Best Female Freediving Wetsuit
What is the best female freediving wetsuit? One of the challenges of a woman entering the sport of freediving is finding an appropriate open cell wetsuit for their size and fit. Of course, there are many scuba diving wetsuits on the market for women but these lack the tightness and warmth of a second skin that an open cell wetsuit provides. Once you try an open cell wetsuit it is hard to go back to the typical steamer or scuba diving wetsuit. If a wetsuit is to be classified as the best female freediving wetsuit then it has to be open cell on the inside.
What about the outside of the wetsuit? A woman has two choices: some kind of smooth shin for gliding and low water resistance/drag to gain the greatest distance with the least effort (whether horizontally in the pool or for depth). Typically, such wetsuits look smooth or shiny on the outside. The downside of these wetsuits are they are more fragile and can tear more easily. Smooth skin wetsuits are usually more suitable for competitive or advanced freedivers. This leaves wetsuits with a nylon exterior which are more durable for women using it for recreational freediving, a good training wetsuit that should last several years and a good choice for exploring reefs.
Now for the bad news. There are almost no pure (i.e., not used for any other purpose) freediving wetsuits in Australia satisfying the criteria of 1. Open cell interior, 2. Nylon exterior 3. only used for freediving, and 4. appropriate size and fit for women. The latter is the most challenging criteria as sometime when you find a female freeediving wetsuit it is not in your size. If you are looking for the best female freediving wetsuit for recreational purposes you need to look at spearfishing wetsuits or triathlon wetsuits.
While the following list is not exhaustive it provides an indication of the main business or suppliers of wetusits that can be used for freediving:
Rob Torelli Wetsuits
Cressi Women’s Apnea Wetsuits
Cressi Triton Wetsuits
The Cressi Triton is probably the top of the range non-custom made female freediving wetsuit. It comes in two versions for women: 1.5mm thick or 3.5mm thick neoprene. The 1.5mm retails for around $389 while the 3.5mm thick neoprene wetsuit retails for $530. As Cressi states it has a “Smooth exterior finish and Glide Skin waterproof treatment for exceptional hydrodynamics”. As such this wetsuit is more of a high end performance wetsuit with the 1.5mm more suitable for the pool while the 3.5mm is a good ocean wetsuit. The main suppier of this wetsuit in Australia is Marine Deals (https://www.marine-deals.com.au/triathlon-wetsuit/cressi-triton-womens-one-piece-wetsuit-1-5mm). This is a very large New Zealand company attempting to dominate sales in the marine industry to Australia and New Zealand and looking at their prices we suspect they will gain more traction in the freediving market in the future. We note that there is a 17 to 27 day delay in orders so clearly they are a distribution company and they do not keep much inventory, if any.
Beuchat Athena Wetsuits
Volare Triathlon Wetsuits
Freediver Shop (https://www.freedivershop.com/) is another one of those internet based companies that want to try to sell everything. They definitely have a lot of freediving gear but when it comes to female freediving wetsuits nothing is listed. However, you can order tailor made wetsuits in the order of $500 (but add more for postage). I suspect they then forward the order to Elios (https://www.eliossub.com/index.php/en/) who is one of the worlds largest custom makers of wetsuits based in Italy. Once you start to look at custom made wetsuits you are also starting to look at high performance wetsuits for competition freediving.
We hope this post helps you in finding the best female wetsuit for your recreational freediving needs. If you find a good female freediving wetsuit that is not listed here please drop us a line and we will update this post with your recommendations.