With such a vast selection of women’s wetsuits available, it can be hard to know which wetsuits are the best quality, most comfortable, most affordable and most suited to you and your chosen watersport. If you pardon the pun…
The best wetsuits are manufactured at the highest specification, featuring high-tech neoprene technology to keep you as warm and mobile as possible, whether for surfing, open water swimming, windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding and more.
What makes a good wetsuit for women?
Whether you’re buying your first-ever wetsuit, updating your collection, or adding in a new wetsuit for a new watersport, the markings of a good quality wetsuit should also be a top priority.
The criteria for a good wetsuit are durability, flexibility, warmth, affordability, comfort and style.
We’ll explain the criteria we’ve selected when reviewing the best women’s wetsuits, but if you want to jump straight to the reviews, click here.
When investing in a watersports kit, you want it to last. You want the neoprene of your wetsuit to be of good quality to withstand the harsh elements and to maintain its quality. The cheaper you go, the less durable it will be. The better care you take of it, ie, rinsing it out with fresh water, letting it fully dry inside out and the right way and not drying it on radiators will add to the longevity of the wetsuit.
Having a good warranty with a reputable brand will aid in any repairs or returns if you’re unsatisfied with your wetsuit.
Look for a wetsuit with high-quality stitching and taping at the seams so the panels of the wetsuit are held together in the best way to ensure quality, and your wetsuit will be less likely to let in water over time.
No one wants to squeeze into an ill-fitting or inflexible wetsuit, the bottom line is if your suit doesn’t fit properly or is restricting your movement you’re less likely to spend time on the water, which is a big thumbs down from us.
We want you to be able to wriggle into your wetsuit at a moment’s notice. Tide waits for no man!
Overhead mobility is crucial for enabling flexibility and sporting performance, particularly when it comes to the overhead paddle stroke of surfing, the agility of movement in tacks and gybes in windsurfing, and kite positioning in kite surfing.
The holy grail of wetsuit criteria.
If it’s not warm enough, it’s not good enough.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for a shorty or a long wetsuit. If you’re going to go to the effort of putting a wetsuit on, you want it to add to your watersports experience.
Cheaper wetsuits won’t maintain your body heat as well as higher spec wetsuits due to leaky seams, poor quality lining, and thin neoprene.
The thickness of the neoprene will largely determine the warmth factor, but even thin 1mm summer wetsuits can give you warmth if they are good quality.
It also matters where the thickness lies. The neoprene needs to be tight to the body around the kidneys and essential organs, almost acting like a body warmer/gilet protecting the parts of the body that lose heat the quickest.
Super warm premium winter wetsuits will feature a lining. The lining is an extra insulative layer on the inside of the wetsuit. The materials will be super stretchy, lightweight and quick drying.
Each wetsuit brand has its own variation of lining and it’s a great addition to any wetsuit to ensure maximum warmth. They can be called many different things like; TechnoButter from O’Neil, Flashbomb from RipCurl, and Graphene from Billabong. Some are softer, thinner, thicker or stretchier than others.
There are different types of seams on a wetsuit such as; flat lock, blind stitched, taped and sealed. These can make a big difference to the flexibility and warmth of a wetsuit
Laying the neoprene seams on top of each other and stitching through the two pieces of material.
+ Durable and less likely to split at the seam
+ Some flexibility, but not the most manoeuvrable
– Can let more water in than other suits, mainly reserved for summer suits
Blind Stitched Seams
High-end stitching on winter wetsuits for maximum warmth
+ Minimal leaking, less water in = less cold
+ Maximum warmth as the air and water trapped between your body and the suit is protected
+ Holds a high flex value even for the thickest wetsuits
– Higher price point due to higher specification materials
Stretchy tape is applied to the inside seams to double up the protection of the seams. Used by a lot of modern suit designers.
