How Do Wetsuits Work – Wetsuit Advice & Sizing

12. How Do Wetsuits Work1
Read Time:13 Minute, 23 Second

Check out this guide to learn how wetsuits function and how they can keep you warm by acting in a variety of ways. But first, let’s dispel a common misconception by making it clear that the water that enters a wetsuit does not keep you warm. A wetsuit would indeed be warmer if no water at all entered it, but then it would be a drysuit, which is a completely different piece of gear.

What is Wetsuit Fit

A wetsuit should be a form-fitting outfit that gently squeezes you all over. A very thin layer of water will be forced between your skin and the wetsuit when you first get wet. A lot of water will flood in to fill the spaces between the wetsuit and your body if the wetsuit is too baggy. Your body will instantly become cooler in the first and second cases when cold water enters it.

Let’s look at the tight-fitting wetsuit in the first scenario. In this case, your body heat warms the thin layer of cold water that has been squeezed into the suit. Because there isn’t much water, it warms up quickly and doesn’t take much heat away from your body. Given that the suit is already “full,” moving in the water largely prevents fresh water from the outside from entering. This resistance to entering fresh water, or “flushing,” will be aided by the suit’s ankles, wrists, and neck fitting comfortably.

In the second scenario, which involves a baggy wetsuit, there will be a lot more water inside the suit right away. It will take much longer for your body to warm it up, and much more heat will be lost in the process. In fact, it’s possible that your body will never be able to significantly warm the water. Fresh water from the outside easily flushes through the suit when you are submerged in water and start to move around, dislodging or diluting the water that your body worked so hard to warm. The wetsuit’s effectiveness will be greatly diminished by the constant flushing of cold water, which will make it impossible to maintain much body heat.

How Does a Wetsuit Work?

How do wetsuits function? Wetsuits function by trapping a small amount of water between the wetsuit and your skin, to put it simply. Your body heat quickly warms the trapped water, which then solidifies into an insulating layer. Wetsuits are made of a material called neoprene, which also serves as an insulator. Neoprene that is thicker (such as 5/4mm or 6/5/4mm, etc.), the warmer you will be. While some water will inevitably enter the suit, you don’t want much of it to. This is why it’s critical that your wetsuit is snug, not baggy, like a second skin. You can’t have a loose wetsuit, for real; otherwise, the baby will get drenched and you won’t be warm or comfortable.

There is less water against your skin when wearing wetsuits lined with fleece. Your body won’t have to exert as much energy to maintain warmth when there is a fleece lining. Your body will stay warmer for longer if there is less water in contact with it. Nowadays, the majority of wetsuits on the market have fleece linings. The fleece is typically found on the back and/or chest panels of low- to mid-priced clothing. Most, if not all, of the interior of higher-end wetsuits (mostly cold water wetsuits) are typically lined with fleece.

The amount of water left inside the wetsuit by semi-dry suits is extremely minimal. The thickness of these suits also makes them warm. More protection from cold water is provided by neoprene that is thicker.

How Does a Wetsuit Keep You Warm?

Although a diver’s body loses heat 20 times more quickly in water than it does in air, a good diving suit can reduce this loss. Due to the close packing of molecules in water, which is denser than air, this phenomenon occurs. Air molecules, which are spread apart, cause little heat loss in the meantime. Divers would experience cold without a wetsuit, so they prefer to do so when diving.

Hypothermia is a persistent risk that exists whenever a diver is submerged. They are also better able to avoid environmental dangers and rough surfaces thanks to these suits.

Wetsuits might seem straightforward, but there are intricate calculations and tests involved in their production. Similar to layers of clothing that keep you warm in chilly weather, a wetsuit also keeps you warm. A typical wetsuit has laminated fabrics on the inside and outside with an inner layer of neoprene foam.

Water enters the wetsuit through the extremities, such as the wrist, ankles, and neck, as soon as a diver enters the water. Your wetsuit’s neoprene gradually starts to give way to your skin. In the end, it traps a thin layer of water between the body and the wetsuit. Your body heat assists the layer of water in acting as a heating element to keep you warm.

The technical term for this method of heat buildup is insulation. It is made possible by the warm air-trapping bubbles found in neoprene. The compact layer will help shield the skin from UV rays, scratches, and bruises in addition to maintaining a constant temperature. When you have the ideal wetsuit for your underwater activity, it should be the appropriate size, material, and design.

