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Top 5 Snorkeling Wetsuits to Wear in Maui

Have you been daydreaming about your upcoming snorkeling adventure in tropical Maui? Have you considered what you’re going to do about a wetsuit yet? The waters are always pleasantly warm, but you might be more comfortable wearing a wetsuit for extra protection! Picking a wetsuit can absolutely be overwhelming, so read the rest of this article to learn the top five most effective snorkeling wetsuits for use in Maui!

Snorkeling Can Get Chilly, Even in Maui!

Two of the most appealing aspects of Hawaii and Maui to tourists are the annual climate and water conditions. The sun is almost always shining, helping to create a temperature around the mid-70s just about any time of year you try to visit. This wonderful warmth spreads to the crystal clear waters around the islands creating an annual ocean temperature near the high-70s!

The temperature of Maui’s waters are actually fairly chilly in comparison to several other popular snorkeling destinations around the world. Belize, Brazil, Indonesia, and the Maldives have yearly ocean temperatures around the mid-low-80s, while Palawan in the Philippines can get up to 90ºF! 

While snorkeling isn’t always considered a wetsuit sport, you can never be sure how your body will react to the water until you jump in! 78ºF may sound plenty warm, but it is still a good 20ºF less than your body’s core temperature. After a few hours in the water, you can certainly begin to get cold! Wearing a good quality wetsuit can help keep you warm all day, letting you spend more time looking at the gorgeous fish like you should! It will also help protect you from the sun, so what’s not to love about a wetsuit?

What to Look For in a Wetsuit

Wetsuits are fantastic pieces of attire, but picking which one to wear is no easy matter. If you’ve ever tried to look for wetsuits online, then you’ll know that there is an endless variety! Wetsuits come in varying levels of thickness, but they can also be made of different materials and fashioned in alternate styles. This actually serves a good purpose, considering you’ll want to wear a different wetsuit considering on what you plan to use it for. 

Here are the three most important aspects of wetsuits and why they matter:

  • Thickness – Probably the most important part of a wetsuit is how thick it is. Wetsuits tend to vary between 1-7mm. Thicker wetsuits, like 6-7mm ones, are the warmest suits you can buy, but they are also quite expensive. Thin wetsuits on the other hand, those will provide you with a little warmth, but they’re much better for warmer waters like Maui! Fortunately these suits are quite affordable and keep you well protected from the sun!
  • Style – Believe it or not, wetsuits also have their own styles. The iconic, full-body suit you’re probably picturing is certainly one variant, but there are also suits with hoods or short arm and leg sleeves. There are also wetsuits that are just torsos without a bottom, available as a vest or jacket. Generally speaking, the colder the water is, the more body area you’ll want to cover, but the suit thickness can change that. 
  • Material – Wetsuits also vary in the type of material they are made with. Neoprene is by far the most common material, a durable synthetic rubber. You can also find suits made with poly, which is lined with fleece, and lycra, a synthetic fiber. Poly fleece and lycra suits will be extremely comfortable, but they are often thin and therefore won’t keep you warm very well. This does make them perfect for Maui!

#5: O’Neill Reactor Short Sleeve Wetsuit

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This is a nice 2mm, short sleeve wetsuit made of neoprene. You can wear this in a cold place like The Galapagos Islands and be quite comfortable, so it’ll definitely do the job here in Maui! The suit is still thin enough at 2mm and has short sleeves so that it is still breathable, meaning you won’t suffocate or overheat! There’s nothing wrong with this wetsuit at all, but there are better options for your Maui vacation. 

#4: Henderson Microprene Jumpsuit

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One of those better options is the Henderson Microprene Jumpsuit. This is just thinner than the O’Neill Reactor, measuring in at 1.5mm. The suit is a long sleeve, full-body that will actually provide some nice warmth. It is actually made of microprene, which is just really stretchy neoprene. This combined with lycra material trim give you exceptional mobility. You’ll want this suit if you tend to get cold quickly.

#3: Henderson HOT SKINS Poly Jumpsuit

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You can shed some heat with a Henderson HOT SKINS Poly Jumpsuit. This is a mix between a wetsuit and bodysuit, meaning it is thinner than a wetsuit, but still provides heat retention and comfort from the inner fleece lining. It does cover your full body, but doesn’t add to your body temperature. Many people enjoy wearing a poly jumpsuit under a thicker wetsuit, but you can just wear the poly if you’re not worried about getting cold!

#2: Phantom Aquatics Lycra Full Wetsuit

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Another great thin option is the Phantom Aquatics Lycra Full Wetsuit. This also covers your full body, but it is made of lycra instead of neoprene. This makes it very comfortable and gives you full mobility. This won’t necessarily help you stay warm, but it does protect your body from UV rays from the sun. Pick this suit if you want sun protection, but don’t need to stay warm! This suit is also significantly cheaper than the last three options, making it an excellent choice for Maui here at #2. 

#1: O’Neill BASIC Rashguard

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The last suit on this list actually isn’t a wetsuit at all! As a matter of fact, it is just a long sleeve top piece that provides you with sun protection, but it will also help keep your body warm. The O’Neill BASIC Rashguard will hug your body and let you swim around to your heart’s content! If you plan on wearing swim trunks, this is a great option to pair with for extra coverage against UV rays. It is also quite affordable! This all makes it a clear cut choice as the best wetsuit for use in Maui, even if it isn’t technically a wetsuit! 

Put Your Wetsuit to Good Use!

Maui has some heavenly water and snorkeling conditions, but you might still benefit from wearing a wetsuit! Not only will a wetsuit keep you nice and warm, but it will also keep the sun from toasting your skin – a quick way to ruin any tropical vacation! When selecting a wetsuit, make sure to keep an eye on the thickness, style, and material the suit is made from. These all impact your warmth and comfort levels, so pick a suit appropriate for your aquatic needs!

Once you have a nice wetsuit (or rashguard), you’ll want to put it to good use! Maui is certainly one of the best snorkeling destinations in the whole world. If you’re planning to snorkel in Maui, then you should absolutely consider going on a tour with Kai Kanani! You’re taking a vacation to get away from work, so hand Kai Kanani the reigns to take you to all the best snorkeling spots in Maui! Enjoy a luxurious cruise and experience Maui like the locals do!

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