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Buying a Wetsuit: Factors That Define the Choice

By on Last modified: July 28, 2017

The process of choosing the right wetsuit for yourself mainly depends on two factors: neoprene thickness and wetsuit design.

All wetsuits, regardless of the type, are made from neoprene, which is a very stretchy rubber compound. The neoprene can vary in thickness – a thicker version is used when the water is colder as to make sure the body receives enough insulation and remains within the optimal temperature. Generally, wetsuits combine two or three different levels of neoprene thickness, because different parts of the body require specific amount of protection. As neoprene technology advances, there are more wetsuits to come that are to provide more flexibility and better heat retention than before.

The differences between woman and man wetsuits are shape and material related. For instance, since women are shaped differently, when designing wetsuits for them, they are made with more space left for the hips, less materials around the shoulders and a little more over the breasts. Size wise, man wetsuits usually come marked with letters (XS, S, M, MT, L, XL, XXL) whereas those for women are sized with numbers (4, 6, 8… etc.).

Man-Wetsuits

The traditional method for putting on a wetsuits is with back zips. They extend down to the lower back and are reachable thanks to the cord attachment. Recently, chest zips are becoming more and more common. The entry in this case through the neck opening and the zipping is done all across the front.

Which type of wetsuit you ought to choose depends on what exactly you’ll be doing when in/under water. Some users favour the chest zip as it offers more neoprene material across the shoulders, thus providing more freedom for paddling movements. Plus, with these there’s less water leakage compared to back zips ones, a characteristic that helps keep the user warmer.

On the other hand, some choose suits with back zip, because they feel it is easier to put it on and off. Today, many back zips come with a batwing. This is a term that is used to describe the extra layer in the back of the suit. Thanks to this, the user can enjoy more protection regarding the water that comes in through the zippier.

Hopefully, this guide will help you choose the right wetsuit whether you are into scuba diving, spear fishing or surfing. The final choice depends on the specs do you find most useful and how much you are willing to spend.