Freediving wetsuits are an essential piece of gear to keep you safe and warm underwater. They come in tons of styles and thicknesses, so you’ll be able to find one that matches your personal preferences to a tee.
But the process of finding the best wetsuit can be a little confusing and overwhelming, especially if you’ve never bought one before.
To help you find the perfect freediving wetsuit, we’ve broken down all the different types of wetsuits, as well as considerations to keep in mind before purchasing one. We’ve also rounded up the 10 best freediving wetsuits to show you the best options out there…
Keep reading to find your next freediving wetsuit and how to care for it!
Freediving Wetsuits: Comparison
|Name||Thickness||One or Two Piece?||Price||Reviews|
SpearPro Open Cell Freediving Neoprene Wetsuit
|1.5, 3, 5 or 7mm||Two||$$$||
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Omer Masterteam 3mm Open Cell Full Wetsuit
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Mares 1.7mm Apnea Instinct Wetsuit Jacket
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Mares 1.7mm Apnea Instinct Wetsuit Pants
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Scubapro Element Freediving Suit
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|Cressi Camouflage Wetsuit for Spearfishing||2.5mm||One||$$||
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Cressi Apnea Complete Wetsuit
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Nataly Osmann 5mm 2-Piece
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Types of Freediving Wetsuits
On your hunt for the best freediving wetsuit, you’ll find a variety of types and constructions. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the most common ones you’ll come across:
Single Lining: Open Cell & Smooth Skin Wetsuits
A wetsuit with a single lining is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: there’s only one lining and it will be either on the inside of the outside of the wetsuit.
Open Cell Wetsuits
When the lining is on the outside, it’s considered an open cell wetsuit and it will do wonders when it comes to keeping you warm underwater. This is because there’s neoprene directly against your skin with the lining on the outside, giving you a more secure fit with less water flowing through.
This is advantageous because it not only keeps you warm, but also protects your wetsuit. The lining outside will create a simple buffer between your wetsuit and any rough objects you brush against on your dive.
The one downside is that these wetsuits can be quite difficult to get into without lubrication, however they still remain the preference among recreational freedivers.
Smooth Skin Wetsuits
When the lining is on the inside of the wetsuit, you’ll hear this referred to as a smooth skin wetsuit as the neoprene is on the outside, creating the effect of having super smooth skin.
This creates a hydrodynamic design and allows freedivers to cut through the water with ease, which is why many athletes opt for a wetsuit of this kind.
It’s easier to get on, but it’s also more prone to rips and tears as the smooth skin is more vulnerable than the lining. It’s also more likely to suffer from sun damage, but certainly helps in the performance department.
On the other hand, we have double lined wetsuits which means that there’s lining on both the inside and the outside.
This creates an ultra durable wetsuit as the neoprene is protected between the two layers of lining. It won’t stretch out the way other wetsuits might and it’s also quite easy to get in and out of, making it a prime choice for beginner freedivers.
That being said, double lined wetsuits allow more water to flow through which may make you colder more quickly.
No Lining: Smooth Skin Open Cell
And on occasion, you’ll come across a wetsuit with no lining at all, simply made from neoprene and creating the smooth skin effect both outside and against your body.
Wetsuits without any lining are extremely fragile as it’s just the neoprene which rips and tears easily. But smooth skin open cell wetsuits are also the most hydrodynamic type and provide immense insulation. They’re really hard to get into, but if your freediving is performance focused, slap on some baby powder and get yourself a wetsuit with no lining.
10 Best Freediving Wetsuits
Now that you know the different types of freediving wetsuits out there, here are the 10 best options for you today!
Thickness: 1.5, 3, 5 or 7mm
Features: Chestplate & reinforced knees and elbows | High density 4-way stretch material | Aquastops on hood, ankles and wrists | Beaver tail closure
This is one of the best freediving wetsuits on the market and is suitable for a wide variety of conditions. It comes in a range of sizes, covering 1.5, 3, 5 and 7mm so you can find the thickness suitable for your adventures, and has 4-way stretch neoprene so you’ll have a full range of motion underwater.
This open cell wetsuit was designed to keep you warm, and this is further enhanced with aquastops on the hood, ankles, and wrists to limit water flushing.
