You may also hear about or see a special kind of wetsuit as you learn more about dive gear and accessories. It’s known as a semi-dry wetsuit. Usually, these suits provide extra warmth by significantly reducing water ingress. This means the body heats the water held between the suit and the skin, and as less cold water flushes through, the suit stays warmer. Wetsuits allow water to enter the suit via ankles, wrists, neck, and zipper areas. In contrast, semi-dry suits are sealed at the ingress points and limit the entry of water.
In general, semi-dry wetsuits are more expensive than mid-range ordinary wetsuits, and for divers in temperate water, a semi-dry wetsuit is a perfect choice.
Wetsuits can come in different styles such as the following.
- Full-body suits that cover the body, arms, and legs
- Short suits, or shorties, that have short sleeves and legs coming to the knees
- A hooded vest with a neoprene vest and a built-in hood, usually made of thin material that offers increased thermal protection and the comfort of protection for the wearer's head and neck
Wetsuits and semi-dry suits can come in many different thicknesses, styles, colors, and designs.
- Zippers can be on the front or back of the suit.
- The thickness of the neoprene can vary from 0.5 to 10 millimeters.
- The suits can be made up of one piece or two pieces.
- The two-piece suits (such as a Farmer John) generally offer more warmth because they are made up of leggings that are similar to a pair of overalls and a jacket. Because the suit has a double layer of material covering the torso (core), the diver stays warmer.
Additional accessories, such as hoods, gloves, boots, vests, knee pads, pockets, and spine pads, can be worn with a wetsuit.