If you’re a lover of watersports, there’s one piece of kit that you should probably have hanging around for your next adventure.
- Top 10 Best Wetsuits In 2020 Review
- 1 O’Neill Men’s Reactor 3/2mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuit for SUP
- 2 O’Neill Men’s Psychofreak 3/2mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuit for Wild Swimming
- 3 Bare Men’s Velocity 5mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuits for Swimming
- 4 O’Neill Men’s Reactor II 3/2mm Wetsuit – Best Entry-level Wetsuit
- 5 Henderson Men’s Thermoprene 3mm Wetsuit
- 6 NeoSport Men’s Premium Neoprene 5mm Wetsuit
- 7 Scubapro Men’s Everflex Steamer 5/4mm Wetsuit
- 8 XCEL Men’s Thermoflex Ultrastretch 7/6mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuits for Cold Waters
- 9 Bare Men’s Velocity 7mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuit for Diving
- 10 Mares Men’s Flexa 5/4/3mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuit for Women
- Best Wetsuits Buying Guide
- Keep Reading To See Why…
- Is It Really Even A Wetsuit?
- It’s Not What It Seams…
- When you try on a wetsuit, pay attention to the seams. Any pressure points they may cause will be intensified with long wear. Especially when used with a BCD if you’re planning to wear it diving.
- Now The More Expensive Seam Options…
- So What Are The Best Wetsuits?
They provide you with both added warmth and protection. But what’s the best wetsuit for you? No matter how you prefer to spend your time in the water, you’ll be able to enjoy it longer with a wetsuit. Scuba divers, freedivers, surfers, triathletes, and anyone else who spends long in the water can you tell you one key thing.
Water transfers heat far more efficiently than air…
So, unless you’re in a bath or heated pool, you’ll start to get cold after enough time submerged. That’s why we have put together a list of the best wetsuits and an informative buyers guide, to help you determine which wetsuit you should get before heading back out into the 70% of the earth that isn’t dry land.
Top 10 Best Wetsuits In 2020 Review
1 O’Neill Men’s Reactor 3/2mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuit for SUP
The first entry on our list of the best full body wetsuits comes from one of the most well-known and possibly one of the best wetsuit brands, O’Neill.
Made of stretchy 3/2mm neoprene, the Reactor 3/2mm wetsuit will form to your body, allowing for a comfortable and flexible fit, while the flatseam construction will help with chafing that some wetsuits cause.
What’s it best for?
The lighter weight neoprene in the sleeves, and shoulders for freedom of movement, and thicker chest and back panels for warmth make this a great option for those who will need to paddle a surf or SUP board. There are also padded knees to help to keep rips and abrasions to a minimum.
The best wetsuit for SUP…
That’s stand-up paddle boarding for those of you wondering, and yes, this is a great option for those looking to spend most of their time above the water. It’s also great for those surfing or swimming in water ranging from 68°F to 79°F.
With a zipper closure and single ‘Superseal’ neck, you’ll be in and out of this wetsuit far more easily than you’ll be able to pull yourself from the water.
- Krypto Knee Padz for a longer-lasting lifespan.
- Strategic Paddle Zones with thinner, more flexible areas for better movement.
- One of the less expensive options covered here.
- Keep reading for the newer Reactor II series review below.
2 O’Neill Men’s Psychofreak 3/2mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuit for Wild Swimming
O’Neill also makes the Psychofreak 3/2mm wetsuit in a full body similar to the above, but this option has a few nice features that come with the higher price tag.
Constructed of the ultra-stretch and lightweight Technobutter 2 neoprene and Technobutter Air Firewall, this suit is definitely a higher-end wetsuit. Allowing 30% less water absorption, this wetsuit is good down to 60°F while still giving the feel of nothing more than a thin extra skin. We feel this adds up to making the best wild swimming wetsuit.
Is it worth the added cost?
Yes, this wetsuit is way more than twice the price of the above option by the same manufacturer. However, the double ‘SuperSeam’ weld offers watertight stitchless technology to reduce chafing and cold spots even further.
Now all you need are some good waves…
We also like the patented Z.E.N. zip closure system that comes with a drain hole on the short back zipper. There are also super seal cuffs to combat water leakage, making this one of the best wetsuits for surfing out there.
