An open cell wetsuit and a closed cell wetsuit are two different types of wetsuits that offer varying levels of insulation and comfort. The main difference between them lies in the material used on the interior lining.
- Open Cell Wetsuit: An open cell wetsuit is designed with a neoprene foam lining that features exposed cells. These cells are directly in contact with the skin when the wetsuit is worn. The open cell lining provides excellent insulation by trapping a thin layer of water against the skin, which is then warmed by body heat. This layer of water creates a barrier that helps maintain warmth. Open cell wetsuits are often used in colder water conditions and when diving down to very cold depths as they provide superior insulation. However, they can be more challenging to put on as the exposed cells can stick to the skin.
- Closed Cell Wetsuit: A closed cell wetsuit, also known as a lined or sealed wetsuit, has a foam or polyester lining with a smooth, sealed surface. The cells in the foam are sealed, preventing water from entering the wetsuit. Unlike open cell wetsuits, closed cell wetsuits do not rely on a layer of water for insulation. Instead, the foam of polyester material itself acts as a thermal barrier, trapping a thin layer of air between the suit and the skin. Closed cell wetsuits are typically easier to put on and take off compared to open cell wetsuits. They are commonly used in warmer water conditions or for activities that involve more movement and flexibility, such as surfing or other water sports.
It’s important to note that the choice between open cell and closed cell wetsuits depends on factors such as water temperature, personal preference, and the specific activity being undertaken.