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How to Choose a Wetsuit Size

   January 28th, 2016   Posted In: How-to   Tags: , , ,

Selecting the correct wetsuit size can be tough, especially for first time wetsuit buyers. Wetsuits fit tighter than clothing, and the wetsuit size will usually be one or two sizes bigger than clothing. Even a perfect fitting wetsuit will be a bit tough to get on and off; it has to be that way, since wetsuits work by trapping water between the suit and skin, creating an insulating layer of water warmed by body heat.


How to find your wesuit size

Use these following tips to make sure you buy the right wetsuit size:


Selecting a wetsuit size based on weight alone is unreliable. We highly recommend using body measurements whenever possible.


Sizing for Full Wetsuits and Springsuits:


  • Height and chest are the most important measurements.


  • Measure your chest at the widest point, with the tape gently snug.


  • Regarding length, it’s generally OK if the suit is a little on the long side. It’s generally NOT OK if the suit is too short. It will likely be uncomfortable in the crotch and neck.


  • If in between two sizes, take the larger size.


Sizing for Tops:


  • The chest measurement is most important.


  • Height is less important for tops, so as long as it’s close the fit should work.


Sizing for Shorts:


  • Waist measurement is most important.


  • Height is irrelevant for short sizing.


Sizing for Boots:


  • Order your regular shoe size. If you are a half size, round DOWN to the nearest whole size.


  • Wetsuit boots are not made in half sizes. Neoprene (wetsuit material) is stretchy and will stretch a half size.


  • Wetsuit boots should fit slightly tighter than regular shoes.


Sizing for Gloves:



  • If in between sizes, round down to the smaller size.


Need help figuring out your wetsuit size? Call, E-mail, or chat with one of our wetsuit experts for sizing advice. We’re happy to help!

Lauren Belt

Merchandiser at Wetsuit Wearhouse
When Lauren's (LoLo) not picking out the latest and greatest wetsuits or being the social media queen for Wetsuit Wearhouse, you can find her outdoors running, hiking, or reading a good book. She also spends her time practicing yoga and scouring the web for travel deals.


  • Russell says:

    I live in western Washington. Just starting kayaking. 62 y/o, 180lbs., 6′ tall, 32/32 pants size, 42 inch chest. Need help buying my first wetsuit.

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hey Russell,

      Thanks for reaching out about this and that’s awesome that you’re starting kayaking! Please send an email to our customer service, service@wetsuitwearhouse.com, or give our service team a call at 866-906-7848 and they will help you find exactly what you’re looking for! Thank you!

  • george smith says:

    I’m looking to add a second shorty (original is 2 mm and no stretch), I’m looking at 2.5 mm with stretch. I am on chemo maintenance and dexamethasone tends to shift excess weight from arms, legs and butt to waist and underarms. Kidney Dr. has me cancelling water loss pill so some fluid weight tends to stay in belly area. Hence shape is pear/apple! Height is 5.9 and chest size is 44+
    The one you highlight has sizes jumping from 1xl to 2 xl but skips the xls size which would appear to best match my needs.
    I am willing to skip the sale price if there is another xls which would match my needs.

  • Carson woods says:

    I have a 41″ chest, 35″ waist, I’m 71″ tall,
    I ocean swim on Long Island Ny and water gets as cold as 60 degrees when I swim, what full suit do you recommend?

  • Paul says:

    What size would 5’9″ height and 37/38″ chest get for a 4/3 fullsuit used for surfing?


  • jeff says:

    I’m 6’9″, 230 lbs — any wetsuit out there that’s going to fit me? Thanks!

  • Tammi says:

    Thanks for the quick delivery. However, this suit was just to small in the bust, so I am returning. (neosport shorty spring suit, 2mm) , I am 5’1″ and have a 42 top and size 12 bottom/short waisted. I need a spring 1mm suit for Arizona swimming/aerobics in winter in outdoor pool. 2mm I feel will be to thick for what I need. Any suggestions appreciated…so I can re-order something that will work.

