There's nothing quite like the thrill of scuba diving, especially in open water. However, diving in cold water poses its own challenges, with one of the key considerations being how to keep warm. For those planning to dive in cold water, a diving hood is crucial. Here's a simple guide on how to choose the right diving hood for you.
Understanding the Importance of a Dive Hood
Before we dive into the details of choosing a hood, let's understand why it's essential. When you're submerged in cold water, your body loses heat quickly. Your head and neck area are particularly vulnerable to heat loss. A dive hood, especially a neoprene hood, effectively covers your head and neck, offering warmth and reducing heat loss significantly.
Now that you know why you need a dive hood, let's discuss how to choose the best one.
Evaluating the Fit
The first and foremost factor you should consider is how well the hood fits. A wetsuit hood that fits properly not only provides better warmth but also ensures comfort during your dive. Here are some pointers:
- Try on several dive hoods to find a fit that's snug but not overly tight.
- Make sure there's enough room to move your head freely.
- Check for air bubbles. If you notice any while trying on the hood, it's probably too big.
- For those with long hair, ensure the hood accommodates your hair comfortably.
Checking the Coverage
The amount of coverage a dive hood provides is also crucial. A hood that covers more will undoubtedly keep you warmer, but it should not compromise your movement. Ideally, a good scuba diving hood should cover your entire head and extend down to your neck. It should also have a bib that you can tuck into the wetsuit for better coverage.
Assessing Warmth and Material
Neoprene is the go-to material for most dive hoods because it's excellent at retaining warmth. A thicker neoprene hood is great for colder dives as it warms the water between the hood and your skin, providing a warmer hood. But remember, while a thicker hood means more warmth, it might also limit your movement.
Considering Additional Features
Some diving hoods come with additional features that can enhance your diving experience. For example:
- Zippers: Hoods with zippers are easier to put on and take off, especially for divers with long hair.
- Vents: These allow any trapped air bubbles to escape, ensuring a more comfortable and secure fit.
Diving in Warm vs Cold Water
Remember, the type of hood you choose also depends on the water temperature. If you're diving in warm water, you may prefer a lighter hood such as Sharkskin Chillproof hood. But for cold water diving, a thicker, warmer hood that covers your head and neck completely would be ideal.
While diving hoods offer great benefits, they can feel a bit claustrophobic to some, especially those new to diving. It's also worth noting that a thicker hood might limit your movement and hearing underwater.
Choosing the right diving hood ultimately boils down to finding a balance between warmth, fit, and coverage. It should be comfortable, provide ample warmth, and offer sufficient freedom of movement.
At Dive Newcastle, we offer a range of high-quality dive hoods suitable for different conditions, including Sharkskin’s Chillrpoof dive hoods. Feel free to browse our selection and find the perfect hood for your next underwater adventure. Dive safe!