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Why You Need to Wear Layers Underwater

Three ways to beat the chill in the water and during surface intervals.
By Robby Myers | Created On April 1, 2020
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Why You Need to Wear Layers Underwater

Boat Diver

Keep warm in and out of the water by adding layers beneath your wetsuit.

Courtesy PADI

Turns out your mother knew what she was talking about when she told you to wear layers. And what kept you warm in grade school not only still works, but is easier than ever with today's choice of exposure accessories.

A thin neoprene shorty for layering with a full suit when you need a little extra insulation. It can also be a welcome addition for those multi-dive days; if it cools off a bit between dives, pulling on a dry shorty first can take a lot of the sting out of donning your still-wet full suit.

Another option is layering with non-neoprene accessories. Made of synthetic or wool materials, often with soft fleece lining, these are available as full suits or separate tops and bottoms. Some are designed for use under wetsuits, drysuits or by themselves, and they're windproof, so they help keep you warm on the surface between dives as well. Plus, they don’t add buoyancy, so you don’t need to add lead when you layer them.

Another versatile option is layering with electrically heated gear, which lets you push up the heat when you feel a chill.