+ Durability is high as the seams of wetsuits we’ve tested seem to come less unstitched over time if the addition of taping is there too
+ Highly watertight as the taping gives an additional layer of protection from cold water
– Again, wetsuits will sit at a pricier level but will be worth it
– If dried incorrectly, for instance on a radiator, the taping will come apart from the wetsuit and negatively impact the insulation of the wetsuit
Liquid rubber is poured over the seams, sometimes both inside and out in sealed wetsuits.
+ Very watertight, as the sealed wetsuit seams let less water in
– Not as durable as the sealing can come off if improper care is taken of the wetsuit, especially during extreme temperature changes
For a 1mm+ shorty wetsuit, anything above £90 is a good marker, anything below this might merely be a fashion item with little to no functionality or warmth. Unless the item is in the sale of course!
For a 3/4mm wetsuit anything above roughly £120 will be good quality. The higher you go for a 3/4mm suit the more flexibility, breathability, and quick-drying technology you’re going to get.
For a 4mm+/steamer wetsuit, try and go for something over £200 if you’re looking to stay as warm as possible. Extremely good suits can be £400+, but you will feel the difference.
Comfort & Style
Make sure the wetsuit you have chosen properly fits you. Try it on before you rip the labels off, and do some practice paddle strokes, swim strokes or whichever body positions your watersport demands.
Get jiggy in the changing rooms, and even practise your pop-up if there’s space. You may feel silly dancing around in the surf shop, but you’ll feel much more silly when your wetsuit digs in and restricts movement on the water.
How your wetsuit should fit:
- Not digging in under your armpits
- Allows full overhead extension
- Allows full squat mobility without any pinching in the hips
- Does not feel mega tight around the neck and are able to breathe normally
- Doesn’t feel overly tight on the ankle seams
- Doesn’t unzip if you lean forward or flex your shoulders
- Doesn’t punch up too much around your waist or kidneys (this is where the wetsuit needs to be tight, to keep your midriff warm)
Choose a colour and pattern you think is 10/10 and you’re good to go. If you want to read more about wetsuits, read our guide on what to look for when buying a wetsuit
The best women’s wetsuits in the UK
So what are the top women’s wetsuits in the UK?
The top wetsuits we tested were awarded to the following brands; Ripcurl, ION, Finisterre, Srface, Need Essentials, Hurley, Orca, and Mystic.
These wetsuits are mostly for general use for sports like surfing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, wakeboarding and kayaking.
needessentials Women’s Spring 1.5 Wetsuit
Best Women’s Summer Shorty Wetsuit
+ Incredibly comfortable fit
+ Perfect amount of neoprene for summer watersports in warmer climates
+ Very sustainably made with recycled materials and limestone neoprene
– Not suitable for individuals who want a shorty with more coverage over the bum. This wetsuit is a cheeky fit but doesn’t reveal too much.
From £79.99 – View on needessentials
The wetsuit is made from CarbonBack rubber and limestone. Its recyclability gives it tremendous durability.
Upon wearing it feels very smooth on the skin, it features high-quality seam taping, with quadruple stitching in some areas making the lifespan of the wetsuit much higher than regular designs.
Need essentials’ entire ethos is about only producing what we need, and nothing to excess, so this wetsuit is built to last.
The use of sustainable limestone neoprene ensures quality 360-degree stretch so post-surf yoga in your wetsuit is totally a comfortable option.
It’s so flexible that when we were windsurfing, we didn’t crave the “I wish I was just in a surf bikini with the warm wind on my skin” feeling. It has a “barely there” feel that doesn’t get in the way of your adventures.
We loved this shorty. It’s designed for warm to tropical waters, ie, 18-24 degrees celsius. The neoprene is lightweight so there’s nothing to fight against when you’re paddling and moving in the wetsuit.
Providing exemplary protection from wind, sea, sand and sun whilst giving you an extra layer of thermal insulation. You’d be surprised at how much difference 1.5mm of neoprene makes in the water.
£79 – A highly reasonable price for a high-quality wetsuit from an ethical brand on a mission to change the world of overproduction
Comfort & Style
Its simple black, timeless and minimalist design lines up with the brands’ ethos of not negatively impacting the environment and doesn’t come with excess features.
