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If you’re new to freediving, you’ll want to buy a wetsuit right away. Shop rentals may fit poorly, show serious signs of wear, or be intended for other sports like SCUBA. That’s why most certified freedivers buy their own, as soon as possible. With so many models on the market, shopping might feel overwhelming at first. But don’t worry! The Adventure Junkies have your back. In this article, we’ll help you find the best freediving wetsuit for your budget and skill level. Plus, we’ll share the most important features and considerations to keep in mind.

Unlike some other gear, your wetsuit must fit perfectly, or it won’t work. In addition to fit, keep in mind where, when, and how often you’ll be using the suit. In warm environments, you’ll want to wear something to protect your skin from cuts, scrapes, stings, and the sun. Colder climates call for a thicker suit, and potentially a base layer to keep the cold out.

For more of our top freediving gear recommendations check out the Best Freediving Fins.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Freediving Wetsuits

  1. Neo Skin Jumpsuit
  2. Henderson Long Sleeve Shorty
  3. Seac Pirana
  4. Cressi Bahia Flex
  5. ScubaPro Element
  6. Picasso Shadow
  7. Beuchat Zento
  8. Salvimar N.A.T. Camu
  9. Seac Energy
  10. Omer Black Moon

 

Comparison Table - Best Freediving Wetsuits

PictureNameThicknessStyleClosurePriceRating
Neo Skin Jumpsuit1mmOne PieceBack Zip$4.2
Henderson Long Sleeve Shorty3mmShortyFront Zip$4.6
Seac PiranaN/A (7mm chest guard, otherwise very thin)Two PieceBeavertail$4.4
Cressi Bahia Flex2.5mmOne PieceFront Zip$$4.2
ScubaPro Element3mmTwo PieceBeavertail$$4.8
Picasso Shadow3mmTwo PieceBeavertail$$4.8
Beuchat Zento2mmOne PieceBack Zip$$4.7
Salvimar N.A.T. Camu3.5mmTwo PieceBeavertail$$$4.5
Seac Energy2mmOne PieceBack Zip$$$4.8
Omer Black Moon5mmTwo PieceBeavertail$$$4.7
PictureNameThicknessStyleClosurePriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Wetsuits for Freediving

Neo Skin Jumpsuit

Specs
  • Closure: Back Zip
  • Material: Nylon 2 Neoprene
  • Seals: Lycra Cuffs
  • Seams: Flat-Lock Stitched, Taped at Intersecting Seams
  • Style: One Piece
  • Thickness: 1mm
Features
  • Long Lasting Metal Hardware
  • Doubles As A Base Layer In Cold Climates
  • Ideal For Tropical Dive Travel
  • Padded Knees For Extra Protection

BEST FOR: WARM WATER

The Neo Skin Jumpsuit is a top pick for freedivers in warm, tropical climates. It offers plenty of protection from the sun and sea but won’t require a lot of diving weights to counterbalance. This suit is compact and lightweight, so it’s easy to pack for travel. And, it works well for SCUBA, too. The Neo Skin features an extra-long metal YKK back zipper, so it’s easy to don and doff, and its hardware is sure to last for seasons to come. Its adjustable collar helps lock water out, keeping you nice and toasty inside. Plus, it offers padded knees for comfortable kneeling in between immersions.

Henderson Long Sleeve Shorty

Specs
  • Closure: Front Zip
  • Material: Nylon 2 Neoprene
  • Seals: Lycra Cuffs
  • Seams: Glued and Blind Stitched
  • Style: Shorty
  • Thickness: 3mm
Features
  • Abrasion Resistant Exterior Prevents Wear
  • Front Closure For Easy Donning And Doffing
  • Available In Sizes XS - 6XL
  • Long Lasting Metal Hardware

BEST FOR: VERSATILITY

Are you looking for one suit that does it all? The Henderson Long Sleeve Shorty is one of the most versatile options available on the market. It’s compact and travel-friendly, can be layered with additional exposure protection for added warmth, and it won’t break the bank. This suit was designed for SCUBA but works well for freediving, as well. Its long sleeves offer more aquadynamic improvement than a traditional shorty and add to your core warmth. A front zipper and wide range of sizes make this suit easy to get in and out of, no matter your size or body type. Plus, its high-quality seams and hardware will stand the test of time, unlike flimsy competitors.

