What thickness wetsuit do you need for freediving?

Freediving is a type of diving that involves diving underwater without the use of scuba gear, relying solely on one's breath-holding ability. Freediving is a popular activity for people who love the ocean and want to explore its depths. To stay warm and comfortable during a dive, it's important to have the right wetsuit. One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a wetsuit is the thickness. In this blog, we'll discuss what thickness freediving wetsuit is best for you.

When choosing a wetsuit for freediving, you want to make sure it has the right thickness. Wetsuits are made from neoprene, a type of synthetic rubber that is flexible, durable, and provides insulation. The thickness of the neoprene determines how much insulation the wetsuit provides, and how warm you'll be while diving.

The most common style of wetsuit used in freediving and spearfishing is 2 piece wetsuit. They have a jacket with integrated hood and the pants will either be in a long John style or waist high pants. The advantage with this style of wetsuit is that a thinner suit will keep you warmer than that of a 1 piece wetsuit (which will be cooler as water will leak in through the zip and around the neck area). 

The general rule of thumb is that the thicker the wetsuit, the warmer you'll be. However, thicker wetsuits are also bulkier and can be more restrictive, making it harder to move freely underwater. On the other hand, a thinner wetsuit will be more flexible, allowing for greater mobility, but won't provide as much insulation.

If you're diving in warm water (above 20°C), a wetsuit with a thickness of  3mm should be sufficient. This type of wetsuit is lightweight and flexible, making it ideal for diving in warm waters where you won't need much insulation.

For diving in cooler water (between 15°C and 20°C), a wetsuit with a thickness of 5mm to 7mm is recommended. This type of wetsuit will provide more insulation, keeping you warm in the cooler water.

If you're diving in very cold water (below 15°C), a wetsuit with a thickness of 7mm or more is necessary. This type of wetsuit will provide the most insulation, keeping you warm even in the coldest of waters.

It's also important to consider your own personal comfort when choosing a wetsuit. Some people are more sensitive to the cold and will require a thicker wetsuit, even in warmer waters. Conversely, some people may find a thicker wetsuit too restrictive, and will prefer a thinner one, even in colder waters.

The thickness of a freediving wetsuit is a crucial factor to consider when choosing the right wetsuit for you. A wetsuit with a thickness of 2mm to 3mm is suitable for diving in warm water, a wetsuit with a thickness of 5mm to 7mm is suitable for diving in cooler water, and a wetsuit with a thickness of 7mm or more is suitable for diving in very cold water. Ultimately, the right wetsuit thickness will depend on the water temperature, your personal comfort, and your diving style.

It's important to care for your wetsuit too. Ensure you rinse/wash your wetsuit in fresh water after use and dry your wetsuit in a dry shady area. Heat and direct sunlight can damage neoprene. 

Written by Eckart Benkenstein