Ask any suffer if they go out on the waves without a wetsuit on and you’ll get laughed at. Wetsuits are almost as essential to the sport as the board is.
However, whenever it’s time to get a new suit or pick out your first one, there’s always a lot of jargon that you have to wade through. Materials, flexibility, durability, anti-rash mesh, design. There are so many choices you have to make before you can choose your perfect wetsuit.
Add to that the extra challenge of finding a wetsuit that doesn’t work against the female body and you really do have your work cut out.
You’ll probably be really glad to hear that we’ve done all that hard work for you and have put together this list of the top 5 wetsuits for women. This list covers a range of lengths, thicknesses, and seasons.
Keep reading to find the perfect wetsuit for you.
1. Seavenger 3mm Odyssey Wetsuit with Sharkskin Chest
We’re going to kick things off today, with what is possibly our favorite wetsuit of all time. Not only is this one of the most beautiful wetsuits we’ve had the pleasure of laying eyes on. It’s also so cleverly designed that we think we couldn’t have done better ourselves.
This wetsuit has so many clever features that we will have to be brief about all of them – or we’ll both be here all day.
Firstly, let’s talk about the outside of the suit. The first clever design choice we noticed was the flatlock stitching used across the suit. This stitching does a great job of preventing chafing, even when you’re wearing your suit all day.
The second feature is, its name is top of the range 3mm Neoprene. This will keep you warm in temperatures as low as 60F. Thirdly, the high friction areas where you need to be able to move, Seavenger has used a different type of Neoprene called high-flex. This does exactly what you would expect it to, allowing you to move to your heart’s content while you’re out on the water.
We haven’t even got to the best part yet. Most of the other wetsuits on this list offer protection from the sun, jellyfish, and debris floating around under the surface of the water. So does this wetsuit, but goes a step further. This suit comes with padding on the knees and elbows. We love this idea, this is where we always end up with bruises after a day on the waves.
The zipper on the back of this suit is bulky and stiff in the best way. Nothing is undoing this zipper unless you want it to. It also comes with a great length leash which means after you come back to shore and your arms are tired, you’ll still be able to get out of your suit easily.
On top of all of this, this suit has a beautiful, classy pattern that everyone would be happy to be seen wearing. It does also come in plain black, but we recommend getting the floral navy as it will catch everyone’s eyes.
We don’t have any complaints about this suit. However, we wish that they did it in a 5mm range as well. So that we could use it on the really cold days too.
- Bulky zipper with a long leash
- Padding on the elbows and shins
- 3mm top quality neoprene
- Flatlock, anti-chafe stitching
- Gorgeous design
- Extra high-flex neoprene on high friction areas like knees and armpits
- No cons, we only wish they did a 5mm version as well as the 3mm
2. OMGear Wetsuit Women 3mm Neoprene Shorty Wetsuit
This suit is very new to the market, even so, it managed to grab the second place spot on our list. Why? Well, when you can get a suit of this quality, for this price, it’s hard to want to shout about it from the rooftops.
OMGear is a well established wetsuit brand, so we were extremely excited to see that they were bringing out this new ‘shorty wetsuit’‘. It is designed to provide both warmth and buoyancy. This suit comes in at a similar price to other OMGear models, which is about half of what the Seavenger suit will cost you.
The Shorty wetsuit provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays while you are out on the water. It also protects the covered parts of your body from any damage that could be caused by debris under the surface.
This is a supportive suit with a high neckline and mid-bicep sleeves. It is warm and form-fitting while allowing enough freedom of movement to paddle and ride waves. The heavy duty stitching on this suit will allow you to make the most of this easy movement without worrying about your suit splitting.
Our only issue with this suit is that it lacks a lot of the style that the Seavenger suit brought to the table. They have made no effort to hide any of the stitching. The colors are very bright. And the shape isn’t the most flattering shape in the world.