Seac Pirana

Specs
  • Closure: Beavertail
  • Material: Polyester, Polyurethane, Nylon 2 Neoprene
  • Seals: Lycra Cuffs
  • Seams: Sewn
  • Style: Two Piece
  • Thickness: N/A (7mm chest guard, otherwise very thin)
Features
  • 7mm Chest Panel For Extra Core Insulation
  • Camouflage Pattern For Stealth While Spearfishing
  • Polyurethane Reinforcement In Knees, Elbows, And Lower Back
  • Attached Hood For Added Warmth

BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT COMFORT  

The Seac Pirana was designed for spearfishing in the tropics. It’s hardly the warmest model on the market, but it’s lightweight and comfortable, easy to pack, and a top pick for new freedivers. This model uses an attached hood, Lycra trim, and 7mm chest panel to add warmth since it’s made primarily from stretch Polyester. It features Polyurethane reinforced panels to prevent wear and tear in sensitive areas like the knees and elbows. Plus, its green camouflage pattern is perfect for spearfishers hiding from potential prey. The Seac Pirana also makes an excellent base layer for divers in cold climates.

Cressi Bahia Flex

Specs
  • Closure: Front Zip
  • Material: Nylon-2 Neoprene, Rubber
  • Seals: Aquastop Wrist and Ankle Seals
  • Seams: Sewn
  • Style: One Piece
  • Thickness: 2.5mm
Features
  • Front Closure For Easy Donning And Doffing
  • Long Lasting Metal Hardware
  • Flexible Panels For Ease Of Movement
  • Double Lined Neoprene Resists Compression At Depth

BEST FOR: EASY DON AND DOFF

Do you struggle to get in and out of your wetsuit? The Cressi Bahia was designed specifically for divers with wide shoulders, broad chests, and big busts. This suit’s front closure makes it easy to don and doff, even without the help of a buddy. Its double lined Neoprene won’t compress at depth, so it’s less likely to bind and squeeze. And, it uses thinner panels of Neoprene in the arms and legs, giving it extra flexibility and stretch. While this suit was not designed for apnea, it’s a favorite among freedivers, especially those who struggle to find a properly fitting suit.

ScubaPro Element

Specs
  • Closure: Beavertail
  • Material: X-foam Neoprene
  • Seals: Smooth-skin Wrist, Ankle, and Face Seals
  • Seams: Glued, Sewn
  • Style: Two Piece
  • Thickness: 3mm
Features
  • Sharkskin Textured Neoprene Eliminates Hydro Drag
  • Thicker Neoprene Torso Increases Thermal Protection
  • Flexible Panels For Ease Of Movement
  • Attached Hood For Added Warmth

BEST FOR: DIVERS WHO GET COLD  

If you tend to get cold before other freedivers in your group, you’ll need a suit with plenty of extra protection. The ScubaPro Element features an attached hood and reinforced chest panel for extra warmth. Its zipperless design and Smooth-skin seals help lock water out, retaining your core heat. Meanwhile, lightweight, flexible Neoprene panels in the arms and legs help ensure you have a full range of motion underwater. The Element also features a shiny Sharkskin exterior to reduce drag in the water and resist abrasion and wear. While this model won’t win any points for style, it will keep the cold out longer than similar suits designed for the fashion-conscious.

Picasso Shadow

Specs
  • Closure: Beavertail
  • Material: Yamamoto Neoprene
  • Seals: Lycra Cuffs
  • Seams: Glued and Sewn
  • Style: Two Piece
  • Thickness: 3mm
Features
  • Supratex Reinforcements In Knees And Chest Make This Suit Super Durable
  • Anatomical Cut For Extra Flexibility
  • Attached Hood For Added Warmth
  • Thicker Neoprene Torso Increases Thermal Protection

BEST FOR: PRO PICK

If you spend a lot of time in the water, you’ll need a suit that’s up to the challenge. The Picasso Shadow is made from top of the line Yamamoto Neoprene for added warmth and flexibility. Its anatomical cut and prebent joints make it one of the most comfortable models on the market. Plus, its attached hood and insulated torso keep you warm where it counts the most. The Shadow uses Supratex reinforcement in the chest and knees to reduce wear, so it will stay looking newer for longer. While this suit is hardly your most fashionable option, it does everything you need and nothing you don’t. And, it’s sure to last for years even with daily wear and tear.

