Best Wetsuit Hoods 2019

Best Wetsuit Hoods for Diving & Surfing

For most people thinking about aquatic adventures, even the best wetsuit hoods are just an afterthought.

But, once you try diving a bit deeper, surfing a bit longer, and trying out the seas and the oceans in slightly colder temperatures, you will realize that this is an essential part of any diver’s or surfer’s gear.

Not only will your wetsuit hood keep you warm, but it is also good for your skin, and will even offer some protection. Additionally, they will protect your ears from quick pressure changes, which is really important if you want to dive out quickly.

Thankfully, as technology progresses we are seeing increasingly better wetsuit hoods that give greater mobility, better field of view, and more protection against the elements for an eve diminishing price.

Picking out between the Best Wetsuit Hoods in 2019

Rule of thumb when picking out best wetsuit hoods is to choose by the time, place, and activity you are planning next.

Thinking long-term, in this case, is not a good idea because the hoods are not as expensive and would probably improve even more in just a few years. The best course of action is to select the best one for now, as that way you will have the best experience.

Then, if your next diving or surfing trip is vastly different in the circumstances, it will be much easier to take another one than to try to rough through it twice. Always place your health and safety and number one whatever you do.

Slinx Snorkeling Neoprene Hood
Best Wetsuit Hoods 2019

Although price wise this can be considered an entry model, it is still made from professional materials. Additionally, it is very warm and comfortable, protecting you from the icy depths while diving or snorkeling.

The materials used are neoprene and nylon, giving the hood both the flexibility and the sturdiness that it needs.

As it is made to cover the mouth and keep your head as protected as possible, it doesn’t provide the best field of view for surfing. But, it is still a good option for this purpose if you worry more about the temperature than your vision.

Finally, the 3mm mesh will keep you safe from any small debris, or even light hits, while also being very comfortable to wear.

Key Features:

  • Excellent value
  • Very comfortable
  • Good temperature protection
  • Flexible
ScubaMax UV50 Lycra Hood
Best Wetsuit Hoods 2019

For those that focus on summer destination diving and tropical snorkeling, this Lycra hood is a great option.

Although it offers very little for cold protection, this hood is very flexible and incredibly comfortable. Its main purpose is to protect your neck and face from the sun while underwater.

Additionally, it will protect your skin from dehydrating from too much water exposure.

The ScubaMax UV50 is the perfect option when surfing for a long time in sunny weather. It will protect you from the sun while giving you a wide field of view and almost unobstructed hearing.

Finally, because it is so light and stretchy, it will easily fit most people and stay tight during your adventure.

Key Features:

  • Very stretchable
  • A bib in the back to prevent water flushing
  • Protective against sea lice
  • Very comfortable
  • Wide fields of view
  • Doesn’t obstruct hearing as much
Mares Flexa Dive Hood
Best Wetsuit Hoods 2019

For those who want to go deeper and colder, the Mares Flexa gives excellent protection for all deep-sea adventures.

The hood is made from a thick neoprene and nylon mesh. This makes it very flexible regardless of the fact that it is 5mm thick. Outside stitching also adds to the flexibility, as well as comfort.

This hood has a simple solution to prevent water flushing. Namely, it has a bib on the back of the head, similar to a whale or a dolphin, which regulates the pressure and slowly pushes all of the water out.

Finally, while the neoprene and nylon mix was made with mostly flexibility and warmth in mind, the thickness of the hood alone will protect you from any small cuts or bumps.

Key Features:

  • Very warm
  • Very comfortable
  • Keeps tight
  • Flexible
  • Has a bib in the back
Neo Sport Multi-Density Wetsuit Hood
Best Wetsuit Hoods 2019

Depending on the amount of warmth and protection from the elements that you need, you can select this same model with different thickness.

In all three types of the model, the integrated Flow Vent technology will provide a lot of ventilation and squeeze any residual water from the hood. The little bib on the base of the neck also helps do this.

The main material for this wetsuit hood is neoprene, but with some additives in the mesh as to make it very soft, very flexible, and very comfortable.

