Determining which wetsuit you need for your next dive trip is always hard. Normally it takes years of experience in several parts of the world to nail it every time. But worry no more! We are here to help you out!
Below we have listed a range of temperatures and which suit we think would suffice. There is a distinction between people who are generally cold and which generally feel warm. Seeing these descriptions you already have a idea which one you are!
78 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit /25 to 30 degrees Celsius (Warm Waters)
This is generally considered as warm water. Mostly found in tropic regions like the Caribbean and parts of Oceania and Asia. Normally there are no thermoclines and when there are they generally don’t have a high temperature difference.
Can do with 3mm thick shorty or even a rashguard with swimming trunks when the temperature of the water is running in the 80’s (28 C). If you want some more protection against marine stingers you might consider a skin-suit which covers the entire body.
- 85 (30 C) – 82 (27 C) Degrees: Skin-suit
- 82 (27 C) – 78 (25 C) Degrees: 3mm shorty
You need to protect yourself some more. Minimal is a 3mm full suit when the water runs in the 80’s (28 C). You might even consider wearing an neoprene vest underneath when the water is getting closer to 78 (25 C) degrees.
- 85 (30 C) – 82 (27 C) Degrees: 3mm full suit
- 82 (27 C) – 78 (25 C) Degrees: 3mm full suit + neoprene vest
60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit / 15 to 25 degrees Celsius (Temperate Waters)
These temperatures are considered temperate waters and are generally found in places like the Pacific, Egypt and the Mediterranean. The deeper you go in these water the colder the water will get. This is something you want to consider before choosing a suit. The deeper you’r planning to go the thicker the suit you will need!
When the water is in the high 70’s (24 C) you might be able to hold out in a 3mm full suit. When the temperature drops below 72 degrees (23 C) you might want to slip into a 5mm full suit. Adding an hood helps you keep warm when the temperature drops into the mid 60’s. When the temperature drops even further to the lower 60’s get yourself a 7mm full suit to keep yourself warm
- 75 (25 C) – 72 (22 C) Degrees: 3mm full suit
- 72 (21 C) – 65 (18 C) Degrees: 5mm full suit
- 65 (18 C) – 60 (15 C) Degrees: 7mm full suit
At the very least get a 5mm full suit when the temperature is at it peaks in these water. If you are planning on making deeper dives you might want to consider a 7mm full suit. As the temperature drops to the lower 60’s you will definitely need an over suit and preferably a 7mm one.
- 75 (25 C) – 70 (21 C) Degrees: 5mm full suit
- 70 (21 C) – 65 (18 C) Degrees: 7mm full suit + hood
- 65 (18 C) – 60 (15 C) Degrees: 7mm full suit + over-suit + hood + gloves
45 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit / 8 to 15 degrees Celsius (Cold waters)
These cold waters are found around the great lakes, the northern parts of Europe and around Japan. Especially when you are diving in lakes of these temperatures you will find many thermoclines with great differences in temperature.
A 7mm full suit is absolute necessary and you also want to add a over suit when the temperatures drop to 50 or lower. Don’t forget your hood and gloves. When the temperature gets close to 45 you might want to consider sporting a dry-suit.
- 60 (15 C) Degrees: 7mm full suit + neoprene vest + gloves + hood
- 60 (15 C) – 55 (10 C) Degrees: 7mm full suit + over-suit + gloves + hood
- 55 (10 C) – 45 (8 C) Degrees: Dry-suit + gloves + hood
Definitely get a dry-suit. Being a person who is always cold and these temperatures are my home turf I would never set foot in water of this temperature without my dry suit.
- 45 (8 C) – 60 (15 C) degrees = Dry-suit + gloves + hood