Beuchat Zento

Specs
  • Closure: Back Zip
  • Material: Smoothskin Neoprene
  • Seals: Lycra Cuffs
  • Seams: Sewn
  • Style: One Piece
  • Thickness: 2mm
Features
  • Anatomical Cut For Extra Flexibility
  • Smoothskin Open Cell Neoprene Eliminates Hydro Drag
  • Flexible Panels For Ease Of Movement
  • Comfort Collar Locks Water Out Without Binding Or Squeezing

BEST FOR: OVERALL VALUE

The Beauchat Zento is one tough wetsuit. This is one of the few one-piece models designed for freediving, with tons of special features just for apnea. Its comfort collar keeps water out, without restricting your breathing like similar designs. This design element is perfect for freedivers who feel uncomfortable or claustrophobic in diving hoods. Its Smoothskin open-cell exterior reduces drag, making you fast and more hydrodynamic. Plus, its anatomical design and flexible panels in the arms and legs give you more range of motion than similar suits. While intended for freediving, the Zento is also a popular pick for triathletes and other water sports enthusiasts.

Salvimar N.A.T. Camu

Specs
  • Closure: Beavertail
  • Material: Neoprene, Rubber
  • Seals: Round Seal System at Wrists, Ankles, Hood, and Waist
  • Seams: Double Glued and Blind Stitched
  • Style: Two Piece
  • Thickness: 3.5mm
Features
  • Camouflage Pattern For Stealth While Spearfishing
  • Attached Hood For Added Warmth
  • Reinforced Puff-Gum Knees And Elbows
  • NAT Open Cell Neoprene Eliminates Hydro Drag

BEST FOR: SPEARFISHING 

If you’re an avid spearfisher, the Salvimar N.A.T. Camu was designed with you in mind. This suit uses camouflage to help you remain undetected during the hunt and NAT Neoprene for extra speed and agility. The Camu also helps you stay warm with its attached hood, double glued and stitched seams, and round seals at the wrist, ankle, and hood. Reinforced knees and elbows will keep this wetsuit looking like new, even if you spend a lot of time crouched in the rocks. Though it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles some higher-end models offer, the Camu is an outstanding piece of equipment for serious spearfishing.

Seac Energy

Specs
  • Closure: Back Zip
  • Material: Smoothskin Neoprene
  • Seals: Lycra Cuffs
  • Seams: Double Glued and Sewn
  • Style: One Piece
  • Thickness: 2mm
Features
  • Smoothskin Open Cell Neoprene Eliminates Hydro Drag
  • Plush Lining Wicks Water Away From Your Skin
  • Anatomical Cut For Extra Flexibility
  • Seamless Underarms To Reduce Rubbing And Chafing

BEST FOR: ADVANCED APPLICATIONS

Serious freedivers know that the right suit can greatly enhance in-water performance. The Seac Energy was designed for competition level apnea, with special features to take your diving to the next level. This suit’s exterior uses Smoothskin open-cell Neoprene to reduce drag, shaving seconds off your best times. Its plush lining wicks moisture away from the body, helping you stay warm. An anatomical cut and prebent joints make this a highly flexible and functional option that won’t inhibit your movements. Plus, the Energy’s seamless underarm panels reduce rubbing and chafing for maximum comfort even during your most hardcore freediving sessions.

Omer Black Moon

Specs
  • Closure: Beavertail
  • Material: Nylon-2 Neoprene
  • Seals: Lycra Cuffs
  • Seams: Glued and Sewn
  • Style: Two Piece
  • Thickness: 5mm
Features
  • Camouflage Pattern For Stealth While Spearfishing
  • Attached Hood For Added Warmth
  • 3D Open Cell Neoprene Won't Compress At Depth
  • Insulated Chest Panel For Core Warmth

BEST FOR: COLD CLIMATES

The Omer Black Moon isn’t a fashion focused wetsuit, but if you’re diving in cold water, it’s one of your best options. This model uses black on black camouflage to disguise hunters in cold climates and dark water. Its reinforced chest panel helps keep your core warm and makes loading a large speargun easy. The Black Moon’s rolled seals, attached hood, and open-cell construction will help fight the chill, too. This wetsuit’s Neoprene won’t compress at depth, so you’ll need to dive with more weight, but it’s guaranteed to keep you warmer than similar models. This wetsuit’s delicate open cell construction is prone to tearing during donning and doffing, so it’s not a good choice for beginners.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A FREEDIVING WETSUIT 

If you already own a wetsuit for surfing or diving, you may be able to use it for freediving. But it’s not ideal. Wetsuits designed for apnea usually come in two pieces and include a hood. They pull on instead of using zippers to reduce water exchange and allow for more flexibility. This design also gives your chest more room to expand during your breathe-up

 

FIT

Your freediving suit should fit like a second skin. Too loose, and it won’t keep you warm. Too tight, and you’ll feel uncomfortable in the water. 