- Legs and body made of TechnoButter 2 Firewall neoprene for freedom of movement.
- Chest and back panels of TechnoButter 2 AIR Firewall neoprene for warmth.
- Watertight Stitchless Technology to reduce chafing.
- Super Seal Cuffs to reduce water leakage.
- Z.E.N. Zip Closure System for comfort and reduced heat loss.
- One of the most expensive options listed here.
3 Bare Men’s Velocity 5mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuits for Swimming
If you need a bit more protection from the cold than the above options, then the 5mm Velocity full body wetsuit by Bare may be just what you’re looking for.
Play in colder water with a thicker wetsuit…
Made entirely of 100% Super-Stretch material that promises to be twice as flexible as the standard neoprene, the Velocity offers you more freedom of movement throughout the skin suit. This feature also offers a better fit than many options, with the progressive full-stretch construction.
The Bare-Fit foundation layer has an ergonomic design, and the pieces are designed with flexibility and abrasion resistance in areas where it is needed most.
But will it keep you warm when diving?
In addition to being 5mm rather than a thinner neoprene, the Velocity Ultra Series is the only mid-priced dive suit featuring a thermal-activated performance of Celliant® Infrared Technology. The increased warmth is provided by minerals woven directly into the fabric that turns wasted body heat into infrared energy.
This all comes together to provide increased warmth, faster recovery times, and an increased stamina for a more enjoyable diving experience. Considering all of this, we would consider this one of the best swimming wetsuits.
Easy on, easy off…
The adjustable Velcro on the GLIDESKIN collar helps keep you warm with the 360-degree neck seal, while the zippered wrists and ankles provide both a tighter fit and make getting in and out of the wetsuit that much easier. There are also knee pads for extra grip and durability.
All in all, a great diving wetsuit…
Double-glued using SECURE-LOCK construction to minimize water entry through the seams, along with seamless underarms, help create a comfortable diving wetsuit when worn with a BCD.
- Super-Stretch Technology for freedom of movement.
- Celliant® Infrared Technology for additional warmth in cold waters.
- Zippered wrists and ankles for easy changing.
- It doesn’t come in yellow.
4 O’Neill Men’s Reactor II 3/2mm Wetsuit – Best Entry-level Wetsuit
This is pretty much the same wetsuit that we reviewed above, just the newest version of the Reactor line.
Best entry-level wetsuit for the price conscious…
The seamless paddle zones’ flexible design allows for both minimizing seams and optimizing placement their placement to give greater comfort and provide ultimate mobility for the wearer.
The quick-dry material gives you a comfortable second skin all day, no matter how many times you’re in and out of the water making this one of the best wetsuits for kayaking.
Will it irritate my skin?
Constructed with flatlock seams to give you fewer itchy spots and seamless paddle zones, this wetsuit shouldn’t leave you with tender skin even if you’re paddling against a current all day. The 83% nylon, 17% spandex material truly does provide an effective and comfortable wetsuit.
- Krypto Knee Padz for a longer-lasting lifespan.
- Strategic Paddle Zones with thinner, more flexible areas for better movement.
- One of the less expensive options covered here.
- A great entry-level wetsuit, but there are better options.
5 Henderson Men’s Thermoprene 3mm Wetsuit
The Thermoprene wetsuit from Henderson is a mid-range price point on this list of the best wetsuits for swimming or playing in temperate waters.
Composed of high compression resistance neoprene, the Thermoprene offers a natural stretch. This wetsuit gives about 75% more flexibility than the standard wetsuit, and the contoured fit helps to keep water exchange to a minimum to keep you warm throughout the day.
Does it make a good base layer?
The highly flexible nature of this wetsuit makes it ideal for wearing under other garments, such as a dry suit or thicker wetsuit for those colder waters. Designed to allow you to slip in and out easily with Lycra trim, and not bother you with the suit squeeze that some looser-fitting wetsuits give when worn as a base layer.
The back zip has a spine pad and zipper seal to keep you comfortable, and the knees have Freedom Flex kneepads for durability. GBS-glued and blindstitched seams help to minimize rubbing points for a longer wear without discomfort, and the collar is adjustable for a perfect fit.