Layers of a Wetsuit

The wetsuits keep the divers warm and guard them against hypothermia by using layers. Layers in a typical wetsuit include:

  • Comfort Layer: Your skin is protected from the water by the layer. The user is usually shielded from any discomfort by the fact that it is typically much smoother and softer.
  • Heat-reflective layer: After the comfort layer, this layer is typically added. It keeps you warm while you are underwater by preserving your body heat. Graphene OMNIRED Ultra Warmth Technology and other heat-reflecting materials are present in this layer. You should choose high-quality gear because some wetsuits might not have this feature.
  • Neoprene layer: A crucial component of the wetsuit is this layer. The majority of the wetsuit is made up of this layer because it is crucial to maintaining the wetsuit’s temperature underwater. The elasticity and thickness of this layer may vary.
  • Outer layer: In order to avoid wear-and-tear issues, this outer layer serves as the strong, protective outer care.

A wetsuit will function better to stop heat loss underwater if it has more layers.

12. How Do Wetsuits Work2

Key Components of a Wetsuit

Size and Overall Fitting

A wetsuit must suit your needs in order for it to function effectively. To prevent heat loss, a wetsuit must be snug against your skin. The thin layer of water that wetsuits trap between the wearer’s skin and the suit ensures a perfect fit.

Overall, you should measure your wetsuit because any size variation could make your experience less enjoyable. Wetsuits in smaller sizes may be uncomfortable because they are too tight. Additionally, if your suit isn’t fitted properly, you could quickly lose heat while diving.

Similar to how a loose-fitting, oversized suit increases the risk of hypothermia by letting water seep inside, The correct size should always be chosen, according to experts.

Water Protection

The problem-causing property of water is that it can seep through even the smallest cracks. Wetsuits must do everything possible to keep water away from the body. The majority of the time, it can turn out to be challenging because it can seep inside through the wetsuit’s zippers and stitching. Additionally, it has the ability to pass through other parts of the body, like the torso.

High-quality wetsuits come with two different types of stitching to help solve this issue. Blind and flatlock stitches are examples of them. These stitching options have their own benefits and provide different means
to keep the user warm

Flatlock Stitching

Tight knitting from both fabric ends is necessary for flatlock stitching. The holes made by the needles, however, may allow a very small amount of water to pass through. This shouldn’t be a problem, especially when diving in warm water.

Blind Stitching

With the aid of specialized glue, various clothing items are joined together during the blind stitching process. The glue offers the best diving solution for winters and aids in preventing the issues of needle holes in the finished product. It makes sure that water cannot pass through the material and maintains your body temperature.

Wetsuit Insulation

Only infrared can generate warm energy. The sun’s rays and body heat typically contain this energy. Underwater, divers lose heat to the surroundings.

One of the newest swimsuit innovations that makes use of infrared radiation is the Omnired technology. Body heat is converted into thermal energy by the thermo-reactive minerals in the swimsuit. The thermal energy is then returned to the body, keeping the user warm while submerged.

Numerous eminent scientists have studied the technology and supported it, concluding that it performs better than competing technologies in the sector. The suit is comfortable, flexible, and quick to dry.

The technology provides:

  • Better Circulation: Your body’s blood circulation is boosted by infrared, which raises your levels of oxygen. In the end, you feel more comfortable and strong.
  • Faster Recovery: fast circulation also assists in promoting better health. Your stamina and endurance grow as the function of your body’s cells rises.
  • Better Warmth: The best heat against the cold water is provided by the Omnired technology. You can maintain a comfortable temperature underwater because of the rapid circulation.
  • Wetsuit Comfort

ExoWear wetsuits are frequently used by individuals seeking improved flexibility and range of motion. Some of these suits offer protection from environmental hazards while being best for movement in the water. Comfort is a priority in the design of these wetsuits. Compared to a nylon surface, an ExoWear is more practical and easier to use.

The suit enhances the underwater experience in addition to providing comfort. Additionally, the suit has a high degree of flexibility and can lessen water resistance. With the suit on, it enables the user to work more quickly and buoyantly. More flexibility and freedom are offered by a triathlon suit the thinner it is.

Wetsuit Zips

As previously mentioned, water can enter through a variety of openings, including zippers. Your body is protected from water entry by the most modern G-Lock2 back zipper with offset tooth design and PU coated zip tape.

