The ultimate wetsuit guide


Everything you need to know when buying your wetsuit.

Where do I start? 

When faced with choosing the correct wetsuit, there are a few important questions to consider.

What time of year and where are you going to undertake your chosen activity?
Do you feel the cold, or are you more of a Wim Hof? 
What is your budget?

Wetsuits come in a host of thicknesses and with a variety of additional features.  Let us guide you through the purchasing process, so you can make the correct choice, thus saving you time and money in the long run.  


Golden Rule:
The best suit for you is the one that fits near perfectly. The aim of any suit is to keep as much water as possible out and as much heat as possible in. If your suit is baggy in any area, water may pool and heat will be lost. When you're buying your suit, try it on first (feel free to pop down to our showroom), or order two sizes and use our free returns to send back the one that doesn't fit right.
Remember, different brands will size accordingly, you may have to compromise on your hope for a certain colour or design in order to get that snug, professional fit.

Stitching and Sealing 

As a basic rule, the more you pay for a suit, the warmer, more flexible and comfortable they become.  This is a result of continued development of innovative materials and processes, which allow us water users to remain warm and comfortable year round.  The stitching and sealing of a wetsuit is more rigorous and complete the further you go up in a brands range. 

We would recommend a glued and blind stitched suit as a minimum, if you use the water throughout the coldest months of the year.    
Having said that, if you're a spring/summer water user, you don't have to break the bank to acquire a good quality wetsuit which will enable you to spend hours in the water engaging in your chosen activity throughout the warmer months of the year. 

Stitched or flatlock

This method of sealing the seams of a suit is usually reserved for summer suits. Stitched seams means there are holes created in the neoprene without any glue for reinforcement.  Over time stitched seams generally start to leak, fine in the summer, but not a nice feeling in 8 degree water. 

Glued and Blind Stitched

This method of sealing the seams on a suit involves gluing the panels together and reinforcing the seams with a blind stitch. Blindstitching means, there's no holes created in the neoprene, reducing the risk of leaks. GBS suits are a popular choice for regular and winter water users. 


Many brands use tape in a selection of their suits, some will tape critical areas in their mid range suits moving on to taping the full suit at the higher end.  A taped suit usually increases the longevity of the seams, reducing the chance of leaks over prolonged use. 

Liquid sealed

A liquid sealed suit is 100% waterproof at the point of sale. As with any equipment, seals can wear over time, however, a good quality liquid sealed suit should last for a few seasons at least.

Let's talk thickness 


A 2mm suit in UK waters is likely to be used on only the warmest summer days throughout July, August and September.  With the water temperature at its peak in August and September, a 2mm suit is a worthwhile investment, giving you the freedom of movement only rivaled by surfing in boardshorts.  2mm suits usually come in a choice or short arm, short leg or both. For the brave souls out there, a 2mm neoprene top and a pair of boardshorts could also be an option on those blazing warm days in the peak of Summer. 


A 3mm suit is the go to for most UK summer water users, still maintaining a decent amount of flexibility, even through more budget friendly options. A 3mm full suit will keep you warm enough to remain in the water for extended periods of time.  Not forgetting the added advantage of protecting you and your loved ones from the sun.  

4mm, A luxury or a magic bullet? 

For a while a 4mm suit was seen as a luxury, only afforded by those who had the option of multiple suits, however, in recent years water users have figured out a 4/3mm suit will keep you warm enough from the end of April right through to the end of November.  So, if you don't use the water in the depths of winter, a 4/3mm suit may be the magic bullet you have been looking for.  Add some quality accessories and you may push that time frame even further.  A 4/3mm wetsuit is becoming extremely popular amongst all ages and genders but especially with the ladies and the little ones. 


A 5/4mm or 5/3mm suit is considered a winter suit here in the UK.  With the advances in technology, a top end 5/4mm suit will keep you toasty warm in temperatures as low as 8 degrees.  Many of us here at Escape have found the high end suits from Ripcurl, C-Skins and Alder to be exceptional in allowing us to enjoy our chosen activities for hours during the coldest months of the year.  An investment in a higher end winter suit is necessary for those who regularly use the ocean throughout the coldest winter months.  If your budget is limited, choose top quality accessories along with a mid range suit.  


A 6mm winter suit is an option for those amongst us that really feel the cold in the South West of the UK or for those who use the water up North. In the frigid temperatures on the North East Coast of the UK, a 6mm with quality accessories is seen as a necessity. If you're in the market for a 6mm suit, it's important to go for something that is flexible, has an integrated hood, wrist and ankle seals and chest panels. Remember, the thicker the suit, the less flexible it can feel, so going for a suit with optimum flexibility is a must in this case.     

The accessories guide
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Escape Watersports, Unit 12 Village Court,
Village Farm Ind Est, Pyle, 
CF33 6BX


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