Diving has to be one of the most fun and wonderful activity, especially seeing the world under the sea in all its glory. Not to mention the funny behaviour of the sea life when you take a minute or two just to enjoy the scenery. But one of the questions that we get asked a lot (being a rash vest company) is do I wear a womens rash vest when diving and if so, how do I choose it? These point below have been put together to provide a guide on how to choose the correct one for you.

Diving in the warmer waters means that you don’t always have to wear a wetsuit as the water is so lovely and warm. But you do need something covering you and a rash vest is always a great idea as both protection against something you might brush up against but also for a small bit of warmth. When getting down a few meters, the water does become slightly cooler as the sun hasn’t warmed it like the top part and having a top just to take the chill of can make a dive much more enjoyable. Besides, once on the surface and waiting for either the boat to pick you up or to swim to shore, a womens rash vest can actually protect you from the sun and keep you from getting sun burnt.

  1. Sleeve length

There are many different style and sleeve lengths out there which cater for everyone and what they would like to wear. If you are using the top for sun protection, the most important part is protecting your shoulders and chest area from getting sun burnt as these will be exposed to the sun once you surface. The sun’s reflection on water can actually be a double whammy and expose you to twice the number of rays. You are not only getting sun exposure directly from the sun, but also you are getting the reflection of the rays hitting the water and being beamed back to you.

So, take this into account when you are choosing a sleeve length to ensure you are happy with the amount of coverage it will provide from a sun protection standpoint.

If this is for a warmth point, you will probably be best to look at going for a full-length sleeve to get the most coverage on your upper body. Any extra bit of fabric, especially if you are prone to getting a bit cold in the deeper water can be beneficial and as mentioned before, make the dive that much more enjoyable. Being able to take your time and take in the surroundings is the fun of the dive, not having to keep swimming to keep warm and then missing half of the activity that goes on when you just stop to watch.

  1. Snug fitting or a loose fitting?

This is an important question that get asked quite a bit and for diving, a more snug fit will always be best. Having a loose piece of clothing flapping around when you are under water can not only be annoying, but it can also get in the way of the dive equipment – especially if you need to check all your gauges etc. Besides, a more snug fit can be a bit more warmth giving as water will not be constantly flowing between you and the top. It doesn’t have to be super tight, but something comfortable and that is not going to get in the way. If you want to wear it for sun protection when just out and about and want a more relaxed fit, might be an idea to get a second one for that purpose.

  1. Sun protection

This may be one of the more important points of wearing one and definitely a good health reason too! The sun is getting stronger and more harmful as the ozone layer is being depleted. Therefore, we aren’t as protected as years ago from the rays and need to take each encounter with the sun seriously from a sun protection point of view. Having this piece of protective clothing is great for when waiting on top of the water to descend or even for when waiting on top of the water once finished the dive. As the sun is so strong, you can get sun burnt by just bobbing around for 10 or 15 minutes in the water. Look for something that has got a high UPF factor which is the fabric equivalent of SPF for sunscreen. For example, a UPF factor of 50+ will filter out 98% of the suns UVA and UVB rays which means a high protection factor. A higher UPF does not mean that the fabric is thicker. You will find that the fabric will be as lightweight and comfortable as lower UPF rated garments as it is all in the way the fabric is treated.

Most of the fabrics these days are a 4 way stretch fabric which means that they will have a good stretch and then when they are wet, maintain the shape. It will make sure it conforms to your body throughout the dive without getting saggy. They are also very lightweight, so it is not like wearing cotton which has a bit of weight to it, especially when wet.

When you are looking to purchase womens rash vests Australia, keep these points in mind to ensure you choose the correct, style, design, fit and UPF factor which is right for you.