Its front zip is super easy to take on and off and isn’t too tight over the working parts like shoulders, hips, wrists and neck.
It is so buttery soft on the skin, a benefit of working with high-quality recycled materials.
Srface Yulex Eco 4/3 Full Wetsuit
Most Eco-Friendy Wetsuit
+ Reinforced knee padding gives protection for watersports goers who put on their wetsuits during the harshest conditions and aren’t afraid to fall off and challenge themselves
+ Buttery soft recycled neoprene makes for a super comfortable and ethical wetsuit
+ High-quality hollow fibre plush thermal insulation lining unique to Srface
+ Water Based, non-toxic and non-polluting glue on all seams
– Wrists are initially quite tight but they do loosen off after the suit gets wet a few times, this is due to the wrist, ankle and neck taping, there to make the wetsuit as watertight as possible
– The suit doesn’t nip in at the waist too much on smaller bodies, so isn’t the most flattering wetsuit we’ve tried, but functions over fashion every time!
From £289 – View on Srface
Taped GBS inner seams limit leaking and give longer life to the wetsuit making it extra-durable. Taking good care will bring out the best in this wetsuit. All Srface ECO wetsuits are made with Yulex material, which is a neoprene-free flexible foam made from natural rubber ethically harvested from rubber trees in Sri Lanka.
Super buttery entry into the suit due to soft materials makes it very easy and quick to put on. A rare find in a thicker mm wetsuit.
When faced with the choice between another brand of wetsuit and the Srface suit, our testers always found it easier to wriggle into the Srface suit vs regular brands.
The eco-friendly neoprene blend is highly flexible and doing handstands, paddle strokes, swimming or any sort of watersports movement is entirely unrestricted meaning you can perform to your maximum and be warm.
The wetsuit is double-stitched on the outside seams and taped on the inside seams.
A seriously warm 4mm. Made with trademarked Yulex foam and Yulex spandex and nylon. It’s almost a 5mm in terms of insulation but boasts the elite manoeuvrability of a 4mm wetsuit. This is incredibly rare. We liken it to the hurley advantage in this respect, but just with tons more warmth as it’s a 4mm, not a 3/2mm.
The front zip element means no water will escape in at the back, and you’re not at risk of unzipping mid-session. The front zip is super easy to get in and out of and do up and undo. The embossed Srface logo looks very professional perched right under the button-down zip feature.
Available from £289 – a great price for an ethically made, eco-friendly high quality wetsuit.
Comfort & Style
Minimalist block black colour styling, with embossed Srface logo on the breast. A lovely fit around the neck and isn’t too tight and won’t restrict breathing and movement.
There is a unique “sheen” to this wetsuit that you don’t normally see on black wetsuits and makes for a very modern, eco-minimalist style vibe, which we love.
The wetsuit features an adjustable toggle around the neckline for personalised sizing, so it’s a very comfortable fit.
We’re giving very high scores in the comfort department.
Hurley Advantage Plus 4/3mm Fullsuit
Best Women’s Spring/Summer Long Wetsuit
+ Quick drying interior traps heat between the yarns and dries the wetsuit quickly after submerging
+ Super stylish and unique leopard print flattering design
– Slightly long in the leg for a 5”5 average height woman, our testers found the end of the suit met the lower part of the ankle and sometimes had to be rolled up, but didn’t affect the usability of the wetsuit
From £300 – View Hurley Wetsuits on Surfdome or Ann’s Cottage
The seams of this wetsuit are 100% bonded for extra durability as they repel water, increasing the lifespan of your wetsuit. The stitching is very high quality for such a flexible wetsuit.
The advantage is a beautifully flexible wetsuit that moves with your body as you surf. Made with EcoFlex 2 material, Hurley’s most flexible material.
When we tested it, we found that it was very unrestrictive to put on and was always the preferred choice to slip on, especially when you’re choosing between two wet wetsuits. Even when not fully dry, the Advantage from Hurley was a breeze to slip into.
