When it comes to spending time on the beach, it is easy to be curious about what lies beneath the sea or what it would be like to surf upon it. Whilst you might be standing there in your bikini or swimming shorts, it does not take a rocket science to know that what you are wearing is not practical - but you knew that already!
Swimming in the sea is an amazing experience, and gives you a chance to get up and close to nature like you have never seen it before. Whilst the choice was easy enough to make when it comes to wanting to swim in the sea, what do you even wear?
One look online is bound to produce a fair number of results after typing in wetsuits, with all of them promising to be the best. However, we have done all that hard work for you so you do not even need to spend all those hours searching, and instead swimming!
Read on to see what our top picks are when it comes to wetsuits, and find a buyer’s guide at the bottom to familiarize yourself with the key things to look for when buying a wetsuit online.
OUR TOP PICK
The basic swimsuit is actually all that you need, but there are many factors to look for, from the material, all the way to its fit, if you want something that will feel comfortable and do its job right.
The Seaskin wetsuit is kinda just like that. It is a full-length wetsuit that provides everything you need as a first time wetsuit buyer. Even though it is not the budget option, in fact far from it, you get a lot for what you pay for.
The wetsuit itself features three layers of fabric, all with different jobs. The top two are nylon which is elastic and durable, whilst the inner layer is neoprene, a fabric that is known for helping to keep you warm.
The heavy duty YKK front zipper is a practical solution if you prefer it on the front, rather than having to try and unzip the wetsuit from the back. It also allows you to step out of it which can be troublesome if wet, so this is a good choice if you want to get out of the wetsuit with ease.
Even though it does have the handy zipper, it does let some water in. Wetsuits actually are not fully waterproof, so you will get wet anyway!
It has been highly rated as comfortable, but it does not say how thick the material is. However, reviewers have noted that it has kept them warm in colder water.
- Front zipper - heavy duty YKK zipper for easy access when putting it on and taking it off
- Protection - provides all the adequate protection against UV rays and stings
- Three layers - of fabric providing different areas of protection
- Front zipper may allow water in - unlike a tight collar which may keep water out better
No matter your body height or size, swimming is for you! Even though the majority of wetsuits vary in size, sometimes it is just easier to find a brand that has expertise within plus size clothing.
The Hevto full-length wetsuit is a good choice for colder water, with two options of 2 or 3mm in thickness. It is said to be suitable for temperatures of 50℉ to 67℉ - give or take.
This means that it might not be suitable for summer weather, as you might become too warm during the sporting activity.
The three layers of fabric provide additional protection. The surface layer and lining are both made out of nylon for stretchiness, whilst the inner fabric is neoprene SBR, the fabric needed to help keep you warmer.
The neckline is high to help reduce water intake into the wetsuit, and gives it an overall professional feel and look. Also, Hevto wetsuits use flat-lock stitching to help reduce chafing.
This is a good budget option for first-timers, but is also a great product if you are looking for a simple yet effective wetsuit for the fall.
The sizing for the wetsuit has not been correct for some, but has been for others. Due to this, it is always best to measure your chest, hips and waist.
Add in leg and arm length if you can, and buy whichever fits you by those measurements, not the normal size you go for.
- Plus size - accommodates a bigger size in height and weight
- Three layers - of material for added protection
- Long zipper - at the back for ease of taking it off and putting it on
- High neckline - helps to reduce water intake
- Sizing - can be a little off but measuring your body can help
The Copozz wetsuit has been created for women and men who want a wetsuit for swimming and light water sports, rather than deep sea diving. It is also especially useful when you want to wear something extra light during the summer, but still want full-length coverage.
It is made from lycra spandex, which may not be suitable for all, though it is extra lightweight and comfortable.
Due to its thinness, it can also be worn under a wetsuit for extra warmth as the weather and water turns colder. It also protects you from the usual stings and scrapes the sea may bring.
The women’s version has chest pads for comfort and shape. If you are worried about becoming ‘flattened’ in the chest area, or want some more shape, then this will be of interest to you.
Both the hands and feet feature stirrups to help the arms and legs stay put to avoid rolling up. This will be handy once you get in the water!
It is also a great budget option for those who are looking for a lighter wetsuit for a swim in the sea, but would also benefit from UV protection.
