What to Wear Under a Wetsuit

One of the most common questions we get asked is what you need to wear under a wetsuit. This is a common question among new divers. Everyone wants to be comfortable in the water and the thought of uncomfortable or restrictive diving under your wetsuit is never pleasant. So, it is important to wear appropriate underclothing for your dive. However, what to wear under a wetsuit really depends on the divers preference. If you feel comfortable in a pair of speedos, or board shorts and a top for extra warmth, go with what works well for you. 

What are Wetsuits Made Of?

Most wetsuits are constructed with a material called neoprene. This is a stretchy rubber compound and varies in thickness so that it can be made to suit the requirements of the diver. However, in general, a thicker neoprene is required for diving in colder waters. 

Man wearing a wetsuit walking out of the oceanHow to Care for Your Wetsuit

Caring for your wetsuit properly is just as important as choosing the right suit for your requirements. If you care for your wetsuit well, you will enjoy using it for many years to come. So, we thought we’d advise you on how to care for your wetsuit effectively.

The best way to put on a wetsuit is to roll the body down to your feet so that it’s inside out. You can put the legs of the wetsuit on first, before pulling the entire wetsuit up your waist. Finally, put your arms through and fully adjust the suit for a comfortable fit. To take the suit off, don’t rush! Rushing can cause the suit to be overstretched. So, instead, sit down and slowly roll the suit off and remove it from around your legs.

How to Wash a Wetsuit

Cleaning your wetsuit is essential and keeps your wetsuit clean and free of odours. Always wash your wetsuit in cold water if you can, as hot water can damage the quality. If you use your wetsuit very regularly, it may be a good idea to invest in special wetsuit shampoos and cleaning agents. 

Top tip: never put your wetsuit in the washing machine as this can be seriously damaging. 

How to Store Your Wetsuit Properly

Storing wetsuits can be a tricky business, as the smell of rubber can often penetrate your other clothing items. So, always leave your wetsuit outside to dry properly. You should also keep it away from heat and direct sunlight to avoid any premature ageing or discolouration. Once dry, you can either hang your wetsuit in your closet or it can be stored flat. If you’re wondering how to store a wetsuit long term, it is possible! To avoid the spreading of odours, place a plastic covering over your wetsuit or store it away from other clothing items

Wetsuit Back Vs Chest Zip Entry

Back zips on wetsuits are a traditional entry and exit method. A back zip extends all the way down the back of the suit and is easily used thanks to the cord attachment. Chest zips are a more recent innovation allowing you to enter the suit through the neck opening, fastening the zip across the front of the wetsuit. Some people prefer the chest zip as it prevents restriction across the back when paddling through the water. 

Whether you purchase a wetsuit with a back or chest zip is completely up to you. Just because someone you know prefers a chest zip, doesn’t mean you will. We would recommend trying out a couple of different zip alternatives to help you find what works best for you.

Let’s take a look at the different types of wetsuits and what would work best for you.

0.5mm or 1m Neoprene Wetsuit

These are wetsuits that only cover the upper torso. They are most commonly worn in warm or mild water temperatures and they provide extra protection from the sun and wind. The thin wetsuit layer also means there is far less constriction to divers while paddling, allowing for a full range of movement without any restriction.

2mm Neoprene Wetsuits

Otherwise known as ‘shorty suits’, these wetsuits only cover the torso, upper body, arms and legs. Mostly used in warm water, they help you maintain a comfortable temperature. And like the 1mm wetsuits, shorty suits provide wearers protection from the sun and wind. 

3mm Neoprene Wetsuits

These wetsuits are designed for use in temperatures sitting in the low teens and upwards. Also known as spring suits, these wetsuits are ideal for use in the spring and summer. They keep you warm even in very cold temperatures.

4mm Neoprene Wetsuits

Commonly used in water temperatures ranging between 10 and 14C, the 4mm neoprene wetsuits are great for use in the late summer or early spring. These wetsuits are a superior quality and technology, allowing them to be worn all year round. However, we wouldn’t advise them for use in the very coldest months as they may not keep you warm enough.

5mm Neoprene Wetsuits

Advances in neoprene technology for 5mm wetsuits have been significant, providing the opportunity for year-round diving across the planet. With the protection you need for low water temperatures, the 5mm Neoprene wetsuits are an essential kit for winter and the colder autumn months. These suits have highly advanced technology in regard to seam sealing that helps prevent water entry and provide greater insulation. Although they are not as flexible as warm water suits, the heat retention provided in cold water is absolutely vital.

6mm Neoprene Wetsuits

These wetsuits are primarily for when there is no noticeable warmth in the water. Made specifically for exceptionally low water temperatures, the 6mm wetsuits will help keep your core warm. These amazing wetsuits also feature very highly-advanced zip technology to prevent icy water from entering the suit.

How are Wetsuits Measured?

Wetsuits are measured in two ways – in body width and in body length. This two-dimensional measuring ensures you experience a very snug fit, no matter your body shape. Therefore, regular sizes such as small, medium, large, and extra-large do apply.

How to Buy a Wetsuit 

If this is your first time buying a wetsuit, it’s important you take your time finding the right wetsuit for you. Browse the Oyster Diving shop today and check out our full range of high-quality wetsuits. We sell a huge variety of wetsuits, including:

We hope you’d found this article helpful and that it’s given you the guidance you need to buy the right wetsuit for you. However, if you have any questions or you’d like further advice, please do not hesitate to call us on 0808 253 3527. We would be more than happy to help!

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