While sizing can be tricky, there is a trimmable face seal to make a custom fit. This trim also gives some additional field of view when you need it.

Key Features:

  • Varying thickness
  • Excellent cold protection
  • Flow Vent technology
  • Comfortable
  • Very flexible
Sharkskin Chillproof Hood
Best Wetsuit Hoods 2019

To understand the advantages of this item, it is important to know the benefits of Sharkskin. Thankfully, no sharks were hurt in the production of this wetsuit hood.

Sharkskin is a composite material that used to have specifically made wool called worsted wool.

Now it is made of a silk-like material called mohair with adding other materials such as neoprene, nylon, and lycra to the mix, depending on the need.

This blend makes the hood very warm for its thickness, allowing the hood to be thin, light, very flexible, and incredibly comfortable.

The best thing about this hood it that it is so thin and light that you can even wear another hood atop of it. This makes the whole ensemble even warmer and more protective.

Key Features:

  • Sharkskin material
  • Very light
  • Very flexible
  • Very warm
  • Anti-microbial
  • Very comfortable
  • Can be worn under another wetsuit hood
O’Neill Psycho Hood
Best Wetsuit Hoods 2019

If you love surfing in different climates and usually hit both the early morning and the mid-day waves, the O’Neill Psycho is the hood you’ll enjoy.

While being near the top as far as the price is concerned, it has all of the bells and whistles you would want, as well as some that you didn’t even know you’ve wanted.

The material used is O’Neill’s trademark ‘’techno butter” that dries really quickly, doesn’t take in water, and is very comfortable. Judging by the touch, it is some kind of neoprene composite rubber that feels very smooth and silky.

But, the most distinguishable feature of this hood is the visor, which will make a slight issue if you plan on diving with large goggles, but for surfing it is perfect.

The adjustable cinch and the visor both give you increased view while on the water, as they reduce the light refraction hitting your eyes and give you the widest FoV possible.

Key Features:

  • Visor
  • Cinch cord
  • Very warm
  • Very comfortable
  • Dries quickly
  • Very flexible

Quick Wetsuit Hoods Buyer’s Guide

Most people have issues with getting wetsuit hoods because they are not very common for people just chilling on the shore.

Picking out best wetsuit hoods for your exact needs is actually easy, as you will know if they are a good fit even if you try them on dry land.

There are only three things you should look for if we don’t count aesthetics, which should come in as a potential tiebreaker. If you want to surf with your hood, your main concern will be your FoV (Field of View), but if you plan on diving in colder waters, the temperature will be the main issue.

Finally, there is a question of materials, because even in the warmest of hoods you will want some flexibility to be able to look around you without straining your neck muscles.

Field of View

Field of view is significant. Even though we might not focus on something that is in the corner of our eye, our bran has peripheral vision, and we feel comfortable knowing what is around.

The ideal FoV is 170 degrees left to right and 90 degrees up and down. This is what we have with unobstructed vision.

Generally, if you are surfing, you will not want to go lower than 150 degrees, as this will start making your neck twitch under stress, which is bad for both your health and your surfing game.

Temperature

While summertime surfing in Maui doesn’t even require a hood, unless for UV protection maybe, diving always does.

The deeper you go, the colder it is, and if you are going further from the equator, you will want at least 3mm of material between you and the chilly water.

Materials

The most common material for wetsuit hoods is neoprene. After that, nylon is added for sturdiness and flexibility, and Lycra is added for stretchiness.

There are also other materials like sharkskin.

If you are unable to test the hood beforehand, just read what the material does and how it performs in other places, and you will know if it is for you.

Conclusion

Having a hood while surfing or diving is a must. Thankfully, due to advancements in technology, you are now able to get the best wetsuit hoods on the market for a very affordable price.

Once you know where you are going, and how cold you are going to get, you can pick out a hood that is best for that situation.

Regardless of your choice, always remember to stay comfortable and to take care of your health. Even though these hoods will allow you to stay in the water longer, if you start feeling cold or tired, exit the water, rest for a bit, and start your adventure again in a short while.

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