Every overhead paddle stroke is pure unrestricted bliss. The only issue one of our testers had was on the left pectoral area the seam of the front zip rubbed against the skin when the wetsuit was not worn with a bikini underneath, but that being said this is after many many repetitions of a paddle stroke in long term surf testing environments.
Double glued and blind stitched seams make for a very warm and insulated 3/2mm. Highly insulated spring suits are very rare and this is a great find if you’re looking for the highest quality 3/2mm to keep you as warm as possible. We found it took many hours to feel the cold in this 3/2mm in 19-degree waters.
£300 – Hurley is a very high-end brand known for their performance and style and this wetsuit is made with their brand-new Ecoflex material. You’ll be grateful you spent the money when you’re surfing, paddleboarding or windsurfing etc.
Comfort & Style
Chest zip entry makes for a watertight and easy entrance and exit to the wetsuit. Blending pink, black and grey leopard print you will certainly stand out from the crowd on the water.
Finisterre Women’s 5mm Yulex Hooded Wetsuit
Best Women’s Hooded Winter Wetsuit
+ All in one hood, no need to remember an additional hood or hat
+ 100% natural yulex rubber, emitting 80% fewer co2 emissions
+ The ankle loops are a SAVIOUR for pulling on the ankles of your wetsuit, especially when your hands are cold and are unable to use a normal muscular function to get in and out of challenging neoprene
+ Peaked cap hood for protection from the sun, we found this useful when surfing in poor visibility and direct sunlight
– Sizing can be a little on the tight side, particularly with the tension wrist and ankle bands. It would be worth trying before you buy. Online Finisterre says the suit is a tight fit for the first 10-15 wears but will loosen off after that time period but it’s worth trying the wetsuit on for length, as it could come up short on the body if you’re between sizes.
From £395 – View on Finisterre
Double-blind stitching throughout the entire wetsuit makes for less wear and tear, plus taped seams on every seam increase the durability of the wetsuit and make it more bulletproof to the elements. This dual-action method of the Finisterre wetsuit is what makes it so unique, blending warmth and durability with flexibility and style.
Designed to be flexible over the shoulders to aid paddling, the Nieuwland is sculpted for activity. It is very thick across the chest and back panelling with 6.5mm neoprene, so it won’t feel like the most flexible wetsuit in the world but you are gaining warmth for what you’re losing with flexibility.
This wetsuit is specifically designed for 7-11 degree celsius sea temperatures and is one of the warmest wetsuits Finisterre makes. Made entirely from natural Yulex Pure rubber, there is 6.5mm neoprene over the chest and back panel and it features a full whack of neoprene of 4.5mm on the arm and leg areas.
£395 – Quite pricy but that’s what you pay for a quality wetsuit
Comfort & Style
Very eye-catching royal blue and shocking red interior means you’ll always locate your wetsuit in the changing rooms!
The front zip means zero chance of water flushing at the back and a stylish modern surf-style look.
ION Amaze Amp 6/5 Back Zip
Warmest Women’s Winter Wetsuit
+ Boiling suit. Super warm, you can go out on the water feeling very safe that you’re not at such an exposed risk of hypothermia in this wetsuit.
+ Quick Drying, high-end thermal protection and insulated Hot_Stuff 2.0 & Plasma_Plush 2.0 lining
– This version only features a back zip option, although some watersport folk love a back zip for ease of exit and entry and feel less claustrophobic. Although, some athletes find back zips flush more when they are in the water and can on rare occasions unzip during sport.
From £493 – View on The SUP Co
Due to the high-tech nature of the suit and the wetsuit being 6/5mm which is premium thickness, you do need to and should take proper care of this beauty.
Washing out the wetsuit with fresh water and letting it air dry will add to its life.
The colours don’t fade no matter how much you use it, which is a massive bonus.
The whole goal of the construction of this suit was to achieve an epic stretch without compromising on warmth.