- Hand and feet stirrups - helps the arms and legs stay down and not roll up
- Budget friendly - perfect for swimming and first-timers
- Chest pads - for extra protection and shape
- Material - it is made of lycra spandex, rather than the usual neoprene
The OMGear wetsuit is a great option if you not only want to buy one on a budget, but you would like one that is highly rated. As a first-timer, you might be wondering what shorty wetsuit to get, and the OMGear is a good option if you want something cheaper and easy.
The front zipper provides an easy way to remove and put on the wetsuit. However, it can be difficult to take the wetsuit off from around the shoulders once it has been subjected to water.
This is not uncommon with wetsuits due to heavy water weight, and is probably just down to zipper placement.
The flat-lock stitching provides all day comfortable wear due to no chafing, and also durability. It is always good to know that it will not just fall apart once it hits the water!
It can be tight fitting (or loose), so getting your own correct measurements and buying the one that is the closest in measurement numbers will be necessary for a good fit.
Remember, you want it snug, but not so snug that it is tight and restricts arm and leg movements.
- Front zipper - for ease of taking off and putting on
- Budget friendly - good for those on a budget or a first-timer
- Flat-lock stitching - helps to avoid any chafing and creates a durable finish
- Tight fitting - reviewers have commented about going a size up due to tight fit in their usual size
- Sticks to shoulders - once out of the water, may be difficult to remove off the shoulders due to water weight
Another budget friendly wetsuit, the Slinx is a 1mm full-length wetsuit that is suitable for a variety of water sports, including swimming.
At just 1mm, you will feel the cold, so keep that in mind if the weather or water is particularly chilly. Because of this, it will be best to use during the height of summer or under another wetsuit for ultimate warmth and protection.
However, wearing it on its own should protect you from the UV rays on a hot day, and from any scrapes or bites you may receive under the water. It is also a good choice to use within a heated pool if you would like to wear something lighter than a thicker wetsuit.
It is made out of lycra spandex for ultimate flexibility and stretchiness that will cling to your body shape. It has a scuba rash guard design which looks great out by the sea. The hood can be put up to protect your head from the sun.
It does include a front zipper to help you get in and out of the wetsuit, but it will not in any shape of form keep you dry, but no wetsuit does that anyway.
- Lightweight - good to use whilst swimming in the summer or within a heated pool
- Stretchy - made out of lycra spandex which is super stretchy and fits to the curves of the body
- Front zipper - to help with getting in and out of the wetsuit
- Thin material - not suitable for really cold water, or if you are sensitive to cold water in general
Driven by innovation and development, Cressi is a family-owned brand from Italy. Having worked in the industry for over 70 years, they specialize in the water sports area. So, no wonder the Crezzie wetsuit is highly rated.
At only 1mm thick, it is a great option if you are planning to swim but want extra protection from the UV rays and anything that might sting, such as jellyfish.
Because it is so thin, it will not be great in colder water or colder temperatures, though, it can be used under another wetsuit which gives you options. However, it can also be a hassle to buy two wetsuits for the same job to be worn at the same time!
Even so, it is a perfect choice if you really want to wear a full-length wetsuit during hot weather. Again, it will protect you from those nasty ultraviolet rays all day long - though remember to add sunblock everywhere else.
Due to the elasticated material, it fits to the contours of the body to give it a snug, but not tight, fit. This is perfect for keeping the body warm and to not let a lot of water in through gaps in the material.
- Versatile - can be used for a number of water activities, including snorkeling
- Second layer - it is thin enough to wear as a second layer under another wetsuit
- Elastic material - fits to the contours of the body
- Only 1mm - but great for really warm days when you would like to wear a 1mm full-length wetsuit
If you want a wetsuit that looks great and is practical, then the Seavenger wetsuit is a must. A full-length wetsuit, it features ultra-stretchy neoprene panels to help with the movement of both the knee and the underarm.
These are two important areas to make sure you can move freely, especially in a full-length wetsuit.
The flat-lock stitching also helps to prevent chafing, something none of us want when we are out on the beach all day.
No, thank you! This also means it is great for those who have particularly sensitive skin. It has been designed to sit on the skin, rather than rub against it.
If you need extra padded support on the knees or shoulders, especially when wearing a scuba BCD or on a surfboard, this wetsuit comes with durable anti-abrasion panels which also holds up to any of the wear and tear wearing it in the sea (or general water) might cause.
