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What Is the Best Wetsuit for SCUBA Diving?

   December 18th, 2017   Posted In: Articles   Tags:

What Is the Best Wetsuit for SCUBA Diving?

Not all wetsuits are created equal. The SCUBA diving experience can be significantly impacted by the equipment used on an underwater adventure. The best wetsuit for SCUBA diving is called a “SCUBA wetsuit” or a “dive wetsuit.” I find that many divers don’t realize that they have multiple types of wetsuits to choose from, so this article acts as a useful reference for people in the process of making their purchases.

what is the best wetsuit for scuba diving

SCUBA suits like this 9/7/6mm XCEL one are great for cold water diving.

Why SCUBA Wetsuits Stand Out

The biggest difference between a SCUBA wetsuit and a surfing wetsuit is that the one designed for diving uses compression-resistant neoprene that doesn’t compress underwater.

This feature is important, because a wetsuit provides thermal insulation through its thickness, measured in millimeters. When someone dives in 50-degree water, you need a 7mm or thicker wetsuit. If they try to dive with a non-SCUBA wetsuit, it ends up compressing down to 3mm. That thickness is only sufficient for water in the mid-60s. Ten degrees might not sound like a big difference, but trust me, when you’re under the water and have to cut a dive short because you’re too cold, it becomes a big problem.

The bottom line is that SCUBA divers need the right suit for the job, and getting one doesn’t have to break the bank.

SCUBA Wetsuit Brands

So, what is the best wetsuit for SCUBA diving? A few great SCUBA wetsuit brands to choose from include the following:

  • NeoSport: This company is a great all-around choice that’s affordable and covers the features that SCUBA divers look for most often. When you’re looking for your first SCUBA wetsuit, start with NeoSport as the best entry-level option.
  • Henderson: Henderson is NeoSport’s parent company and a longstanding leader in SCUBA wetsuits. This brand offers the most thorough line of options in the industry, combined with excellent quality, value, performance and a rock solid warranty.
  • O’Neill: This high-end wetsuit company offers several SCUBA wetsuit lines and sneak in some really cool features from their popular surf line to make the suits warmer and more flexible.
  • XCEL: This brand’s Thermoflex line is an excellent high-end choice for a wetsuit for SCUBA diving. XCEL uses cutting-edge Celliant lining that’s FDA approved to enhance warmth. I recommend these SCUBA wetsuits if you have your eye on particularly cold spots.

Hopefully this discussion on how to choose a wetsuit has helped you understand the difference between a standard wetsuit and a wetsuit for SCUBA diving. If you need any additional help, feel free to contact us either via live chat, phone (866-906-7848) or email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com)!

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Lauren Belt

Merchandiser at Wetsuit Wearhouse
Lauren (LoLo) has been picking out the latest and greatest wetsuits and being the social media queen for Wetsuit Wearhouse since 2014. She learned to surf for the first time ever in Costa Rica but she gravitates more towards SUP. When she's not scouring the web for travel deals, you can find her either hiking, running, practicing yoga, studying holistic nutrition or reading a good book outside on a beautiful day.
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2 Comments

  • Avatar nancy dobmeier says:

    I’m a 63 y.o. woman, a little over a 100 dives, warm water, 3/2 works.
    H 5’2″
    wt. 155
    bust 39
    waist 36
    hips 39
    inseam 29
    Best size?
    Price range $125.
    Wanting super stretch, quick drying
    Looking at O’Neill, Roxy, or Henderson
    What would best fit my needs?

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hey Nancy,

      Thanks for reaching out! Based off of your measurements and needs, this suit is over your price range, but it offers great stretch as well as quick drying properties and is in a Short size, which is what you need. Check out this 3mm Henderson Thermoprene Pro fullsuit in a size 12S: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/PROD/AP830WB.html. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact our customer service team either via live chat, email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or call us at 866-906-7848.

      Thank you!

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