Hooded Wetsuit: Protect 17% Worth Of Body Heat
When snorkeling or diving in colder waters, you might want to consider wearing a hooded wetsuit. Although your core body temperature can be effectively kept optimal with a full-body wetsuit, the hood offers additional protection for the head, which tends to lose heat quickly as well. A hooded wetsuit is no more than an extended version of a normal suit that provides head protection, not only from cold, but also accidental injury from rocks, corals and the occasional ear-nibbling fish.
An interesting variation of the hooded wetsuit is the Burqini. The design is specifically aimed at Muslim women who want the benefits of swimming without the compromise of exposing body parts, as per the religious dress code. The name is a play on the words Burqa and bikini, and the design was originally proposed by Australian designer Ahed Zanetti Lebanon, and marketed under the brand name "Ahiida". This line of swimwear targeting Muslim women in Australia is gaining popularity quickly since it was first introduced. Aimed at encouraging women to participate in water sports while maintaining religious integrity, these wetsuits come in a variety of fits, such as slim-fit, sportz-fit and modest-fit. They can also be ordered internationally through ahiida.com, and can be paid for in the currency of your choice.
Stand-Alone Hoods For Wetsuits
Apart from the hooded wetsuit that comes with the hood attached, there are also separate hoods that you can buy and use along with your regular un-hooded wetsuit. Ideally you should buy the ones made of more flexible neoprene so that it's easier to get on and take off. Also, there should be some sort of tightening mechanism to give you a better seal around the face. Some people have reported difficulties breathing through the mouth when out of the water wearing these because of the upward pressure on the chin so if you prefer mouth-breathing then this may not be such a good idea. Also, there's the question of whether you tuck it into your wetsuit or leave it out. Tucking it in will keep you warmer, but there's the risk of water leaking in from your hood directly into the suit. If that's the case then you can leave it overlapping the suit on the outside.
The Short End Of Hooded Wetsuits
The hooded wetsuit also comes as a 'Short John' or 'Shorty' variant with short sleeves and leggings. Though not ideal for cold waters, for warmer climates this is perfect for those with long hair â€“ women and 60s leftovers alike. It keeps the hair dry while preventing water entering the ears without the use of plugs. Long hair and salt water are not the best of combinations, so this might be the best way to tend to your tresses when travelling sub-aqua.
Ultra-Comfortable Hooded Wetsuits: Look Mom, No Hands
If you want the same kind of head protection but feel uncomfortable even with short sleeves, there's also the vest type hooded wetsuit. It's light-weight, and cheap to boot â€“ you can pick up one of these for less than $50, and you can pick up a pair of neoprene bottoms for around the same price, giving you full protection for under $100.
Buying A Hooded Wetsuit: Pricing And Logic
A full body hooded wetsuit should cost you about $150 to $175 for a basic model, up to about $600 for a more feature-rich model. Average cost should be in the range of $300 to $350. Accessories like dive boots are extra, but you don't have to break your bank buying one â€“ most are available at quite reasonable rates, and there's always the used gear option if you're on a really tight budget. As long as a hooded wetsuit does all that it's supposed to do, the price doesn't really matter.