The fit of a wetsuit is the most critical factor in ensuring that it will function and reliably protect you. For women, finding a properly fitting wetsuit can be a challenge because you want the wetsuit to conform to the shape of your body and flex with your movements. Men’s wetsuits will likely be too large in places for women and have free space that hangs away from the body. Thanks to popular demand, many brands now offer women’s wetsuits, which are the best way to safely enjoy the water sports you love.
Wetsuits are made from neoprene material. The material traps water next to the skin that the body then warms, creating a layer of insulation. Wetsuits for surface water sports and those for scuba diving use a different type of neoprene material. Scuba diving experiences additional pressure as they dive. Every 33 feet of saltwater adds an atmosphere of pressure. The wetsuit must be able to resist the pressure and not be compressed. Compressing the neoprene will reduce the protection layer, and deteriorate it permanently. Neoprene for diving suits is designed to do this, surface sport suits are not. This fact and differences in seals will make scuba diving wetsuits more expensive.
- A wetsuit with a front zipper can be tricky to put on and take off alone. Make sure you test the dressing procedure before purchasing to ensure a stress-free process.
- A wetsuit temperature guide can give you a general idea of which thickness you need for your wetsuit - however, every human body is different. While some people might be OK with a 3 mm shorty in 28-degree water, others might need to opt for a 5 mm full wetsuit.
- When putting on a dry wetsuit, it’s important to know that it should be a bit of a struggle. Once in the water, the wetsuit expands, making it more comfortable while in use.
Scuba Diving Expert
How To Choose A Woman’s Wetsuit – Buying Guide
Design and Use
The design of a wetsuit will correlate to how you use it for a specific water sport. Wetsuits are not all equal, and different models will cater to various activities, so it is best to take the time to find exactly what you need. The variety between women’s wetsuit designs is often in the thickness, zipper, cells, and number of pieces.
The thickness of a wetsuit can determine how warm it keeps your body, but so can the zipper. A back zipper is ideal for preventing water seepage away from the chest and stomach, which is where you lose the most heat. Front zippers are easy to put on alone, but they won’t keep you as warm. Women’s wetsuits for kayaking could safely have a front zipper because you are more likely to stay out of the water as you paddle your kayak. However, a women’s wetsuit for diving should have a back zipper to keep you warmer in cold waters.
Female wetsuits can also have different cell designs with the two options being an open or closed cell. A closed cell has a protective layer between the neoprene of the wetsuit and your skin, which adds buoyancy. The only downside is that it will minimize your range of motion. An open-cell female wetsuit won’t have the additional layer of protection, which means the neoprene suctions to the skin and keeps the body warmer. Scuba wetsuits for women will likely be an open-cell design.
Finally, some wetsuits come as one piece or as two pieces. A one-piece women’s wetsuit is a single unit that may be a short or full-length style. A two-piece design is unique because it won’t have a zipper. Two-piece wetsuits are often favored because they can keep warmth in better and have minimal water seepage. Women’s wetsuits for surfing could be a two-piece design, which will keep you warm and reduce the risk of rash from a zipper.
Overall, the difference in features is designed to help make one specific female wetsuit the best for your needs and activities. A diving suit for women should be a full-length, open-cell wetsuit that has a back zipper because it will optimize the warmth and protection divers need in deep and cold water. However, lady’s wetsuit tops could be perfect for surfing and kayaking where you don’t need as much heat retention.
Related Review: Surfing Wetsuits
The thickness of the wetsuit can determine how warm you stay. You must choose the right thickness you need for your water sport activity. Commonly, the thickness of the wetsuit is measured in millimeters with different thicknesses that range from 1 to 7 millimeters. The most common wetsuit thicknesses are 3, 5, and 7 millimeters.
A wetsuit temperature guide can tell you exactly how thickness correlates to water temperature, but in general, the thicker a wetsuit, the more protection. A 1-2 millimeter wetsuit would likely be a ladies wetsuit top and provides just a base layer of protection from rashes and sunburn with minimal heat retention.
If you are planning on going to colder water temperatures, you will need a drysuit, which is different from a wetsuit. It’s better to be prepared than unprepared in uncontrolled environments, like the ocean. However, if you like to partake in a variety of activities from kayaking to scuba diving, you should consider investing in multiple wetsuits with different thicknesses to cater to each adventure.
Related Review: Kayak Wetsuits
The two most common materials used for female wetsuits are lycra and neoprene. Technically, “wetsuits” made of lycra are not wetsuits but are rash guards. However, as you frequently see them advertised as such we have included it here as well. A lycra wetsuit offers minimal protection and is ideal for tropical locations because it will not preserve warmth like neoprene. Instead, lycra suits protect from sunburns, rashes, and abrasions. The minimum thickness can also make them a great base layer to wear under thicker wetsuits.
