The best Diving Hoods in 2024

By Julius
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Scuba diver at water surface in ice hole

Diving hoods are an important but often overlooked part of the scuba gear and useful for several reasons.

Besides keeping your head warm, they protect you from injuries, and your ears from getting infected.

Below you will find the best diving hoods in 2024, as well as tips, tricks, and a detailed buyer’s guide.

Why should you wear a diving hood?

A diving hood is designed primarily to provide thermal and physical protection for a diver’s head. Since up to 50% of body heat can be lost through the head, a hood is particularly vital in colder waters to prevent hypothermia.

They are usually worn over your exposure suit, however, sometimes they’re already attached.

Heat Retention: In cold environments, maintaining your body temperature is critical. Even in relatively warm waters, prolonged exposure can sap your warmth.

Protection: Apart from thermal advantages, hoods protect the head from cuts, scrapes, and stings from marine life or the underwater environment.

Scuba diver leaving water
A hood will keep you safe and warm underwater.

Prevention: Another benefit of wearing a diving hood is that they can prevent ear infections. While your ears will still get wet underneath, larger particles and most of the water are kept out.

We also have another guide on keeping your ears safe and healthy during a dive!

The best diving hoods in 2024

  1. Xcel Drylock: Known for its great seal and thermal lining.
  2. O’Neill Psycho Hood: A favorite for its comfortable fit and durable design.
  3. Cressi 5mm Hood: Offers a great balance of warmth and flexibility.
  4. Fourth Element 5mm Hood: Noted for its ergonomic design and thermal performance.
  5. Bare 7mm Coldwater Hood: Perfect for extremely cold environments.

Seac Tekno 5mm

Seac Tekno 5mm

Aqualung SemiDry 5mm

Aqualung SemiDry 5mm

How to choose a diving hood

Thickness: The colder the water, the thicker your hood should be. Common thicknesses are 3mm, 5mm, and 7mm.

Seams: Look for glued and blind-stitched seams. They’re more watertight and durable.

Coverage: Consider whether you want a full-face, open-face, or vest-integrated hood. Your choice will depend on the environment you’re diving in and your personal preference.

Diver holding GoPro
A hood should always be worn over your mask to prevent leakages.

Tips and Tricks to Using a Hood Underwater

  1. Fit is King: Ensure your hood fits snugly but not too tight. It should create a seal without causing a headache.
  2. Venting: Some hoods come with a vent system to allow trapped air (from your ears) to escape. Ensure these are not blocked.
  3. Equalizing: When diving, remember to equalize your ears. A well-fitted hood shouldn’t impede this, but be aware of potential challenges.
  4. Care and Maintenance: Rinse your hood with fresh water after every dive. Dry it inside out first to prevent mold or mildew.
  5. Storage: Store it away from direct sunlight and avoid folding it to prevent creases or damage to the material.

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