Review of types of the best wetsuits

The Independent Best wetsuits for triathlons, swimming and surfing Paul Roberts Visitors: 158 ★★★★

Wetsuits are designed for diving, as well as underwater sports, hunting and other entertainment. They serve as thermal insulation against the effects of the aquatic environment on the human body.Device and operating principle

The main task of the wetsuit is to protect a person from hypothermia and possible injuries during his stay under water.

Depending on the tasks to be solved, the market offers several types of this workwear for specific types of professional work, sports, diving, spearfishing.According to the type of interaction with water, wetsuits are divided into 3 types:

Dry-water practically does not get inside due to the existing sealing cuffs on the neck and hands and water-tight zippers.

Wet – water gets inside and does not come out, thermal insulation is provided by the material of the suit and the layer of water heated from the body. Require careful size selection to minimize water circulation under the suit.

Semi-dry-average appearance, with a properly selected suit, water practically does not get inside. The degree of thermal insulation of the human body depends on the density of the fit.

The principle of operation is based on the creation of thermal insulation using the material of the wetsuit with its tight fit to the human body.

The main materials for sewing wetsuits are:

 

neoprene;

trilaminate;

rubberized fabric.

Developers of fabrics for wetsuits strive to bring their structure and smoothness closer to the skin of marine animals (sharks, dolphins).

 

Depending on the cut and model of the wetsuits are:

 

jumpsuits that completely cover the body (with fully long sleeves and legs);

models with long legs and short or detachable sleeves;

overalls with short legs and sleeves ("shorty" type).As an additional detail to the costumes, it is offered:

 

helmet (separate or glued into the overall);

belt (for attaching equipment).

By design, the costumes are divided into:

 

overalls (monosuits) – a one-piece jumpsuit with a built-in helmet, covering the body, arms and legs completely (in the shortened version-the length of the sleeve at the elbow, the legs - to the middle of the thigh);

separate suits-overalls with straps + a jacket with a zipper or a blind one with a built-in helmet, are more convenient when dressing.

The service life of the wetsuit depends on the material and the quality of the connection of the parts.

The main types of connections( seams):

adhesive tape-applied at the seam, fastened at high temperature (economical, but unreliable);

zigzag – used for color inserts, for external helmet stitching (inside-glue and tape);

mauser-wide seam for maximum strength;

blind seam – the most flexible seam with 100% strength (the material is glued, then sewn from the outside and inside half, followed by connecting the inner and outer stitches).

Purpose and functions

Wetsuits are designed for various types of water sports, underwater fishing and hunting, diving. Depending on the purpose and temperature of the water in which the immersion will take place, materials of different thicknesses are used.

 

The most popular suits are considered to be 3 , 5, 7 mm thick, which are used respectively at temperatures up to 27, 21, 12C. For temperatures below 10C, a 9 mm thick monosuit is required, for temperatures above 28C, 1-2 mm is sufficient.

 

The main material for sewing wetsuits is neoprene, which is made in two ways:

 

foamed with gas (a more expensive and high-quality option);

with chemical treatment, having an internal (absorbent, moisture-absorbing) and external (polymer, moisture-repelling, wind, cold) coating.

The main types of neoprene are:

 

Smooth – most often combined with other fabrics for ease of putting on (stretch, plush, nylon). It is used in the form of inserts on the inside of the hood, under the arms, on the edges of the sleeve.

With titanium coating-the coating is not external, but internal to increase the thermal insulation properties of the material, which are improved by 15% or more.

With open pores – the usual smooth neoprene, which due to air bubbles adheres to the human body, acquiring the appearance of smooth skin.As additional details, the suit may have:

 

Zipper on the chest or back (with a higher collar that keeps you warm). The length of the zipper affects the thermal protection index and the comfort of putting on in an inversely proportional relationship: with increasing length, heat transfer decreases.

Knee pads-protect the legs from abrasions.

Zippers on the sleeves (wrists) and legs (ankles) – facilitate the process of putting on/taking off.

Pockets and pads (for example, for charging a crossbow when spearfishing).Additional accessories:

 

Socks or boots-are available in different thicknesses (3-7 mm), protect the foot when swimming with fins, the boots have a thickened sole.