However, if you are prepared to sacrifice looking like you’ve just come from Bondi fashion week to save over $50+ then this suit is definitely worth it. The Shorty Wetsuit is as solid and reliable as they come. It is a suit that you will be able to keep using for many years to come.
- Well priced
- 3mm high quality Neoprene suit
- Aids buoyancy
- Brightly colored to aid visibility
- Warmth down to 60F
- Many sizes available
- Heavy duty stitching
- Thick suit but does not cover all of the outer limbs
- Not hugely stylish
3. ROSKIKI Women’s One Piece Zip Front Surfing suit
This is the option that you beginners out there will want to consider. This is a great budget option if you’re not ready to commit to paying full price for a wetsuit yet.
This option from ROSKIKI can not only offer you everything you need for a bit of summer surfing. But it’s also a super useful multipurpose suit that you can use for other watersports off the board.
This is one of the best priced wetsuits on the market. It is made of a nylon and spandex blend, thick enough to protect your skin from cuts and sun damage while out on the waves.
It’s a perfect choice for those looking to do a bit of casual surfing in the summer. The suit is supportive but not restrictive – allowing for a wide range of movement. It is made of a quick drying material that will keep you warm whilst on the board. However, we would recommend only using this one in the summer.
One of the major selling points of this suit is its wide and inclusive size range. Allowing people of all heights and weights to be able to enjoy a surfing session.
This is a great option for your first surf season, as it will do everything you need it to and allow you to try out other types of watersports too. All at a great price. Why not use the money you saved to pick up a higher quality surfboard.
- Top quality sun protection
- Amazing price
- Fantastic size range
- Not great for colder weathers
4. Aqua Polo RAD 3mm Neoprene Wetsuit for Women
Is it even a surfing wetsuit if it doesn’t have rad in the title? All jokes aside, The Aqua Polo RAD is a brightly colored 3mm neoprene suit that offers protection from the sun, jellyfish, cuts alike.
This suffering wet suit has enjoyed popularity thanks to a few things. Its clever design, its bright color, and its high quality insulation.
Firstly, let’s look at its design. This suit is clearly designed by people who love to surf. Not only does it have a really secure back zip, with an extended handle. It also has a zip protection flap that will prevent the zip from coming undone when you don’t want it to.
It is thick enough to protect you from jellyfish and getting cut by debris floating in the water. The suit also offers protection from UVA rays.
We don’t see enough bright colored wetsuits these days. Aqua Polo however is trying to change that. One of the major benefits of wearing colorful wetsuits (aside from looking ever so cool) is that it is easier for lifeguards or fellow surfers to spot you if you are in danger out on the water.
Lastly, this suit is made from very high quality neoprene that will keep you warm in temperatures as low as 60F. If you look after it, this suit will last you for nearly a decade. But if something goes wrong with it Aqua Polo has a great refund and warranty program.
There are only two tiny problems we found with this wetsuit. Firstly, it’s very stiff when you get it out of the bag. You’ll probably need a friend to help you get into it the first few times you wear it. However, after you’ve worn it out of the waves a few times it’ll soften.
Secondly, Aqua Polo’s sizing system is quite difficult to work out. Their site says that they are true to size, but they are definitely designed with taller people in mind. So, do a little research on sizing before purchasing one of these.
- Bright colors mean you can be seen from the shore
- The suit has a great warranty and refund option
- 3mm neoprene offers protection down to 60F
- Getting the right size can be a little difficult
- Is very stiff for the first couple of uses
5. AXESEA Women’s Retro One Piece Surfing Suit
Our final choice is something a little less practical. It’s the choice that all of you who are lucky enough to live near warmer waters should check out.
The company is owned and operated by the surfer and designer duo Hebe and Marty and is based in Surfer’s Point, Australia.
This wetsuit combines the current swimsuit trends with all the safety features you need whilst out on the water. The body of the suit is UPF 50+ which blocks over 98% of UVA and UVB rays. The high neck and capped sleeves add extra protection to vulnerable areas
This wetsuit is made of a lightweight nylon blend that is perfect for the summer months and warm places. The chest padding is removable and is made of a quick drying material, specifically designed for female surfers. It also has an extended zip handle to make removal easier.
