“Darling it’s better down where it’s wetter” sang Sebastian in The Little Mermaid – and he just might be right.
But that’s all very well and good if you happen to be a red Jamaican crab.
For us humans, we need a bit of extra help to venture into his undersea world, especially if we want to go scuba diving or spearfishing.
And with the latter in mind, I’ve put together a review of the best spearfishing wetsuits on the market right now – so you can join Sebastian and hunt all his mates.
A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.
Altogether now…”UNDER THE SEA…!”
(Note: wetsuits are usually available for both men and women, with some models being a unisex design. For the most part, the male version is featured).
Table of Contents
- The 14 Best Wetsuits for Spearfishing in 2023
- SpearPro Open Cell Spearfishing Wetsuit
- Cressi Blue Hunter Wetsuit
- Salvimar N.A.T. Wetsuit
- SEAC Men's Body-Fit Wetsuit
- Dyung Tec Wetsuit
- Riffe Digi-Tek Camo Wetsuit
- Mako Spearguns Reversible Yamamoto Wetsuit
- Mares Pure Instinct Spearfishing Wetsuit
- ZCCO Men's Premium Neoprene Wetsuit
- UR MAX Beauty Camo Wetsuit
- Mako Spearguns 3D Yamamoto Reef Wetsuit
- Beuchat Mundial Camo Wetsuit
- Nataly Osmann Camo Spearfishing Wetsuit
- Sea Sports Spearfishing Camo Wetsuit
- How to Choose the Best Spearfishing Wetsuit
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The 14 Best Wetsuits for Spearfishing in 2023
How to Choose the Best Spearfishing Wetsuit
There are a lot of things to consider before purchasing your first spearfishing wetsuit. Or, even if you’re an old pro, you might find some useful information, tips, and advice in the buyer’s guide below.
Here’s what you should be looking out for before “adding to cart.”
Do You Need a Wetsuit for Spearfishing?
If you’re splashing around in tropical waters at shallow depths – when you’re snorkeling, for example – using a wetsuit is likely overkill. You don’t really need it in those temperatures.
However, you must always consider the thermocline – the steep temperature difference between an upper body of water, and the lower body that occurs at a certain depth.
Even warmer water gets cold both with the deeper you dive and the longer you spend in it. Given that your body will be cooled down over 25 times faster under the waves than over them, a wetsuit for spearfishing is essential for the vast majority of the time.
It’s non-negotiable in colder waters, or if diving at depth, and it can also provide you with excellent protection from any bumps, scrapes, and – to a certain degree – any unsavory encounters you might have down there with the locals.
Using a quality wetsuit for spearfishing will also significantly increase your chances of success, as you’ll be able to swim undetected if you’re wearing a suitably colored or camouflage suit.
And when it comes down to it, the more comfortable you are, the longer you can spearfish for.
Too long, didn’t read – yes, you need a wetsuit for spearfishing, because science.
The thickness of any wetsuit is very important as it will dictate the level of insulation you will benefit from, and give you an indication as to the water temperature you can comfortably swim in.
Before embarking on a spearfishing trip, you should be fully aware of the conditions, so you can choose a suitable wetsuit thickness.
Wetsuits will typically be available in three, five, and seven millimeter thicknesses. The colder the water, the thicker the wetsuit will need to be.
You should also pay attention to how cold or hot you personally run. If, like me, you tend to feel the chill a bit more, you’ll probably benefit from a thicker wetsuit even in warmer temperatures.
The trade-off is that as you increase the thickness, you will lose some mobility. This might not be that important to scuba divers, but for spearfishing, it can make a big difference when you’re hunting and you require a full range of unrestricted movement and agility.
You need to strike a good balance between the two.
And remember, if your wetsuit is a poor fit, you’ll still get cold regardless of the thickness.
As a rule of thumb, you should follow the wetsuit thickness/water temperature guide below.
- Above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29C) – A one millimeter dive skin will be sufficient.
- Over 79 degrees Fahrenheit (25C) – A three millimeter wetsuit is recommended.
- Between 66-78 degrees Fahrenheit (18-25.5C) – A five millimeter is the most common wetsuit.
- From 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit (10-17C) – A seven millimeter wetsuit is essential.