Speaking of the fit…
We really liked the way this wetsuit enhances the bodies physic, and with a wide range of sizes, there’s bound to be one that is a perfect match for you.
- Freedom Flex kneepads for durability.
- GBS construction for better comfort and heat retention.
- Makes a great base layer for those super cold days that require bundling up.
- The tighter fit isn’t for everyone.
6 NeoSport Men’s Premium Neoprene 5mm Wetsuit
The Premium Neoprene wetsuit by NeoSport is yet another entry-level wetsuit when it comes to pricing, being one of the least expensive options available in a 5mm grade thickness.
The jumpsuit design of this NeoSport wetsuit makes it easy to change into, and out of, while the adjustable collar helps keep water exchange around the neck to a minimum. This is great because we all know how quickly we can get chilled when cool water runs down the spine.
What’s the cut?
NeoSport makes this wetsuit from a 5mm premium neoprene with an anatomical cut pattern to provide maximum comfort. The Lycra trimmed ankles and wrist help with getting dressed and undressed, as does the heavy-duty #10 YKK back zipper and adjustable Velcro collar. Because once you’re there looking at the water, no one wants to wait while you fuss around trying to get into your wetsuit.
Will it keep you warm?
In addition to being composed of a slightly thicker 5mm neoprene, this wetsuit has glued and sewn seams to cut down on water exchange, and spot taping at intersecting seams. This all provides added warmth, while also extending the life of the wetsuit.
As with most, the knees are protected, this time with thermal bonded kneepads.
- Thicker grade neoprene for added warmth.
- Thermal bonded knee pads for added longevity.
- On the cheaper end of the spectrum for wetsuits reviewed here.
- Not the best quality zipper.
- Stitching is known to unravel on some users after only a few uses.
7 Scubapro Men’s Everflex Steamer 5/4mm Wetsuit
Scubapro is known for making top-rated wetsuits for diving, and the Everflex is exactly that. If you’re a scuba diver or freediver, you already know the brand is trusted and has a long history of creating quality wetsuits and other diving gear.
A great scuba wetsuit…
Using their Everflex neoprene, this Scubapro wetsuit has an X-Foam formulation for increased durability and better overall health for the wearer. The multi-thickness panels (5/4mm) offer up a better combination of warmth and flexibility for those using a BCD.
Combined with the exclusive Pure Design Concept that requires fewer seams and panels, you’ll find this wetsuit offers a better fit, and the wider range of movement divers need.
Will it last the test of time?
Scubapro stepped up the longevity of this wetsuit by using nylon thread that resists abrasion, and a diagonal back zipper. This last point both helps with ease of getting in and out of the wetsuit and increases the long-term durability as you’re not pulling so hard trying to get it off.
But that’s not all…
If you’re a diver, you’re likely an environmentalist to some degree as well, as we can all see the beautiful corals disappearing due to environmental stresses. That’s why all Everflex steamers are assembled with solvent-free water-based Aqua glue. You can get out there and dive knowing the above is a 100% green process, so you aren’t adding to the damage.
- Everflex material is warmer and constructed in a more environmentally friendly fashion.
- Nylon thread to increase the lifespan of the wetsuit.
- Pure Design Concept offers a better fit and range of motion.
- More expensive than some options listed here.
8 XCEL Men’s Thermoflex Ultrastretch 7/6mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuits for Cold Waters
A considerably warmer option on our list of the best wetsuit reviews comes in with the Thermoflex Ultrastretch wetsuit by XCEL. With 7/6mm Ultrastretch Neoprene, this is one of the best cold water wetsuits on the market.
Can I move freely in this wetsuit?
The DuraFlex knee panels not only minimize wear-and-tear, but are also pre-bent, contoured, and articulated to match your movement. Zippered ankles with lightweight inner flaps make changing in and out of the wetsuit quick and easy, while also keeping the water exchange to a minimum.
XCEL also includes exclusive the Drylock wrist seals, which provide a ‘donut seal’ for added comfort. We found this to be one very comfortable wetsuit for a price that comes in the mid-price range for the 7/6mm neoprene weight.
Does it dry quickly?