This is the perfect wetsuit if you’re looking for supper and sun protection, and being warm is not right on your priorities list.
- Perfect for warm waters
- Top quality sun protection
- The supportive shape allows for movement while supporting the chest
- True to size (if you’re tall order a size up)
- Capped sleeves can make paddling a little difficult
- Not suitable for colder climates
Wetsuits for Women: A Buyer’s Guide
There are a few factors to bear in mind when choosing a women’s wetsuit, but it mainly comes down to the thickness, the brand, and maintenance.
It is important to note that you could buy the best wetsuit in the world, and it would be all for nothing if you don’t properly look after it. Making sure that you properly maintain your wetsuit is the key to making sure it lasts.
Take a look at the factors below before choosing the best women’s wetsuit for you.
Arguably the most important factor to take into account when purchasing a new wetsuit is the thickness. The thickness of your suit will largely depend on the environment that you intend to enter.
To determine which thickness you need, you’ll first need to establish which season you’re likely to be using your wetsuit in the most and go from there.
Many surfers have summer and winter wetsuits, but if you’re new to water sports or just want a wetsuit for occasional use, then the easiest way to pick the right thickness is to consider the season.
Wetsuit thickness is measured in millimeters (mm). The specification is made with two numbers. 3/2 mm means, for instance, that the neoprene has a thickness of 3 mm on the torso and 2 mm on the legs and arms.
Although only you can know how cold you personally get, here is a guide for you to figure out the right thickness for you.
- 0–3°C – 6mm / 7mm – If you’re going to be surfing regularly in the depths of winter, then this wetsuit thickness is for you.
- 4–7°C – 4mm / 5mm / 6mm – This wetsuit thickness will keep you pretty toasty in the bitterly cold water, though not as warm as the one above!
- 8-11°C – 3mm / 4mm – If you think the above is overkill, then this wetsuit thickness is applicable to a wide range of seasons.
- 12-17°C – 2mm / 3mm – If you want something to just take the edge off the cold, then this wetsuit thickness is perfect for you.
- 18–26°C – UV lycra suit – This is designed for warmer waters, as it really doesn’t provide much warmth.
A wetsuit can be an expensive investment. That being said, whichever wetsuit thickness you opt for, make sure that it is versatile and that you can get as much use out of it as you would like to.
If you want an all-round wetsuit that isn’t too hot in the summer, but still keeps you relatively warm towards the colder months, then your best bet is to opt for something in the middle!
Something else you’ll need to consider is the brand of the wetsuit. Although you might not be someone that cares too much about brands, surf brands specialize in improving the performance of surfers and are second to none. They are made by surfers and ocean-enthusiasts for surfers and anyone who wants to enjoy the water.
They are trialed and tested, are put through their paces in incredibly extreme environments all over the world, and are designed to withstand the test of time. So, it is safe to say that they are quality assured as they don’t settle for less.
It is also worth mentioning that many surf brands, such as the UK cold water surf company known as Finisterre, have a focus on sustainability and looking after the planet.
If you can afford to shop sustainably, it is always the best option for the environment and our oceans.
If you choose to buy a good quality pure neoprene wetsuit from a known surf brand, it is much more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Generally speaking, lower quality wetsuits are made with cheap, low-quality polyester and nylon, adding more plastic to the oceans and eventually landfill when you inevitably have to replace it within a few uses.
Not to mention, they can give you a nasty wetsuit rash from the abrasive material.
If you invest in a good quality wetsuit, you likely won’t need to buy another one for many years to come if you’re only using it a few times a year.
Good quality wetsuits can last for over a decade or more if you maintain them well and look after them, making them more sustainable!
To maintain your wetsuit and to ensure that it withstands the test of time, you need to ensure that you look after it.
Without fail, after every single use, you need to wash your suit out thoroughly with fresh cold water, being careful to rinse all saltwater, sand, and seaweed from your suit.
