WHAT ARE WETSUITS MADE OF?
In different water activities, you'll need a certain type of equipment to avoid suffering from any injuries or annoying experiences with cold water, that equipment receives the name of the wetsuit, and the good thing about them is the fact that they come in different materials, styles and thickness, making them more reliable under other circumstances as well. But that's also a big problem because beginners or enthusiasts who don't have a solid knowledge about what wetsuits are made of, will commit some major mistakes in their purchase, which in some times can cause a great loss of money. So to avoid that, let's discover the different materials and thickness guide as soon as possible. Let's begin.
Different Types of Materials for Wetsuits:
The main material that is used for wetsuit receives the name of neoprene, a special type of rubber that is extremely popular thanks to its flexible and stretchy nature. Also, thanks to those features, neoprene wetsuits came in different thicknesses that can be between 1mm to 7mm, that is what makes it truly special gear because you can select a suit depending on the temperature range of the water and other circumstances, making it a very unique product overall. Another popular material used in the design of these suits is nylon, an extremely durable material that can help to reinforce the weak part of the suit to avoid losing it thanks to cuts from rocks or corals.
Spandex is another material that is pretty common in dive suits since it's used as an alternative for nylon due to its flexible nature. However, they can be considerably cheaper due to the lack of thermal control in cold climates, which will only work better in warm waters unlike neoprene, so keep that in mind before committing that mistake.
How do Wetsuits Work?
First of all, as it has been said before, the reason why wetsuits are such a game-changer is for the neoprene that has the ability to be a good heat insulator in every environment. After that, it's important to know that every wetsuit comes with multiple layers that help to trap and also reflect heat with the help of another special material that is related to metal like Titanium or Copper. The reason why these suits work is thanks to the previous features and also for the fact that some portion of water will be stored between your skin and the suit. And while that sounds rare, the reason why it's perfect is because that water will be warm, making your body feel comfortable and peaceful.
Finally, everything will be combined with a rubber material like nylon or spandex to protect the skin against different things that can be found in the aquatic environment in such occasions, and also, due to their flexible nature, it will give a good movement to the body without reducing the performance in the activity, so it's just a matter of science and chemistry!
Will Wetsuits Keep You Dry or Wet?
Thanks to the nature of the suits' materials, the user will be always storing warm water between the body and the wetsuit, so, it can be said that they indeed keep you wet and not dry like most people think to be the case, they actually let the water come to your skin but it gets stored in a small portion to work as a coolant to maintain everything warm and comfortable. However, you need to wear the suit properly because if you leave an empty part, then the water will leave the storage and cold water will reach your skin, making it like if you're not wearing anything. So follow the guides and recommendations to wear these type of diving suits.
Differences Between Wetsuits and Drysuits:
The main difference between these two suits is the Thermal Insulation due to the wetsuit having a kind of layer filled with warm water to conduct the heat while the drysuit counts with a layer of air to avoid getting contact with any water, making the body dry without any water reach the skin. However, it has been proved that water conducts 20 times faster the heat than air, so this time is a win for the first option.
Other differences can be the mobility in which wetsuits have the upper hand thanks to the different rubbers that are used in its composition which makes the user move quickly and comfortably under every aquatic environment. On the other hand, drysuits tend to be baggier or thicker and due to that, the user will experience some handicap when it comes to mobility since they will be much slower.
Finally the value, with the pass of time, due to new materials and quality brands, drysuits are expensive in comparison to wetsuits. owever, you can cheap out a little in drysuits because their lifespan will be pretty much the same, but with wetsuits the cheaper than the product is, the less lifespan it will have, so keep that in mind before going to purchase one of these options.
Wetsuit Thickness Guide:
The good thing about the thickness of the suit is the fact that thanks to that information, you can determine the type of wetsuit that you should wear, but both facts depend on the water temperature range. For example, for temperatures above 75 Fahrenheit, you should wear the less thick wetsuit and the ones that came in different or single parts like shorts or jackets.
When it comes to 58 to 63 Fahrenheit, it's recommended to use a wetsuit that has between 2mm to 3mm of thickness with a full-body suit to reduce the level and temperature of cold water that can start rising to your body under this condition and temperatures. Finally, when it comes to 52 to 58 and below, everyone must wear a range of thickness between 3mm to 7mm. Otherwise they will suffer from health issues like hypothermia due to the major exposition to cold waters. Also, it will be better that you should carry some gloves and boots with a rashguard to make everything more comfortable during the activity.
Remember that the thickness will change some things like the flexibility and mobility of the user under the water as well as the durability and warmth of the body during every aquatic activity. Also, remember that the suits can be difficult to fit in some bodies but you need to wear it properly. Otherwise the stored warm water will be getting out of there and cold water will reach your skin. Be careful.