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15 Best Scuba Wetsuits

several wetsuits lying on lawn

Can you even imagine the world of diving before wetsuits? Only bizarre devices come to mind: diving bells, gear that looks better suited to outer space, and props from the set of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Sure, some of this equipment might double as elements of your next Steampunk costume, but none are as sleek and efficient as the best scuba wetsuit.

Indeed, today the wetsuit has become the central piece of equipment that unifies divers of the free and scuba varieties. For many dive enthusiasts, the appearance of the wetsuit has become synonymous with their watery passions that a mere glimpse of the suit can send one scurrying toward the nearest, deepest body of water at the drop of a hat.

Many questions abound about the purpose and function of the wetsuit. Which wetsuit is right for beginners? What features should a buyer look for when browsing among different brands of wetsuit? How can one pick a high quality wetsuit from a low-quality wetsuit? Why does one even need a wetsuit? And most importantly, what is the best scuba wetsuit out there on the market?

a scuba diver swimming with fishes

Image Source: Pexels.com

Maybe you are a diving pro looking for an upgrade to your current kit. Maybe you are a first-time diver who doesn’t want to embarrass themselves with the wrong equipment. Or, maybe you are a journeyman diver, somewhere in between expert and novice, who has rented their equipment for a while but now wishes to take the next step and own one of the best scuba wetsuits out there on the market.

Comparison Table

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Where Did the Wetsuit Come From?

a woman wearing a diving suit

Image Source: Pixabay.com

The modern wetsuit was invented by UC Berkeley’s physicist Hugh Bradner. He realized that people could stand having a thin layer of water trapped between the suit fabric and the wearer’s skin, as long as the fabric also provided insulation by trapping bubbles in the water alongside the water. The concept obviously worked, and we have Bradner, the “father of the modern wetsuit,” to thank for the quite lightweight and surprisingly warm diving equipment of today.

Although, Bradner and his team could not successfully market their design, eventually, a neoprene version of their original concept appeared on the market, and once the surfing craze got a hold of the ability to hang ten even in cold waters, wetsuits sold like gangbusters.

Choosing the Right Scuba Wetsuit

Obviously, price is among the major considerations when looking to purchase some underwater onesies. It won’t matter if your wetsuit is name brand if you also have to go into debt to afford it.

Generally, you will get better quality products with more solid warranties backing them if you will spend more. However, often the next step up in terms of price represents a jump in cost that vastly outweighs the added benefits of the premium version. Every item we’ve chosen for this list passes a certain bar of quality, and20 so do not feel like you are drastically cutting off the longevity of your own scuba wetsuit because you cannot justify the more expensive model.

a man fixing the zipper of a wetsuit

Image Source: Pexels.com

The biggest overall tip we can offer when searching for the best scuba wetsuit out there is this: Check your thickness. That’s right, some wetsuits are thicker than others. The thicker material might sound like less mobility (and that’s correct to a certain degree), but ultimately knowing the type of waters you wish to dive in will inform exactly how thick your suit should be.

If you’re an experienced diver, you’ll already know all about choosing thickness. Feel free to skip to our list of the fifteen best scuba wetsuits if you’re well versed in what makes such a suit quality. But for the rest of us (or if you need a refresher), read on to learn more.

How Thick Do I Need My Scuba Wetsuit?

a man diving into the water

Image Source: Pixabay.com

The short answer is: it depends on the waters you plan to dive into. The colder the water, the thicker the scuba wetsuit you’ll need.

Thicknesses of 0.5 mm to 2/1 mm are suitable for waters above 65°. Any colder and you’ll need a thicker suit. Temperatures of 62° to 68° require suits between 2 mm to 3/2 mm thick. 3/2 mm to 4/3 mm of thickness will work for water temperatures of 58° to 63°. If you’re going colder, say to water that is down to 52°, you’ll want a suit thickness of 4/3 mm to 5/4/3 mm.

Those who wish to dive in even colder environments will need a full suit, boots, gloves, and a hood—all taped for maximum insulation. Waters with temperatures of 43°to 52° require suits with 5/4 mm to 5/4/3 mm of thickness. And if you’re hoping to join the Polar Bear club and dive in waters below 42°, you’ll probably want a suit of 6/5 mm thickness to offset that looming hypothermia.

Why Do You Need a Scuba Wetsuit?

a diver jumping into the water

Image Source: Pexels.com

The reasons for needing a wetsuit range from comfort (wanting to be warm at the beach) to survival (they prevent your body from critically cooling underwater). Most people want wetsuits to enable them to explore environments they previously found too uncomfortable without insulation.

Among the many benefits that the modern wetsuit provides are underwater warmth, a hydrodynamic shape to prevent drag, and protection from cuts and knicks. (You’d be surprised how thorny some underwater critters and structures can be.) Plus, scuba wetsuits are skin tight and usually black, and that’s sexy.

The wetsuit has enabled new generations of surfers, hands-on marine biologists, military operatives, nautical explorers, and divers. The best scuba wetsuits have rendered cold waters usable wildernesses and paradises.

If you are a diver interested in dipping your toes into water chillier than 65°, you’ll most certainly want a wetsuit, as the insulation it provides is not only comfortable but can be lifesaving.

Wetsuits can be expensive. If you do not dive often, the option to rent a wetsuit may save you some money in the short term. In the long run, however, if you get bitten by the diving bug, you’ll wish that you had invested in a quality suit you could call your own. That said, the option to rent is often an attractive one. We’ll explore this option in the next segment.

two people carrying their surf boards

Image Source: Unsplash.com

Renting vs. Buying a Scuba Wetsuit

“Yes, the wetsuit is an amazing piece of technology,” you may be thinking, “but I don’t dive every day. Why can’t I just rent a scuba wetsuit for a day’s activity for about forty bucks?” Well, you can. Renting a suit only does cost about $40 to $50 to get into a scuba wetsuit that other people wear when you aren’t. It’s a perfectly logical cost to pay if you’re only diving once in a blue moon.

a female scuba diver in underwater

Image Source: Pixabay.com

However, you can purchase a scuba wetsuit of your own for around $200. Quite a bit more than the $50 you might end up paying for a single dive, but in four or five dives, purchasing your own suit will have paid for itself.

Ultimately, the individual diver will know how often their schedule permits them to get out into the great blue yonder. We encourage those who envision four or five dives in their future to go ahead and purchase a wetsuit of their own.


