Wetsuit Thickness:

A Guide to Keep You Warm and Toasty

Looking to buy a wetsuit? Check out our picks for best scuba diving wetsuits.

You want to keep warm during your dive but what is the right wetsuit thickness to do the job? After all, nothing can ruin a dive faster than being cold and shivering while you are underwater.

(Take a look at our wetsuit buyers guide for a complete list of all our pages and information on wetsuits.)

scuba diving wetsuit - thickness

The proper thickness basically depends on where you will be diving and your tolerance for cold. The thicker the wetsuit, the warmer you will be.

If you are not sure between 2 thicknesses, I would probably buy the thicker wetsuit. You can let water in to get cooler but you can't make it warmer.

It should be noted that some wetsuits have 2 different thicknesses on different parts of the body. A 5/3 mm wetsuit thickness means there would be 5 mm on the torso and 3 mm on the arms and legs.

Just remember, there is no hard and fast rule here as far as thickness goes. I could be hot as Hades in a 3mm and you could be Frosty the Snowman. Also, the neoprene compresses at depth so you will have less insulation the deeper you dive.

Enough said, here's a general guide to help you determine what might be the proper thickness for your wetsuit:

  • 2 mm: Water temperatures above 85 F; my shorty is 2 mm and it is fine for me in the Caribbean
  • 3 mm: Water temperatures between 70-85 F; this is usually the norm for scuba diving in the Caribbean
  • 5 mm: Water temperatures between 60-70 F
  • 6.5 mm Water temperatures between 50-70; at the lower end you are getting into drysuit territory.

Remember, this is just a general guide. If you are not sure, you can always rent a wetsuit during your next dive vacation and see what thickness works for you. This way you can try a couple of different thicknesses out and determine which is best for you.

For more information, check out our other pages on wetsuits:

Scuba Diving Wetsuits Introduction //How to Buy a Wetsuit //How to Put on a Scuba Diving Wetsuit //Scuba Diving Wetsuit Repair Guide //Wetsuit Care //Wetsuit Material Guide //Guide to Wetsuit Sizes and Fit //Best 3mm Wetsuits - High End or Top End//Best 3mm Wetsuits - Mid-range or inexpensive//Cheap Wetsuits - Men//Cheap Wetsuits - Women

If you are looking to buy a wetsuit, we have full length wetsuits, shorty wetsuits, and farmer john/jane wetsuits available in our Gear Store.

Whichever thickness you choose, I wish you a warm and enjoyable dive.



Top of Wetsuit Thickness

Return to Scuba Diving home

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

What's New

  1. Scuba Diving PopSockets - Grips For Your Phone & Tablet, Phone Holder

    Jul 19, 18 05:40 PM

    Scuba Diving PopSockets: Love scuba diving and your phone? These scuba themed PopSockets will show your love of diving and the ocean. Great gift idea for any diver.

    Read More

  2. Tips On Buying Childrens Wetsuits And Picks For Best Kids Wetsuit

    Jun 12, 18 10:26 AM

    Looking to purchase childrens wetsuits or rash guards? We'll give you tips on buying the best kids wetsuit or rash guard. What you want to look for in a wetsuit to keep your child warm...

    Read More

  3. Privacy Policy of scuba-diving-smiles.com

    Jun 07, 18 05:08 PM

    Scuba-diving-smiles.com has updated its' Privacy Policy. You can read the complete policy here...

    Read More

  4. World Ocean Day 2018

    Jun 06, 18 03:25 PM

    It is fast approaching. Almost as fast as this year has gone by. LOL. World Ocean day is June 8, 2018. Our oceans are in dire need of protection and help. Let's do everything we can to protect that wh…

    Read More

  5. Scuba Divers Life

    Dec 21, 17 09:27 AM

    It's a beautiful sunny day, birds are singing, colorful flowers pointing their faces towards the sun and a soft warm breeze touching your skin. I'm wondering..

    Read More

CONNECT WITH US ON FB!

scuba diving gift ideas

Our Full Dive Course

(Link goes to our other site, scubadivetips.com)

Scuba diving ebook course

Buoyancy Control

buoyancy control ebook

Air Consumption

air consumption ebook

Boat Diving

Boat diving ebook

Ear Equalization

Dive Safety

scuba diving safety report

See our choices for the best scuba equipment for any budget.


What you need to know (and ask) before you book a dive vacation package.


Travel Business