A 4/3 fullsuit is in my opinion the most versatile wetsuit – its thickness covers all the commonly surfed temperatures. If water is to cold for a 4/3 wetsuit then we are talking some really cold water that is no longer for just anyone. A 4/3 full wetsuit – fullsuit covers your whole body except your head, hands and feet. The numbers 4/3 represent the thickness of neoprene used in this wetsuit. 4 stands for 4 millimeters and 3 stands for 3 millimeters. This means that a 4/3 wetsuit is made from neoprene of two different thicknesses, the thicker one is usually used on the body and legs and the thinner is used on the arms and crotch area. The reason for this is improved flexibility of the wetsuit. Thicker neoprene keeps your core warmer while thinner neoprene allows for more flexibility where you need it.
A 4/3 wetsuit is a winter wetsuit. If you wear it together with wetsuit boots, wetsuit gloves and a neoprene hood you can use it anywhere down to 50F (10C). This is not a firm number though; there are many things that influence at what temperature a wetsuit can be used so check our wetsuit thickness and water temperature guide to find out more.
What to look for when you are buying a 4/3 winter wetsuit
- Stretchy neoprene – 4/3 is already a thickness of neoprene that will noticeably slow you down while paddling, so get a wetsuit that is made out of stretchy elastic neoprene to make it more flexible.
- Blind stitches – you want a blind stitched wetsuit – one that is sewn together using blind stitching technique. Using this type of sewing the needle never fully penetrates the neoprene which means there are no holes that go all the way through your wetsuit and no holes for the water to come in.
- Sealed seams – seams need to be sealed by liquid taping, liquid sealing (there are different names for this)… Sealed seams are “100%” waterproof and a wetsuit with that kind of seams will be quite warmer than one without them. A must in winter wetsuits!
- Extra insulation – look for some sort of thermal lining on the inside of the wetsuit.
- Zipper – a specially designed zipper teeth that are better at stopping water or a shorter zipper means less water in your wetsuit through the zipper.
- Batflap, batwing – a thin layer of neoprene under the zipper that stops any water that comes through the zipper and redirects it back out through the hole at the bottom of the zipper.