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Wetsuit thickness: which thickness is right for you? Find out here

dikte wetsuit

Nikki de Louw |

The thickness of wetsuits can differ per type, model and brand. It is important that you choose the right thickness for the weather conditions. The function of a wetsuit is to protect your body against the cold water .

It is important that your body temperature is maintained during water sports to prevent hypothermia and/or cramps. But which thickness should I choose at which temperature? You can read more about it on this page. In addition, we also tell you more about what you should pay attention to when choosing a suitable wetsuit.

Different thicknesses of wetsuits

There are suitable wetsuits for all weather conditions. It is then important to pay close attention to the thickness of a wetsuit . The thickness determines how warm the suit is , making it essential to choose the right thickness for certain weather conditions and temperatures. We would like to briefly explain what different thicknesses of wetsuits differ in and what they can be used for.

It is also good to know that there are also various intermediate thicknesses that can be used for the water temperatures between the different thicknesses. There is a suitable wetsuit with the right thickness for every weather condition.

Wet suit 3mm

A 3mm wetsuit is mainly used at warmer temperatures for water sports, such as supping. Thanks to the small thickness you do not get too hot, but you are still protected against the somewhat colder water.

In addition, you have a lot of freedom of movement in a wetsuit that is only 3mm thick, since the sleeves and legs are usually only 2mm thick. This type of wetsuit is often used in water temperatures between 15°C and 20°C.

Wet suit 5mm

With a wetsuit of 5mm thick you are better protected against cold water . This is why the thicker wetsuits are often used in colder water temperatures at the beginning or end of summer. The water is usually a lot colder than in the middle of summer, so you should be better protected.

A 5mm wetsuit is therefore often used at water temperatures between 6°C and 10°C. It is good to know that the sleeves and legs are usually 3 or 4 mm. This gives you just a little more freedom of movement while practicing a water sport.

Wet suit 7mm

A 7mm wetsuit is not very common and is usually only used in water temperatures around 0°C or by scuba divers . With such a wetsuit it is therefore necessary to go on the water during a severe winter, provided there is no ice of course. Should there be ice or ice formation? Then absolutely do not go into the water.

The sleeves and legs of the suit are usually slightly thinner than the torso, namely 4 or 5mm. This allows you to move somewhat well, since your limbs have more freedom of movement.

Temperature and thickness of wetsuit

As you may have already heard, the thickness of a wetsuit depends on the water temperature and weather conditions. It is therefore important to know which thickness you need at which temperatures.

We have therefore made an overview that can be used as a rule of thumb for what thickness you need from a wetsuit. However, the actual thickness also depends on personal findings and preferences.

What should you take into account besides the water temperature?

In addition to the water temperature, the wetsuit thickness also depends on personal findings and preferences. For example, it may be that you are going to practice a water sport that requires more freedom of movement or that you hardly need to enter the water. So the right choice depends on several factors, including:

  • How sensitive you are to catching a cold;
  • The air temperature;
  • The effort level of the water sport you will practice;
  • The amount of freedom of movement you need;
  • The wind speed.

Please note : do you know that you catch a cold quickly and are the wind speeds higher than normal, for example? Then it may be smart to opt for a thicker wetsuit. It is good to know that all brands give their own temperature indications, which means that they may differ from the indications mentioned above.

Different wetsuit types

In addition to the wetsuit thicknesses, there are also different types of suits that differ in model and user purpose. The various models also differ in thickness, since some wetsuits are specially intended for hot or cold days, for example. We would like to briefly explain which types there are and what they can be used for.


A shorty is a wetsuit with short sleeves and legs . However, there is also a model available with long sleeves and short legs. This type is often used during hot summer days when temperatures are above 20°C. In general, a shorty is 2/2 mm or 3/2 mm thick and they are ideal for surfing or supping.

Full suit

With a full suit, your entire body , except for your feet, hands and head, is well protected against cold water. This model is also available in many different thicknesses, ranging from 3/2 mm to 6/5 mm. They can therefore be used for many different activities and purposes related to water sports.

However, there is a big difference in different types of fullsuits, as there are special wetsuits for swimming and, for example, paddle boarding. The various models mainly differ in material and thickness, which determine the warmth of the suit and the freedom of movement.


Don't you find it comfortable to wear a wetsuit that consists of one piece? Then you can also opt for a top or cardigan. This is, as it were, only the upper part of a wetsuit that protects the upper body.

This offers the advantage that you have more freedom of movement, among other things. In addition, a top is much easier to put on, so you can get on the water faster. Putting on a wetsuit can sometimes take a little longer and is not necessarily easy.

Wetsuit in summer and winter

The outside and water temperatures can differ greatly in summer and winter. Do you want to be on the water in both seasons? Then it is important that the thickness of your wetsuit matches the temperature of the season. We would therefore like to tell you briefly about a wetsuit in summer and winter by means of a brief explanation.

Wet suit in summer

On a hot summer day it is not always necessary to wear a wetsuit. However, wearing a wetsuit can have several benefits. That is why special wetsuits have been developed for hot summer days, when the water is at a good temperature. An example of this is a shorty or a full suit with a small thickness.

Most summer wetsuits have a thickness of 2/2 mm or 3/2 mm. This is more than enough to protect you against the colder water, while you have more than enough freedom of movement. In addition, a wetsuit with a thickness of 4/3 mm can also be used perfectly in the summer, but this is not always pleasant.

Wet suit in winter

Do you want to be able to use your SUP board in the winter? Or go swimming in the open air? Then a warm wetsuit is essential.

Unlike summer, a wetsuit is the most important part of your equipment in winter. The temperatures are then very low, so you have to protect yourself well.

Wetsuits used in winter generally have a minimum thickness of 5/4 mm and a maximum thickness of 7/5 mm.

It is also important to properly protect your hands, feet and head against the cold. Therefore, also look at any accessories for the winter to complete your water adventures.

Different wetsuit thicknesses at Watersports4fun

Are you looking for a 5mm wetsuit for autumn, spring or early winter? Or a shorty with a thickness of 3mm? Then you've come to the right place. In our webshop you will find a wide range of wetsuits in different thicknesses .

This way you get a wetsuit that suits you for every weather condition and temperature. Would you like to go on the water in winter? Protect your feet, hands and head with various accessories for your wetsuit. Also take a look at our webshop and immediately get everything for your adventures.

Do you have questions about the thickness of wetsuits or do you need personal advice? Then don't hesitate to contact our helpful customer service. We can be reached by phone, email or live chat on our website. Whatever your wishes are, at Watersports4fun you are always in the right place for all your new water sports articles.

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