Custom Wetsuit Thickness and Temperature Guide – Diver Edition

Dive Wetsuit Thickness Chart

You are looking for a new custom wetsuit for you or your diving school? Not sure which wetsuit thickness to choose? This Custom Wetsuit Thickness and Temperature Guide – Diver Edition should answer all your open questions and prepare you for your perfect diving experience.

Before we start exploring the world of wetsuit thickness, we should begin our journey with some general facts about wetsuit material and their interaction with temperature. A wetsuit is made of foamed neoprene, is worn by surfers and divers and guarantees thermal protection while wet. One of the major risks in water sports is to cool down and expose yourself to chilling temperatures. A suitable custom wetsuit provides thermal insulation, which lowers your energy consumption. Contrary to other water sports like surfing or wakeboarding, the relevant parameter diver should reflect are water temperature and the depth of the dive.

Our wetsuits are made 100% from double lined neoprene – neoprene with 4-way-stretch nylon lining on both sides, inside and outside – for protection, durability and warmth, and good characteristics in elasticity and compression. We do not use smooth skin lined neoprene, which has a better protection against wind, but is less flexible. Furthermore, combining two neoprene types of different elasticity makes the wetsuit less robust. Between the nylon linings we use W8 neoprene type, which is the most commonly used neoprene and is more pliable and softer than other neoprene material. It has good elasticity for surfing and diving to a depth of 30 meters.

Why using a custom wetsuit?

Especially in colder waters, the right chosen wetsuit thickness comes with a cost: Your flexibility of movement. The thicker the neoprene foam, the more immobile you are. For colder waters you trade flexibility with warm. However, a precisely tailored custom wetsuit offers flexibility in all your movements. A custom wetsuit reduces the margin between your body and the wetsuit material. Therefore water leakage is reduced to a minimum and your temperature and kinetic energy level stays high. What exactly cold waters are is a question of personal preferences. Keep in mind that this is an approximate guide. It depends on how you feel the cold as well as how long you spend in the water. In general this should be a good starting place in choosing a wetsuit. If you feel the cold, go up a thickness or add a shorty underneath your wetsuit to boost the warmth. Especially for deeper dives, divers should relay on their dive equipment. Please double check the weather forecast before your diving session to make the safe wetsuit choice.

Different kinds of water

To put it simply, there are roughly three types of water: tropical, warm and cold water. But keep in mind that some destinations have an abrupt thermocline. Temperatures at the surface tend to have other temperatures then in the deep. In tropical areas like the Caribbean, Indonesia or the Maldives, your regular swim trunks or bikini should suffice - as long as you not trying to start an underwater expedition to the sea ground.

1,5mm wetsuit thickness – Water Temperatures around 75 degree Fahrenheit

In warm environments like the Mediterranean or Egypt, we highly recommend our custom spring suit. The 1,5mm wetsuit thickness allows you to go snorkelling or to dive near the surface of the water, without being boiled by high temperatures and it preserves your skin from dangerous sunburns. Our 1,5mm custom wetsuit enables you to enjoy both: an exciting trip to the beach and under water, unaccompanied by annoying clothing exchanges.

3mm wetsuit thickness – Water Temperatures between 65-75 degree Fahrenheit

Galapagos or Margate (RSA)? Take our 3mm custom wetsuit and enjoy your travel to those warm regions without loosing the flexibility you need to play catch with rays and parrotfishes.

5mm wetsuit thickness – Water Temperatures between 55 to 65 degree Fahrenheit

Wanna visit South Africa or South Europe during summer? Do not forget to pack this wetsuit into your suitcase. 5mm wetsuits are the most common wetsuit thickness that divers go for. This wetsuit gives you the best of both worlds - the thermal warmth of the 6,5mm and the flexibility of the 3mm wetsuit.

6,5mm wetsuit thickness – Water Temperatures around 55 degree or less Fahrenheit

You want to dive the whole year, even in winter? Water down to 55 degree Fahrenheit or less you can dive with 6,5mm wetsuit thickness, a diver hood, diver boots and diver gloves. We can provide you with those equipment. Just send us a request. 6,5mm wetsuits have to fit particularity very well around the cuffs and the ankles. Try to overlap layers like gloves and boots as much as possible to slow water migration.

Last but not least - The Seams

The seams are the most vulnerable spot of any wetsuit. All seams associated with neoprene should be located in low stress areas. One of the worse places to put a seam is in the crotch and under the arm pit. The constant stretch will inevitably weaken the seam and result in leaks. The seams of your wetsuit are stitched manually which is an important quality characteristic. Industrial made state-of-the-art wetsuits often only glue their seams which makes them vulnerable. For our 1.5mm and 3mm wetsuits we do Two Thread Single Blind Stitching on the outer side, and Two Thread Double Blind Stitching on both sides for 5mm wetsuits. Wrist, ankle & neck seals are made out of super multi-flex heat reflecting titanium neoprene that has been special treated with a smooth sleek surface to ensure easy wearing. Therefore the water exchange is minimized thus makes the suit a superb thermal isolated wetsuit. For seams, we use the water repellent version Serafil WR, a sewing thread from the Amann Group, one of the basic requirements for water-tight seams.