhaustive list though.
Do you have any recommendations for great wetsuits for women? We’d love to hear about them.
Leave us a comment with your recommendations and your experiences. You never know when the information you have is going to help your fellow scuba divers.
Last update on 2019-09-15 at 23:06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API