You can do this by either hosing it down or dunking it in a large bucket of water. If you want a more thorough clean, there are different wetsuit cleaners on the market, but they are not essential and freshwater will suffice.
The main thing is that you get rid of the salt as this can degrade the suit over time.
Once washed and rinsed, you need to hang your suit up to dry over a washing line. Bear in mind that you must use a thick clothes hanger, to ensure that the corners of the hangers do not wear through the shoulders of the suit.
Squeeze out the excess water of the arms and legs and leave it to dry for your next use, making sure to turn it inside out halfway through the drying process to ensure that you don’t get into a damp suit.
It is worth mentioning that you shouldn’t leave your wetsuit to dry in direct sunlight as this can further damage the suit.
If you’re putting your wetsuit away for a long period of time, for instance, after the summer season you need to ensure that the wetsuit is bone dry and left on a suitable thick hanger out of direct sunlight.
This will simply prevent the suit from going moldy, smelling musty, and will stop you from encountering any nasty surprises the next time you want to wear it. A damp suit left at the back of a cupboard is a breeding ground for mold.
The last, but potentially the most controversial piece of advice for maintaining wetsuit quality, is do not pee in your wetsuit.
Sure, it’s convenient when you need to go to the bathroom and you’re already in the water – but over time, the acids within urine can be damaging to the suit.
A good quality wetsuit will only last as long as you look after it, so be sure to follow these simple steps!
Something to consider when purchasing a wetsuit is how durable it is. As an investment that you want to make last, you should always ensure that you’re buying a good quality wetsuit.
A good indication of whether a product is durable or not is to check the product reviews section.
Generally speaking, if a customer has had a good or bad experience with the wetsuit that you are considering buying, then it is highly likely that they will have left a review telling you so. Product reviews reveal more than just information about that certain product, too.
For instance, if a person has experienced bad customer service from a brand, then they will likely tell you so!
Do your own research and thoroughly check the product reviews section to get a better understanding of the brand itself as well as the product before going ahead with your purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finally, before we go, we are going to give you the answers to the two questions we get asked the most about wetsuits.
How should a wetsuit fit?
A wetsuit needs to be as tight as possible. This is because if the material is too loose it’ll allow water into the suit that’ll not only make you cold but will also slow you down.
A good wetsuit allows the water to seep into the suit slowly and keeps it like a bubble of warm water around you. That’s why it’s called a wetsuit!
If the material is too loose, anything other than a skin-tight wetsuit will allow freezing cold water into the suit too quickly and will make you freeze cold. Your body needs time to adjust to the temperature, which is what a good wetsuit will allow for.
With women’s wetsuits, the two main areas where it’s most likely to be ill-fitting (due to women’s different body shapes) are the top of the chest where shoulders/collar bones are and the lower back. You shouldn’t be able to grab a handful of the suit on the lower back – it’ll just let water in.
A general rule with wetsuits is that they should fit like a second skin: smooth, no bunching, and no rolls. However, that being said, your wetsuit might feel restrictive when you first put it on, but it will loosen when you get into the water.
Do you wear anything under a wetsuit?
The option is entirely up to you! The majority of people tend to wear a swimsuit under a wetsuit for the added support that a bikini provides.
If you have a bigger bust, then it is likely that you will want the extra support, particularly as water sports such as surfing can be high-intensity.
Alternatively, you could wear a rash vest under your wetsuit. Some people prefer to wear rash vests under their wetsuit as an extra precaution to stop their wetsuit rubbing and causing them discomfort.
However, it is worth noting that a good quality neoprene wetsuit will never rub against your skin, as although they should be tight, a neoprene wetsuit should be soft to the touch and will expand and become more comfortable once you get into the water.
Lastly, some people don’t wear anything under their wetsuit and go completely commando! So the option is entirely up to you.
The most important thing is that you are comfortable and warm in your wetsuit and are ready to take on any of the water sports of your choice!