Gloves and mittens – are relevant at water temperatures below 22C, if necessary, you can buy models with a thickness of 3-7 mm. The thicker the glove, the harder it is to control the hand.The helmet is a separate element for preserving the heat of the head, the helmet should ideally fit the size of the head-do not pull it off and do not be free, so that water does not fall under it.

How to choose a wetsuit Before choosing a wetsuit you need to accurately determine:

 

purpose of purchase;

dive location, conditions and parameters;

type of suit (monolithic or separate);

the amount you plan to spend on a wetsuit.

Important parametersmaterial of the wetsuit;

exact body dimensions;

thickness (minimum and maximum in combined versions);

positive buoyancy-formed by air bubbles in the neoprene;

positive buoyancy distribution;

elasticity of the material – the well-stretched material provides freedom of movement;

special inserts in the groin and under the arms to facilitate movement;

drying rate;

UV protection;

the presence of protective knee pads.

Secondary parameters

color scheme;

location of the zipper (front or rear);

cut;

price.

Best wetsuits for swimming pools Fabrics are used to make this type of wetsuit:

 

neoprene 1-2. 5 mm thick-for easier putting on and improved buoyancy, it is covered with nylon on both sides;

combined fabric-nylon + elastane + carbon fiber (ultra-light option for cropped models with an open back).Rating

WEtsuit Male Hurricane Cat 1 (Female, 2 mm, monosuit, TYR USA-China);

Waterproof " W30 "(men's, 2.5 mm, monosuit, Sweden-China);

AQUA SPHERE Aqua Skins Men's-Shorty (men's, 1.5 mm, cropped, Italy);

Salvimar Fluyd Pure Swim Man (men's, monosuit, 2.5 mm, Italy);

Arena Powerskin Carbon Air (women's, cropped open-back, superior comfort, Germany).

The best wetsuits for swimming are made of special fabrics:

 

combined synthetic-polyamide with elastane (lycra) with the addition of carbon fiber (exclusively for swimming in warm water at a temperature of 23 to 30C);

neoprene-a material based on foamed synthetic chloroprene rubber (the main part of the suits is made from this material).

The materials used for wetsuits for swimming should perform several tasks:

 

improve buoyancy by reducing water resistance;

ensure the normal circulation of oxygen in the blood at high loads of the swimmer;

do not constrain or obstruct breathing and movement, but fit snugly to the body;

be as comfortable as possible for the body.

According to the purpose of wetsuits for swimming are divided into models for swimming:

 

in the pool;

on open water.

The first ones are resistant to chlorine, the second ones are selected taking into account the water temperature.

 

Wetsuits for open water swimming have an internal coating of nylon or plush to facilitate the process of putting on and taking off without the use of soap solution or oil.

By design, there can be:

 

monosuits (overalls) with long sleeves and legs, completely covering the body;

short with the length of the sleeves above the elbow and the legs above the knee (such as " shorts»);

cropped sleeveless with an open back (the length of the pant leg is above the knee or completely along the length of the leg).

All wetsuits should be seamless and smooth.

 

Monosuits can be additionally equipped with a built-in or separate helmet, mittens and socks. The zipper can be placed on the chest or on the back.Wetsuits for swimming are available for:

 

men;

women;

children.

The difference between women's and men's models is in the presence of special inserts taking into account the figure of men and women. Models with an open back are called starting models.

The thickness of the wetsuit for swimming can be from 0.5 to 5 mm.Positive:

 

improve swimming results;

they provide stability and perfect alignment of the body during swimming;

maximum comfort combined with optimal compression;

significantly reduce water resistance;

large selection of models.

Cons:

high cost;

they do not differ in the variety of design in color and pattern.Rating

Speedo LZR elite 2 cdbk kskn v2 af blue/black (female starter, with silicone layer, Italy);

Aqua Sphere AQUA SKIN SHORTY 0.5-1mm (men's short, Italy);

HUUB Aegis 2 (women's monosuit with long sleeves and closed legs, United Kingdom).

 


Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Paul Roberts 51 years old Born in Edinburgh. Married. Studied at University of Oxford, Department of Public Policy and Social Work. Graduated in 1997. Works at Standard Life Aberdeen plc.

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