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. 10 Best Scuba Diving Websites Worth Diving Into; Scuba News & Articles

    Aug 16, 19 07:47 AM

    There are lots of scuba diving websites out there - including our own. But which are worth your time? Our picks for the top 10 best dive websites to get lost in

    Read More

  2. Best Women's Dive Watches: Top Rated And Reviewed Scuba Diving Watches

    Aug 02, 19 02:42 PM

    Check out our picks for best women's dive watches at all price points. From sporty to elegant, these scuba diving watches look good in and out of the water.

    Read More

  3. A Scuba Diving Video Tip That Will Make You Happy

    Jul 26, 19 06:45 AM

    scuba diving video tip on dive safety This week I have one more scuba diving quick video tip on scuba diving safety. I think you will love this dive tip. It will make you more relaxed and give you a great excuse not to do something you…

    Read More

  4. Scuba Diving Video Tip On Dive Safety

    Jul 19, 19 10:32 AM

    scuba diving video tip on dive safety I have added another of my quick video tips to the scuba diving safety video page. It may not be the most fun of topics, but is arguably one of the most important. And you will appreciate your dive…

    Read More

  5. Scuba Travel Guide: Quick Video Tips For Divers

    Jul 12, 19 06:43 AM

    Be more confident and save money with these scuba travel tips. From tipping the dive crew to saving money while traveling,use our tips for a better dive trip.

    Read More

CONNECT WITH US ON FB!

scuba diving gift ideas

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