A wetsuit protects your body from excessive cold temperature when you are diving. As you go deeper, water absorbs heat from your body up to 25 times faster than air. Adequate protection from cold is necessary to prevent hypothermia, which usually happens when your body is exposed to water temperature below 32° Celsius (90° F). Wetsuits come in many different varieties and here are some features you need to consider.
The first line of defence against cold water is the wetsuit. Its ability to withstand cold is determined by many factors including thickness. As a rule of thumb, a 3mm thick wetsuit should be good for everyone, but you can do better than that. General guide to choose wetsuit thickness in relation to water temperature is as follows:
• Water temperature above 29° C (85°F) – 2mm wetsuit
• Water temperature between 21 - 29°C (70 - 85°F) – 3mm wetsuit
• Water temperature between 15 - 21°C (60 - 70°F) – 5mm wetsuit
• Water temperature between 10 - 15°C (50 - 60°F) – 6.5mm wetsuit
• Anything below – dry suit
Cut, length & style
Versatility and warmth are affected by style as well. Irrespective to any extra feature, you have three popular options available:
• Full body: it covers your entire arms and legs. Typical full body suit has long back or front zipper and it is available in various thickness options as well.
• Shorty wetsuit: it has short-sleeve and knee-length cover. Your torso is perfectly covered.
• Two-piece wetsuit: it is the most popular option of the three due to double insulation forms. You can also use each piece separately when needed.