A properly fitting wetsuit should be snug but allow you a full range of motion. You should be able to squat, stretch, and twist comfortably without any binding or restriction. Double-check that you have plenty of flexibility around your chest, neck, and throat, as these areas will expand and contract during your dives. And, be sure that you feel no pinching or pressure around your knees, groin, armpits, and elbows. A suit that fits poorly at the joints will squeeze your skin while you freedive, leading to discomfort at depth. 

 

THICKNESS

Freedivers aren’t in constant motion when they dive. You’ll spend time waiting on the surface, breathing up, and spotting buddies. So, you’ll probably get colder faster than you would swimming or SCUBA diving. Choose a slightly thicker suit than you think you’ll need to keep the chill out. 

Wetsuit thickness is represented in millimeters. The higher the number, the thicker and warmer the suit. Remember that unlike SCUBA divers, you won’t be wearing heavy equipment to cancel out your suit’s buoyancy. So, every millimeter of Neoprene will have to be balanced out by wearing weights in the water

If you’re freediving in tropical climates,  a skin suit or rash guard might be enough protection. These lightweight options protect against the elements without adding bulk or buoyancy. But, most divers prefer a 3mm suit or thicker. If you’re worried about restricted motion, opt for a suit that uses thicker panels in the torso to insulate your core without reducing flexibility. 

Keep in mind that your wetsuit won’t keep you warm if it doesn’t fit well.  Double-check for a proper seal around your wrists, ankles, and neck. If water is entering and exiting through these points, your core temperature will drop, and you’ll feel colder faster. 

 

STYLE

Freediving wetsuits come in two pieces and often include a hood. This extra barrier helps keep water from entering and exiting at the neck seal. 

Some freedivers use multisport suits designed for SCUBA and swimming, like skin suits and shorties. These options are fine for plenty of apnea applications, but do keep in mind that they aren’t designed for freediving. 

CLOSURE

Traditional wetsuits designed for SCUBA and other sports use a large single zipper closure. Two-piece suits used for freediving often feature a “beavertail” that snaps shut between your legs. 

 

SEAMS

Water entering and exiting through your wetsuit’s seams, known as “water exchange,” robs you of your core warmth. Even the best-made suit will let a little bit of water in, but the higher quality your seams, the warmer you’ll feel in the water. If you’re planning to dive in cold climates or naturally get chilly fast, this consideration is especially important. 

Budget suits, designed for warm water, often use glued seams. This construction allows for a lot of water exchange, so it isn’t a good fit for divers who get cold fast.  

Higher quality construction is best for cooler climates. Seams that are taped or glued and then sewn for a more watertight seal are ideal for diving in colder water. This extra step reduces water exchange and keeps the cold out. The two stitches used in this process are called the blind and flatlock stitch. The blind stitch allows less water penetration, and is considered warmer and higher quality.

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

HIGH-QUALITY HARDWARE 

Every wetsuit on this list uses a metal zipper or beavertail clip to close. When shopping, look for high-quality hardware from well-known manufacturers like YKK and Velcro. You should avoid any suit whose hardware feels flimsy, weak, or overly flexible. Cheaply produced zippers and clips deteriorate quickly when exposed to saltwater, wearing out well before your suit’s Neoprene.

 

FLEXIBLE PANELS

Many wetsuits use different thicknesses of Neoprene in different performance zones. Thin, flexible panels in the arms and legs add to your range of motion and make your suit easier to don and doff. Thick panels around your torso help keep your core warm. This extra padding in the chest is also helpful for loading spearguns. 

 

ABRASION RESISTANT PADS

Abrasion-resistant fabric and pads can protect your wetsuit’s knees and elbows from wear. This feature is especially important for spearfishers, who often spend time crouching in and clinging to rocks and reef. These texturized pads also add grip for comfortable kneeling on the surface.

 

SPECIAL NEOPRENE TO REDUCE DRAG

Some freediving suits use coated Neoprene to reduce drag in the water. These coatings are usually found on open cell suits, which are harder to maintain. So, while they might look cool, they’re not for newbies. If you’re getting serious about the sport, this type of suit might take your performance to the next level. 

 

ANATOMICAL DESIGN 

Wetsuits that feature anatomical design are more comfortable and less restrictive while freediving. These models are shaped to fit like a second skin, unlike traditional suits that may bag or bunch in some areas. Other design elements like prebent joints help you maintain the best range of motion possible in the water. 

 

READ MORE

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