Ah, but which suit to choose? Which is the best scuba wetsuit on the market? We’ve picked fifteen fine specimens which we proudly present without further ado...

The 15 Best Scuba Wetsuits

We found that wetsuits do not lend themselves to cardinal ordination as much as individual brands and models provide different benefits to different types of users. As such, the following list is unranked, although we will be revealing the best scuba wetsuit among these fifteen considered at the end.

We’ll highlight some of our favorite features of each model and hit you with a link on where to find them.

The Scubapro Everflex


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This model easily deserves a consideration as one of the best scuba wetsuits on the market. Few wetsuits are more comfortable than the Scubapro Everflex, which utilizes the natural shape of your body to reach new heights of comfort and mobility.


We loved its diagonal back zipper (going from left hip to right shoulder). We found it much more comfortable than the old style of the zipper that runs up and down along your spine. It makes the suit much easier to don and to discard. The fit is just stellar with this model.


Check out the latest price on this item here:

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The Xcel Thermoflex


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A semi-dry suit that is renowned for its longevity. High quality nylon II neoprene adds compression resistance to this durable suit. We loved that all its seams are glued down four times as well as being blind stitched (which just looks great).


Zippers matter among the best scuba wetsuits. The Xcel keeps out a lot more water than conventional zips with its S-Lock back zipping technology. “Water out, warmth in” out to be the Xcel Thermoflex’s motto.


Check out the latest price on this item here:

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The NeoSport Premium 


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A great suit keeps you warm, feels great to wear, and will last you. The NeoSport Premium will do all three. We found this to be among the most balanced and versatile scuba suits out there. The comfort really sells this one. If you get a chance to slip into one, take that chance.


Check out the latest price on this item here: 

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​The Henderson Thermoprene


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One of the best-selling wetsuits on the market, the Henderson Thermoprene is made with a high quality version that nylon II neoprene we all love in our wetsuits. This neoprene provides 75% more stretch than neoprene produced conventionally. We found the Henderson model to provide one of the best quality to price ratios.


Check out the latest price on this item here: 

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​The Mares Flexa


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Who says a onesie has to be uniform? Not Mares Flexa. The Mares Flexa uses neoprene of various thicknesses all over the body. Why? Because your body is not uniform in its stresses.

Different parts bend more often than others. Some parts need mobility while others need warmth and protection. (If you don’t believe us, just try wearing your scarf on your feet or your shoes around your neck.) The effective use of this feature makes the Mares Flexa one of the best scuba wetsuits on the market.


Check out the latest price on this item here:

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​The Bare Velocity


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Sometimes you need to look for the bare necessities of life. Other times you need to get bare velocity. If the latter case describes you, you may want to look into Bare Velocity wetsuits.

Ergonomic suit design, exceptional fit, unbeatable comfort, and it’s quick-drying? Is there anything the Bare Velocity wetsuit doesn’t do?


Check out the latest price on this item here:

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​The Hollis Neo Tek


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A semi-dry wetsuit, the Hollis Neo Tek is famous for keeping divers warm in cold waters. The suit uses a proprietary LavaSkin inner liner to keep itself exceptionally insulated.

And that’s on top of the suit’s already impressive 8/7/6mm thick anti-compression neoprene composition. Add an easy-on, easy-off zipper and you’ve got one of the best scuba wetsuits on the market.


Check out the latest price on this item here: 

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​The Aqualung Aqua Flex


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The Aqualung Aqua Flex Jumpsuit uses a special type of neoprene in its construction which outclasses other neoprene by a three-fold stretchiness factor. Yes, it stretches three times better than conventional neoprene. The stretch makes it easy to get on or off even when wet. If you’re done fighting your suit to get into it, this may be just the stress relieving option you need.


Check out the latest price on this item here: 

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​The Cressi Playa


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Not all scuba wetsuits need to cover down to one’s ankles. Sometimes you just need that extra bit of warmth and to show off your cute calves. That’s exactly what the Cressi Playa will allow you to do with their shorty model of wetsuit. The 2.5 mm thickness is perfect for warmer waters and actually provides decent warmth in cooler situations despite it not covering the wearer’s calves.


Check out the latest price on this item here: 

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​The Fourth Element Proteus


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Durable and versatile, we found the Fourth Element Proteus to live up to its mythic name. This diving suit is smartly padded on the hips and shoulders to protect the wearer from the stress of weigh belts and BCDs.


Check out the latest price on this item here: 

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The Bare Reactive 5mm 


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The Reactive represents the top of Bare Sport’s line of scuba wetsuits. Using an innovative Celliant fabric lining, the suit reflects the body heat of the wearer back inward. This lining is used throughout the entirety of the suit, not just the core, making it one of the warmest items on this list.


Check out the latest price on this item here:

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​The Beuchat Alize 3 mm


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Using supple Elaskin type x6.4 neoprene, the Beuchat Alize is a wetsuit providing incredible against the skin comfort. Plus, it provides great stretch in the chest to ease the user’s breathing. Rolled edges at the wrists and ankles help with getting the suit on and off and we really appreciate that feature.


Check out the latest price on this item here:

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​The Camaro Alpha Pro 3 mm


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This semi-dry suit uses extremely stretchy neoprene and a Dry Stretch internal lining that feels like plush. We loved that plush sensation and that the G-Lock zipper on the front was so exceedingly watertight. In addition, this suit can be custom fitted.


Check out the latest price on this item here:

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​The Scubapro Everflex 3/2 mm No Zip


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The world’s first “green” dive suit! The Everflex No Zip uses low-impact and recycled materials with innovatively environmental manufacturing methods. All that and the suit offers everything a top of the line suit would. Plus, it looks sleek and incredible, almost like a spy suit in a sci-fi.


Check out the latest price on this item here:

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​The Seac Komoda S


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Of all the entries on this list, the Seac Komoda S looks the most like a motorcycle suit. Sharing some characteristics with modern body armor, the Komoda S is nonetheless composed of especially stretchy neoprene. Its honeycomb structure allows for maximal heat to be absorbed without sacrificing the mobility of the wearer. Zips in all the places you want it to.


Check out the latest price on this item here:

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Conclusion

Can you guess which one we found to be our favorite? Perhaps we didn’t hide it too well in the article: The Scubapro Everflex 3/2 mm No Zip!

