2019 COLD WATER WETSUIT BUYING GUIDE
A wetsuit is something you would want to get the specifics right when you go shopping. Wetsuits are worn by surfers and divers to keep their body warm when they are surfing, snorkeling or scuba diving. You need a cold water wetsuit for cold weather. There are things you need to know so that you get the specifications right and buy a good wetsuit. There are several types of wetsuits. There are those that have short sleeves while some are full length. Here are the factors to consider when buying cold water wetsuit:
- Wetsuit Thickness and Temperature Guide
The thickness of wetsuits normally ranges from 1 to 7mm. The thickness is not constant in all body parts. Around the legs, chest and back it could be 4mm neoprene while around the arms 3mm for easier paddling. Choosing the appropriate wetsuit based on the thickness of neoprene depends on the temperature conditions of water and air. Choose a thicker wetsuit in cold temperatures and less thick ones in warmer temperatures.
The wetsuit thickness determines the body temperatures. The thicker it is, the warmer it will be and the better body insulation it will offer. For cold water wetsuits, therefore, it is recommended you choose a thick one approximately 6/5mm or 6/4mm thickness.
Below are a temperature and thickness guide for a wetsuit.
Temperature Recommended Suit Thickness
80 / 26 C and above 1 mm
65 / 19C - 72 / 22 C 1 or 2 mm
60 / 15 - 65 / 19C 3/2 mm
48 / 9C - 52 / 12 C 5/4 mm (Full Body, Hooded)
40 / 5C and below 6/5 mm or 6/4 mm (Full body, Hooded)
- Zipper System
The zipper system of wetsuits is designed as either back zipper or chest zipper. They are basically for allowing easy wearing and removing of the wetsuit. Comparing the two, it is easier to wear a back zipper wetsuit. The chest zip is not easy to wear but allows more natural flexing and is more secure than a back zip. For chest zippers, the zip is horizontally placed along the chest while back zippers are vertically placed along the back.
A chest zipper wetsuit is also effective for water sports than a back zipper. When buying choose a chest zipper because it offers more protection in cold water. Also because the chest zip is easily accessible to the hands.
- One Piece or Two Piece Full Body Wetsuit
Choosing the type of wetsuit to buy based on the style; you have to also base on the conditions you want to use it in. The style can be one piece or a full body. One piece wetsuits do not cover the head, lower part of the legs and maybe short-sleeved. A two-piece wetsuit covers all body parts and has a hood for the head. In conditions where you will face cold water, maybe go swimming or scuba diving by using a two piece wetsuit. It should come with a hood to cover almost every part of the body.
- Other Factors to Consider:
-The quality of seals used to make it. The seals are put on the wetsuit to prevent water entry. By preventing water entry the body stays warm and insulated in the cold water.
-Neoprene fabric is mostly used for cold water wetsuits. Wetsuits made of neoprene are flexible, durable and offer a high level of insulation.
-It is important to consider the size and patterns of the wetsuit. These depend on a personal choice and the quality of the manufacturer. Try it on before buying to avoid an oversized wetsuit.
-Another factor that may be of importance to note is the layers of the making material. Some suits are single-layered while others are multi-layered. This affects the temperatures due to insulation. Other wetsuits could have special features like atomic foam for insulation.
-Features like knee pads and spinal pads should be considered. They make the wetsuit more comfortable and flexible.
Before purchasing a cold water wetsuit understand how it works, how to wear and remove it with ease. For the best cold water wetsuit, buy a two-piece hooded wetsuit that has the appropriate thickness, designed specifically for cold waters.