Diving into the world of Navy SEAL-recommended wetsuits unveils a realm of specialized gear crucial for optimal performance in diverse aquatic environments. The inquiry—“What wetsuits did you wear in the Navy SEAL Teams, and what would you recommend today?”—is a common one, stemming from a desire to harness the same durability, flexibility, and adaptability as these elite operatives.
To find the right wetsuit, you’ve got to think about a few things. First, what kind of swimming or diving are you planning to do? Also, how cold is the water you’ll be in? And don’t forget about any dangers like jellyfish or coral that you might need protection from. Knowing these details helps you pick the perfect wetsuit that fits the job, whether it’s back then or right now.
If you click on any link we may get a commission from Amazon.com which helps keep gas in the truck and the lights turned on. So if you want to help a disabled veteran – click the link and buy toilet paper.
The US Navy SEALs typically wear two types of wetsuits:
These wetsuits are primarily used for diving operations and are designed to keep the SEALs warm and protected from the elements while submerged in water. These suits are typically made of neoprene material and come in varying thicknesses depending on the water temperature.
The O’Neill Reactor wetsuit is made of neoprene, nylon, and spandex, designed to withstand tough conditions during surfing, diving, paddle sports, or beach activities. This wetsuit comes in a sleek black color and is crafted for adults, with sizes ranging up to 3X-Large (Chest: 47.5″-52.5″, Waist: 39″-45.5″, Height: 6’2″). Its backzip system offers easy entry and exit, featuring a water-resistant closure to keep you dry while ensuring convenience.
What makes the O’Neill Reactor stand out is its ultra-stretch neoprene material. This premium-quality fabric not only feels incredibly soft but also provides superior flexibility, enhancing your performance in the water. The seamless paddle zones with minimal seam placement offer maximum comfort and mobility, allowing unrestricted movement during activities.
I like the wetsuit’s wind-resistant smoothskin delivers extra insulation, keeping you warm and protected against the cold elements. Ideal for those starting or seeking value-driven gear, this wetsuit promises durability and functionality for various water adventures.
Check price at Amazon.com
COMBAT SWIMMER WETSUITS
These wetsuits are specifically designed for combat swimmers and are typically worn during amphibious operations. They are made of a lightweight, breathable material that allows the SEALs to move quickly through the water while providing some insulation. These suits also come in varying thicknesses depending on the water temperature.
It’s worth noting that the US Navy SEALs have access to a wide range of specialized equipment and gear, including wetsuits, which can vary depending on the specific mission or training scenario.
For a typical swim off the shores of Little Creek, Virginia you typically swim with lycra or lightweight BDU pants (fatigues).
In the summer you may want to use a thin lycra layer to protect you from jelly fish.
In the fall and spring you would want to add a thin neoprene top and depending on temps possibly add a hoodie.
For winter you would use a full suit and hoodie and pray that you were swimming and not just sitting in an SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) submarine with little to no movement. Or better yet – in the winter your whole platoon may fly south to find warmer waters to train in.
Just got a message back from a current BUDS instructor and his go-to wetsuit for swimming with the candidates is the Oneill wetsuit (different thickness for depending on how cold it is).
Question: What type of wetsuit did you wear in BUDS? I wore just the issued upper top in BUDS which was from a local dive shop in San Diego.
Question: What type of outfit did you wear in the Teams? I had a custom fitted full suit. I used the heavier suit when I was training on the East Coast during fall, winter and spring.
I trained a lot in the Caribbean so I would mostly put on a long sleeve t-shirt to protect from jelly fish or a thin layer on just my chest.
Question: I heard that the SEAL Teams were looking for new wetsuits for the platoons? Do you have any info on that?
Answer: The main requirements for the new wetsuits are to have extra padding on the elbows and knees (where you will need it crawling around on a ship or coming up on a rocky shore). The outfit must allow them to swim freely and shoot weapons with no restrictions to their mobility. It will have to be very durable to handle adverse conditions on rocky shorelines, obtruding metal on oil rigs or ships and help to protect the diver from scrapes and rough use.
Question: What is the deal with the new artificial blubber used in hi-tech to help in frigid Arctic cold?
Answer: Check out the latest MIT technology in diving in cold water here:
SGPT is a proud supporter of the Navy SEAL Foundation.