Wetsuits are the perfect option when it comes to dealing with cold water temperatures and chilly temperatures outside. They exist as your own personal radiator while you are in the water, keeping your body warm with a strategic system of layers that have been expertly designed in order to trap heat and reflect any escaping heat back towards your body. But, how long do these wonderful wetsuits last?
Wetsuit Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of a wetsuit is something that you should take into consideration before you have even purchased your first wetsuit. There are a lot of different wetsuits and different manufacturers out there and the prices for them can vary dramatically. Because of this, you need to know that you are going to be able to get a lot of use out of your wetsuit before it begins to break.
If you are looking for a wetsuit that will last as long as possible, then the type of wetsuit that you are looking at is an important thing to consider. Different wetsuits have been designed to handle different conditions and using them in conditions other than the ones that they have been designed for can drastically affect how long they will last.
Pay close attention to neoprene and how thick it is when you are choosing your first wetsuit. Generally speaking, the thicker the neoprene, the colder temperatures the wetsuit can cope with.
Make sure that you pay close attention to the neoprene thickness in each of the wetsuits that you look at. This is something that can tell you how long it will last.
Neoprene is one of the most important materials in a wetsuit because it is directly responsible for keeping the wearer warm. This means that wetsuits that have thicker layers of neoprene have been designed for colder conditions.
You should also make sure that you take a look at the type of wetsuit that you are planning on purchasing.
Some wetsuits are better than others when it comes to certain things. For example, short front wetsuits are the best option for tropical conditions and warm water temperatures. Whereas, you would be too warm wearing a full-length wetsuit in warm conditions and you would quickly want to get rid of your wetsuit by yourself.
Unfortunately, quality and life expectancy often come hand in hand when it comes to wetsuits and how long they will last. This means that you might have to pay quite a bit of money if you are looking for a wetsuit that will last for at least a handful of years. You should still make sure that you are shopping for quality regardless because you need to make sure that your wetsuit is fully functional.
Features like the wetsuit’s zipper, stitching, seams and the overall design of the wetsuit can also affect how long it will last and how much use you will get out of it. For example, a wetsuit with a low-quality zipper would be quite disastrous because cold water would simply seep in through the zipper.
Making a Wetsuit Last Longer
There are a few things that you can do to make sure that your wetsuit lasts for as long as possible. One of the most important things that you can do involves making sure that you never put your wetsuit in the washing machine or the dryer.
Unfortunately, the spinning motion is enough to affect the seams of even the most high-quality wetsuits and poor wetsuit seams lead to a poor experience in the water.
You should also make sure that you never use your wetsuit in chlorine pools. Neoprene cannot stand up against chlorine and it quickly begins to make the neoprene become brittle and stiff, negatively affecting the overall flexibility that should be present within the wetsuit.
If you have to wear your wetsuit in a swimming pool, then you should thoroughly rinse both the inside and outside of the wetsuit with fresh water immediately after.
If you are a salt water swimmer, then you should also make sure that you frequently rinse your wetsuit with cold water. Once you have rinsed both the inside and outside of your wetsuit, then you have to make sure that you hang it up to dry properly. You should never hang it up in direct sunlight and you should make sure that you hang it up by folding it over on itself.
Hanging a wetsuit up by the shoulders damages the wetsuit because it causes the wetsuit to stretch. By hanging it up by folding it over on itself we can make sure that that does not happen. You should also make sure that you keep on turning the wetsuit inside out as it dries. Otherwise, the wetsuit will begin to smell quite bad.
As you can see, there are a few things that can affect how long a wetsuit lasts. Luckily, most of those items are things that you can control and with proper wetsuit care your wetsuit should last for quite a few years. If you do have any problems with your wetsuit, then you should take it to a specialist or a tailor who might be able to fix it before you simply throw it away.