XCEL claims that the fiber Plush inner-lining dries 30% faster than standard neoprene, making this a great quick dry wetsuit. For those looking for a daily use wetsuit, this is certainly a feature to keep in mind. There isn’t much worse than starting your day with a damp skinsuit.
Is it a diving wetsuit?
Yes, this is a great option for divers looking to add a layer of warmth and protection from jellyfish due to the tonal printed shoulder graphics. This allows for a reduction in wear-and-tear from BCD straps, improving the life of the wetsuit. The Ultrstretch neoprene also allows for the movement divers require when visiting our underwater friends.
- Ultra-stretch neoprene for greater freedom of movement.
- DuraFlex Knees for increased durability.
- Quick drying for regular use.
- Great for colder water in the 50 to 65-degree range.
- Might be a bit too much wetsuit for warmer tropical waters.
9 Bare Men’s Velocity 7mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuit for Diving
This is the exact same wetsuit as the third entry on our list, only in a 7mm option for use in colder waters. No matter where you like to play in water, Bare has you covered with a wide range of wetsuit thicknesses in the Velocity range.
We like stretchy wetsuits…
The progressive full-stretch construction of Velocity allows for unhindered movement, which is something we all would wish for in a wetsuit. Combined with the Ultrawarmth Omnired™ Infrared Technology, you get the thermal-activated performance detailed in the 5mm listing above.
The warmer you are, the longer you can stay out and play. Mom said so…
The underarms are seamless, providing added comfort and allowing you to wear this wetsuit on its own, with a BCD, or with an additional layer if you’re diving somewhere colder than many people prefer.
We like easy access…
As with the 5mm version detailed above, this wetsuit has both ankle and wrist zippers to help you with the on/off fiasco that comes with many tight-fitting wetsuits. The knees utilize the PROTEKT system to deal with abrasions and tears that can come with tough use, while the embossed back of the knee panels flex to reduce bulk behind the knee when kicking
If you’re headed somewhere with colder water, this may be the best diving wetsuit in this review.
- Super-Stretch Technology for unrestricted movement.
- Ultrawarmth Omnired™ Infrared Technology for thermal-activated heat retention.
- Easy on/off with zippered wrists and ankles.
- 7mm provides too warm of a wetsuit for tropical reef diving.
10 Mares Men’s Flexa 5/4/3mm Wetsuit – Best Wetsuit for Women
Mares makes some of the best wetsuits for diving, which may be why it’s one of the most common wetsuit brands to see in diving shops around the world. The Flexa is a great option for divers who want a wetsuit made by a company that specializes in diving gear.
Is it just for diving?
While any of the wetsuits here can be used for a wide range of activities, some are indeed geared towards specific water sports, and this is no exception. Perfectly at home under a BCD with the comfort BPS (back protection system), you’ll forget you’re not diving naked with this wetsuit hugging you tight.
Will it stretch?
Made of 100% ultra-stretch neoprene, the Flexa provides the range of movement divers need when exploring the underwater world. Combined with the top-notch finish and attention to detail that Mares is known for and you get one great diving wetsuit.
Diving is not just a man’s sport!
The Flexa is also available for women in what Mares refers to as ‘she dives,’ though we aren’t sure when the men’s version isn’t then called ‘he dives.’ Regardless, this may be the best wetsuit for women looking to chase octopus or free dive depth records.
Is it comfortable?
The 5/4/3mm construction allows for thinner material in the areas needed to move freely, while also bulking up in the spots you need kept warm and padded for durability. The back zip is isolated by a neoprene flap to keep it from rubbing your skin under a BCD, while the new rubber tag closure and back zip puller keep your wetsuit secure and comfortable.
- Back Protection System for comfort diving.
- Made of 100% ultra-stretch neoprene.
- 5/4/3mm construction for protection and agility underwater.
- Fashion may not be your first concern, but we’d say this isn’t the slickest looking wetsuit reviewed.
Best Wetsuits Buying Guide
Now that you have read through our list of the best wetsuit reviews, it’s time to discuss various options out there and what specifically you should look for in a wetsuit. To help you with all of this, we have put together the below list of key points and features to consider prior to purchasing your next wetsuit.
- Thickness is always the first concern!
Wetsuits come in a wide range of thicknesses, with some of them utilizing multiple grades of neoprene in the same suite. The easiest way to determine how thick of a wetsuit you should be buying is to first ask yourself:
- Where will you be playing in the water?