Why? Not only is it the most comfortable dive suit we tried on, but it’s also doing its part to help the environment.

Featured Image Source: Pixabay.com

Titan Black Wetsuit Review: Is It Worth Buying?

titan black wetsuit
Man holding surfboard on beach, low angle view

Whether you are taking a dive or surfing the waves, a wetsuit is one of the most important pieces of gear you can buy. It’s the one piece of gear that will keep you warm in cool waters and protected in any temperature. Cold water temperatures aren’t just uncomfortable, but could be dangerous in many situations. Wetsuits aren’t a piece of gear to be taken lightly, so you should carefully research the best brand and style for your next big trip. Whether you are a casual diver or a professional surfer, you need a wetsuit that is warm, comfortable and durable.

Check out the Reactive Titan Black Wetsuit by Bare Sports. This high-quality wetsuit offers a range of features that make it one of the best on the market. In order to better understand what makes this wetsuit unique, take a look at this complete review. You’ll find all the information you need to choose a wetsuit. We’ll look at the specifications of this wetsuit, discover more about the brand and compare the Reactive Titan Black with other highly rated wetsuits.

Choosing the Right Wetsuit

At a glance, most wetsuits look remarkably similar. If you aren’t familiar with the specific features of wetsuits, it can be difficult to justify spending hundreds of extra dollars on a brand name wetsuit. In order to understand what you are buying, and why it might be a good idea to purchase an expensive wetsuit, here is a list of the basic features that all wetsuits offer.

Like most gear, wetsuits are specialized for your environment and activity level. Consider the water temperature, how much strenuous swimming you’ll be doing and how often you’ll be using your wetsuit. If you are planning on using your wetsuit for a variety of activities or in several different seasons, you may want to consider purchasing more than one wetsuit. There’s nothing worse than being too hot or too cold while you are trying to enjoy a water sport.

Warmth

scuba diver under the water

One of the most important steps to enjoying a safe day in the water is research. Be sure you know the range of water temperatures to expect. Scuba divers in particular can be exposed to incredibly cold water temperatures, even on a hot day. Think about the water temperature, air temperature, wind and your activity. Thankfully, there are wetsuits designed for almost any temperature.

Wetsuits are classified based on their thickness. Most wetsuits are made of neoprene, which is a rubber-like substance that is flexible, durable and offers good insulation. Wetsuits get their name from the water they let in, so you won’t stay dry when you are using a wetsuit. However, the air bubbles in the neoprene still allow you to stay warm, particularly with thick neoprene wetsuits.

Wetsuits are typically between 3 mm and 6 mm thick. Some wetsuits are as thin as 0.5 mm or as thick as 7 mm. Each thickness allows for a particular range of water temperatures in which most divers still feel warm. However, the temperature is very dependent on your sensitivity to cold and your activity level.

If a wetsuit is advertised with multiple numbers, it means the suit is designed with various thicknesses. Typically, the body of these wetsuits is thicker and more insulated, while the arms and legs are thinner and more flexible. For example, a ¾ mm wetsuit will usually have a 4 mm torso and 3 mm arms and legs.

The wetsuits on this list are all 5 mm. This makes them rated for temperatures between 43 and 52 degrees. However, most divers also wear boots and gloves at these temperatures, so use your own judgement when determining the best temperatures for your wetsuit.

Length and Size

freediving

There are several different styles of wetsuit available, depending on your preference and the temperature. Most common wetsuits are full wetsuits. These cover your entire body except for your hands, feet and head. Another popular style is often called a shorty. Shorties have short sleeves and legs, so they are better for warmer weather. You’ll also typically find shorties with thinner neoprene. Most are under 3 mm thick. There are other options, such as separate upper and lower portions, and many divers choose to add a hood, boots, gloves or a jacket for additional insulation in cool waters.

Choose your size carefully. Most sizes come with dimensions. You want a wetsuit that is skin-tight in order to get the most flexibility and insulation. You want to be sure you can move easily, but it should be difficult to put on dry. Once a wetsuit becomes wet, you don’t want it sagging or loose. There shouldn’t, however, be pressure on your shoulders when you reach above your head. This is a sign of a wetsuit that is too tight.

Stitches

diving suit

Wetsuits aren’t made of a single piece of material, so they need to be stitched together. High-quality wetsuits pay particular attention to the seams. These are the areas of greatest weakness, heat loss and discomfort. There are plenty of different styles of stitching to choose from, and pros and cons for each one. Consider stitching that is durable and flexible. For warmer temperatures, you want stitching that is more watertight for cooler temperatures, and stitching that is more flexible for warmer temperatures.

​How to Put a Wetsuit On

​Wetsuits are extremely useful for a wide variety of nautical purposes, but they need to be properly fitted to an individual's body to serve such purposes. Besides getting the overall fit right, a wetsuit can sometimes be a bit difficult to put on in the first place. After all, these suits are supposed to fit snugly around your body, helping you to maintain mobility and ease of motion underwater while also keeping you warm in the process.

Thankfully, experienced wetsuit users have already done the leg-work of figuring out how to ease the difficulties involved in putting your wetsuit on for the day. You can try the following technique to get your wetsuit on quickly and easily:

First, turn your entire suit inside out. Then, you can put your feet into the ankles and begin to roll the suit up your legs and onto your body, completing the process with your hand and arms in the reversed sleeves.

What Is the 5 mm Reactive Titan Black Wetsuit?

5 mm Reactive Titan Black Wetsuit

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Bare Sports offers this premium wetsuit with a wide range of special features. It’s specifically designed to be warm and flexible. From the stitching to the neoprene, this wetsuit offers plenty of great design elements. The Reactive Titan Black series includes the most popular and most premium wetsuits by Bare Sports. Consider these if you are looking for a combination of flexibility and warmth.

Reactive series wetsuits are highly rated, so if you love these features you can also consider the 3 mm or 7 mm wetsuits. Because of the innovative insulation technology, even the 3 mm wetsuit will be warmer than most wetsuits. However, it will be much lighter than the 5 mm version, so you can use this for warmer dives. Thinner neoprene also offers more flexibility and a lower price point.

If you are looking for an option for warmer waters, consider the Bare S-Flex series. These suits are better designed for warm waters, flexible movement and durable, comfortable wear. This guide will compare the Reactive Titan Black wetsuits with other 5 mm suits in order to offer the best comparison options.