The Difference Between a Wetsuit and a Drysuit

When it comes to diving equipment worn underwater, there are two options that are frequently seen. For both kayakers and divers, the drysuit is regarded as one of the best options. Such equipment shields divers from chilly air, UV rays, and low temperatures. Underwater diving in the winter is nearly impossible for those without the proper gear.

The distinction between a drysuit and a wetsuit and how they differ from one another is one of the most frequently asked questions by divers. The most obvious distinction is in the name: a dry suit keeps you dry the entire time, whereas a wetsuit does not.

To aid you in making the best decision, let’s look at some of the main distinctions between a drysuit and a wetsuit.

  1. Warmth – One of the most crucial things for divers, particularly in a cold environment, is staying warm. Wetsuits and drysuits are both made to stop the body from losing heat. By placing a layer of neoprene and water between the suit and the user’s skin, wetsuits serve this purpose. The assistance of air and other material combinations is used by drysuits on the other hand. Users of drysuits can increase their layering to protect themselves from the cold.
  2. Weight – The use of weights is a crucial component in figuring out the difference. A user doesn’t experience the issue of over-weighting once they get used to wearing a drysuit. In terms of using a wetsuit, it is a major issue. Wetsuits can vary in weight, whereas drysuits offer the benefit of constant buoyancy.
  3. Cost – Choosing between a wetsuit and a drysuit is influenced by the equipment’s cost. A drysuit may cost more than $1500 in total, which can be expensive for some divers. Additionally, for the best experience, you will also need to buy additional equipment. Contrarily, wetsuits offer a lot more functionality and value for the money. They are also less expensive to maintain than drysuits. Since they are durable and simple to clean with a rinse, they don’t require much additional investment. In contrast, you need to change the boots, the zippers, the seals, and any leaks in drysuits. Despite the fact that they may last up to 10 years with proper care, these extra costs can rise significantly.
  4. Condition Variations – You probably will dive into water with a range of temperatures and different conditions. Each wetsuit is designed for a particular weather scenario, so they are available in different thicknesses. For instance, you need a thinner wetsuit if you are diving into warm water. The need for a thicker wetsuit is similar in cool water. A dry suit can be worn over additional layers, making it appropriate for all seasons and weather conditions.
  5. Overall Experience – A wetsuit makes it simpler for a person to explore underwater. This occurs as the wetsuit contracts in response to the increased pressure. Maintaining neutral buoyancy is more difficult with a drysuit, though. Before making a purchase, people frequently base their decisions on the ocean and the weather. A wetsuit has an advantage over a dry suit if we compare their overall uses and arguments.

Pros of Wetsuits

It entirely depends on the materials and cost involved in the making of the wetsuits because some may function better than others. However, compared to drysuits, they might end up being quite affordable overall. Wetsuits are more valuable and have more benefits overall. Let’s take a look at some of the pros of wetsuits:


When the user needs to move quickly through the water, high flexibility is useful. Your efforts are reduced because wetsuits make floating easier for you. Additionally, it will enable you to concentrate on swimming and exploring rather than on maintaining balance. Always choose the best wetsuit available.

Cheaper Than Drysuits

When compared to drysuits, wetsuits are frequently less expensive and simpler to maintain. They last a long time before visible wear and tear appears and offer a respectable return on investment.

Provide Warmth

The user can stay in the water for longer thanks to the wetsuits’ provision of much-needed warmth. Additionally, it’s a fantastic option for those who are sensitive to the cold. They may feel more at ease as a result, which will improve their diving experience.

Cons of Wetsuits


Due to a sizeable initial outlay, purchasing wetsuits may not be an option for some people. Some people may have to spend several hundred dollars.


Some people may find wetsuits to be uncomfortable because they are too tight. The experience of swimming might be hampered by a lingering tightness in the body.

Wetsuit Vs Dry Suit: What’s the Difference?

Wetsuits are made to keep your body’s heat in place while providing thermal protection from the cold water. Wetsuits use a thin layer of water and the material of the suit to insulate our body’s natural heat, as opposed to dry suits, which use air and multiple underlayers to maintain heat (more on that in a moment).


Now that we’ve answered the question “How Do Wetsuits Work?”, now it is time to find one of your own. While some users believe that the thickness and material of a wetsuit are among the important aspects they need to consider, fitting is also an important consideration.

The purpose of wearing a wetsuit is defeated if it is too loose. You run the risk of preventing blood from reaching your limbs if it is too tight. The best course of action in this situation is to buy yourself the appropriate size clothing.

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