I started diving in 1999 when I took a trip to Thailand, specifically to get my SCUBA certification. The water was so warm, I didn’t need a wetsuit.
A year later, I did my advanced PADI dive cert (on a tiny island in The Phillipines called Boracay). Again, with water temps sticking at around 30 to 32 degrees even at 120 feet down, there was just no need for a wetsuit.
And there’s nothing quite like warm ocean water giving your bare skin a big hug under the sea.
I was eventually forced to don a wetsuit with one dive shop several years ago, though, and I found the whole experience rather like when you’re in a fitting room and you put a shirt or dress on that’s way too small but you fight to make it fit, and then comes that moment when you need to get it off and you struggle like Houdini trying to escape from a straightjacket for the next 12 minutes. (I know you know what I’m talking about, ladies.)
The fit was just…manly. There even seemed to be extra space in the crotch zone. I hated the bike shorts-length legs and the way it cupped my shoulders. It just felt stiff. But I wore it because they wouldn’t let me dive otherwise.
Or so I thought.
Because along came Truli Wetsuits. Owner-designer Mia Toose reached out to me on Instagram after she saw one of my diving pics from West Caicos and asked if I’d give her wetsuit a try. So I took it to Beaches Negril where I knew I’d be doing a few dives.
The fit of my Truli wetsuit is amazing. Womanly. Cut it all the right places with some really flattering features. For example, your shoulders stay bare and the style is almost like a racer sports bra in the front, so you have full range of motion without any fabric impeding whatever movements your arms make underwater. The legs are shorter than a typical wetsuit — just a little longer than boy shorts — which both looks and feels better. There’s also a dip at the back in the design that makes your butt look really good…it’s an optical illusion on my butt, but I’ll take it.
These wetsuits maintain their shape — just be sure to follow the care instructions and my bet is it’ll last for many years.
The fleece lining in every Truli wetsuit means that your core is never going to get chilly. I have hit shady pockets diving before (in a bathingsuit) and had a full body chill that can last for some time. Wearing it in Negril, I was even and temperate every dive — through the entire dive. I liken it to merino wool, where it just keeps you regulated so you never feel too hot or too cold.
I LOVE that the zipper is in the front and not the back! No awkward reaching or asking perfect strangers to zip you up required.
The sizing is spot on. I’m a size 10-12 right now and assumed I would need an XL, but in the end, the L fit me beautifully.
There’s no Velcro here, either, which means you won’t snag whatever you’re wearing underneath (if anything at all, since you don’t need to), nor will Truli wetsuits scratch your body while you’re diving or doing other watersports.
Overall, it’s just really, really comfortable in which to dive and now I’m not sure I’ll ever dive without it.
It can be challenging to get this wetsuit on the first couple times. You may need to breathe deeply and do it in stages. Try rolling the top half down over the bottom half first. Then shimmy, girl.
The only thing I don’t love is that the bottom of the legs sometimes roll up when I’m sitting in my Truli wetsuit. It happened on occasion during a dive or two as well, but mostly it was when I sat down. I mean, I’m self-aware enough to know that it’s probably because my legs are too fat right now! So I’ll report back after ski season when my thighs are a little less soggy and a little more shapely.