Different neoprene thicknesses can be used in different water temperatures. The thicker the neoprene, the higher the insulation grade, so the warmer the wetsuit is. Wetsuits are mostly sold as 3/2, 4/3, 5/4, 6/4 etc. This number indicates the different millimeter thicknesses that are mostly used in the wetsuit. 3/2 for instance, means this wetsuit has panels of 3 and 2 mm thickness. Usually, the chest and back panel are made out of thicker neoprene foam for extra warmth, while the arms, shoulders and legs are usually made with thinner neoprene for more flexibility. A thin summer wetsuit ranges between 1 and 3 mm. A spring or autumn wetsuit is normally made with 4 and mm panels. You’ll find winter wetsuits in 5/4mm or 6/4mm. Neoprene thickness is measured by measuring the neoprene foam thickness before the inside and outside lining is applied. So the overall thickness including lining is often thicker than the neoprene thickness specified. Be aware that some brands cheat this system and calculate the neoprene including lining. This results in thinner neoprene used which means the wetsuit is much colder than you might expect.
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