When you need real thermal protection, neoprene is the best material for a wetsuit. Neoprene absorbs water and traps it against your skin where it will be warmed by your body. Neoprene also comes in open and closed cell designs. The closed-cell is the most favored material featured in rental equipment. It is rigid to maintain the shape and durable, so it’s a great long-lasting option. The only downsides are that they are not as insulating as open-cell neoprene and are not as flexible.
Even with all the top-rated wetsuits for women available on the market, a wetsuit that does not properly fit will be worthless. The size and fit of a women’s wetsuit are the most important factors to consider when making a purchase. A wetsuit that doesn’t fit correctly may flush, leak, or inhibit your mobility.
For any woman, regardless of the activity, their wetsuit should fit snugly and close to the skin. Material that sags or bunches can cause mobility and comfort issues. Ideally, just a thin layer of water is in contact with your skin when you’re in the water using a wetsuit to keep your body warmer. But you don’t want the fit to be so snug that it is restrictive. You should still be able to lift your arms and flex your shoulders, as well as squat or bend at the waist.
The sizes will vary between brands and manufacturers, which can make it challenging to choose a size that will correctly fit. A size chart should be provided by each brand, which will allow you to shop for a wetsuit based on your body’s measurements. Women’s wetsuit reviews can also be a smart way to check the fit of a wetsuit. Many buyers will state whether the fit of the wetsuit matches the provided size chart, which can help you determine if you need to go up a size or down a size.
The way your wetsuit seams are stitched can determine how warm you stay. For scuba wetsuits for women and a diving suit for women, the seams are significant because you are looking for optimal heat retention. The three types of seams used are the overlock, flatlock, and blind stitch.
The overlock stitch is the style that is common in rental equipment. This stitch has bulky seams, but they are strong and rigid. It is ideal for warm waters because it is less insulating than other stitches.
The flatlock stitch can be seen from the outside of the suit and looks similar to railroad tracks. The seams are flatter, which makes them more comfortable with reduced chafing and increased flexibility. However, they are not water-tight and would do best in warm water temperatures.
The blind stitch is designed for cold water temperatures. The seams will be narrow and then have a taped or glued seam to keep out the water. It does the best at keeping cold water out and heat in, so this stitch is ideal for women’s wetsuits for diving.
Q: What are the benefits of wearing a wetsuit?
The main benefit of using a wetsuit is protection for your body against cold water, debris, and skin irritation. When you’re in the water, you are losing heat faster, even if you are actively participating in a sport like surfing. A wetsuit is a great way to help your body retain heat and protect your skin from sun damage and irritating rashes.
Wetsuits may not be a requirement for some activities, but for divers, a wetsuit is an essential gear item used to keep them safe on their adventure. A diving suit for women can make a trip safer and more comfortable. But not all wetsuits need to be designed for extreme temperatures. Women’s wetsuits for kayaking can be thinner because you won’t be submerged in the water for long periods. For kayakers, lady’s wetsuit tops would be a great option to have a light layer of protection.
Q: What are the specifics of female wetsuits?
Women have different bodies than men, and most often, that means different measurements. Women do not have broad shoulders, and their torsos are not as long. The best wetsuits for women will have a design that molds the female body. The shape of the wetsuit should be form-fitting, which means that it conforms to the waist, hips, chest, and legs of a woman. A female-specific wetsuit will be the most comfortable option for ladies and girls, which eliminates issues with sagging or loose material.
Q: How to choose the right size?
Choosing the right-sized female wetsuit can be the biggest challenge. The best way to find the right size is to use the brand-specific size chart that will give you sizes in correlation to your measurements. A size chart is a fast and easy way to determine what size wetsuit could be the best for your body type. If you are having trouble finding your size online, consider going to a store for in-person assistance in finding the best fitting wetsuit.
Q: Which thick wetsuit to buy?
The thickness of your wetsuit should correlate to the activity you plan on participating in and the water temperature. A women’s wetsuit for diving should be thicker than a women’s wetsuit for kayaking and likely be made of a different type of neoprene. A surfer may be comfortable all day wearing a 3 mm wetsuit while surfing 45-degree water. A diver in 45-degree water wearing the same wetsuit would likely be unconscious within 45 minutes.
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Whether you are kayaking, surfing, or diving, spending a day in the water can be a fun adventure. But every adventurer should be prepared and protected. The best women’s wetsuits will be durable, reliable, and comfortable. A female wetsuit will provide much-needed protection against harsh elements and ensure that you stay safe. The only thing to keep in mind is the fit. Top-rated wetsuits for women are catered for female bodies. They are ideal at keeping women and girls safe in the water, so they can keep going on exciting trips.
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Do you use one of the wetsuits that made it onto our list? Let us know how it has worked for your water sport adventure in the comments section below.