If you’re off to play in the warm waters of the tropics, then you’ll be looking for a wetsuit that will add a touch of warmth. Your main concern will likely be protection from the sun and minor abrasions, or from the beautiful yet terrifying jellyfish.
However, if you’re the one who likes to play outside the equatorial regions, then you’ll need some added warmth to allow you to stay out there for extended periods of time. In general, 3mm wetsuits are advised for waters 70°F – 85°F (21°C – 28°C), while 7mm would be required for 50°F – 70°F (10°C – 20°C). The 5mm options obviously fit in between, as do some multi-thickness wetsuits like the last option from Mares that’s rated 5/4/3mm.
- Don’t overheat in the water?
It is completely possible to get too hot when diving, swimming, or surfing if you have on too thick of a wetsuit. This can make it difficult to buy a wetsuit to wear everywhere, so we recommend that, at least for your first purchase, you go with the water temps you’ll be spending the majority of your time in. And don’t forget, if it’s going to be super cold, you’ll need a drysuit, not a wetsuit.
- What about the style?
Let’s face it, it’s a modern world, and your look can be very important to a lot of people. Especially if you plan on Instagramming shots of you underwater. Still, that’s not the only reason to consider the style with wetsuits.
The style of a suite also plays into the fit, and with so many different body types out there, we would highly recommend trying on a wetsuit prior to purchase. If you can rent the same style for a few days of use first, even better.
- Another key factor is the material
Every wetsuit brand has its own ‘special materials’ trademarked to sound amazing, and some truly are. Still, there are really only two types to make a note of. Well, three really, but one doesn’t count in our book.
Keep Reading To See Why…
The majority of wetsuits use a closed cell neoprene, which is more cost effective than the higher-end open cell neoprene. Closed cell neoprene is a bit more rigid, with a rubber like texture, and tends to highly durable. This makes for a great entry-level wetsuit, as well as for use in warmer waters.
The more expensive open cell neoprene is softer and more flexible, allowing it to form to your body better. This adds to the warmth retention and makes moving around underwater less restricted. It is also considerably more expensive, which is why some of these wetsuits above are four times the cost of others. It also more delicate, which explains why so many of the higher-end options have extra padding in the knees.
Is It Really Even A Wetsuit?
The third option for materials is Lycra, which is generally only used in the lightest weight wetsuits, or as lining in some models. Lycra doesn’t offer much in the way of heat retention; instead, it gives you a protection layer for warm waters.
It’s Not What It Seams…
Terrible pun, so apologies for that, swiftly moving on… the seam construction really is an important final point to consider when choosing a wetsuit. And, this is where it gets a bit more complicated with four different types.
The first is the overlock stitch, which is fine for warm water wetsuits and great for providing a nice clean look. The stitching is on the inside, so it’s hidden, but that also means that some water will make it through the seam.
When you try on a wetsuit, pay attention to the seams. Any pressure points they may cause will be intensified with long wear. Especially when used with a BCD if you’re planning to wear it diving.
The second type of stitching is the flat stitch, or flatlock stitch. This stitching is visible on the outside of the suit, affecting the fashionable look but also limiting the rubbing and chafing from seams. The inside seam sits nice and flat against your skin, reducing discomfort caused by overlock stitching. Still only recommended for warm water wetsuits as some water will penetrate, but it at least does not add bulk, which can be uncomfortable when moving around.
Now The More Expensive Seam Options…
The final two styles of seams are the GBS and the GBS with seam tape. First off, GBS stands for glued and blindstitched, which means exactly what you’d expect. The seams are glued and then stitched as well (on the outside) to reduce water seeping in, making this a great option for colder waters.
The addition of seam tape to the GBS inner seams makes the bond even tougher, whilst also further reducing the amount of that sneaky water trying to find your skin.
So What Are The Best Wetsuits?
Hopefully, this review has helped you chose the best wetsuit for your needs, but if you’re still having trouble making a decision, then we’d recommend jumping in some cold water naked to clear your mind.
Following that, you could always go for our recommendation, which is the…
This would make a great option for most users and is the best of the Best Wetsuits currently available.