Now that you’re hooked, take a look at some of the accessories offered by Bare Sports. You can purchase matching 5 mm boots, hoods or jackets for added warmth.

Specifications of the Bare 5 mm Reactive Titan Black Wetsuit

From head to toe, this wetsuit was created for warmth and strength. It uses Celliant Infrared Technology to keep you warm. This unique design features thermoreactive minerals, which offers the ultimate insulation for the same thickness.

Bare paid particular attention to the seams on these wetsuits. The Reactive Titan Back wetsuit doesn’t have any traditional stitches, but uses liquid seams and complete taping to offer a smooth, insulated seam. These wetsuits don’t include blind stitching, which is common with wetsuits.

There are plenty of sizes available, anatomically cut for both men and women, so you’ll be able to find one that fits you perfectly. It’s important to choose an anatomical wetsuit, in order to reduce sagging areas. The back zipper is extra long and designed to offer maximum insulation. There’s additional zippers at each ankle, which are an impressive 11 inches long. This helps make the suit easy to put on and take off, while still remaining skin-tight and comfortable. If you are an avid surfer or diver, you know the importance of a durable wetsuit. The Reactive Titan Black wetsuit has durable knee pads that still remain flexible enough for comfortable use.

Unlike a 5/4 mm wetsuit, the Reactive Titan Black uses 5 mm neoprene for every inch of the wetsuit. While this offers more insulation, it makes the wetsuit less flexible than competitors. Consider the range of movement you’ll need with your wetsuit.

Pricing

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Be prepared to pay anywhere from $90 to $500 for a wetsuit. Quality and materials vary dramatically, so take each feature into account before choosing the perfect wetsuit. Inexpensive wetsuits can be uncomfortable, improperly insulated for cold water and inflexible when compared to more premium suits. Higher priced wetsuits are usually worth the additional expense.

With the price range in mind, you can see the the 5mm Reactive Black Titan wetsuit is one of the most expensive suits on the market. However, it comes with plenty of features to make the cost a wise investment. If you love hitting the waves or diving, you’ll want a wetsuit that will keep you comfortable and last for years to come. This wetsuit offers both, and also provides a comfortable range of movement.

However, if you are looking for a wetsuit for an occasional weekend getaway, the Reactive series may be too expensive for your needs. It’s also not a great wetsuit for summer beaches in the tropics. Choose this suit for northern expeditions or cooler seasons.

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How It Compares

5 mm Reactive Black Titan Wetsuit

5mm Henderson Thermoprene Wetsuit 

The Henderson 5mm wetsuit offers an excellent bargain on a reasonable wetsuit. Thermoprene is a specialized neoprene by Henderson that offers a balance of insulation and stretch. It’s resistant to abrasion and a very durable material for the price range.

This wetsuit has seams that have blind stitching and glue. These seams aren’t as comfortable or sealed as the Reactive Black Titan wetsuit, but are more insulated than many other, less expensive suits. The knee pads are also designed to be flexible, and the suit comes in plenty of sizes for men and women. Overall, it’s a reasonable wetsuit for its price range, but clearly not in the same price category as the Reactive line. Choose this wetsuit if you are an occasional diver who is still looking for a quality suit.

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Waterproof 5 mm Wetsuit 

For another premium wetsuit, try the Waterproof 5 mm full suit. The neoprene is durable and offers great insulation, and the knee pads are reinforced as well. However, the seams use blind stitching as well as glue, which makes them less watertight then the Reactive Black Titan seams. Rather than the traditional black color scheme, this suit offers striking silver patterns and lines. The arms and legs remain flexible despite the thickness, and the zipper is designed to be easy to use and insulated. It doesn’t offer the same innovative technology as the Reactive Black Titan, but is still a strong choice for a premium-priced suit.

Titan Black Wetsuit Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Innovative insulation technology
  • Durable, waterproof seams
  • Two-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Too thick for warm waters

Conclusion

If you’re looking for the best money can buy, the Bare 5 mm Reactive Black Titan wetsuit is one of the most premium full suits on the market. Everything from the reactive technology to the glued and taped seams allows this suit to be comfortable, durable and extremely warm. It’s perfect for deep dives or cool evenings in the water.

While it’s not the best choice for warm weather, this wetsuit is still a great choice for any avid scuba diver or surfer. Consider choosing the 3 mm Reactive wetsuit if you are going in warm waters, or buy both for year-round protection. Beginners may consider a less expensive wetsuit, particularly if you aren’t going to use it often. Now that you’ve researched the Reactive Black Titan wetsuit, you’re able to make an informed purchase. Choose the wetsuit that offers the best quality, durability and price for your needs. Once you’ve chosen the most important apparel for a day in the water, you’re one step closer to your next big adventure.

Rating: 4/5 

Travel Guide: Watsons Pool

Have you wanted a swimming pool but wondered about price? Watsons pools provide affordable above ground and semi-inground pools that look fantastic and are affordable, whether purchased outright or with financing. Materials for pool construction have improved, and with them opportunities to feel wealthy without the high cost and hassle of below-ground pool construction. Watsons pools offers an incredible variety of customizable sizes, shapes and models. If you have ever considered your own backyard oasis but thought you couldn't afford it, Watsons pools will change your outlook - and your lifestyle!

Backyard Pool Fun

three women sitting beside flamingo floater near swimming pool during daytime

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Watsons pool offers the chance to have your own background pool. Pool installation is more expensive than most people can afford, especially when the property isn't ideal for digging and installing a below-ground pool. That is where Watsons pool comes into the picture: it's the go-to affordable option for families to enjoy summer and beat the heat without leaving home. Watsons pools have been providing backyard fun for decades, and this review will introduce the basics of owning and maintaining an above-ground swimming pool.

Estimating Costs

coins and banknote

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Swimming pools usually come with the house, but for a large segment of the American population such houses are too costly to be realistic. With Watsons pools, any home with a backyard can become a splash-filled playground to beat summer heat. When deciding to become a pool owner, however, there are several factors to consider beyond just the cost of purchase. Although Watsons pool is a relatively inexpensive option, there are maintenance costs built in to the monthly budget. Fortunately, above ground pools require less maintenance than their below-ground cousins, and are tough to withstand weather and time.

Later in this article, we will present the specific maintenance packages Watsons pool offers, but it is important to emphasize up front that buying a pool includes both an initial investment in the materials, and an ongoing commitment to keep the pool healthy and maintained.