The chest loading pad is a welcome addition, as are the reinforced knees and elbows, showing that this wetsuit was designed for durability.
Closing with a beaver tail and suitable for large or small divers, the SpearPro Open Cell Wetsuit simply cannot be beaten.
Features: Chestplate & reinforced knees and elbows | Open cell design | Sealed hood | Velcro closure
Another high quality open cell freediving wetsuit, the Omer Masterteam is built for performance. With nylon fabric outside and open cell neoprene inside, you’ll be warm and comfortable, as well as protected from any scratches or abrasions.
This wetsuit was built to last with Dualtex reinforcements on the knees and elbows, as well as a special chestplate for durability and comfort.
Though it’s only 3mm, it can be worn in colder weather thanks to the specially sealed hood.
It is a two-piece wetsuit but instead of a typical snap closure, it uses Velcro instead for added comfort. It’s quite easy to get in and out of and is designed for men.
Features: Top & bottom sold separately | Unparalleled elasticity & compression | Smooth skin design w/ nylon lining | Beaver tail w/ quick-connect grommets
Mares, like Cressi, is well known and beloved for their high quality dive gear, so you can rest assured that you’ll get a quality product specifically designed for freediving.
Both the wetsuit top and bottom are lined with nylon, with a smooth skin outside featuring a high quality neoprene. The material has been pre-formed to give you the best fit possible, and increased flexibility when it’s time to hit the water.
Since it’s so thin, this wetsuit is only suitable for warm water use, but you’ll immediately feel the hydrodynamic difference it provides as you’ll cut through the water better than in a heavier, double lined wetsuit. They’re perfect for competition wear! And since there’s a hood, you won’t have to worry about water flushing through the neck.
The bottoms are high waisted and connect to the top with a double-lined beaver tail and fastened with quick-connect grommets.
The one downside about this pick is it’s more fragile than other freediving wetsuits. This is in part thanks to the smooth skin design, but also because there are no knee pads, chestplate or other heavy reinforcements.
Features: Sharkskin textured neoprene | Smooth-skin face seal on hood | Two-piece design with beaver tail | Traps body heat well
Another very solid option for two-piece freediving wetsuits, the Scubapro Element actually feels like a second skin and is great for people who get cold while diving.
If you are one of those people, you’ll be happy to know that the two piece structure was actually designed to keep water seepage to a minimum by eliminating the zipper and replacing it with a beaver tail. There’s also a smooth-skin face seal on the hood to prevent water from creeping in through the neck. This freediving wetsuit was actually made to keep the maximum amount of body heat in, so it’s a top pick if you run cold.
Other perks that come with the Scubapro Element include a special kind of textured neoprene called Sharkskin that practically eliminates drag in the water, and thicker neoprene on the torso to trap heat in better.
It’s quite easy to get this wetsuit on and off and it’s super stretchy as well, to keep you comfortable while moving.
Features: Pre-angled arms & legs | Knee protection | Flat stitching | Outer and inner nylon lining
An excellent choice when it comes to a thinner wetsuit, the SEAC Body-Fit will do great in warm, tropical waters. It also fits nearly true to size which is a huge plus in the wetsuit world!
It comes in a cool blue camo pattern to blend in during your dive, and is built for durability, despite the thin construction.
It features both inner and outer nylon linings to protect you and the wetsuit from any damage, and is finished with Smooth Skin wrist and ankle seals to keep water out and body heat in.
Finished off with pre-angled arms and legs, along with knee protection and 2mm Melo tape to prevent chest abrasions, you’ll be perfectly comfortable in this freediving wetsuit.
Features: Pre-formed design | Back zip closure | Glued / blindstitched seams
The Scubapro Everflex wetsuit comes in cuts for both men and women, and is an outstanding contender if you’re looking for something to wear while freediving.
It’s thick enough to keep you warm in chilly waters, but thin enough for rigorous activity, with a 5/4mm design. You’ll be able to wear this in waters that are ranging from 50 to 64° F or between 10 to 18°C.
Since the arms are thinner than the body of the wetsuit, you’ll find you have an excellent range of motion, allowing you to glide through the water with ease.
