Scuba Diving Wetsuit Thickness Guide

wetsuit thickness guide
wetsuit thickness guide

When it comes to choosing a wetsuit, there are many factors that play into the decision. How do you know which one will be best for you? The thickness of your wetsuit is one thing that can make or break your dive experience. So let’s begin the scuba diving wetsuit thickness guide based on temperature:

Wetsuits work by trapping a layer of water between your body and the neoprene. This layer is warmed by your body heat and helps insulate you from the cold. The thickness of this layer depends on how much insulation is needed for the conditions you are swimming in. If it’s very cold, for example in winter or during a deep dive when there’s little light available to warm you up, then thicker wetsuits are ideal. The thinner the suit, however, the more flexible it will be (and therefore more comfortable).

If you want to know what thickness wetsuit is best suited for your needs then our article on how to choose a wetsuit will help guide you through all that information as well as offer advice on sizing too!

What thickness of the wetsuit do I need?

To dive safely and comfortably, the best bet is to wear a wetsuit with the right thickness for your intended environment. You can start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What kind of water temperature am I diving in?
  • What will I be doing while I’m there (photography/diving)?
  • How much money do I want to spend on this suit?

Diving in the tropics

If you’re diving in the tropics, water temperatures are always warm. However, night diving is also popular and you may need to wear a wetsuit at night. A 5mm is usually sufficient for most divers but if you’re very fit or don’t mind getting cold in the water then a 3mm could be used too.

Diving in cold water

Diving in cold water can be a different experience to diving in warm water. You need to be more prepared for the cold, and you need to prepare for the extra weight of a drysuit (which may feel like it’s pulling you down).

Wetsuit Thickness Guide Temperature Chart

wetsuit thickness chart based on temperature
wetsuit thickness chart based on temperature

This is a general guideline to help you choose the right thickness for your dive. Remember that there are many factors that make up the ideal wetsuit for you, including:

  • Body type
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Tolerance for cold water
  • Activity level (active vs sedentary)

The right wetsuit is one that keeps you warm enough and doesn’t restrict your movement

Wetsuits are made of neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber. It’s a good insulator, flexible and durable. Wetsuits can be used for all kinds of activities, from scuba diving to windsurfing or winter sports.

Neoprene is a material used in wetsuits with different thicknesses depending on the activity: thicker for colder waters (4 mm to 6 mm) and thinner for warmer waters (2 mm to 3 mm).


Wetsuits are an essential piece of gear for scuba divers, but it’s important to know what thickness is right for you. This chart will help you choose the best wetsuit for your dive conditions.