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.
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 is one of the best surfing brands out there. Born in 1969 at Bells Beach, Australia, founders Brian Singer and Doug “Claw” Warbrick set out to deliver ground-breaking products that would support surfers and athletes globally.
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 was founded in 1982 by Ed D’Ascoli, while he was working away in his Sunset Beach house. Growing up surfing in New Jersey, creating stellar wetsuits came naturally to Ascoli as he knew what surfers needed to tackle choppy waves. Xcel is highly devoted to product development, helping to enhance the performance of the athlete.
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.
Jack O’Neill founded this California surfwear brand back in 1952. Initially starting in San Franciso, O’Neill is now in Santa Cruz. O’Neill has led the surf industry, known for its impressively built products – they even invented the first neoprene, revolutionising how surfers ride. You’ll struggle to find a better surfing brand treating its apparel and equipment with such care and detail.
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 was founded in the early 70s by Gordon and Rena Merchant. Deriving the name from the Aboriginal word bilabaŋ, the word means a “creek that runs only during the rainy season”. Billabong is committed to combining art, form, fit and fashion into their designs. The mountains and waves serve as an inspiration for their premium and stylish action sports apparel.
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.
Patagonia is a highly respected outerwear brand, thanks to its innovative technology built into its apparel. Patagonia, founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, is based in Ventura, California. What started as a small business manufacturing climbing tools now has hundreds of stores and factories in 16 countries manufacturing all outdoor gear.
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 offer premium wetsuits for men combining style and function for top tier designs. An outstanding level of passion and creativity goes into all their products as the brand’s logo is an ancient Taoist symbol that signifies heaven and earth. Matuse create their wetsuits out of limestone-based Geoprene rubbers for a lighter and warmer feel while being eco-friendly.
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 is an American multinational corporation located in Costa Mesa, California. Headquartered near the finest beaches on the West Coast, Hurley has some of the best surfing wetsuits, as they always consider safety and function first. With its vision to empower and provide a voice to the next generation, Hurley captures a youthful essence in all its designs, setting a global benchmark for the industry.
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 is Australia’s premier surf retailer, dedicated to creating excellent performance-enhancing products. The name Quiksilver was derived from the ancient alchemists’ term for turning the base metals into gold. A suitable name for a company that aims to turn good fabric into unique apparel and equipment.
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.
Rusty is an alternative surf lifestyle brand that draws inspiration from indie music, contemporary art & cutting-edge fashion. Rusty started in the late 80s when a group of surfers, skaters, musicians and artists came together – all striving to create some great. The brand began to take off when Australian surfing champion Mark Occhilupo used a Rusty board, making Rusty highly sought after.
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.
Inspired by California lifeguards, Bill and Bob Meistrell constructed the first functional ‘body glove’ wetsuit. Body Glove was also among the first to create wetsuits for the military, LA police, LA lifeguards, and the medical and electric industries. If you’re looking for a reliable suit featuring advanced technology, then make sure you check out Body Glove’s range.
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 is the Spanish word for ‘noble’, and that’s exactly what this brand is. Adelio believes that products are not made only to be worn but have the power to change an individual’s state of mind. Adelio’s range fuels your passion for adventure through its thoughtful and ever-evolving designs.
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.
Peak Wetsuits is an Australian brand offering surfers incredible apparel and equipment at affordable prices.
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 offers some of the best surfing wetsuits on the market, designed for maximum protection for you and the planet. This brand is committed to creating sustainable designs through eco manufacturing, biodegradable packaging and tangible partnerships that positively impact the environment.
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.
Zion design wetsuits for all kinds of weather conditions; whether the water is cold, warm or icy, you can be sure you’ll be kept warm. The company produces a diverse range that use super stretchy Japanese limestone, along with internal ankle and wrist grips to prevent you from sliding. Zion might not be a brand you’ve heard of before, but we implore you to check them out.
Vissla is one the best wetsuit brands out there as their designs are creative and forward-thinking. The brand combines advanced technology with fine craftsmanship to create suits guaranteed to protect you while offering easy movement, thanks to their super stretch limestone material.
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.