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wetsuit thickness.

pyromallat

Member
May 2, 2016
68
8
23
22
lebanon
So i was looking through the internet and i realized there was a lack of guides for choosing wetsuit thickness for freediving.
Most posts were for scuba diving suits which we all know are different from freediving suits in purpose.
So i decided to make this post on my opinion about how thick wetsuits should be in different water temperatures.
- 28+ Celsius 1.5 mm
- 28 to 24 Celsius 3 mm
- 24 to 20 Celsius 5 mm
- 20 Celsius and below 7 mm or more
I would very much like to hear the opinion of members here.
 
Mar 30, 2018
12
2
13
55
Fiji
As a rough guide it's about right, but body composition, suit type, quality and fit and personal suseptability to cold make it a very individual choice.
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
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USA, NJ
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- 28+ Celsius - No wetsuit. Long sleeve shirt and long shorts to prevent sunburns. I also use a Lycra hood. Good for 4 hours
- 28 to 24 Celsius 2 - 3mm
- 24 to 20 Celsius 5 mm jacket and 3 mm pants
- 20 Celsius and below 5 mm
I used a 6.5mm suit in 8 degrees for 30 minutes. Was sufficient, needed 2-finger gloves.
You also have take into consideration a thermocline. I use a 5mm jacket/3mm pants in a 22-24 degrees water but when it is 16 degrees on the bottom I can feel it too well.
All rubber-in nylon-out.
But it is very individual and it is impossible to have just one suit for all scenarios. You can have a short-sleeve 3mm shirt to make it more flexible but unless you dive at the roughly same temperature you will need more than one suit.
 
OP
OP
P

pyromallat

Member
May 2, 2016
68
8
23
22
lebanon
- 28+ Celsius - No wetsuit. Long sleeve shirt and long shorts to prevent sunburns. I also use a Lycra hood. Good for 4 hours
- 28 to 24 Celsius 2 - 3mm
- 24 to 20 Celsius 5 mm jacket and 3 mm pants
- 20 Celsius and below 5 mm
I used a 6.5mm suit in 8 degrees for 30 minutes. Was sufficient, needed 2-finger gloves.
You also have take into consideration a thermocline. I use a 5mm jacket/3mm pants in a 22-24 degrees water but when it is 16 degrees on the bottom I can feel it too well.
All rubber-in nylon-out.
But it is very individual and it is impossible to have just one suit for all scenarios. You can have a short-sleeve 3mm shirt to make it more flexible but unless you dive at the roughly same temperature you will need more than one suit.
Personally i dont like lycras, i like to keep myself well protected from rocks and stings and i do get cold pretty easily and it ruins my dive specially my bottom time.
But i guess youre right its different for everyone.
Plus the thermocline here gets a little wacky... 24 on the surface and 16 on the bottom!
I do own three wetsuits 1.5 3 and a 5 and im looking to get a 7 since im getting shivers after a couple hours of spearfishing.
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
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USA, NJ
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Personally i dont like lycras, i like to keep myself well protected from rocks and stings and i do get cold pretty easily and it ruins my dive specially my bottom time.
But i guess youre right its different for everyone.
Plus the thermocline here gets a little wacky... 24 on the surface and 16 on the bottom!
I do own three wetsuits 1.5 3 and a 5 and im looking to get a 7 since im getting shivers after a couple hours of spearfishing.
I guess 7mm top and 5mm bottom would suit you well. Order a custom jacket for a perfect fit.
 
OP
OP
P

pyromallat

Member
May 2, 2016
68
8
23
22
lebanon
I guess 7mm top and 5mm bottom would suit you well. Order a custom jacket for a perfect fit.
I was thinking of getting a custom smooth skin wetsuit but people keep telling me they're really fragile. And thats coming from people that always wear smooth skin. So ill probably stick with a off the shelf nylon outer since i dont think its worth the extra cost of getting it custom made unless its smooth skin.
 

Andrew the fish

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2010
405
71
68
Burnaby BC Canada
I use 5mm in 8 to 15 deg.C waters. 7mm is too floaty, and too restrictive to my movements. I say, if you are cold with 5mm at 20 degrees water, no amount of extra thickness will be enough for you.
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
140
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USA, NJ
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Ac
I was thinking of getting a custom smooth skin wetsuit but people keep telling me they're really fragile. And thats coming from people that always wear smooth skin. So ill probably stick with a off the shelf nylon outer since i dont think its worth the extra cost of getting it custom made unless its smooth skin.
Actually a smooth skin is more flexible and thus more forgiving if it is off thr shelf. Nylon is more restrictive and requires a custom fit unless your body type is standard.
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
140
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USA, NJ
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Any recommendations for any specific brand of smoothskin wetsuit?
I recommend Forza-Tre sandwich from Polosub (Forza Tre Link). I am using their nylon externally lined suits (I do not care for smoothskin), but my buddy is ecstatic about his Forza-Tre. He says that it is warmer than nylon one. He hunts in 20-24 degrees water and uses a 3mm jacket and pants. My 5mm jacket (with nylon) is 7 years old and still going strong. Polosub is a king of wetsuits.
 
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