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How to Buy a Recreational Swimming Wetsuit

   January 27th, 2016   Posted In: How-To  

How to Buy a Recreational Swimming Wetsuit

A basic recreational swimming wetsuit will help keep the chill off in the ocean or for when you’re playing around in the pool.

 

For general purpose water play, consider an entry-level wetsuit made of Standard Neoprene -or- 30% Stretch Neoprene. If you are swimming laps occasionally, a stretchier suit will be less restricting. Look for a 30-60-or 100% stretch suit depending on your budget. Basically, the stretchier the better!

 

If you are serious about lap swimming, you should instead consider a triathlon wetsuit. Check out our selection of triathlon wetsuits.

 

Depending on water temperature, you might need a full body wetsuit (fullsuit), a springsuit, or a top or bottom.

 

Use the Water Temperature Guide below to determine the type of recreational swim wetsuit you may need:

 

Switch to Celsius

40°+ 48°+ 52°+ 58°+ 60°+ 65°+ 72°+ 80°+
General Watersports
(Surf, Wake, Kite, Etc.)
6/5/4mm
Sealed
5/4/3mm
Sealed
4/3mm
Sealed
& Taped
4/3mm
Sealed
3/2mm
Sealed
3/2mm
Flatlock
Springsuit
Neoprene Top
Poly Top
Rash Guard
SCUBA
8/7mm Full
7mm John
& Jacket
7mm Full
7mm John
& Jacket
7mm Full
5mm John
& Jacket
5mm Full
3mm John
& Jacket
3mm Full
3mm John &
Jacket
3mm Full
Springsuit
Springsuit
Lycra
Bodysuit
Triathlon &
Lap Swimming
5/3mm Full 5/3mm John Neoprene Vest
Kayak &
Paddle
5/4/3mm
Sealed
4/3mm
Sealed
3/2mm
Sealed
3/2mm
Flatlock
Neoprene
Top
Neoprene
Vest
Rash
Guard
General
Watersports
(Surf, Wake, Kite, Etc.)
SCUBA Triathlon &
Lap Swimming
Kayak &
Paddle
40°+ 6/5/4mm
Sealed
8/7mm Full
7mm John
& Jacket
5/3mm
Full
5/4/3mm
Sealed
48°+ 5/4/3mm
Sealed
4/3mm
Sealed
52°+ 4/3mm
Sealed
& Taped
7mm Full
7mm John
& Jacket
3/2mm
Sealed
58°+ 4/3mm
Sealed
7mm Full
5mm John
& Jacket
5/3mm
John
3/2mm
Flatlock
60°+ 3/2mm
Sealed
5mm Full
3mm John
& Jacket
Neoprene
Top
65°+ 3/2mm
Flatlock
3mm Full
3mm John &
Jacket
72°+
Springsuit
Neoprene Top
3mm Full
Springsuit
Neoprene
Vest
80°+
Poly Top
Rash Guard
Springsuit
Lycra
Bodysuit
Neoprene
Vest
Rash
Guard

Learn about wetsuit thickness below!

 

 

Check out this video for more on neoprene types:

 

 

And, here’s some information on seam types!

 

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Lauren Belt

Merchandiser at Wetsuit Wearhouse
Lauren (LoLo) has been picking out the latest and greatest wetsuits and being the social media queen for Wetsuit Wearhouse since 2014. She learned to surf for the first time ever in Costa Rica but she gravitates more towards SUP. When she's not scouring the web for travel deals, you can find her either hiking, running, practicing yoga, studying holistic nutrition or reading a good book outside on a beautiful day.
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22 Comments

  • Avatar Waleska Rivera says:

    I need help to buy a wet suit
    I am 58 years old, goingto Gallapos, ecuador

    Is awetsuit used as a lifeguard? Will I float?

    Are there capri length

  • Avatar avraham says:

    which wetsuits do you recommend suitable for a) SWIMMING laps in home pool (not competition) b) keeping warm in 60F c) easy on-off d) size 3XL?

