Very simply the best wet suit / semi dry is the one that fits you. Sizing charts are a useful guide, but nothing beats actually trying the suit on. The cut of each suit varies and different materials stretch and mould to you in different ways, so what may seem the right size on paper, may not be the best match for your body shape.
Also, if you don’t fit the ‘standard size charts’ don’t despair as we stock a number of ranges that are designed to fit real people, not the designer models – for example the ‘medium large short’ or the ladies ‘8 Tall’ !
The Aquanaut shop carries a full range of wet suits / semi drys from 9 maunfacturers in a range of sizes. Currently we have over 300 suits in stock.
The difference between a Wet suit and a Semi Dry suit, is that a Semi Dry will have seals at the wrists and ankles that are designed to reduce the amount of water that can pass through. With a wetsuit, water flushes through from one opening to another and takes your body heat with it. A Semi Dry traps the water inside the suit and your body heat warms up the water and keeps you warm.
A Wetsuit is fine for surface water sports or warm water diving but is not suitable for deep diving or any UK diving as it won’t keep you warm enough. Both are full length suits (they cover the arms and legs) and can come in 3mm and 5mm thicknesses. 3mm suits are again only suitable for warm water diving and shallow UK diving during the summer. 7mm semi drys are also available.
5mm suits are the most popular purchase. They are useful for both warm water diving and cold water diving. For cold water diving, you would add a second layer – either an undersuit or oversuit, to give yourself 10mm of Neoprene on the core of your body.
You will also find 7mm suits from time to time. These are very warm but traditionally were restrictive for movement. Modern Semi Dry suits are made from super – stretchy Neoprene – thankfully a major progression from the old style rubber suits.
It is not just a good idea, but essential to try a suit on before you buy it. A Semi Dry should be fairly tight but not uncomfortably so. When you’ve put it on you should be able to squat down and put your hands behind your head. If you can do this without it being too difficult or at all painful, then it fits.