The most elaborate piece of watersport apparel out there is undeniably the wetsuit. A high-quality wetsuit is essential to invest in as not only will it keep you warm, but it can be performance-enhancing. Wetsuits made from ultra-stretchy neoprene provide you with a full range of movement and motion underwater, and should feel like a second skin, with no sagginess or excessive bunching dragging you down.
There are vital features these suits should possess, and you also need to consider the thickness, style, and the kind of waters you’ll be swimming in. If it’s winter and you’re swimming in icy water, definitely opt for a thick full suit with an easy back entry so that you can slip it on and off effortlessly.
However, if you’re dabbling in warm water, you may want to choose a spring suit as it provides less coverage on the arms and legs, and will be thinner. Fortunately, many wetsuit brands are also becoming eco-friendly, as they’re using safe and sustainable practices to manufacture their products. Considering a brand that’s getting behind this literal wave is something to note as we should support companies helping preserve the environments we love to explore.
Best Wetsuits FAQs
Does a wetsuit keep you dry?
A wetsuit will not keep you dry, but it will keep you warm as they’re made from neoprene - a waterproof, foam rubber material. Additionally, wetsuits that are tightly sealed and thick, are your best bet for staying warm in cold water.
What do I wear under a wetsuit?
Wetsuits keep you warm, so you don’t have you wear anything else underneath. However, most surfers and drivers will wear a swimsuit, board shorts, or undies underneath for an extra layer. For the best results, wear a pair of neoprene shorts that are lightweight to add extra warmth.
Is a 2mm wetsuit warm enough?
The thicker the wetsuit, the warmer it’ll keep you. 2mm wetsuits are best for warm water temperatures, but you can always opt for a ¾ suit or a spring suit for less coverage for water that's not too cold. If you're thinking of swimming or surfing in winter or cold water, go for a thicker wetsuit!
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To help you choose the right wetsuit for you, we’ve uncovered brands creating award-winning wetsuits that not only make style a priority but safety too. Below we have listed a variety of different wetsuits that come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials, you’ll want to dive in headfirst.
RipCurl has a selection of long sleeve wetsuits offering full coverage and spring suits that come with varied thicknesses. They offer everything from e-stitch high stretch seams; back zips, mesh skin chest zips and back panels to help absorb solar heat, and Hydro Loc collars to prevent leakage
Xcel offers suits designed for both winter and summer seasons, along with dive suits and full suits in multiple colours and prints. Xcel's designs are also made for warmth, performance and provide incredible limestone neoprene fabric that is exceptionally lightweight and stretchy.
O'Neill'S wetsuits offer ultimate flexibility, warmth and performance and the ones that feature their TechnoButter 3 neoprene fabric as of particular mention, as they provide the best feel without adding extra bulk, making them feel like a second skin.
Additionally, these wetsuits come with a chest zipper and an easy entry system so that you can slip in the wetsuit on with great ease.
Billabong manufactures some of the best men's wetsuits in the industry with impressive technologies guaranteed to boost warmth and performance. They're ultra-lightweight and provide a high level of heat retention, protecting you from cold water while being made from 100% recyclable materials. Just as important is the seams, and Billabong employ blind stitched seams that are soft, flexible and durable.
You'll feel safe when repping Patagonia's wetsuits as they'll keep you warm in the coldest water temperatures. They use FSC certified rubber, which is blended with chlorine-free synthetic rubber for increased UV protection, and some models feature lining that minimises weight and dries extremely fast.
Matuse promises a perfect fit with all its suits, one that isn't too tight and that allows for ultimate freedom of movement while you tackle the ocean. What's more, you're able to choose from a range of short sleeve and long sleeve designs that feature knee pads and foam density for extra durability.
Hurley offers a massive selection of men's wetsuits available in all different kinds of styles, colours and sizes. With a range of thicknesses on offer, ideal for both winter and summer surfing, and Exoflex built in, providing you with a full range of motion without you feeling weighed down, Hurley could just be the best brand for you.
Quiksilver provides well-constructed neoprene wetsuits that come with Ecto-Flex knee pads that offer protection for you & your board, as well as a range of sizes and thicknesses, all with the aim of keeping you warm and comfortable when ripping some gnarly waves.
For over 30 years, Rusty has created the highest quality wetsuits that are both technical and sleek. After being sick of seeing brands use harmful chemical-based neoprene, Rusty developed their Ecoprene foam - a limestone-based foam that's incredibly comfy and durable. Their range is made from eco-friendly yarns and water-based glues and laminates, ensuring we protect the oceans we love to explore.
Body Glove is the brand to check out if you know you're going to do most of your surfing in incredibly cold waters, as they offer some of the thickest suits around. You can choose from a range of styles too, whether it be a full suit, long John or even a pullover. And, owing to their name, they're designed to quite literally fit like a glove.
Adelio wetsuits are guaranteed to keep you warm as they use Japanese limestone and are available in 3 mm and 4 mm thickness. These designs offer stretch knee pads and inner taping at the stress points, and thanks to their relaxed fit, will suit a range of different body types.
Their ranges includes the use of lightweight X-Stretch Neoprene material, adding an extra range of movement and buoyancy, while knee pads, blind stitched seams, chest zips and back zips offer ultimate functionality. As with other brands on this list, Peak serves up a range of sizes and thicknesses, so you can get yourself kitted out no matter the season.
Project Blank designs their environmentally friendly wetsuits for comfort, durability and affordability, and employ a closed-cell foam entirely made from biodegradable natural rubber. Project Blank have an impeccable range of winter suits, which benefit from a fast-drying thermal fabric and foam to keep you super warm, while a lightweight outer jersey has high heat retention.
Vissla's suits come in a wide range of different styles and colours to help you show off your individual personality. It's not all style over substance, however, as they feature a Thermal Brain Fuzz lining that insulates heat and dries fast. Moreover, they're highly durable as they have triple glued, double-blind stitched seams, ensuring they last a lifetime.