  • Avatar Ana says:

    I need help getting a wetsuit I need stretchy and easy to pul on you see I have had fibromyalgia for over 30 year and swimming is the best I can do for me but my pool is cold in the winter and can not afford to heat it.
    I need full body with flexibility and at a good price the illness has made me stop working disable.
    Can you tell me if there is a place in San Diego that I could buy a new or use one. Or if I get it from you how hard would it be to exchange if I need too. Thank you

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Ana,

      The best type of suit for swimming, even if recreational, would be a triathlon suit. A fullsuit will take you down to water around 60F. If you want something with a front zipper, take a look at this Henderson suit: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/PROD/AP830WF.html. It won’t be as good for swimming but will be easy to get on and off. We are located in Maryland, at currently do not have any locations on the west coast. However, we do have an easy return/exchange policy, which you can find here: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/returns-exchanges.html. If you need additional help, please feel free to reach out to our customer service team either via live chat, email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or call at 866-906-7848. Thank you!

  • Avatar Kevin says:

    I am a 72 year old man who just started lap swimming in a inside heated pool, say 70 degrees to 80 degrees. I find it very difficult to get in the water because it seems very cold. What type of suit, shorties etc should I get i.e. would a 2mil shorty be to how

  • Avatar Marie says:

    HI I live in Florida and am a recreational lap swimmer, but in the wintertime our clubhouse pool is minimally heated to only 70 degrees which is cold when there is a strong northern wind and you are not use to cold temperatures which quickly drops the water temperature. I swim 100 laps each day which keeps me in the pool for at least 2 hrs. What type of wetsuit should I buy that will not have drag or irritate my underarms with the swimming motion. Thanks

  • Avatar Jaeden says:

    Hi,

    I live in Washington State, and I am wanting to get into free diving. Water temps around here are usually 40-45 and I don’t know much about wet suits. I would really appeciate if you could help me out!!

    Thanks!

  • Avatar George Ann says:

    Hi, do you have any non- neoprene 1mm?

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hey George Ann,

      I’m sorry, but we actually do not have any non-neoprene in 1mm thickness. We offer a couple of 1.5mm pieces from Patagonia’s Yulex line (which is made with 85% neoprene-free material called Yulex) but we can’t 100% say that it won’t cause a reaction. If you’re interested in testing a Patagonia Yulex koozie on your arm or leg to see if you have a reaction or not, feel free to contact our customer service team via phone (866-906-7848) or email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) and they can get you hooked up with the koozie.

      Thank you!

  • Avatar michael says:

    looking for a wet suit for pool lap swimming in winter that won’t have warranty voided by swimming in pool . water can get down to 58

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hey Michael,

      Thanks for reaching out. To answer your comment, unfortunately, to our knowledge, there is no such thing as a chlorine-resistant wetsuit and chlorine use will void all manufacturer warranties. However, the best way to prevent your wetsuit getting damaged from chlorine is to consistently and properly rinse, wash and dry your wetsuit after each use. Let us know if you have any more questions or concerns. We are happy to help!

  • Avatar Bob Loblaw says:

    HI,
    need the lightest vest or top just for ocean swimming in 70 degree temps. I’m middle aged and do not have washboard abs if you know what i mean. is there a suit that doesn’t hug me like a glove but stays a bit stiff in water. so as not to highlight my modest but noticeable stomach? thanks

  • Avatar Melanie Williams Hawkins says:

    I am looking for something for my 85 y.o. Mom, who goes to the YMCA for a water aerobics class several times a week. Pool is heated but she is very cold natured and says she gets cold. I know nothing about water wear clothing, but she has commented that several of the ladies in her class wear a swimming jacket. I am assuming she is referring to a wetsuit jacket. What are your thoughts. Also, when taking measurements for correct size, is the bust measurement taken at fullest part of bust or just under the breast? She is a petite 5’1″ tall. Do your products come in petite sizes? Thank you.

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Melanie!

      You are right, she would definitely benefit from a wetsuit jacket for water aerobics. Here is our entire selection of women’s wetsuit tops to look into getting her: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/wetsuits/category/womens-neoprene-tops.html. If she gets really cold, a long sleeve jacket would make sense (especially a front-zip). If she can get away with core coverage but her arms exposed, I would recommend a front-zip vest. And when taking measurements, she needs to measure her bust at the fullest part, not under. Hope that helps and if you have more questions, please feel free to contact our customer service team either via live chat, email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or call 866-906-7848. Thank you!

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