A long zipper with a lengthy leash makes taking it off and putting it on extra easy. This means you can spend a lot more time actually in the water, rather than being one of those people who has to ask somebody else to zip them up before they can join in.
We have all been there…
The only downside is the sizing. They are not necessarily true to size for everyone, so if in doubt, go up a size. Even so, it fits most people correctly and also very well, at that!
- Knee and shoulder pads - for extra protection, especially when surfing
- Flat-lock stitching - helps to prevent chafing for comfortable all day wear
- Extra bulky zipper - with a long leash for easier gripping
- Stretchy neoprene panels - helps the knee and underarm have more movement
- Sizing - it is worth going a size up from the usual size you would wear
Founded in China in 2004, LayaTone is a brand that focuses on everything to do with swimming in the sea. Whether that is snorkeling, diving or surfing, LayaTone is a good option for those who want a brand who know a thing or two about wetsuits.
Aimed at those who have a little extra weight or who are tall, the LayaTone is a good option if you need a little more room to feel comfortable.
As it is a clothing type that needs to be tighter to the skin to not let the whole of the sea flood in, it is paramount you find one that can accommodate extra body length.
At 3mm, it is good to use in cooler water or a cooler climate. Due to its short legs and arms, it can be used on a cooler summer day or a mild autumn day. It also has the much-needed UV protection, great for long days out in the sun.
Because of the hassle of getting in and out of something so tight, especially when it is wet, there is a long leash on the zipper to help you pull it down when ready to take the wetsuit off.
Some reviewers have noted that the odd stitch has come loose, but a replacement gave them peace of mind with the seller and it did not happen again. As with a lot of clothes, these things can happen and it does not mean the item is faulty.
- 3mm - great for using in cooler water and weather conditions
- Anti-UV - will protect your skin from the sun where it is worn on the body
- Long zipper leash - easier to reach to the back to grab the zipper when taking it off
- Stitching - some people have noted the stitching has come away slightly, though it does not happen often
When it comes to wetsuits, it is better to look at them practically before fashion. Even so, the CtriLady shorty is definitely the latter.
Not only is it considered a shorty style, it also has a tank top-like design, which is great for those who do not want a regular type of wetsuit.
Also, it has big white text for the brand’s logo on a full block of black color, creating a more stylish type of wetsuit for those who may be fashion conscious.
Because of the wetsuit being a different style, the suit itself is not suitable for diving, and instead is still practical for water sports and exercise only.
It will do a good job at not only looking good but keeping some warmth in, though it is probably recommended to wear this one during the summer months.
At only 1.5mm thickness, it is not practical for cold water, and should only be worn when not in the water for a long period of time. It is, however, made of neoprene and is stretchable to accommodate different body shapes.
It also fits close to the body to help avoid water entering, but with its lower cut front, it may seep through.
It has a full zip on the front to allow ease of getting in and out of the wetsuit, which is really practical when it is a tighter suit.
Also, the style of suit makes it a great option if you are doing something which needs full arm movement. It is a lot less restricting than a full-length or regular shorty wetsuit.
The material does offer UV protection, but as it does not provide full-coverage, you will need to add extra sun protection with lotion and a jacket to wear. The good thing about this style of wetsuit is that you can wear a wetsuit jacket over the top if you need to.
- Looks great - good option for those who want something more fashionable
- Full zip - for easier putting on and taking off
- Functionality - the short sleeves and arms means you can feel the water and it does not restrict arm movement
- High stretch - will fit different body shapes for maximum comfort
- 1.5mm thickness - not the thickest material and only suitable for summer
- Not suitable for deep sea diving - but is a great choice for general swimming and sports
Best Wetsuits For Swimming Buying Guide
Now that you have taken a look at a few wetsuits, here is the ultimate guide on the different key areas to look at when finding the right wetsuit for you.
Most, if not all, wetsuits are made out of the material Neoprene. It is said to have a slight buoyancy once it reaches a particular level of thickness. This helps with keeping the wearer warm, and protects the body from UV rays from the sun and potential nasty stings such as from jellyfish.
You will want to make sure that the thickness of the material is appropriate for the time of activity you are about to do. The things to consider are time in water, temperature of water and the temperature in the air.
