- Exposure Protection
With water whisking away your body heat, it is essential to invest in some sort of thermal protection. Thermal protection ranges from very thin (See our Dive Skins section) to very dry (Visit our Drysuit section). In between is a wide range of wetsuits, starting with 2mm for the warmest water, all the way up to 8mm for coldwater diving. They come in one and two piece styles. The one piece wetsuit is easier to don, but two pieces offers you greater coverage and warmth in the trunk of the body, or your core. With such a vast selection, the questions become: Which wetsuit do I need? The answer may well be that you need more than one wetsuit. Some bodies of water vary greatly in water temperature from season to season. Also, with air travel making far away places easier to visit, you may dive in a variety of conditions. Here are some basic guidelines to assist you. As always, if you have any question about which wetsuit would be best for you, please call us 1.800.436.5744 and one of our expert sales associates would be happy to advise you.
Shorties: Shortie wetsuits such as the Storm 2mm shortie are handy if you are going for a quick snorkel in very warm water or if you are going to do a little surfing or wakeboarding in a warm water location; however, they are not recommended for most scuba diving, as they do not provide protection on the arms and legs from all of the floating stinging critters, nor from the incidental brush with coral. Another good use for a shortie is to add over your 3mm wetsuit when the day turns a little cold, or after your third dive, for some additional warmth to your trunk. Dolphin Scuba Center features the Storm 2mm shortie in both men's and women's sizes.
These wetsuits are ideal for diving the Caribbean, the South Pacific, and much of Idonesia. This thickness will even keep you perfectly warm in the Red Sea. The 2mm Storm shorties are made from a super-stretchy material, these wetsuits are a dream to put on while keeping you warm for multiple dives a day. Offering full body coverage to avoid stings from critters or coral, you have uniform thermal protection.
Another excellent option offered at Dolphin is the Storm 3/2mm wetsuit, which gives you 3mm of warmth in the core, where you need it, but added flexibility in the arms and legs with only 2mm of material. Choose from the Storm 3/2 wetsuit, the 3mm Aqualung Aquaflex." For a slight increase in thermal protection, try the Aqua Lung 5mm Aquaflex wetsuit. Of course, all of these choices are available in both men's and women's sizes.
For diving the West Coast, such as California, Oregon and the Eastern Seaboard, or even Vancouver in the summertime, you can use a 7mm wetsuit. This maximum thermal protection is the warmest you can go in one single wetsuit. Of course, if you are still a little cold, you can add the Aqua Lung 6mm hooded vest. That hooded vest has the added advantage of preventing cold water seepage down the back of your neck. Our selection includes the Storm 2 piece 7mm wetsuit and the very popular Aqua Lung Aquaflex. We also have the Aqualung Solaflex and Henderson 8mm semi-dry suits