Storing neoprene

I took the plunge last fall … bought a wetsuit and dry gear, and paddled on and off all winter. Now that the cold water season is nearing its end here (DC area) I’m wondering about the best way to store that neoprene wetsuit. My closet - which holds both office-type clothes and gear - is getting pretty crowded. I could keep the wetsuit on its hanger or I could store it with all the other off-season gear (kayaking, backpacking, and camping) in one of my big ol’ honking Rubbermaid tubs.

I think I know the answer to this question but I’ll ask it anyway: if I decide to store it in the Rubbermaid, should I fold it or roll it up? I’m thinking if I fold it and it stays in there long enough it could form permanent creases and, therefore, reduce the insulating effectiveness. If I roll it up it might take up a little more space but it won’t get creases.

Any words of wisdom?

On the other hand, I could throw out all those clothes and just use the closet for gear!

Mainly keep it cool and dry. I used to
pinch clamp the back of the knees and the front of the elbows in mine to squeeze out the bubbles and make it easier to bend when I was paddling.

Over the years, nitrogen will leak out of the bubbles and your suit will shrink. Mine sure did. Keeping it cool slows the leaking.

ah the irony
On Mr. Freeze, a wet suit would last forever. But alas, Mr. Freeze doesn’t need a wet suit.

The tub is OK as long as it’s cool.
You don’t want to store the wetsuit bunched together in a tight hot box in a garage or attic- the material will weld together, some of the fancy materials on the front of surfing wet suits will bond to other plastic if they get too warm.

lots of info out there
Sounds like folding, exposure to UV and heat are culprits. Also, making sure the wetsuit is dry before hanging.

I’m dubious of the plastic hanger thing, they sell hangers specifically made for wetsuits at our dive shop. They’re made of plastic.

This site is a start. I’d also check the manufacturer’s site.

Here’s what i do.
I took a steel hanger and bent to the correct shape and snapped on foam water pipe insulation. Wetsuit cannot fall off. Make sure suit is completely dry and always hang so there is no creases in suit and store in a dark,cool dry place. My suit is going on 5 years old and looks almost as good as new. It’s the same thing i do with my neoprene fishing waders. Works for me.

If there is a mouse danger

They wont nest in hanging items.

They have eaten right through plastic tubs to get in and nest. They have eaten through some neoprene items stored in my barn that way.

Then I learned.

I do the same thing
with my neoprene and drysuits. The ends of the foam can be sanded round and smooth to give the garments a natural hanging without any pinch points or creases.

Storage suggestion
If you have the space (basement, garage, or walkup attic), put up a clothes bar and purchase some padded cloth covered hangers.

Hubby put a hanging bar in our basement and all our neoprene pants, tops, plus splash gear gets hung on padded hangers. Our Chota, knee high boots get a rolled up piece of cardboard in the leg portion, then these are placed into one of those popup, mesh, clothes hampers along with the rest of our water shoes.

I prefer not to hang neoprene in our living areas as the rubber smell tends to be noticable.

I actually have one long, padded rail in my basment. Everything hangs from it - sleeping bags, liners, drysuit, wetsuits, etc.

Every fold make a crese that looses
effecency so do not fold it.

Yea, don’t fold it unless you need less
bulk behind the knees or in front of the elbows. Then clamp it flat, because when circulation improves in your extremities, you won’t miss a little loss of insulation behind your knees or inside your elbows.

Mice! I recently moved
and put my big duffel bag of camping gear into the shed. After a week of moving in, it was time for the camping gear to move into the garage. When I opened the bag I discovered mice had been having parties, and they ate holes in: my tent, tarp, water filter, ate 2 sets of snorkeling gear- in fact the only thing not nibbled on was a big agnes sleeping pad (totally untouched). Was a bad day.

Man, I thought I was going …
nuts when I put on my wetsuit and it seemed a little shorter. I knew I wasn’t getting taller but I didn’t understand how neoprene would shrink. Thanks for the info!

Old Old Old Style suits maybe
Modern wetsuits are much more well behaved than people are giving the impression here, very stretchy. Best to just hang it on a thick wooden hanger or the thick plastic ones they give you when you buy them, and keep them in a closet where the temperature is comfortable for you.

If this is true
Why is there always bird seed in the pockets of the rarely worn coats in the back bedroom?

[Rhetorical question. Pockets are the supermarket. Folded towels are the home.]