One of the things that I do around the shop in addition to writing blogs and content is I spend a few evenings a week on our live chat. It’s something that I enjoy doing mainly because I get paid to talk diving and dive equipment…a best of both worlds situation for me. While assisting thousands of divers with their equipment questions there seems to be a set of questions that stand out. This set of questions is regarding SCUBA gear for ladies and more specifically proper fit and form.
Never Ending Battle
Being a happily married man, I have spent my share of time in the department and other specialty clothing stores watching my Wife spend hours trying on clothes in search of the perfect….or somewhere close to perfect fit. It seems like a never ending battle to find that blouse, skirt, or even jeans that not only fit right but have the right function. As a guy, I have always had only one caveat to fitting into clothes….I’m tall with a long torso so a “Tall” size shirt is necessary, other than that it’s easy. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some dive equipment and exposure protection that is either designed to fit the female figure and how the dedicated team I work with here at Dive Right In Scuba can use their experience to get you into equipment and exposure protection that feels good, looks great, and that you will actually use!
Drysuits For Women
If you happen to fall outside of a standard size chart for a drysuit like many women do, we still have a number of options to get you into a suit. For starters, there are suits specifically cut for females like the Fusion Essence by Aqualung, the Ladies First Suit by Santi, and the D10 Pro ISS by Waterproof. If any of the standard drysuits designed for women doesn’t tickle your fancy, then we still have a number of great options. The crew here at DRIS sell hundreds of drysuits a year and we’ve gotten pretty good at getting both male and female divers setup with custom cut drysuits that fit within their budgets. We do this not only through custom measurement forms that guide you the entire way through the process of taking your own measurements but we also use live chat, phone conversations, and even video conferencing to make sure all of your measurements are correct for a great fitting suit. So, if you feel like a custom cut suit is your only option…no sweat. Pick out a USIA, Rofos, Santi, Waterproof or another brand and we’ll get you set up…often for not much more out of pocket than an off the rack and potentially ill-fitting suit that just won’t work very well.
Wetsuits For Women
At a glance, it would seem easy to get the female figure fitted correctly with a wetsuit due to the nature of neoprene to stretch and contract. However, the fit is important to the proper insulating effectiveness of a wetsuit. While custom cut wetsuits aren’t as easily found as they are with drysuits, there are quite a few wetsuits on the market that are both designed for women and have a broader range and detail of standard sizing that will get you just as close as you would be with a custom fitted suit. As a few examples, the Proteus suit by Fourth Element has sizing for women that ranges from a 4 to an 18 with “short sizes” for the more petite ladies out there. Waterproof also features women’s sizing in all of their popular models of the suit with a size chart that ranges from a 0 up to a 16. Rounding this short list out is the Nixie by Bare which was actually designed from direct feedback from female divers. According to their website:
“Nixie is a complete redesign of our women’s wetsuit approach,” explains Tyler Dickman, Brand Manager for BARE. “Our team of female designers spent a lot of time surveying the market, learning what women wanted functionally from their suits as well as taking inspiration from design trends outside the industry. They came up with the Nixie, the first wetsuit by BARE that was created for women who want to look as great as they feel in a suit that performs well in any setting or watersport activity.”
“Our goal with Nixie was to create a wetsuit for every woman that not only looks and feels great on her but also inspires and feeds her spirit of adventure. From all reports, we’ve succeeded.”
The Nixie comes in a size range of 2 to 14 and is featured in 3 colors; Glacier Blue, Pink, and Black.
BCD’s For Women
For a number of years, BCD’s have been featured in a standard size range of Small to Extra Large. Dive Equipment manufacturers in the last few years have seen an uptick in demand for BCD’s that are better fitted toward female divers. Two great examples of BCD’s designed solely for women are the Grace by Zeagle and the Lotus by Aqualung. Of course, it doesn’t stop there…any Backplate and Wing style BCD can be infinitely adjusted to fit all body types and sizes.
Other Dive Gear Considerations For Women
Concerns and considerations for women with respect to dive gear doesn’t stop at exposure suits or BCD’s. The ladies should also consider boot size(most are often sized for a male foot so adjustments should be made), fin size…same with boots, and even hose length for regulator set ups.
Just know that the crew here at DRIS(we have a number of ladies who actively dive on our staff) is here to help you every step of the way through your personal equipment selection process. So, hit us up on chat, email, phone, skype, or if you’re local…walk into our shop. We’d love to hear from you!