Wearing a scuba suit is mandatory if you are going for a serious diving adventure as opposed to regular and more common swimming and snorkeling. The reason for this is a scuba suit will keep the temperature needed by the human body as you dive deeper into the ocean (or whatever water you’re in) tend to become colder which displaces your body’s heat. This is important in order to keep you comfortable with the lower temperatures underwater.
Your scuba suit will also protect you from burns, inflammations, abrasions, cuts and stings while submerged in water.
Read on to learn the three different kinds of scuba suits. Each is uniquely designed for different purposes and diving environments.
The Dive Skin
The dive skin is the thinnest and lightest scuba suit. It provides the least degree of protection to the wearer. Typically, the dive skin is just over one millimeter thick.
The dive skin has a zipper in front and strapped support on the lower part of the body to prevent the pants from rolling upward. It has rings wrapped around the thumbs to keep the sleeves from riding up as well.
It offers protection to the skin from blisters, corals and sunburn. The dive skin may provide warmth but not as much as the other types of scuba suit. Water can still permeate this type of scuba suit and it provides a limited amount of thermal insulation.
Generally, the dive skin should only be used in tropical waters and friendlier water environments, in terms of temperature and other elements.
The Wet Suit
The most common type of scuba suit, the wet suit does not absorb water, although it is not sealed by the limbs which is why water can still permeate the suit. The water in between the wet suit and the skin has a purpose in itself, and that is for the water to provide an extra layer of thermal insulation to the body as the water, once trapped, will warm, owing to the neoprene material the wet suit is made of.
The wet suit is generally fitted to be worn with different dive accessories, such as gloves, kneepads, spine pads, and insulating vests, among others. You can check out Cressi Travelight as it also matches the wet suit.
The Dry Suit
The dry suit is the required scuba suit if you are diving into cold waters, particularly 50 degrees or lower.
The dry suit remains dry both on the inside and on the outside, and is perfectly sealed by the extremities, so that water does not permeate the scuba suit in any way.
Donning the dry suit is considered to be more complex than wearing a wet suit, owing to the advanced technologies used in the dry suit’s design, materials and manufacturing.
It comes in three different material components, namely, foam neoprene, compressed and crushed neoprene, and membrane coated.
The dry suit made out of foam neoprene uses similar materials as the wet suit and that is why this type of dry suit gives extra thermal insulation.
The dry suit with compressed and crushed neoprene as its main material components is a more strengthened version of the regular foam neoprene owing to the kind of stitching and bonding utilized in its manufacturing.
The membrane dry suit has water-resistant covering over the fabric. This is the reason why it is, at times, called the shell suit.