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(Last Updated On: 07/05/2023)

Great Wetsuit Information for Divers: How Wetsuits Work and What to Look For

Top tips for your next wetsuit

For those of you short of time, here are our top 6 tips.

1. Understand how wetsuits work: Wetsuits work by trapping a layer of water between your body and the suit, which is then warmed by your body heat. The neoprene material of the wetsuit also insulates your body from the colder water outside.

2. Choose the right thickness: The thickness of the wetsuit you need will depend on the water temperature and how long you plan to stay in the water. A thicker suit will keep you warmer, but may limit your mobility.

3. Consider the fit: A well-fitted wetsuit will keep you warmer and more comfortable in the water. Make sure to try on different sizes and styles to find the right fit for your body type.

4. Look for quality materials: High-quality neoprene and other materials can make a big difference in the performance and durability of your wetsuit. Look for reputable brands and check reviews from other divers.

5. Check for seams and stitching: Seams and stitching can affect the warmth and durability of your wetsuit. Look for suits with glued and blind-stitched seams or other types of reinforced stitching.

6. Don’t forget about accessories: Consider additional gear like gloves, hoods, and booties to keep you even warmer in colder water temperatures.

Wetsuits are a crucial piece of equipment for divers, providing warmth, insulation, and protection in cold water environments. But how do they work, and what should you look for when choosing the right wetsuit for your needs? In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of wetsuits, from how they keep you warm to the best types of stitching and zippers.

How do wetsuits keep you warm?

Wetsuits work by trapping a thin layer of water between the suit and your skin, which is then warmed by your body heat. This layer of water creates an insulating barrier that helps to keep you warm, even in very cold water temperatures. Wetsuits are typically made from neoprene, a type of synthetic rubber that is known for its insulating properties. Neoprene is available in different thicknesses, from 2mm to 7mm or more, depending on the diving conditions.

How are wetsuits made

Wetsuits are made up of many pieces of neoprene, which are stitched together using different types of stitching. The most common types of stitching are flatlock stitching, sealed seams (glued and blind stitched), and sealed and taped seams (glued, blind stitched, and 100% taped). The type of stitching used will depend on the water temperature and conditions you’ll be diving in.

Choose your wetsuit by thickness here

What Are the Best Wetsuit Zippers?

Wetsuits come in three different entry constructions: back zip, chest zip, and zipperless. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Back zip wetsuits have a zipper that goes down the length of the spine, making them the easiest to enter and exit. However, water can get through the seams on the back, which may cause discomfort in cold water. Additionally, the zipper may restrict movement when bending forward.

Chest zip wetsuits have a zippered cutout around the neck, and you drop down into the suit through the neckline before pulling the neck cut over your head and zipping closed at the chest. They are superior at keeping water from penetrating the suit through the seams and neckline, but they are trickier to both enter and exit.

Zipperless wetsuits eliminate the lack of flex found around zippered areas and stitching, making them ideal for those who have issues with mobility while paddling or surfing. They have an entry point around the chest or neck area and are usually secured by a small zipper, elastic, or velcro.

What is the best thickness of wetsuits

Water temperature

Thickness of Wetsuit


58-63 degrees

3/2 -4/3


52-58 degrees

4/3 – 5-4/3


43-52 degrees

5/4 -5 4/3

Sealed & Taped

42 & below


Sealed & Taped

What Are the Best Wetsuits for Cold Water?

When it comes to diving in cold water, it’s all about layers! In addition to a wetsuit, you’ll want to wear gloves, boots, and a hood to keep your extremities warm. A thicker wetsuit, such as a 7mm or more, will provide more insulation and protection in colder water temperatures. Sealed and taped seams are also recommended for use in water that is 55° and below.

Why are wetsuits so tight?

Wetsuits are designed to fit snugly against your skin, which helps to prevent water from entering the suit and compromising its insulating properties. The tight fit also helps to reduce drag in the water, which can improve your mobility and reduce fatigue.

Here are a few of our favourite wetsuits.

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How do wetsuits work?

Wetsuits work by trapping a thin layer of water between the suit and your skin, which is then warmed by your body heat. The neoprene material of the suit insulates your body heat and keeps you warm. The thicker the neoprene, the more insulation it provides, and the warmer you’ll stay in colder water temperatures.

Why are wetsuits mostly black?

Wetsuits are mostly black because black neoprene absorbs more sunlight and heat than other colors. This can help to keep you warmer in cold water conditions. Black is also a neutral color that doesn’t distract from your surroundings, making it a popular choice for divers.

Does Black Wetsuit Lasts Longer?

The colour of the wetsuit doesn’t necessarily impact its lifespan. The durability and longevity of a wetsuit depend on the quality of the materials and construction. However, black neoprene is more resistant to fading and discoloration from sunlight and chemicals, which can make it look newer for longer.

Does a Black wetsuit have UV Protective Benefits

Yes, black wetsuits offer some UV protection benefits. The black neoprene material absorbs more heat from the sun, which helps to keep you warm and protected from the cold. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re fully protected from UV rays. It’s still important to use sunscreen and take other precautions to protect your skin.

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Are Wetsuits Unisex?

Most wetsuits are designed to be unisex, meaning they can be worn by both men and women. However, some brands offer specific cuts and sizes that are tailored to fit men or women more comfortably.

Are wetsuits good for swimming?

Wetsuits are great for swimming, particularly in open water, as they provide buoyancy and help to keep you warm. They can also offer added protection against jellyfish, sharks, and other potential hazards.

Are wetsuits flattering?

Wetsuits can be flattering if they fit properly and accentuate your best features. Some wetsuits are designed with special features, such as strategic color blocking or slimming panels, to help flatter your figure.

Are wetsuits waterproof?

Wetsuits are not waterproof but are designed to provide thermal insulation while allowing a thin layer of water to enter and create a warm barrier between the suit and your skin. The neoprene material used in wetsuits is water-resistant but not completely waterproof.

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