The lower the ‘mm’ thickness, the cooler it will feel. So, a lower thickness will be better during the summer if it gets really hot, whilst the thicker material will be great for colder weather.
Buying more than one suit can be really helpful if you plan on being in the water all year round. In fact, it makes a lot of sense as you will not be in the same suit come fall after a long summer of swimming.
It is pretty obvious that you will need to put the swimsuit on and take the swimsuit off, but if it is difficult to do both of these things, then there is no point wearing it because you will not want to.
When it comes to the zipper, you will want to make sure that it is a good length in order for you to be able to put it on and take it off comfortably. A full-length zipper is normally the best, as taking one off after being in the water can be much more difficult otherwise.
Basically, so long as you can step in and out of it, rather than having to pull it over your head, it is a good choice!
Moveability is not necessarily just down to how the wetsuit looks in style, but rather how it fits. Yes, a swimsuit gives you a better range of movement if it has shorter sleeves or a tank top-style, but if it fits well, you will still have a good range of arm movement.
This is because it will be like a second skin and should not restrict how you move your arms, which is very important if you are planning to swim or dive in the sea - actually, any water for that matter.
A tighter fit (as in too-tight) will feel restrictive around the shoulders and underarms, causing you not to have the full control you will need of them.
To avoid this, buy the correct size. Look at sizing charts and measure your waist, hips and chest. If you want to measure more areas - go for it! A wetsuit is meant to be comfortable, but do not be confused with how tight it should be. It is a sort of second skin, but not quite the ‘same skin’.
An important part of a wetsuit should be its ability to provide protection from the rays of the sun. Ultraviolet rays can be detrimental to a person’s health, and when you are spending a few hours in its burning heat, you are going to need to protect your skin.
The majority of wetsuits will be able to protect wherever it covers you on the body. Make sure it says, rather than assuming it will do the job.
Keep this mind if the wetsuit you are buying exposes a lot of skin, because you will need to keep reapplying sunblock throughout the day, especially after being out in the water (do not trust a ‘waterproof’ sun lotion). You should be applying it to areas of the skin anyway, such as the face.
Full-Length Or a Shorty
There are different types of wetsuit but it will actually depend on what you want the wetsuit for. There are those that are made for lounging in a warm pool or for looking fabulous, and these are not suitable as major deep sea diving swimwear.
This type of wetsuit will usually look better than it is at being practical, which is not necessarily a bad thing if you do not want to wear it for diving.
The other options are a regular shorty that looks like a wetsuit, only it has shorter legs and arms, and a full-length wetsuit. A shorty is a lot more practical in warmer climates, rather than in the dead of winter. It is available in different ‘mm’ thicknesses.
A full-length wetsuit is practical all year round. If this is your preferred option, just wear different types of thickness depending on the temperature in the air and the water.
Frequently Asked Questions
What thickness of wetsuit should I buy?
When it comes to the thickness you will need for a wetsuit, it all depends on the season. When it is the summer, a shorty wetsuit will be good enough to help keep you extra cool. It should be around 2mm or 3mm. If it is a full- length wetsuit during the summer, 3mm is a good option.
During early spring or when it is fall, a 4mm wetsuit will be perfect. Once winter has begun, change to a 5mm wetsuit.
It also depends on where you are located, due to some places having milder winters and hotter summers.
Do you wear any clothes under a wetsuit?
The short answer is no. A wetsuit actually is not waterproof, even if it claims to be, and they are actually designed to keep the wearer warm when exposed to cold water, especially for a long period of time.
You may see that thicker suits are labelled as ‘semi-dry’, but so long as you wear one whilst understanding that your clothes may become wet, you will not be disappointed when they do!
Should a wetsuit be tight?
A wetsuit should fit snugly, almost as if it is a second skin. It should not, however, fit so tight that it restricts your movements.
If the sleeves are full-length, it should end at the wrist bone and just above the ankle bone. There should be no gaps or rolls, especially in areas like the underarm.
Why does my wetsuit always fill up with water?
When this is the case, it is likely that your wetsuit is far too big. It basically means the wetsuit does not fit snug against the body and there are gaps letting the water in.
Do wetsuits keep you warm in cold weather?
They do, but not because of a thin layer of water between the wetsuit and your body. The reason it keeps you warm is because the ‘dead air’ space hinders the heat transfer, making sure you retain the body heat rather than losing it all to cold water.
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