High-end wetsuits have evolved, and what is known as a semi-dry wetsuit provides 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.
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
Wetsuits and semi-dry suits can come in many different thicknesses and styles.
- 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.