Wetsuits For Women

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female diver in a wetsuit and hood

For many scuba divers, a wetsuit is an essential piece of equipment. It helps keep you warm and comfortable in cold water and protects your skin from the sun, abrasions, and marine life. Wetsuits come in various thicknesses and styles to suit different water temperatures and diving activities.

Our comprehensive guide will help you learn about all the factors you should consider when shopping for your next wetsuit.

Wetsuit Materials: Neoprene and the Alternatives

Neoprene is the key ingredient in the majority of wetsuits. It’s a synthetic rubber made from petroleum-based polymers. Neoprene traps a thin layer of water between the skin and the suit. This trapped water is warmed by body heat, keeping the diver warm.

The thermal stability of neoprene means that this material remains flexible over a wide temperature range. It also protects the skin from UV rays.

Despite these advantages, neoprene is not an environmentally friendly material. It is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, and its manufacturing process releases harmful chemicals into the environment. Neoprene also takes hundreds of years to decompose, and when it does, it releases these same chemicals into the environment. This has led many companies to search for alternatives to neoprene.

Neoprene Alternatives

Here are the most popular alternatives to neoprene:


Yulex is a natural rubber made from the Hevea rubber tree, a renewable resource. It is as warm and flexible as neoprene.


Naturalprene is another material that is made from natural rubber, 85% from Malaysian plantations and 15% from synthetic chlorine-free rubber.

Lavacore and Sharkskin have also created tops, bottoms, and bodysuits that provide as much warmth as a 3mm wetsuit.

Wetsuit Thicknesses

Wetsuit thickness is measured in mm. Thickness typically ranges from 2mm – 7mm.

The thicker the wetsuit, the warmer you will be. The ideal thickness depends on the temperature of the water you’ll be diving in and your personal tolerance for cold.

The following chart is a general guide for choosing the appropriate thickness.

Water TempThickeness
Over 82.4°FA bathing suit or rashguard, or UV protective dive skin are sufficient.
77°F – 80.6°F2mm shorty wetsuit or 1mm full suit.
71.6°F – 75.2°F3mm full suit.
62.6°F – 69.8°F5mm full suit.
50°F – 60.8°F7mm full suit or 8/7mm semi dry suit.
41°F – 50°F8/7mm semi dry suit or dry suit.
Under 41°FDry suit.

Should I Buy or Rent A Wetsuit?

Wetsuits are commonly available to rent, however, our team believes every diver should own at least one wetsuit. Rental wetsuits aren’t available in every size, sometimes making it hard to accommodate traveling divers.

Another factor to consider is that many divers choose to pee in their wetsuits.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Peeing in a wetsuit is a personal choice and many divers are unbothered by the act, stating that it helps them to warm up faster. However, it does mean that a wetsuit must be cleaned regularly. Most shops do care for their rental gear and sanitize it but there are always exceptions to every rule. The bottom line is, if you’re uncomfortable about wearing something that someone else has urinated in, you should probably purchase your own wetsuit.

Are Wetsuits Buoyant?

Yes. The thicker the wetsuit the more buoyant it is. If you normally dive without a wetsuit but then need to wear one, remember to adjust your weights accordingly.

Can You Wear A Surfing Wetsuit For Scuba Diving?

Yes, you can technically wear a surfing wetsuit while scuba diving. However, scuba wetsuits are specifically designed to be compressed under pressure. Surfing wetsuits are not designed with pressure in mind and will wear out much faster. Surfing wetsuits are also thinner and don’t provide as much warmth.

How Much Do Wetsuits Cost?

Wetsuit pricing varies widely and is based on the material, thickness, and included features. The average pricing is between $100-$500.