Exposure protection is one of the most important aspects of SCUBA diving, as hypothermia can occur even in warm water. While warm tropical waters may beckon you to dive in nothing more than your bathing suit, exposure protection can help defend against abrasions, small cuts, or stings while exploring beneath the surface, and from overexposure to sun above the surface. If a neoprene wetsuit would be too warm for your dive, consider wearing a skin suit or a rash guard. These lightweight items are made from materials that help insulate your body while not being too heavy, and are also great for adding another layer of protection under your wetsuit for chilly dives. Here are some of our favorites from LeisurePro’s great selection of lightweight exposure protection.
The Skin Suit from Akona is just the thing for tropical divers who want full-body protection. Made with non-buoyant polypropelene, this fast-drying garment will not require adjustment to your weighting and can easily be worn as a warm extra layer or on its own. The suit features ankle and thumb stirrups that will keep the arms and legs anchored in place for the duration of the dive, and will keep them from riding up under your wetsuit. The soft material traps water inside the suit and keeps it from flushing out to create a layer of warmth between you and the surrounding water. Plus, the entire suit is UV protective, which can help you avoid overexposure to the sun. This unisex suit would make a great addition to your warm or cold water SCUBA gear.
If a full-body suit isn’t your thing, try this short sleeve rash guard from Hyperflex. Featuring chest and back panels of mesh skin neoprene, you’ll be protected from wind chill topside while maintaining your core temperature down below. The rest of the shirt is made from stretchy Lycra material that offers UV protection and unrestricted movement, almost making you forget you have it on.
Moms are famous for reminding you to always take a hat, because most of your body heat escapes through your head. While this notion has been debunked by science, it’s not to say that some divers, indeed, begin to feel colder faster when they don’t wear head protection. This long sleeve hooded rash guard from Hyperflex is a perfect solution to the issue of just a little extra warmth. Made from polyolefin, a strong, highly insulating fabric that is resistant to abrasion, this rash guard will wick moisture away from the skin while blocking chill. The 3mm hood is made from mesh skin neoprene to give you a snug fit that will keep warmth in. And although polyolefin doesn’t retain odors, the shirt is easily washable. Keep your ears from freezing with this awesome hooded rash guard!