Log in

Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.
06
October

Wetsuits

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Wetsuits Posted in:

The minimum research for a review at Dive Gear Reviews is one review published by a credible magazine, a sampling of consumer commentary from both forums and online retailers, a sampling of pricing and insight from a diving expert. For an entry to appear on this scuba wetsuit reviews page, it must exceed that minimum. The reviews below are therefore the most extensively cross-referenced reviews for this type of gear on the website. For a complete list of wetsuit reviews, click here.

3mm Wetsuits

Cressi Spring 3.5 mm Wetsuit

Cressi has a new wetsuit for warm-to-temperate waters (basically, waters in the 70s F/lower-to-mid 20s C), the Spring 3.5 mm. For most divers, a 3.5mm wetsuit is the most desired type, since most divers live in places with either mildly warm or tropically warm water, and almost all divers like traveling to places with tropically warm water. A 3.5mm wetsuit like the Cressi Spring is flexible enough to work in both environments. The Cressi Spring, however, offers much more than the typical 3.5 mm suit.

The Spring is made from Cressi’s durable, stretchy Ultraspan neoprene, and put together with glued and blind-stitched seams. The neck, ankles and wrists all have smoothskin seals, with the neck seal being adjustable for comfort. The zipper also has a smoothskin flap behind it. These all greatly enhance the ability of the wetsuit to restrict the flow of water through the suit, thus improving its insulating capabilities. Many inferior 3.5mm suits lack such features, and therefore are not as warm as they could be. This is a big part of the reason why the Spring is as suitable for 70 F degree (20 C) water as it is for 79 F degree (24 C) water.

The wetsuit also comes with rubberized knee pads. The combination of Ultraspan neoprene and the panel design of the suit make it snug while retaining a full range of motion, and that plus its excellent thermal properties make it a very comfy wetsuit. The Spring is a back zipping-style wetsuit. It comes in both men’s and women’s versions. The former is black with red and grey trim, while the latter is black with white and grey trim. No other color patterns are available.

While there has been only a little consumer feedback thus far, it has been uniformly positive. Divernet gave it an amazing 10 stars, while Scuba Diving awarded this wetsuit its Best Buy award for 2012.

Average Price: Although the Cressi Spring has recommended retail price of $230, it can sometimes be found for as little as $160.

————————-

Scubapro  Everflex Steamer 3/2

Diving wetsuit reviews.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This wetsuit earned Scuba Diving magazine’s Tester’s Choice award for 2009. The neoprene is a non-petroleum material that has ultra-stretchy properties. The inside of the torso is lined with a superfine fleece. Dive wrote that the suit was “ultra-flexible at a price” and just enough for 75 degree waters. The suit earned high marks from both magazines for being easy to get on and off, and its comfort while in use underwater. It also has padded shoulders as a hedge against wear and tear from a BCD or harness. Dive gave it a 7 out of 10 Value Verdict and an 8 out of 10 Performance Verdict, while LeisurePro users rated it at 4 ½ flags.

Average Price: $313
————————-
Mares Tropic 3mm

The Tropic earned both the Tester’s Choice and the Best Buy awards from Scuba Diving magazine. Made from a multi-layered material that is flexible and also fast-drying on the chest. Dive considered the latter quality a plus, since it means staying warm on the dive boat after the fun is over. The suit is glued and stitched, but only stitched on the outside. That eliminated itchy stitching from the inside of the suit. Dive magazine also went on to write that while the Tropic was not the most flexible of suits, it was very comfortable. The neck seal is adjustable and the zipper is sealed, reducing water-transfer to a minimum. Sport Diver labeled it a good, all-around wetsuit as useful for canyoning as for scuba diving, making it ideal for someone who needs to multi-task their wetsuit.

Average Price: $160

————————-

7mm Wetsuits

Cressi’s Lontra 7mm is a dedicated cold-water wetsuit of the type so well-sealed it is sometimes referred to as a semi-drysuit. A one-piece full bodysuit made from 7mm Ultraspan neoprene forms the core of the wetsuit, with a vertical water-resistant zipper up the back. The wrists are sealed with a double cuff system consisting of 2mm of Metalite fabric on the inside and 3 mm of neoprene on the outside, closed up tight by water-resistant zipper. The ankles are also closed by water-resistant zippers, and those ankle and wrist zippers are a big help in getting the snug wetsuit on and off.

The Lontra lacks a built-in hood because it is meant to be the core of a modular system. For truly frigid waters, divers are supposed to add one of Cressi’s 5mm jackets with a built-in hood. With the jacket, the suit provides 13mm of neoprene around the torso, making it suitable for temperatures as low as the lower 50s F (10 C). However, the Lontra is usually bundled with a hood with an air-release valve at the top. Rounding out the Lontra’s features are a hood ring (for clipping the hood onto the suit) and reinforcing pads on the shoulders and knees. Scuba Diving gave the Lontra high marks, as did Dive, although the latter magazine complained that the ankle zippers chafe at times. The male suit is black with blue trim, and the female suit is black with red trim.

Average Price: $325