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Do wetsuits keep you warm?
The purpose of a wetsuit is to keep you warm when you’re in the water. The vast majority of wetsuits are made from neoprene. Neoprene is a fabric that insulates the body. It does this by trapping a thin layer of water between the wetsuit and your body. Your body heat warms this water and the wetsuit preserves this heat.
A wetsuit’s purpose is to keep you warm, however, this warmth is dependent on several factors. These dependent factors are internal (to do with the wetsuit) and external (to do with your environment).
In this post, we’re going to be explaining the factors that can affect the warmth of your wetsuit..
Thickness of wetsuit
The thicker the neoprene of your wetsuit, the more heat it will insulate. A simple way to distinguish between the different wetsuit thicknesses is to establish how warm you need your suit to keep you.
A thinner wetsuit is going to be less warm. A less warm wetsuit is appropriate for climates where it’s naturally warmer in and out of the water. If you’re swimming in a colder environment, you’ll want a thicker wetsuit to keep you better insulated.
It’s important to note, being too cold or too warm will lessen your energy in the water. Therefore, you need to ensure your wetsuit is keeping you at the optimum temperature for your environment.
Shorty or Full length
Wetsuits come in two lengths: shorties and full-length. Shorties have shorter legs and arms in comparison to a full-length wetsuit that covers the whole body. The shorty wetsuit keeps less of the body insulated as it exposes the arms and legs to the outside elements.
If you live in a hot climate, having a shortie wetsuit might not affect your body temperature too significantly. If you live in a cold or windy area, you might feel a chill where your limbs are exposed.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for the wetsuit that’s going to keep you the warmest, this is going to be the full-length suit.
The fit of your wetsuit
If your wetsuit doesn’t fit properly, this could result in excess water seeping through. This excess water can impact the insulation of your wetsuit by making it less effective. To properly insulate your body, the neoprene needs the correct amount of water for its absorption properties. By allowing water to flood into your wetsuit, the neoprene won’t be able to absorb the quantity of water and your body won’t be sufficiently insulated as a result.
A well-fitting wetsuit is going to keep you warmer than a loose one. Although it is important to note, a wetsuit that is too close-fitting can cut off circulation and cause discomfort. You need to find the perfect fitting suit for your body.
If you’re buying your suit online from a site like Amazon, make sure you try it one before entering the water. This way you can gauge how secure you’ll be and how effective your suit will be at insulating your body. Buying online gives you the opportunity to try on and test out your wetsuit from the comfort of your own home.
Seams and Zips – Whats best for you?
Seams and zips can have a significant impact on the warmth of your suit. These elements of your suit affect insulation in the same way the fit of your suit does. The more space the zip takes up on your suit, the less space there is for the neoprene that is going to insulate your body.
For example, the zip on a back zip takes up more space than a front zip or a zipless wetsuit. As a result of this, there is less neoprene to insulate your body on a back zip suit.
Similarly, a wetsuit with seams is potentially going to be less warm as the tiny holes used to stitch the seam are penetrable by water. If excess water seeps in, your suit can flood, and the insulation becomes less effective.
Whats the Water Temperature?
Only extremely warm weathers don’t require a wetsuit. For the most part, any environment is appropriate for swimming in a wetsuit.
As a general rule, the colder the water, the thicker and longer your wetsuit should be. If you’re in cold water, you want to optimise your wetsuit for ultimate heat preservation. Equally, if you are in a slightly warmer climate and you’re concerned about overheating, a thinner and shorter wetsuit may be more appropriate.
As we’ve shown in this article, the wetsuits job is to keep you warm. It’s up to you to distinguish how warm your wetsuit needs to keep you. Before heading into the ocean, research the water temperature and base your wetsuit choice on this.
Tip: If you are swimming in colder climates, having a 6 wetsuit, and adding boots, gloves and hoods will keep you warmer.
If you’re looking for the answer to ‘do wetsuits keep you warm?’, the answer is yes. Wetsuits are built to keep you warm in whichever climate you’re swimming in. When choosing your wetsuit, it’s important to consider the factors outlined in this post as they will affect your energy and productivity in the water. Finding the perfect wetsuit for your needs will significantly impact your enjoyment and can even make you safer when in the water.Whats the water