For the vast majority of spearfishing locations and conditions around the world, it’s doubtful you’ll need anything more than five millimeter, with most regular spearfishers using either a dive skin or three millimeter suit as their go-to thickness.
For any hunter in the animal kingdom, man or beast – camouflage is as essential to attack as it is to defense.
In this case, the color of your spearfishing wetsuit isn’t just a fashion statement, it can be the difference between fish or pizza for dinner.
Try to choose a camo scheme that reflects the environment you’ll be diving in. When in doubt, greens and blues are usually a safe bet.
Black wetsuits can also be used – and they’re significantly better than bright colors – but you’ll still stick out like a human in an underwater world.
Some divers believe that camouflage suits don’t make that much of a difference if you’re skilled enough, but if something is going to give you an edge – especially for beginners – then it’s well worth choosing that option.
Type of Wetsuit
As much as there is a variation in wetsuit thickness, so too there is a variation in the type of wetsuit you can use. Below, I’ve briefly outlined your options in a bite-sized guide within a guide.
- Dive skin – a thin protective layer that covers your whole body and helps prevent skin injuries and UV damage, but is of no use in colder temperatures. Not made from neoprene.
- The shorty – a standard wetsuit that has its arms and legs cut off. Think Greek statue on a surfboard, ideal for tropical diving, but not regularly used for spearfishing as it offers little protection.
- Short John/Jane – a wetsuit that typically has legs, but a vest-style top with no arms.
- Full length – as the name suggests, a one-piece wetsuit that fully covers your arms and legs. Sometimes referred to as a steamer.
- Two-piece – Another no-brainer, it’s the same as a full length, but the torso and legs are separate, so it’s possible to wear one without the other. Two piece wetsuits are very popular spearfishing options.
- Hoods – Wetsuits that have the added protection/warmth from a built-in hood. Usually preferred by divers in colder waters.
You’ll hear/read about these two terms a lot when it comes to choosing a wetsuit – no matter what activity you’re using the suit for. It’s just as relevant for spearfishing as it is for freediving and scuba.
It’s to do with the lining of the wetsuit itself. An open-cell wetsuit is just the bare neoprene, whereas a closed-cell wetsuit has a lining of nylon.
For spearfishing, open cell suits are preferred, as they offer greater warmth and superior flexibility. They also provide the best fit, as after one wear you’ll have an excellent, form-fitting seal.
This opinion is changing, however, and there are a couple of notable downsides, which is why some spearfishers still tend to prefer closed-cell suits – particularly for beginners.
Open-cell wetsuits aren’t nearly as durable, and can tear easily if you’re not careful.
Sharp rocks, fingernails, or simply careless use can damage the suit, and while it’s repairable, it’s still an inconvenience that’s best avoided.
Oh, and I almost forgot. Perhaps the biggest downside of an open-cell suit is you need to shoe-horn it on. By that I mean, you’re not getting into it without using soapy water or some kind of lubricant, like Shark Snot, for example (which is actually just seaweed extract).
Finally, open-cell neoprene pores are the ideal home for bacteria – so you need to make sure you give your wetsuit a full clean after each use with a good wetsuit wash if using this type.
Protection/Gun Loading Pad
Some wetsuits come with additional protection and layering in key locations to help prevent injury and ensure your diving experience is as comfortable as possible.
This might include spinal padding that protects your back from carrying an air tank.
Elbow and knee padding is also advantageous, to protect these exposed regions from bumps, scrapes, and knocks in a hostile underwater environment.
Even cheap spearfishing wetsuits should come with a gun loading pad positioned around the chest, to help you load your speargun more comfortably, and without the risk of injury.
And speaking of guns, check out this excellent review on the best spearfishing guns on the market if you’ve not yet armed yourself for the hunt.
Last but by no means least, don’t forget about the protection a wetsuit will provide from the sun.
UV rays are a constant threat when undertaking any outdoor activity, but are typically most damaging in the warmer locations in the world – which just happen to coincide with global spearfishing hot spots.
Often overlooked, the UV protection a full-body wetsuit can provide is invaluable.
Sizing and Fit
Having a wetsuit that fits well is vitally important – otherwise you might as well not wear one at all.