About Watsons Pool

Watsons pool has been in business for decades, and Watsons stores specialize in both outdoor and indoor home improvement systems. Watsons are experts in delivery and installation as well as customer service for an array of home products. The business began fifty years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio but due to great selection and a reputation for excellent customer service, Watsons grew to cover more of the Midwest with a total of 19 stores - eight retail "superstores" and 11 accessory stores.

Swimming Pools

Watsons pool provides above ground or semi-inground models in size ranges from 15 to 33 feet in diameter, or similar sizes for oval footprints. All models include anti-corrosion technology and are built to withstand most weather. The technology of designing pools has improved markedly in the last decade, and Watsons pool has capitalized on design evolution too, with options for almost any backyard. The first thing to consider when planning and designing your backyard oasis is size and shape.

Round

house with round pool

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Sizes for round, above ground pools available from Watsons pool range from 15' to 33' (diameter), with standard 52" high walls that are 2" thick. The above ground pool is less expensive at initial purchase, but costlier to maintain than its inground relative. For homeowners with square yards and less space - and on a budget - a round pool is a great choice. Round pools are also ideal for kids since they are best for splashing and playing rather than exercise. Round pools are stronger than oval and require less support to maintain shape.

Oval

For a larger yard or one that is long and narrow, choosing an oval design is recommended. For laps and a roomier swimming area, the oval design is an improvement over round. In addition, an oval pool can be more aesthetically pleasing as they more closely resemble in-ground pools in their classic swimming pool design. Watsons pools come in sizes of 12' to 21' (length) for oval pools. Oval pools use steel reinforcement and industrial-strength resin to ensure that it maintains its shape.

Semi-Inground

swimming pool during golden hour

Image via unsplash.com

The best looking option when considering Watsons pools is the inground design. By building the pool semi-inground, stability and strength is improved. At the same time, a semi-inground Watsons pool parallels the appearance of a fully inground pool, but at a much more affordable price. Especially when combined with decking or a sloped yard, this type of pool can look very much like the classic below-ground variety. The semi-inground option is relatively new but is taking neighborhoods by storm. Why? Like the above-ground model, it's inexpensive - but it looks like it came with the house and yard.

Materials

Polystyrene, a strong exterior paneling or durable "skin" creates the shell of semi-inground Watsons pools. In addition, to reinforce the polystyrene skin, acrylic coated aluminum supports create the frame and reinforcement for semi-inground models. Theses pools are therefore both strong and lightweight, but built to withstand extreme weather like wind and heat. They build energy savings into all models, which include an R-factor insulation of 10. Managing heat loss and gain is essential for above-ground pools due wind and temperature changes.

Above-ground models use diamond-coated steel to provide more structure and strength, as these models do not benefit from the stabilizing geometries of building partially inground or attaching the pool structure to decking or patio materials.

Selection

Shopping for a pool or spa does not require a showroom visit. Browsing through Watson pool options online is how most people shop today. Future pool owners can compare the sizes, specifications, and add-ons by scrolling through oval, round or semi-inground Watson pool choices. Prices range quite a bit, with semi-inground models the being most expensive. But maintenance packages are important considerations, too, since a swimming pool requires steady upkeep.

Services 

Computer on the table

Image via pixabay.com

What makes Watsons pools stand out is the relationship between seller and buyer. Watsons pool strives to make service available, to educate consumers, and to keep customers happy with their product. Even the most affordable options such as smaller, round, above-ground models are a significant investment. Watsons pools provides online and telephone customer support, classes for new pool owners, design help, and delivery and installation. Watsons has been in business a long time and knows how to keep customers happy with excellent selection, customer service, and support.

Buyer Steps

When deciding to become a pool owner, first shop around. Once the decision is made that a pool would add value to the home and provide a steady and reliable recreation option, compare prices and features. The prices for above-ground pools will range in the thousands, with semi-inground models starting as low as $9000 plus some installation costs. Most above ground pools will be comparable in price, so researching the durability of their materials and the cost of maintaining the produce is essential. These two factors affect how long the pool is viable and optimize a hassle-free ownership experience.

Superior Materials

When building a pool out of polystyrene and aluminum, or steel and resin, the materials will need very little maintenance. These pools require far less attention than concrete because they manufacture the polystyrene with a protective, chemical finish to resist weather and sun. Concrete pools inevitably require expensive resurfacing no matter how well tended they are. Watsons pools use materials strong enough to support the size and shape of the pool, choosing the least expensive material (such as aluminum) necessary to provide a low-maintenance, durable structure.

Lifelong Use

Although the materials will resist wear and tear, pools require vacuums, liners, sand filters and more. To improve maintenance, Watsons pool offers Standard, Silver, Platinum and Lazyman's packages that includes extras such as pool vacuum, ladder, lights, and liners. With the Lazyman's package (for the owner who would prefer a pool service) the maintenance package includes a delivery system for pool-cleaning products as well as winter and summer commercial-grade pool covers.

Research and Compare

Homeowners' pool shopping should be based on the best fit for the yard, the best value, and the most appropriate model for its usage. After measuring the space in the yard and calculating total costs (the cost to purchase, plus maintenance over several years or decades), the next step is to set up an appointment to speak with a customer service professional at Watsons pool. Talking to an expert will help narrow down the range of options, but is also an opportunity to ask questions that may come up during the comparison and pricing process. A conversation isn't a decision to buy, but part of the research process.

Conclusion

swimming pool under blue sky during daytime

Image via unsplash.com

Many of the pools available through Watsons pools are still in use after half a century. This fact is surprising to many individuals who assume that concrete inground pools are the pinnacle of pool technology and the most durable. Newly engineered materials are far more resilient than most homeowners imagine, and as a result the free-standing swimming pool is now customizable to meet specific owner needs. What used to be called "space age" materials are being applied to solve design challenges in the construction industry. These new pools are an amazing value, and easily within reach.

Best 10 Waterproof Phone Cases

person holding a mobile phone with waterproof phone case

Many phones these days have waterproofing built in, but it's not always the strongest feature. The brand new iPhone XR, for example, is only waterproof for 30 minutes or in up to one meter of water. Any deeper or any longer than that and you'll risk ruining your phone. If you love the beach, kayaking, river rafting, or just tubing on a lazy summer afternoon, you might worry that your waterproof phone case won't cut it. 
 
