Your Go-To Guide to Finding the Best Men’s Wetsuits
Wetsuits make water adventures more bearable, as they keep you warm even in colder water temperatures. They’re made from different materials that are combined in layers to provide the right level of insulation. One of a wetsuit’s main components is neoprene, a synthetic rubber material that’s an excellent heat insulator.
The best wetsuits keep you safe and comfortable in the open water, whether you’re out scuba diving, swimming, or doing paddle sports, like kayaking or surfing. Thanks to wetsuits, you’d be able to enjoy your water sports and activities longer without having to worry about intolerable or even dangerous water temperatures.
Whether it’s your first time shopping for men’s wetsuits or you’re curious about how a wetsuit works, this article can help you understand how wetsuits work and aid you in choosing one for yourself.
Types of Men's Wetsuits
When shopping for men's wetsuits, you’d be surprised to find a lot of variety. Aside from fullsuits and springsuits, also known as shorty wetsuits, you’ll also come across long john and short john suits, as well as split-toe boots, hoods, and gloves.
Below are some of the common wetsuits you may find:
- Hooded full wetsuit
- Full wetsuit
- Long john
- Spring suit
- Short arm steamer
- Short john
- Split-toe boots and gloves
How to Choose a Wetsuit for Men
With all the different wetsuit types and styles available, how do you choose a suit that works for you?
Keep in mind that these suits are designed not only to keep you warm but also to provide you with protection against abrasion and UV rays. When choosing a suit, consider what you’re going to use it for. Will you be diving in cold water temperatures, kayaking, or surfing?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to wetsuits. Other factors that determine the type of wetsuit you choose include water temperature, weather conditions, the types of materials used, thickness, fit, and size.
Understanding Wetsuit Size and Wetsuit Thickness
Depending on the manufacturer, suits can come in a wide range of sizes and thicknesses. The rule of thumb is the thicker the suit is, the more appropriate it is for colder waters. Conversely, thinner suits are generally okay for waters with warmer temperatures or locations that regularly have warm weather.
While you can always visit your local outdoor store and try on men’s wetsuits, you can also take measurements ahead of time. Pay attention to your chest, waist, and height measurements. If you’re trying on a wetsuit, make sure that it fits your arms, shoulders, chest, and crotch tightly. You should also be able to freely lift your arms while wearing it. Pay close attention to whether or not it’s able to provide a comfortable fit.
How Tight Should a Wetsuit Be?
Fit is a crucial factor that should be considered when shopping for wetsuits.
To get the best fit, you want a suit that fits snugly and feels like a second skin. Suits that are too tight are likely to restrict our movement while loose suits are prone to water flushing, which is when cold water enters your suit and forces the insulated warm water out.
If you’re opting for full suits, make sure that the sleeves reach your wrist bone and the legs your ankle bone. Make sure that your suit is free of gaps or excess rolls of neoprene when worn.
Note that a wetsuit loosens up when wet and that neoprene tends to develop a “memory”, allowing it to better conform to your body the more you use it.
What to Wear Under a Wetsuit
To prevent chafing and to have an extra layer of warmth underneath your suit, you can wear a lightweight rash guard, fitted cycling or diving shorts, Lycra briefs, or even a full-body jumpsuit for added coverage.
How to Wash and Clean a Neoprene Wetsuit
Suits can be very expensive, and if you don’t take care of them properly, they’ll get worn out quickly. This is why it’s important to take proper care of your suit after every use to prolong its life.
You can soak it in cold or lukewarm fresh water with a mild suit cleaner or shampoo for around 30 minutes. Turn it inside out and leave it to soak for another 30 minutes. While soaking, scrub its components, including the zippers and patches, to remove any dirt. Rinse it thoroughly inside and out after soaking.
How to Dry a Wetsuit
To dry a wetsuit, simply turn it inside out and hang it on a hanger. Don’t forget to turn it right side out. Repeat the process until the suit is fully dry and keep it away from direct sunlight, as this can cause the neoprene to become brittle. Instead, place it to dry in an area with sufficient shade and airflow.
What’s the Difference Between Regular, Triathlon, and Surfing Wetsuits?
A surfing wetsuit is designed to give the wearer warmth, protection, and flexibility. It also may also have features like front zip, back zip, or extra knee padding. A triathlon wetsuit is intended to reduce drag when wearers are using it to swim. It usually has a back zip and long zipper tethers that allow for easy removal.
A diving wetsuit is primarily made from compression-resistant neoprene and is designed to provide you with sufficient thermal insulation even when you’re in chilly waters for longer durations. It banks on its thickness, which is measured in millimeters, to provide divers with insulation.
The best wetsuits can cost a lot of money, which is why it pays to do a lot of research and compare features before you decide on a particular suit type. Also, consider what you’re going to use it for as well as where you’re going. Even the most advanced wetsuit technology won’t do you a lot of good if your suit doesn’t have the proper size or fit and thickness for your needs.
Lead an active life and don’t let the cold water temperature keep you from doing what you love. Stay active regardless of the season with the best wetsuits for men.
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