Arctic Diving Gear: Common Types of Wetsuits Compared

Frigid conditions are no longer a deterrent for winter water activities. There is a wide variety of arctic diving gear that will keep you toasty despite freezing temps. But not all arctic diving gear is suited for the same activities. 

Don’t get left out in the cold, we’re here to demystify things for you! Read on to learn more about what wetsuits are the best for extremely cold temperatures.

Arctic Diving Gear

Wetsuits are a relatively new invention. The first wetsuit was invented by a Physics professor at UC Berkley, Hugh Bradner. He was diving in arctic waters and was unable to remain underwater for long stretches. 

Bradner set to work to solve this problem. He created the first neoprene dive suit in 1952. The neoprene traps a layer of water in the suit that warms to your body temperature. This enables arctic diving and increases overall diver safety.

Today you can find arctic diving gear in a wide range of styles. 

Types of Wetsuits

Before you take a polar plunge, the first step is determining what kind of wetsuit will serve you best. The colder the water the more protection you need. Wetsuits run from 2mm to 7mm thick, the thicker the neoprene the warmer the suit will keep you. 

Here are the basic wetsuit styles for colder waters. 


The Hooded Full Wetsuit

This model is ideal for frigid water temperatures. It covers you from head to toe in a neoprene layer. When you consider that forty percent of our body heat escapes through the head, the full suit is the obvious choice for arctic waters. 

The Full Wetsuit

This is probably the most popular style among wetsuit aficionados. It provides protection for all your limbs and core, often found in 3/2mm or 5/4mm thickness. 

Great for diving, surfing, or any other cold-water activities. 

The Long John/Jane Wetsuit

This model offers protection for the legs but leaves the arms free. Excellent for surfers who have a hard time paddling with a second skin. 

This style can be worn in cold waters but may not be the most ideal.

Where to Buy

You can buy rip curl wetsuits in all the models we mentioned. They have comfortable, high-quality diving gear for men, women, and kids, as well as accessories. Such as booties, gloves, and wetsuit cleaner.

Ready to Take the Plunge?

Arctic diving can be an incredible experience when you are dressed for the part. And now that you know the basics of arctic diving gear you are ready to take to the water.

Remember the thicker the suit the warmer you will be. And yes, peeing in your suit will help you stay warm. But maybe only pee in your own suit, not a rental.

As long as you take the proper precautions and respect the waters, you should have an enjoyable arctic diving experience. 

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