Worse, your phone might not have waterproofing at all. If either of these are the case for you, you need a waterproof phone case. Luckily, they're not hard to come by. Read on to learn about the most durable and affordable waterproof phone cases around.

​table of comparison

[amazon box=”B0719D6VGP, B07MNRXTYP, B06ZYQNLVV, B00Z7TOO6U, B07JGFQXTJ, B01N2IURH6, B07CCGLFWM, B072X7TJHG, B07CH9XT71, B00Z7SZ1D6″ template=”table”]

Waterproof Phone Case FAQ

apple waterproof phone case in different colors

Image Via Pexels

​1. What Is a Waterproof Phone Case?

​2. What Are the Downsides to Waterproof Phone Cases?

​3. How Do They Work?

​​​​​​How We Reviewed

We scoured the internet for high-quality, well-designed waterproof phone cases to bring you the ten best out there. They don't all work for every phone, but you should be able to find one that works for you on this list. We took into account durability, design, price, and versatility in making this final, unbiased list.

​Overall Price Range of Waterproof Phone Cases

Waterproof phone cases can sell for as little as $10 for the most basic designs, while more high-end cases can go for upwards of $80. We have included links with each entry that will lead you to Amazon or the manufacturer's website where you can purchase each product.

​What We Reviewed

  • ​EOTW 2 Pack Universal Waterproof Case
  • ​Mpow Universal Waterproof Case
  • ​Ounne iPhone Waterproof Case
  • LifeProof FRĒ Series Waterproof Case for Samsung Galaxy
  • ALOFOX Waterproof Case for iPhone
  • Dog Bone Wetsuit Impact for iPhone Waterproof Case
  • OTBBA Underwater Case for iPhone
  • Temdan iPhone Waterproof Case with Floating Strap
  • Eficle Waterproof Phone Pouch
  • LifeProof FRE Series Waterproof Case for iPhone

​best waterproof phone case

[amazon box=”B0719D6VGP”]

Features

​The EOTW 2 Pack Universal Waterproof Case is an absolute steal on Amazon for a bag-like case with a lanyard. Just slip your phone inside and wear it around your neck at the beach, at the waterpark, or wherever you need to go. It's difficult to use your phone while it's in this case though, so be careful when removing it to text or answer an email. It works for any phone up to 6 inches in length, no matter the model.

​Pros and Cons

Pros

  • ​Inexpensive
  • ​Works with any phone 6 inches in size or under

Cons

  • ​Hard to use phone while it's in the case
  • ​Too small for larger phone models

​Durability

​While this case will get you through a few days or a short vacation, its price means that it's not built to last. If you're taking it on a trip, we recommend taking the second one along as a backup.

[amazon box=”B07MNRXTYP”]

Features

Mpow's Universal Waterproof case is similar to EOTW's: a bag-like slip case that can fit any phone up to 6 inches long. Just like the waterproof phone case above, it's a little hard to type through the plastic film surrounding your phone while it's in the bag and it's impossible to use a fingerprint reader. This product also comes in a pack of two from Amazon.

​Pros and Cons

Pros

  • ​Inexpensive
  • ​Fits any phone 6 inches in size or under

Cons

  • ​Hard to use phone while it's in the case
  • ​Too small for larger phone models

​Durability

​Once again, the low price point means that this product isn't built to last. We recommend carrying a backup on long trips. With both products, you can test the quality of the waterproofing by putting a paper towel inside and submerging it.

[amazon box=”B06ZYQNLVV”]

Features

​The Ounne iPhone Waterproof Case is a fitted case designed for use with iPhones 7 and 8. It will make your phone a little bulkier, but its 4-star rating on Amazon proves it works well for water-bound excursions. Some have complained that this case muffles the speaker on calls resulting in reduced call quality, so pack some Bluetooth headphones or be ready to remove it from the case if you need to talk.

​Pros and Cons

Pros

  • ​Inexpensive fitted case
  • ​Durable design

Cons

  • ​Muffles the call quality
  • ​Only works with older iPhone models 7 and 8

​Durability

​With a shockproof design from up to 6 and a half feet high, a scratch-resistant screen, and waterproofing, this case will do a decent job of keeping your phone safe for a bargain price.

[amazon box=”B00Z7TOO6U”]

Features

​The LifeProof FRĒ Series waterproof phone case for the Samsung Galaxy S9+ makes your Samsung phone waterproof, but also drop-proof and dirt-proof. It's a sturdy case that's not too bulky, and in even comes in a variety of colors. Grab one in pastel pink and purple, or in bright green and jet black. The biggest downsides to this case are its high price tag compared to the Ounne case and the fact that it's only available for one phone model.

​Pros and Cons

Pros

  • ​Sleek design
  • ​Durable
  • Choice of colors

Cons

  • ​Only works with the Samsung Galaxy S9+

​Durability

​With super-thin scratch protector over the screen, water- and snow-proofing, and a seal that prevents dust and dirt from getting in, this case is worth the money.

[amazon box=”B07JGFQXTJ”]

Features

​The ALOFOX Waterproof Case is designed for use with the iPhone 6 and 6s. These phones are old models, but plenty of people are still using them. It claims to be both water- and snow-proof, but it's not padded enough to protect much from drops. It's rated for a 6.6-foot fall, but Amazon reviews claim it's not that durable. If you need a slim case with waterproofing at a low price, this is a good choice.

​Pros and Cons

Pros

  • ​Low price
  • ​Water- and snow-proofing

Cons

  • ​Only for use with iPhone 6 and 6s
  • Some Amazon reviews claim it's not curable

​Durability

​While some Amazon reviews question this product's durability, the overall consensus is good on this product. It's not as airtight at the Samsung case above and its design won't set the world on fire, but it will protect your phone from the elements.

[amazon box=”B01N2IURH6″]

Features

​The Dog & Bone Wetsuit Impact cas​e for iPhone X is a rugged waterproof case with 360 degrees of water, snow, dirt, and drop protection. It's pricey, but it comes with a 12-month warranty to soften the blow. Its stylish, slim design comes in four available colors, including teal, red, black, and gray. Its screen guard is made from a protective glass that feels just like your mobile phone's screen and provides the touch responsiveness to match. If you own an iPhone X, it's going to be hard to beat this waterproof phone case.