It should fit like a second skin with a back zip closure, and glued and stitched seams to keep from water flushing.
Overall, you should have no issues with comfort when it comes to this pre-formed wetsuit, and with quality either as the Everflex has knee pads, high quality hardware, and double blindstitching.
Features: Double lined neoprene | Anatomical cut | Pre-shaped legs | Neoprene lined neck sealing | Blue camo pattern
It should come as no surprise that Cressi makes the list of best freediving wetsuits as they truly know what they’re doing in the world of underwater gear.
This 2.5mm wetsuit was specially designed for spearfishing, but doubles as a kickass freediving wetsuit as well. It comes in a sleek blue camo design to help you blend in underwater, and has a full back zip closure to seal you in.
You’ll be most comfortable in warmer waters wearing this wetsuit, and it’s designed to keep water flushing to a minimum. It’s double lined, with high-stretch material to ensure your range of motion isn’t disrupted, and the pre-shaped legs help improve flexibility.
There are little perks that make this freediving wetsuit one of the best, like a neoprene lined neck seal, Aquastop under the zip lining, and a pull tab for getting in and out of your wetsuit solo.
Like with most wetsuits, it’s important to consult the size chart before ordering, but once you find your fit, this is a wetsuit you can wear for many years to come.
Features: Black camo pattern | Sealed cuffs & ankles | Full hood | Reinforced in areas with most friction | Knee pads & chestplate
For a step up from the previous wetsuit, try out the Cressi Apnea, especially designed for single breath dives. The low profile design is perfect for freediving, and features high quality materials.
This freediving wetsuit has an extra stretchy design with a 3.5mm thickness, allowing you to dive in warm and cooler waters with it (though nothing too cold).
It prevents water flushing with sealed off cuffs and ankles, and even has a hood with a tight fit to keep water from seeping in the neck.
One of the coolest parts of this wetsuit is it’s been reinforced in the areas where you’ll experience the most friction so the material will stay intact no matter how many wears it sees. This also greatly helps with flexibility and comfort.
The Cressi Apnea features a new design with a chestplate and special knee pads for an added dose of protection.
Available in a range of sizes and coming in a nondescript black camo pattern, this is one of the best freediving wetsuits on the market today.
Features: Anatomical cut | Rubberized neoprene chest | Glued & sewn seams | Printed knee & skin pads | Back zipper closure
If you’re looking for a more versatile wetsuit that can handle a variety of conditions, this 3mm suit from Cressi should do the trick.
Slightly thicker than a barebones wetsuit, you can wear this in warm and cooler waters without getting too chilly. Although, it’s not recommended for cold water use.
It’s designed to give you maximum flexibility while underwater with an anatomical design, and protect you from the elements with printed knee and skin pads and a rubberized neoprene chest. This also aids in durability, along with glued and sewn seams.
It’s a bit easier to get this wetsuit on than other ones as the neoprene is sandwiched between layers of lining, and it’s closed with a full back zip with a pull tab leash. It’s also a great pick for scuba diving, so if you’re looking for a versatile wetsuit, this is a top pick!
Features: 2-piece design w/ split buckle | 3 camo patterns | UV protection coating | Hooded design | Knee pads & chestplate
Would you rather have a two-piece wetsuit? If so, this is a top contender with a pull-on design and 5mm of neoprene to keep you nice and warm.
This wetsuit can be worn in a range of conditions and should still keep you toasty inside. It also has a special coating for UV protection and will act as a shield against jellyfish and other pesky sea creatures, too.
The top of this wetsuit has a diving hood that pulls up over your head and covers your nose to really keep water out. It also has a chestplate for added protection and durability.
The bottoms, which are included with the package, have special knee pads to reduce abrasions and a flexible fit to give you the best range of motion possible.
You don’t need to worry about water flushing through the opening between the top and bottom of this wetsuit as it has a split buckle to hold both pieces in place and keep water out. It’s also much easier to get into than a traditional wetsuit.
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Key Considerations for Buying a Wetsuit for Freediving
When it comes to buying a freediving wetsuit, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind before purchasing.
The first thing you’ll want to think about when buying a wetsuit for freediving is where you’re going to be using it most.