The suit is uniquely structured with fewer panels than regular suits meaning there is no limit to movement.
They have used their stretchiest internal and external linings to not only maintain but increase the body’s ability to bend and flex when in the suit, especially in an overhead stroke or paddle.
This wetsuit survived a half an hour paddle out to the sup surf breaks that we needed on a sub-zero morning, with no restrictive movements, even with neoprene gloves on. No forearm cramp or shoulder pinching with this ION wetsuit.
Turns out there is a magic secret to optimal warmth in cold seas, and this lies in ION’s super flexible Hot_Stuff 2.0 Thermo lining throughout the arms & legs combined with toasty warm Plasma_Plush 2.0 in the back.
Ideal temperatures for the suit sit at around 3 degrees celsius – 8 degrees celsius.
There is no suit warmer on the market this year. Our testers have reported the suit actively warms you up as soon as you put it on due to the premium high-tech insulation properties. Especially around the midline of the body, your organs feel very protected with the reinforced chest and back panel.
In terms of price, it is amongst the pricer range of wetsuits but for good reason. If you’re going to be chucking yourself into freezing and quite frankly sometimes dangerous temperatures, you want to be protecting yourself with the best kit.
Comfort & Style
The capsule pink, tie-dye esc, the camouflaged pattern is modern, exciting, and stands out, unlike any other wetsuit.
The chest, legs, and neck portion are drenched in deep blue tones, the padded back section is a stylish slate grey and the sleeves are electric pink and grey camo print.
Ranging in sizes from XS, S, M, and L, to XL, ION has catered for all body types.
The lining moulds to your body shape retaining flattery around the waist whilst keeping the suit in as close contact with the skin as possible, for ultimate comfort and style.
Rip Curl Omega 3/2mm
Best Budget Women’s Wetsuit
+ Simple & perfect for first-time or budget wetsuit buying. The wetsuit will benefit you from being protected in the water without hurting the purse strings too much.
+ Flattering colour and simple design
– Back zip means it may flush with water more than a front zip
From £129 – View on Rip Curl
Made of simple wetsuit materials using 80% neoprene and 20% polyamide. This Rip Curl wetsuit will be durable and last a long time, as it doesn’t feature high-tech linings that need more care and attention than standard wetsuits.
The strategic panelling and super stretch neoprene allows for flexibility and won’t limit your mobility as other lower-price wetsuits do.
The wetsuit is a 3/2mm so we define this as a spring or long summer wetsuit to use ideally in 14-17 degree celsius waters. Great for a quick dip when cold water swimming in the winter, or prolonged use in the summer months.
Defined as a cost-effective way of getting in the water. Sitting at around £100 depending on where you purchase it. You’re getting good quality at a lower price point.
Comfort & Style
Very basic design in block black colour with the iconic RipCurl logo on the arm. They also make 3/2mm long women’s suits in colourful prints and patterns if you’re looking for something with more flare.
Orca Openwater Core TRN Women’s Wetsuit
Best Wetsuit for Open Water Swimming
+ The Ultimate Seal collar design features reverse velcro to eliminate any rashes forming around the neck area.
+ Integrated bamboo fibres for a soft feel on skin with Infinity Skin 2 lining
+ Neutral buoyancy to add quality to your swims
– Can fit differently on different body types, must try on before you buy to ensure full ROM for paddle stroke
– Make sure this wetsuit is fully rinsed out due to the high potential for bacteria build-up when sweating and swimming in ponds, rivers, lakes and seas.
From £199 – View on Orca
Yamamoto 39 Cell neoprene is why this wetsuit is so stretchy and malleable, but it needs proper care to last all the tides you plan to swim in. See care instructions on the product for maximum durability expectations.
The Orca TRN features 3mm panels that sustain you with neutral buoyancy. This buoyancy level vastly improves your body position in the water and allows you to glide effectively with each stroke for a faster overall swim session.
The Orca TRN is the most flexible open-water wetsuit on the market. Our research has found that swimmers find it to be the comfiest open-water swimming wetsuit that they have tried, particularly around the shoulders, meaning the range of movement for swimming is never sacrificed.
