how to correctly choose my diving suit
This will be the first of the doubts that we will encounter, and it is certainly one of the most important choices that we must make. Different thicknesses, materials, shapes … which one suits us?
The first thing we must be clear about is the usefulness of the suit. As you may well know, its main function is none other than to maintain the diver’s body temperature, limiting as much as possible the heat loss that occurs when entering a much colder environment, such as sea water.
In addition and as a second level function, the isothermal suit can free us from possible scratches, blows or bites of various animals.
In the market we will find three fundamental types of suits:
Dry: used in very low temperatures. It prevents the entry of water into it through a valve with which it injects air into the space between the diver and the suit itself, in addition to having tight adjustments in the ankles, wrists and neck to prevent the exit of air and the water inlet.
Wet: it is the most used. A certain amount of water (scarce) penetrates into it but does not allow constant renewal of it, so the body easily reaches its temperature without significant thermal deterioration.
These suits are made of neoprene, with different thicknesses (the thicker, the more it will protect from the cold), the most common thickness being from 5 to 7 mm. This material makes the suit have some buoyancy, which should be taken into account when monitoring the ballast used if we change our suit.
There are also finer suits (1 to 3 mm.) For warmer waters, as well as vests that can be worn under the suit for cooler waters.
Semi-dry: equipped with a waterproof zipper. They protect more than the wet ones, without reaching the extreme of the dry ones.
As you may well know, the suits are generally made of neoprene, a material that we can find with different finishes:
SMOOTH: neoprene treated so that the layer that will be in contact with the skin is smooth and adheres well to the body, facilitating its placement. They are the most fragile at breakage. This type of finish is very common to find on the wrist and ankle cuffs, in order to minimize the flow of water.
LINED: the neoprene has a lining that favors its placement. This lining provides great resistance to tearing. The lining can be nylon or towel, the latter being especially comfortable to put on because it has a mini curl that slides very easily on the skin.
TITANIUM: used in sheets, which are placed between the neoprene and the lining (exterior or interior) in order to minimize the cooling of the air from the neoprene microbubbles. In this way the internal heat is maintained for a longer time.