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Wetsuits - How to Choose a Brand?
cahostetler - 2/03/2017 11:19 PM
Category: New Diver Q&A
Replies: 7

I am a new diver (only 8 dives). Based on where I plan on diving and my experience with wetsuits so far, I know I want a full 5mm wetsuit. However, I am overloaded by the number of brands and models available. How can I choose? Are there any brands I should not consider based on your experience? My wife, who also is a new diver, said I should choose an inexpensive suit because I will probably not keep it long i.e. I will discover what I do and don’t like. I, on the other hand, think if you buy a cheap suit, you will definitely not like it. What do you think? Sorry for the the number of questions. Thanks!!
BenDavid - 2/04/2017 8:30 AM
I’ve been diving for 17 years and have owned many many wetsuits and I don’t know the answer to your question.

My advice (and it’s worth every penny you paid for it) is find yourself a comfortable mid-priced suit. The cheapest cheap ones don’t seem to hold up for me, the zippers fail sooner, the neoprene starts raveling, the seams unglue (cheap glue) and the stitching around the arm and leg cuffs start to unravel. And the so called "top of the line" brand name ones, you’re paying a huge premium for being in the "cool club" and impressing your friends because you have a cool name brand suit, like Sharkskin. Then there’s the marketing gimmick stuff like Hendersons "Titanium lined fleece" that allows them to charge a premium. If being in the club is worth the premium to you, then go for it. Personally, I can’t tell a difference between "Titanium lined fleece" and just wearing a thin jumpsuit under my neoprene. No actually I can tell a difference, a $200 difference. :)

I currently own a Hyperflex and it has held up well for me over the last 2 years. If I remember correctly it was about $140 new.

One thing I can tell you, is try them on before you buy. I have found that I wear an XL in one brand, an XXL in another brand, but then there sizing chart tells me I can wear a Large. And XL in one manufacturer may be different than an XL in another manufacturer because of the way they cut it. If you do have to order online, Leisure Pro has a fit guarantee where if you order it from them and it doesn’t fit they will take it back and send you a different size one and they’ll pay the postage both ways.
Cburgert - 2/05/2017 1:47 PM
I bought my wetsuit online, never again. Always buy your wetsuit at a dive shop.
John_giu - 2/19/2017 10:23 AM
Size matters.
They all fit different even in the same brand.
Many of the online sellers offer some sort of sizing guaranty, like
free return shipping, if you’re limited to few local dive shops.
it should fit like a second skin without restricting movement
acantor20 - 2/21/2017 5:40 PM
I purchased my wetsuit from a local dive shop that only sold Aqualung wetsuits. So, my choices were very limited, but I haven’t had any problems/complaints with it.