Using highly elastic materials in the neoprene, the swimmer is fighting against 35-45% less force than regular neoprene wetsuits to maintain their natural swimming stroke, avoiding muscle fatigue and increasing endurance performance. All phases of your swim stroke will be provided with the ultimate mobility.
The Orca TRN is 3mm thick neoprene in the legs and torso and gives you all the insulation you need to maximise the duration of your open water adventures without suffering the ill effects of low temperatures.
£199 – you don’t want to sacrifice quality when you’re out in the open sea without a flotation.
Comfort & Style
Thanks to the Infinity Skin 2 inner lining, you are greeted upon entry to the wetsuit with integrated bamboo fibres for a softer next-to-skin feel whilst providing you with a barrier to the cold. It also plays a role in reducing the build-up of natural bacteria.
Mystic The One Full Suit Zip Free
Best Overall Women’s Wetsuit
+ Features advanced mesh neoprene back panel to reduce wind chill
+ Has “glideskin” neck design for elite levels of comfort
+ 100% waterproof taping in bright aquamarine blue colour
– Not boiling for winter as it is only a 3/2mm. It wouldn’t be safe to partake in cold water sports in this suit, unless for a short time, like a cold water dip.
– Zipfree entry takes some getting used to but is worth it, in the long run
From £299 – View on Mystic Boarding
For all sports, in a blend of seasons.
It’s hard to define one suit that does it all.
Obviously, there are different sea temperatures and different water sports disciplines to consider.
But, if you’re looking to buy a wetsuit that is going to be suitable for partaking in watersports through the English/European summer and the autumn months for watersports, and is just about insulated enough for cold water sea swims in the depths of winter, but not too expensive and serious enough to tackle the sub-zero temperatures then we have the one. Wow, that was a lot to ask for one wetsuit!
We present to you the Women’s Overall winner. This is our chosen wetsuit for windsurfing trips to turkey in the summer where the water and wind can be chilly, and late summer wakeboard sessions in the UK or whatever floats your boat.
GBS stitching (glued blind stitched) ensures no leakages and makes the wetsuit have a longer lifespan. A must-have on a wetsuit prepped for high-intensity and adrenaline sports.
M-flex 2.0 is the most flexible neoprene in Mystics range, they updated it this year to endure maximum movement in the water.
Mystic has included 3/2mm of soft Polar lining, which actively reflects body heat to not only keep you warm initially, but maintain heat throughout sessions. The GBS stitching is the most effective way to ensure minimum water leakage and heat loss.
£299.95 -Amazing price for a multi-functional wetsuit.
Comfort & Style
Comes in sizes XS-XL this zip-free entry suit may take some getting used to when putting it on, but you are rewarded with essentially no leakage.
The Mystic wetsuit comes in an eye-popping pastel lavender hue block colour, the only pastel wetsuit style we’ve seen on the market. The black Mystic artwork on the back panel looks seriously cool and won’t fade over time, no matter how many hours you subject this pastel beauty to blazing sun and gritty sand.
There you have it, your fully comprehensive guide to buying a women’s wetsuit from every category.
All brands feature a wide range of wetsuit styles, thicknesses, colours, lengths and disciplines. If the wetsuit in this guide doesn’t quite meet your criteria, have a surf on their websites or in-store to find your perfect wetsuit match.
Investing in the right wetsuit is something you won’t regret, so take your time to discover the benefits and negatives of the suit you’re interested in.
Remember surf shop workers are always keen to help you make the right choice and with so many incredible, ethical and performance-based brands on the market this year – you are spoilt for choice.
Suit up and we will see you in some fresh neoprene soon!
Watersports Pro is managed by Ollie, who has been in the industry since 2007. A paddleboard and advanced windsurfing instructor, Ollie has travelled the world teaching these sports.
Now based on the South Coast of England, he shares his experience and knowledge on watersportspro.co.uk.
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