When you’re swimming or diving in colder waters, your summery swimsuit won’t always cut it. If that’s the case, you’ll need to invest in a wetsuit. It allows a greater degree of insulation against the cold, and as such, are perfect for all sorts of weather conditions. Of course, picking out your first wetsuit may seem overwhelming, so we’re here to simplify things a bit. Take a look at our guide to what to look for when buying a wetsuits, as well as a few of the most important things to consider!
The most important thing to keep in mind when buying your first wetsuit is the weather conditions you plan to use it under. They are designed to insulate you from chilly water temperatures, but specific wetsuits aren’t always well-suited to specific weather conditions and temperature ranges. Depending on the conditions you’re planning to venture into, you may want to go for a thicker or thinner. How do you decide, though? Let’s take a look.
Wetsuit Thickness Guide
The thickness of your wetsuit varies depending on how cold the water you’re planning to swim in is. Above temperatures of 22 degrees or so, just a regular swimsuit will be fine, but once you start dropping below 19, you’ll start needing a wetsuit. For temperatures that are only slightly too chilly for a standard swimsuit, a 2-millimeter thick sleeveless wetsuit should be enough.
However, as water temperatures continue to drop, you’ll need progressively thicker one, ranging between 3 millimeters thick and 6 millimeters thick. In addition, you’ll start needing some additional accessories.
Whether for safety, convenience, or extra warmth, there are several wetsuit accessories that despite being optional, are always great to have along. First and foremost, there’s a wetsuit bag. If you want to take home some keepsakes from the ocean or like keeping a few first-aid supplies on hand, a bag will provide you a lightweight space to carry the essentials wherever you go.
As for safety and warmth, once you get into colder waters, you’ll want to invest in wetsuit boots, gloves, and a hood. In addition to a thicker wetsuit, these accessories will provide the warmth you need to protect yourself from hypothermia and allow you to explore comfortably.
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