As such, it’s imperative you get your sizing right, so do your homework on a particular brand’s measurements. Remember that European sizing is different from the USA, and other manufacturers around the world might use alternative systems.
A general rule-of-thumb is to always go a size up from what you would usually wear, but always use the sizing guides before confirming your choice.
Branded wetsuits can cost a substantial amount of money – and there’s a reason for that – as they will be the most durable, long-lasting, and effective options on the market.
They also feature the latest technology when it comes to materials, fabrics, and hardware.
When it comes to budgeting your purchase, I would suggest matching it to your skill level. There’s no need to spend the big bucks if you’re just starting out, and especially if you’ve never even been diving before.
That said, I would always suggest going for the best spearfishing wetsuit you can afford. It’s a demanding sport, and you want something quality that’s going to last, protect your body, and ensure you have every chance of success.
What is the best wetsuit for spearfishing?
You should be looking for a suit that is very comfortable, fits super-snug, offers the best protection against rocks and other hazards, and is insulated to suit the water temperature in which you’re diving.
Aside from that, the best spearfishing wetsuits will have the addition of a chest pad for speargun loading, and offer effective camouflage to keep you undetectable when you’re on the hunt.
Most of the suits in this review fit that criteria, but if I were to pick one, I’d go with the Riffe Digi-Tek.
Do you need a wetsuit for spearfishing?
For shallow dives in warm water, you can probably get away with either a dive skin or not wearing a wetsuit at all. However, this is more for snorkeling, and certainly not if you intend on staying in the water for a long time.
So, for spearfishing, I would say you definitely need a wetsuit, especially if you’re in colder waters, you’re going to be diving all day, and/or you’re diving deeper than around 20 meters. Forget about the thermocline at your peril.
Do you need a camo wetsuit for spearfishing?
It’s not essential, and many divers can spearfish successfully simply by using a black or other muted color suit.
However, a good-quality camo wetsuit will help you blend into your surroundings and dramatically improve your strike rate. Professional spearfishers swear that it’s vital to give yourself this edge.
Whatever you do, don’t wear anything bright, whereas the best freediving wetsuits can be any color you want.
Why do divers wear black wetsuits?
Good question. There are a number of reasons why wetsuits are predominately black.
First and foremost, black is the best color for UV resistance and heat insulation. Black neoprene is also the strongest type, and will last longer with more durability compared to colored materials.
Aside from that, it all comes down to money. Black wetsuits are much cheaper to produce, and to keep costs down, most manufacturers still use black as their color of choice.
How much does a wetsuit cost?
Wetsuit prices can vary as wildly as the colors and styles they come in. If you’re looking for a ball-park figure, I’d say anywhere from $50 for a value, entry-level suit, to around $1000 for the high-end, professional gear.
Basically, there’s a suit to suit every budget imaginable, so it’s up to you how much you want to spend.
How do I clean my wetsuit?
Glad you asked – as it’s very important you stick to a good wetsuit cleaning regimen, especially if you’re wearing an open-cell suit that can be a playground for bacteria given the optimum conditions of warm dampness.
Start by picking up some wetsuit cleaner to give you the best chance of getting rid of odors and the nasty stuff, and then watch this video below for some excellent tips and advice on how to clean your wetsuit.
What is the best speargun?
Glad you asked. Check out this review of the best spearguns for the money – and you’ll surely find the perfect weapon with which to go into battle, and save yourself some money in the process.
What is the best material for a wetsuit?
Neoprene is the material that wetsuits are primarily made of, as it has a number of practical and effective qualities that make it the best fit.
Most notably, its ability to retain warmth, with the air pockets able to hold water that is quickly heated by our bodies.
However, not all neoprene is made equal, and there are levels when it comes to quality you should be wary of. How your wetsuit is made is likely very different from that of your mouse pad.
Spearfishing has been with us for centuries, and we’re improving ways to hunt and catch fish all the time.
That includes developing some of the best spearfishing wetsuits on the market, so I hope this review has helped you make your choice. Let me know which suit you’ve gone for and why.
Alternatively, you could always try bowfishing with one of these awesome bowfishing bows – which is an exciting, fast-paced, and very popular alternative way to catch our food.
Either way, good hunting, and happy fishing!