Summer Wetsuits

When the summer time arrives, the climate and water temperatures warm, which demands wearing a thinner wetsuit. Summer wetsuits can come in a variety of thicknesses and lengths, such as 2mm shorty, 3/2mm steamer (full length wetsuit). So what do the different thicknesses mean, and when should different thicknesses be used? If the wetsuit has two different thicknesses like 3/2mm, this means that the 3mm neoprene features on the body and legs. The 2mm neoprene is then used for the arms and shoulders to provide supreme flex when paddling. 

Which thickness of summer wetsuit used is largely governed by geographical location, and at what point of the summer you will use the wetsuit. In the South West of the UK, waters start to warm at around the beginning of May, and using a 3/2mm or 4/3mm summer wetsuit is the best option. A hot summer means the water can warm to a comfortable 18c in September. During a hot, sunny Septembers day in the South west will permit a 2mm shorty wetsuit to be used. However, the waters on the North East are a lot colder and a 5mm wetsuit will be needed till around August. 

If you need more infomation about which wetsuit to use in certain water tempertures, please use our temperature guide for wetsuit thickness.

A summer wetsuit can also feature different stitching compared to winter wetsuits. The cheapest entry level wetsuits can be stitched with a system called flat lock. This type of stitching doesn’t stop water from penetrating the seam; it allows small amounts of water to pass. A flat lock stitched wetsuit should only be used in warmer waters. This is why most shorty wetsuits feature flat lock stitching. However, some steamers also feature flat lock stitching, so it’s very important if you are buying a summer wetsuit to check if it has flat lock stitching. If you are just wearing the wetsuit once on holiday in waters of 15c, it may make sense to buy flatlock. However, if you intend to use your neoprene for the whole summer, we would advise buying a glued and blind stitched wetsuit. 

Flatlock Seams

Flat Lock Stitching

Glued and blind stitched means the seams have been bonded together with glued, and then stitched. The two parts of neoprene are stitched through the underneath of the neoprene, so the stitch is less bulky. Glued and blind stitched seams stops water penetration through the seam. This makes the wetsuit warmer and suitable for use throughout the summer. Top of the range summer wetsuits will also feature glued and blind stitched seams as well as taped, or silicon sealed.

Glued & Blind Stitched Seams 

Flat Lock Stitching

Glued Blind Stitched & Silocon

  Flat Lock Stitching

Glued Blind Stitched & Taped

Flat Lock Stitching