​Pros and Cons

Pros

  • ​Rugged with 360 degrees of protection
  • ​Slim profile
  • Great screen guard that feels like a real phone screen
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • ​High price
  • ​Only available for iPhone X

​Durability

​With a rubber bumper all the way around the edge, a flexible glass screen guard, and great design, this case is a high-end product that will keep your iPhone X safe and secure. If anything happens to the case, you can exercise your 1-year warranty for a replacement.

[amazon box=”B07CCGLFWM”]

Features

OTBBA's Underwater Case for iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus is a durable, highly rated product suitable for high-intensity sports like diving. It's fully sealed, with a thin screen protector that shouldn't sacrifice touchscreen sensitivity. It's affordable too, with the downside being that some Amazon users have found that it doesn't last very long.

​Pros and Cons

Pros

  • ​Rugged design makes it useful for water-based sports
  • ​Screen protector that doesn't interfere with touchscreen functionality
  • ​Affordable

Cons

  • ​Prone to breaking or losing waterproofing

​Durability

​Some Amazon users have found that this case breaks fairly quickly with regular rugged use, so if you plan to snorkel with it or are regularly hard on your phone, you may want to buy two to be safe or upgrade to a more durable case.

[amazon box=”B072X7TJHG”]

Features

​The Temdan Waterproof Case for iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 is popular on Amazon. It's also shockproof and snow-proof, but the biggest unique feature on this affordable case is its floating strap. A small flotation device on the strap will keep it on the surface of the water, so if you lose your phone will out on the river it shouldn't be too hard to find. Unfortunately, some Amazon reviewers found this case also muffled their calls.

​Pros and Cons

Pros

  • ​Floating strap
  • ​Rugged and durable
  • ​Great price

Cons

  • ​Muffles calls

​Durability

​This is a durable, rugged case that gets the job done. The tradeoff is a little added bulk when compared to more expensive waterproof phone cases, but it's far from a disqualifier.

[amazon box=”B07CH9XT71″]

Features

Eficle's Waterproof Phone Pouch is a step above the other phone pouches on this list. Its unique design will keep it floating on the surface of the water even if you drop your phone, and Amazon reviews note it allows users to take high-quality underwater photos. It can accommodate any phone up to 6.3 inches long. Some reviewers have reported leak issues with this product though, so be sure to test it by putting a paper towel into it and submerging it before putting your phone inside.

​Pros and Cons

Pros

  • ​Floats even with a phone inside
  • ​Can take underwater photos with your phone inside it
  • ​Low price

Cons

  • ​Some Amazon reviewers have reported leaking issues

​Durability

​Because some users have reported leaking with this product, we suggest testing its waterproofing before every use.

[amazon box=”B00Z7SZ1D6″]

Features

​The LifeProof FRĒ Series Waterproof Case for iPhone X can last underwater for up to an hour, and its slim design makes it look great in the process. Its scratch-resistant screen protector also allows the fingerprint function to work through it, and its shock-proofing can keep it safe from falls of up to 6.6 feet. Some Amazon reviewers have complained that its camera and screen protectors scratch too easily though.

​Pros and Cons

Pros

  • ​Slim design
  • ​Waterproof for up to one hour
  • ​Fingerprint function works through the screen protector

Cons

  • ​Screen and camera protectors scratch too easily
  • High price
  • Only available for iPhone X

​Durability

​This case will undoubtedly protect your phone, and its one-hour waterproofing is impressive. On the other hand, some users complain that its screen and camera protectors scratch too easily, so you must be a bit careful when using it.

​​The Verdict

two waterproof phone case

Image Via Pexels

There are a wide range of waterproof phone cases available to choose from, and the right one for you will depend on how you want to use it. If you're looking for something to protect your phone while you're at the beach or the pool, one of the pouches will do the trick at a low price. If, however, you want a permanent case, you have a lot of options. If you can afford them, we suggest Dog & Bone's premium cases for their rugged yet slim designs and high-quality waterproofing.

An In-depth Look To The MARES FLEXA Wetsuit

Mares Flexa wetsuit

If you haven’t been a scuba enthusiast for long, you may not have your own wetsuit. That’s a mistake. Rented wetsuits can be uncomfortable, unattractive and smelly. When you begin to shop for a wetsuit, you immediately notice that there are hundreds on the market. As you may suspect, not every wetsuit available for purchase is a smart buy. How do you know the difference between an excellent wetsuit and a substandard one?

That’s where we come in. In this review, we take an in-depth look at the MARES FLEXA wetsuit. Continue reading to discover everything you want to know about this product.

What Is a MARES FLEXA Wetsuit?

When you jump off the boat and into the water, you must have a protective layer to keep you warm and comfortable. The right wetsuit gets the job done. The MARES FLEXA wetsuit isn’t a single wetsuit. Instead, it is a family of wetsuits that consists of three members. The FLEXA 8.6.5 wetsuit is designed to protect divers in cold-water environments. The FLEXA 5.4.3 wetsuit is appropriate for temperate waters. The FLEXA 3.2.2 wetsuit is best for warm-water dives.

Since we are reviewing the FLEXA wetsuit generally, we will provide information for all three styles of FLEXA wetsuits. To avoid confusion, we refer to the suits as cold-water, temperate-water or warm-water suits. When there is commonality between the three, we use the term FLEXA wetsuit without denoting a specific model.

MARES FLEXA Specifications

https://www.amazon.com


FLEXA 8.6.5

FLEXA 5.4.3

FLEXA 3.2.2

Code

412337

412338

412348

Water Temperature

Cold

Temperate

Warm

Thickness

8.6.5

5.4.3

3.2.2

Closure

Zip Front

Zip Front

Zip Front

Back Protection System

Yes

Yes

Yes

Thermo Plush

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hood Keeper Ring

Yes

Yes

Yes

As you can see, the primary difference between the warm, temperate and cold-water FLEXA wetsuits is the thickness of the suit. For cold-water environments, the suit is considerablely thicker than the one used in warm-water dives. To tell the difference in each suit, you can look at its color. The cold-water suit has blue-panel inserts, the temperate suit has red inserts and the warm-water suit has white panel inserts. Still, suit construction is the same for all thicknesses.

Available in a variety of sizes, the FLEXA wetsuit is appropriate for either male or female divers. To choose the right size for you, rely on the MARES size chart on the company’s website. The FLEXA features an innovative design with a front zipper. As such, getting into and out of the suit is usually simple and fast. The ergonomic design helps prevent strains and cramps while suiting up. Moreover, the FLEXA wetsuit consists of Trilastic material that stays firmly in place, regardless of dive conditions.