If you’ll be freediving in predominantly cold waters, you should opt for a thicker wetsuit that’s around 5mm to 7mm.
For more variable temperatures, you may want a wetsuit that’s around 3mm, or even one that’s 5/3mm where it’s thicker around your body but thinner at the arms.
But if you’ll be freediving in warm or tropical waters, you’ll certainly be just fine with a wetsuit that’s around 1 or 1.5mm thick, mostly so that it can protect you from harmful UV rays and any hazards in the water.
When buying a wetsuit for freediving, it’s important to keep in mind that you won’t be in the water the entire time, thanks to frequent rest intervals. You’ll want a wetsuit that will keep you warm even when you’re outside recovering or gearing up for your dive.
The biggest factor contributing to comfort is certainly the fit of your freediving wetsuit. You’ll want to ensure you get a wetsuit that fits you like a glove, or second skin, so that you can focus on your dive and not fiddling around with your suit.
A perfect fit is important because if your freediving wetsuit is too tight, you’re going to feel squeezed and cramped. But if it’s too loose, it won’t do its job of keeping you warm while underwater.
The best wetsuits should still provide a snug fit, but allow you to have a full range of motion as well. If you want to test out whether a wetsuit fits properly or not, throw it on and start to move around in it. Jump, spin, stretch your arms out, put them over your head, squat down, and really get a sense for how the wetsuit feels on your body.
It shouldn’t be too tight around your chest or throat as these will expand while you breathe, and nothing should feel like it’s pinching you either.
If you’re feeling constricted or uncomfortable, you’ll probably want to go up a size.
You might not think that a wetsuit’s color matters too much, but when you’re underwater in something neon pink, you’re likely to look like a predator to marine life.
If you’re using your wetsuit for freediving or spearfishing, choose a neutral or camouflage color that won’t stand out underwater, allowing you to approach marine life (responsibly) and blend in with your surroundings.
A wetsuit closure also seems like a pretty silly thing to keep in mind before purchasing, but you may find it makes all the difference to your comfort and ease of use.
In general, you’ll find one piece wetsuits that are usually used for scuba diving, with a single long zipper closure.
Some wetsuits have the zipper closure on the back, in which case, you’ll want a zipper pull to be able to get it up on your own.
You’ll also find one piece wetsuits with a front zipper, which is convenient but can get in the way sometimes.
However, many freedivers and spearfishers enjoy two piece wetsuits with high waisted bottoms and a top, cutting out the zipper entirely.
The type of closure you spring for ultimately boils down to personal preference and what you’ll be the most comfortable wearing.
The final element you should keep your eyes out for are any extra features on your freediving wetsuit, because not all wetsuits are made equal!
Some wetsuits have hoods, which are ultra handy for colder dives, while other wetsuits feature high collars, reinforced seams and even knee pads and chest plates!.
These features may seem funny and insignificant, however, they’ll make all the difference in keeping you comfortable and your wetsuit in good condition for many years to come.
Caring For Your Freediving Wetsuit
Speaking of keeping your freediving wetsuit in good condition, here are some tips for caring for your wetsuit so that you can use it for a long time down the road:
Always rinse after use: Make sure to rinse your freediving wetsuit with fresh water after every use, especially if you’ve been in salt water.
Dry out of the sun: After rinsing your wetsuit, dry it in a shaded place and avoid direct sunlight which has the potential to damage your wetsuit.
Store without folds: It’s best to store your wetsuit so that the neoprene doesn’t fold, and without anything on top of it. This is to ensure that the neoprene doesn’t compress. Some people will hang their wetsuits, but this may stretch out the material.
Invest in neoprene cement: It’s way easier than you may think to put a little nick or cut in a wetsuit. And very quickly, these little nicks can turn into full fledged tears. It’s important to take care of them as soon as they happen to avoid having to toss your wetsuit. Carry some neoprene cement in your dive bag and use as needed. And beware of your fingernails!
Hopefully this article brought you one step closer to finding the perfect freediving wetsuit for your adventures. Happy diving!
Looking for more diving content? Check out these articles:
- 10 Best Freediving Fins: Top Picks for All Levels (2023)
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- A Complete Guide to Freediving Gear for All Levels [2023 Edition]