With just a wetsuit, footwear, and gloves, you can have a fun diving session in warmer waters for extended periods without getting cold. However, for colder waters, you want to conserve as much body heat as possible, and since as much as 10% of our body heat is lost through our heads, a dive hood becomes necessary to take along. The right dive hood will complete your dive wear and provide excellent thermal protection over your head and neck while keeping you comfortable all through your dive.
Best Dive Hoods
To help you save the shopping effort and time, we have compiled a list of our top five dive hoods on the market that boast of great functionality and value for money.
The Neo Sport diving hood is a great buy for both underwater and above-water sports and comes in three thicknesses suited to different water temperatures. It is built from high-grade neoprene for durability and features a flow vent to eliminate trapped air that may generate unwanted buoyancy. It sports an anatomical design for a comfortable, snug fit into any wetsuit, and is easily adjustable for use with other diving apparatus.
- Great versatility and thermal protection.
- Durable and comes with innovative flow vent.
- Comfortable, easy fit, and easily adjustable.
The Henderson Lycra Hot Skins Hood offers great functionality with value for money. It is built from Lycra for an elastic fit, durable performance and UV protection, and offers excellent thermal insulation in cold waters. It sports anatomical design for comfort, works well with other swimming gear, and is very lightweight.
- Elastic for a snug fit and highly durable.
- Offers good UV protection and thermal insulation.
- Comfortable and great with other swimming gear.
This high-grade Neoprene from Skyone is built for great comfort and flexibility and comes in 3mm and 5mm thicknesses for different diving temperatures. It boasts of anatomical design and grants excellent protection against UV rays and sea lice and fits seamlessly with wetsuits for overall thermal protection. Its glue and stitch seal grants it excellent durability, while it comes in a wide range of sizes from which you are sure to find a perfect fit.
- Superb comfort and durability.
- Anatomical streamlined design and superior protection.
- Flexible and great size variety.
The A Point 1mm diving hood is designed for the most flexibility and thermal protection in warm to moderately cold water. It sports a minimal design, ensures an anatomical, snug fit, and is very easy to wear. It is also very easy to clean and maintain and is highly adaptable to a wide range of water sports.
- High flexibility and thermal protection.
- Very comfortable and easy to wear.
- Easy cleaning and maintenance.
The O’Neill Psycho dive hood comes with an impressive 3mm thick neoprene for maximum thermal protection and is very smooth for the most comfort. Some of its special features include a built-in visor, an anatomical design, an anatomical cinch to ensure the best fit irrespective of your face shape. It is highly durable, adaptable to different water sports, and comes with a bib for a good fit with your wetsuit.
- Superior thermal protection and comfort.
- One-size-fits all with built-in visor.
- Highly durable and adaptable to different water sports.
Dive Hoods Buying Guide
Dive hoods are optional if you will be exploring warm, shallow waters, but are a must if you dare to go deeper and colder. A good product will trap as much of your body heat as possible close and will allow you to swim for longer without getting too cold. It will also help protect your head and neck from potential injury or harm from sea lice, jellyfish, among other marine fauna.
Our buying guide reviews the best dive hoods on the market based on their specified features and customer feedback to give you the best options to choose from. We then outline basic factors you should consider when scouting for a dive hood before you make a purchase.
The first factor you want to consider is the fit of your dive hoods. It must be very comfortable to wear and should be just the right size. Too tight, and your head and face will feel constricted and uncomfortable. Too loose, and you’ll be struggling with water infiltration or air bubbles being trapped in the crown.
Always use size guidelines to make the right selections. The ideal dive hoods should ensure a snug fit, without being too constrictive.
Dive hoods like any other dive wear, are made from different materials like lycra and neoprene. Neoprene is the most common material you’ll see in dive hoods as it provides excellent thermal insulation and waterproofing with minimal thickness. It uses air bubbles embedded in its spongy profile to trap body heat and prevent it from being lost to the water.
Neoprene is a great material to look out for in dive hoods as it is exceptionally durable and decently flexible. Lycra is another great product for dive hoods. Even though not as inert as neoprene, it is exceptionally elastic and thus ensures a snug fit.
Whether you’ll be diving in cold or warm waters, the thickness of your dive hood will determine how thermally insulated you are. The thickness you go for will depend on the temperature ranges you want to dive in. The colder the water, the thicker you want your dive gloves to be.
Dive hoods come in a range of thicknesses from as thin as 1.5mm to as thick as 7mm. However, keep in mind that the thicker the dive hood, the slightly more constrictive it will feel.
Most dive hoods designed for cold waters will usually come with a bib designed to fit under a wetsuit. This helps improve thermal insulation and minimizes exposed skin. Thinner die hoods for warm waters will likely not have a bib.