The FLEXA wetsuit is not a uniform thickness. Instead, MARES designers distribute fabric thickness throughout strategic places in the suit. The result is more protection where you most need it. Likewise, in places that tend to wear, extra material helps extend the life of the FLEXA wetsuit. Moreover, MARES puts extra neoprene on the back of its wetsuits. As you probably know, dive tanks can rub against a diver’s back. This is uncomfortable. The extra fabric helps protect a diver’s back and shoulders.

When divers are underwater, they are susceptible to hypothermia. That’s why they wear wetsuits. MARES uses special technology to better protect divers from the negative consequences of exposure to cold temperatures. By stitching Thermo Plush into the upper section of the FLEXA wetsuit, MARES ensures divers have warmth where they most need it. Since Thermo Plush dries quickly, you don’t have to worry about feeling soggy after you leave the water.

Finally, the FLEXA wetsuit has an integrated hook to hold your diving hood in place. It also features accessories clips that allow you to customize the wetsuit to meet your diving needs. Choose from a variety of aftermarket accessories and dive like a pro. These are not included with the purchase price of a FLEXA wetsuit. Still, adding a smart pocket to the side of the suit makes it more versatile and usable.

MARES FLEXA Pricing

dollar coins

Most FLEXA wetsuits sell for between $200 and $350. The disparity in pricing depends on a variety of factors. For example, the cold-water suit generally costs more than its warm-water counterpart. That makes sense, as the cold-water version has thicker neoprene throughout. MARES suits don’t include hoods or boots. If you want to purchase a pair of MARES boots, expect to pay around $30 or $40. Hoods usually retail for between $30 and $50.

While the FLEXA wetsuit usually refers to full-bodied suits, MARES has some other suits with the FLEXA name. These include core suits, which don’t cover a diver’s arms or legs, and vests. FLEXA core suits often sell for between $130 and $200.

MARES warrants that all products you purchase from an authorized MARES dealer will be free from both material and manufacturing defects usually for two years. This limited warranty changes from product to product, though, so you must be sure you research warranty information for each piece of equipment you plan to buy. The FLEXA wetsuit is subject to the two-year limited warranty.

If you are looking for a MARES FLEXA wetsuit, you have a few options. The company does not sell products directly. Instead, you can find an authorized retailer by using a drop-down menu on the company’s website, www.MARES.com. Remember, you must purchase gear from an authorized MARES retailer to take advantage of the company’s limited warranty.

There is a good chance your local dive shop or scuba center is an authorized MARES retailer. Some sellers on third-party sites, such as Amazon, are also authorized MARES retailers. Still, before you finalize your purchase, you should cross check seller information with the MARES website to be sure you aren’t inadvertently purchasing gear from an unauthorized seller.

Additionally, while purchasing a used FLEXA wetsuit isn’t a bad strategy for saving money, you should know the company’s warranty only applies to new products and initial buyers. As such, you may not be able to take advantage of the company’s warranty if you choose to purchase a used FLEXA wetsuit or other pre-owned MARES gear.

[amazon box="B0051II058"]

Why Buy a Wetsuit When You Can Rent?

As we’ve already mentioned, a lot of people prefer renting wetsuits instead of buying since it can look like the more affordable route. To a certain extent, that’s true. If you only scuba dive occasionally – for instance when you go on vacation – renting is definitely an option you should explore.

However, if you scuba dive on a regular basis, buying your own suit should be seen as an investment. The cost may be higher upfront but, as long as you purchase a quality product, the wetsuit will end up saving you cash in the long run. Especially when you calculate the cost per wear, which is a clever metric to use when establishing if an item it worth your hard-earned money. 

Not to mention the fact that you will be sure that no one else wore it and that it’s clean, which is a sanitary concern for a lot of folks when renting. Finally, rental wetsuits are of inferior quality, so you might end up damaging them during your scuba endeavors and losing your deposit. That’s never fun.

How the MARES FLEXA Wetsuit Compares to Other Wetsuits

While the MARES FLEXA has some impressive features, you can’t really know if it is the best suit for you until you compare it with some alternatives. In this section, we compare the FLEXA with three popular competitors.

NeoSport Premium Wetsuit

https://www.amazon.com

The NeoSport Premium wetsuit is an affordable alternative to the MARES FLEXA. This suit is good for warm and cool-water dives but does not offer enough protection for cold-water situations. Still, it has a decent fit and allows you to move freely underwater. We like the reinforced knees and extra fabric on the back of the suit.

[amazon box="B003554F0I"]

Xcel ThermoFlex Wetsuit

https://www.amazon.com

One of the toughest wetsuits available for purchase is the Xcel ThermoFlex wetsuit. This suit’s material is high-quality compression-resistant nylon II neoprene. That’s as good as it gets. Also, the suit’s seams are bind stitched and four-times glued. You simply can’t find a more heavy-duty suit than the Xcel ThermoFlex wetsuit.

[amazon box="B00X4MYKMK"]

SCUBAPRO Everflex Wetsuit

https://www.amazon.com

If you value comfort over anything else, the SCUBAPRO Everflex wetsuit is worth a look. This suit moves naturally with your body as you swim underwater. You may not even realize you are wearing a wetsuit at all.

[amazon box="B01964UEQ0"]

MARES FLEXA Pros and Cons

The MARES FLEXA is one of the most complete wetsuits on the market today. It has several advantages over other wetsuits. Still, it isn’t perfect. In this section, we discuss what we think are some pros and cons of the MARES FLEXA suit.

Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Range of water temperatures
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Lack of versatility
  • Limited sizes for some models
  • No warranty for pre-owned suits

The Verdict: The MARES FLEXA Wetsuit Is One of the Best Wetsuits on the Market Today

If you need a new wetsuit, you probably can’t go wrong with the MARES FLEXA. In our opinion, the suit is one of the best wetsuits on the market today. Before deciding which FLEXA is right for you, you must think about your diving objectives. Remember, these suits are temperature-specific, so you need to consider where you dive most frequently.

When you are ready to buy, be sure you find an authorized MARES dealer. Not only do these retailers have the best selection of FLEXA wetsuits, but they also allow you to take full advantage of the company’s excellent warranty.

Rating: 4.5/5