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What Is a 4/3 Wetsuit?

   July 10th, 2020   Posted In: Articles  

What Is a 4/3 Wetsuit?

Maybe you’ve scrolled the website and came across our 4/3mm section of fullsuits and you wondered, ‘What is a 4/3 wetsuit?’. Pronounced as “four-three”, 4/3mm wetsuits means that there’s 4mm of thickness in the torso and 3mm thickness in the arms and the legs. Why is a 4/3 wetsuit thicker in the torso compared to everywhere else? Think about it – if you’re paddling or surfing or even swimming, what’s not moving as much as your legs and arms are? Ding ding – your core.

But most important to note is that the body heat that comes from your core is necessary in order to stay warm while in the water. In fact, the purpose of a wetsuit is that it traps water between your skin and the suit creating heat/warmth. The thicker the core (in mm thickness), the warmer you will be. Your extremities (legs/arms) obviously need protection and warmth in most cases, but, you’re already keeping them busy with paddling and kicking.

what is a 43 wetsuitThe Ins & Outs of a 4/3 Wetsuit

Now that you’re getting familiar with answering the question of ‘What is a 4 3 wetsuit?’, it’s time to understand the ‘make-up’ of a 4/3 wetsuit.

4/3mm Wetsuit Seams

4/3mm wetsuits are designed for water temperatures as low as 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of that, 4/3 suits are always made with sealed seams. If you need a refresher on what a sealed seam is, it’s when the neoprene pieces are glued together at the seam. Sometimes there’s a ‘train track’ style stitching externally which is sewn after the pieces have been glued together. The glue does a nice job of preventing water from seeping in.

Some 4/3mm wetsuits even have sealed & taped seams. This means that the seams are glued and there is a welded or external liquid taping as well which really prevents water from coming into the wetsuit and creates a stronger seam.

Extra Features

Who doesn’t love to have a little something extra with their wetsuit, right?!

Fleece Linings

A 4/3 wetsuit almost always has a poly fleece lining. Some brands feature a lining just in the front chest panel, or some have them in the front and back panels, and some brands even have 4/3mm suits with a fleece lining that goes all the way down to your knees. Regardless, poly fleece linings are great! Not only do they feel all warm and fuzzy against your skin, but they provide warmth. Many fleece linings on the market nowadays are fast-drying. Some are even made with eco-friendly materials like suits from Patagonia and XCEL.

Smooth Skin

Smoothy or Smooth skin is a material found on external panels of a wetsuit. Smooth skin works to ward off the wind chill and even soaks up heat from the sun, thus heating you up more. And it can provide grip! It’s a great little extra feature, honestly. However, you should always, always be careful because smooth skin is very susceptible to tears (particularly fingernail tears).

Final Thoughts

So, what is a 4/3 wetsuit? Time to fill in the blanks!

A 4/3 wetsuit has ____ mm thickness in the core and _____ thickness in the arms/legs.

It always is made with _____ sealed seams but can also sometimes feature _____ & _____ seams.

4/3mm wetsuits work great in water temps as low as ______ degrees F.

There, now you’re a 4/3mm wetsuit genius!

Lauren (LoLo) has been turning words into blog posts for Wetsuit Wearhouse since 2014. She learned to surf for the first time ever in Costa Rica but she gravitates more towards SUP. When she's not scouring the web for travel deals, you can find her either hiking, running, gardening, tending to her animals, or reading a good book outside on a beautiful day.

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