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Accessories: your cold-water allies

A guide to using neoprene accessories for enjoying cold winter water

The coldest months of the year are often those which require the most effort and diversity for sports, where snow becomes a playground during the winter season. It’s this time of year when outdoor activities require numerous layers for enjoyable sports that only cold weather can provide. This same logic applies to people who are passionate about water sports and wanting to enjoy the ocean even when temperatures drop.


Proper equipment not only allows you to continue enjoying outdoor environments, such as water, but also enables you to reap the benefits of swimming in cold water. Spending time in cold temperatures stimulates your mind, improves your sleep, activates your immune and lymphatic systems, and improves your general physical condition and mood.


But…where do you start?


Choosing neoprene gear—the equipment that covers and protects your skin—is undoubtedly one of the first lines of defense. Neoprene is a hi-tech material that conserves body heat efficiently without limiting mobility in the water. This is achieved in two ways: using technologies that maximize heat retention and other technologies that limit water entry.


The Zeal Thermal and Vitalis Thermal open water wetsuits are built for cold water swimming. Both are equipped with a sealing technology called “batwing” that consists of a second layer of neoprene in the zipper and neck area and limits the entry of water. The Zeal Thermal boasts the maximum thermal comfort of the Orca range, thanks to the Thermal X2 interior, and the thick panels of the Yamamoto 40+ enhance buoyancy without restricting flexibility and movement. The Vitalis Thermal neoprene completes the range and also features Thermal X technology, sharing a philosophy in terms of combining thermal comfort, buoyancy and comfort for the swimmer.


Complementary wetsuit accessories make a big difference for cold water swimming. Depending on your activity and the water temperature, we recommend accessorizing your wetsuit to enjoy your swim to the fullest.



Neoprene base layers allow you to stay active in very cold temperatures by adding extra protection. For those who prefer one-piece base layers, the Thermal Undersuit, a 2mm layer from Yamamoto, provides the necessary thermal protection for longer sessions without compromising your freedom of movement in the water.


If you prefer a single independent layer that protects the chest, Heatseeker neoprene vests are the alternative. This 2mm layer can be worn directly under the neoprene wetsuit. If water temperatures are extremely low, the Heatseeker vest with an integrated Thermal hood is the best option. But if it’s not that cold? A Base Layer neoprene t-shirt offers a boost of extra thermal comfort.


“Head, hands and feet.” To protect yourself from the cold, it’s imperative to take into account any part of the body that’s exposed to the elements. For this, neoprene accessories become great allies. Grab a hood, gloves and booties and get going!



The head is one of the most sensitive body parts to changes in temperatures. To protect it in the water, choose between a hood or a neoprene cap depending on your needs and the environment in which you’re swimming.


  • The Hi-Vis neoprene hood has a thermal lining that provides an extra feeling of warmth along with neck coverage that minimizes the skin’s exposure to the water. High visibility colors also increase your safety in the water.
  • The Thermal Swim Cap is a neoprene hat offers high comfort thanks to its 3mm thickness and thermal lining, and includes extra visibility in the Hi-Vis version.


For hands and feet, there are two options: gloves and booties, available from Orca in two models.

  • The Core Gloves are 2mm-thick neoprene swimming gloves with an optimized pattern that results in great elasticity and thermal comfort.
  • The Thermal Gloves feature 3mm neoprene and liquid sealed seams, preventing water from entering between the panels.
  • Swim Socks are neoprene socks that are a basic insulating accessory and allow you to swim for longer.
  • Hydro Booties provide greater thermal comfort and, thanks to their incredible support, they won’t hinder you while you swim.


It is as important to equip yourself for cold-water swims as it is to equip yourself for exiting the water. As your body continues to cool down back on land, it’s critical to warm up as soon as you leave the water. Wearing a poncho when changing out of your wetsuit is ideal, as is bundling up in a long thermal jacket like the Thermal Parka and drinking a hot drink. Once you’re warmed back up, it’s time to bask in the joy of completing another successful session in the ocean.


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Find your size

We help you to know the size of your ORCA wetsuit. Tell us the following information.


How to measure yourself

For best results, take your measurements with no clothing on

Place the measuring tape over the widest part of your chest.

Hold one end of the measuring tape in place and circle your chest, keeping the tape straight, until the tape reaches your starting point.

Get a book, a hand mirror and a pencil.

Take off your shoes and anything you wear on your head.

Look for a level surface to stand on with a smooth wall behind you.

Stand in front of the wall with your feet together.

Balance the book on your head and press it against the wall. Use the mirror to check that it is in a horizontal position and well centered. Mark the position of the top of your head on the wall with pencil.

Once the mark is made, step away and use a measuring tape to measure the distance from the ground to the mark you just made with pencil.

Step on the scale, without clothes or accessories, and write down your weight.

Find your size