  • Zane Frye says:

    Got a customer I’m trying to fit with a wetsuit. He needs a 3mm full suit. Measurements are chest: 55, waist: 58, hips: 54 and inseam: 34. He’s 74″ tall, weight 380. Do you have a suit that will fit, and if so, could you provide a price?

  • Bill Harrell says:

    Want to get a little shoulder and arm strength (rotator cuff)tear.some respiratory problems no submerging. 52y/o male 52 chest Where can I find a top?

  • Jean Weir says:

    Where do I find a size chart?

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Jean,

      Thanks for asking! You can find size charts when you click on an actual product and scroll down to the description of the product and click the Size Chart tab. Since all of the brands we offer have different size charts, we do not have a universal size chart to go off of. If you need any help with sizing or how to choose a size, feel free to contact our customer service either via email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or phone, 866-906-7848. Thank you!

  • janete says:

    I’m interested in the Women’s Rip Curl G-BOMB Cap Sleeve Springsuit.
    My measures are 5’3″ height / 134 lbs/ 37″ chest (bust) / 31″ waist
    What is the correct size for me?

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Janete,

      Based on your measurements, you should go with a size 12. Unfortunately we do not have a size 12 in the G-Bomb Cap Sleeve Springsuit. We are currently checking with our brand rep to see if we will be getting any size 12’s in soon and we will let you know! Thank you!

  • art says:

    Water temp 55-60 degrees .lake Washington winter swimming for 15-20 minutes-dock to buoy and return
    age 82
    Want full suit
    170 lbs with protruding belly , thin legs and no butt(smile)
    waist 39

  • ANGELA says:


  • Ingrid Hohe says:

    I surf in San Diego, 68 years old female, broke my neck and back. Was 5’9″ but since my accident now 5’6″ and about 138 poundage. Looking at 4/3mm Women’s Billabong SYNERGY Full Wetsuit
    $159.95 size 10. You think that would be a good choice…can get down to 57 in the winter. It is easier to keep my spine warmer than cooler.
    Thanks for your advise.

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Ingrid,

      You could probably order a size 10, but in order for us to tell you with certainty to get that size we will need your bust measurement. You can either let me know here in the comments or you can reach out to our awesome customer service team and they will be able to help you get just what you need. Feel free to either call at 866-906-7848 or email at service@wetsuitwearhouse.com. Thank you!

  • Rebecca says:

    Do you have a size chart? I can’t find it.

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      You can find size charts when you click on an actual product and scroll down to the description of the product and click the Size Chart tab. Since all of the brands we offer have different size charts, we do not have a universal size chart to go off of. If you need any help with sizing or how to choose a size, feel free to contact our customer service either via email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or phone, 866-906-7848. Thanks!

  • Jeremy says:

    Hi. I’m looking to buy my first wetsuit. I’ll be using it on the southern coast of South Korea, with winter water temperatures in the low to mid 50’s F. Mainly for cleaning boat bottoms plus recreational use, so a couple of hours at a time in the water.

    I’m 6’6, 200-210 lbs
    44″ chest
    38-40″ waist depending on time of year

    The Henderson 7mm Thermoprene suit in XLT appears to be the closest fit for both size and use… but will my sometimes slighty larger waist measurement be a serious issue?

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Jeremy,

      Thanks for asking! The 7mm Henderson Thermoprene suit is a perfect suit for what you need. It will be durable for cleaning and it also has a good bit of stretch for some recreational use. The XLT should do it and you don’t have to worry about your waist measurement. Chest measurement is almost always more important than the waist so you should be all good to go! Thank you again and have a great week.

  • Dezzy says:

    So I’m looking at a Roxy springsuit 2mm arm and the bottom is like shorts. I’m 5’7 about 165lbs, I wear a 38C in my bra and a size 9/10 in juniors size pants. Do you think the size 14 would work for me? The suit I’m looking at is a zip front.
    Thanks In advance

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Dezzy,

      Thanks for asking! Based on the suit you are looking at and your measurements, I would suggest first trying the size 12 and not the 14. If you need any additional help, please feel free to contact our customer service team either via phone, 866-906-7848, or email, service@wetsuitwearhouse.com. Thank you!

  • Ken Mahrer says:

    Hi! I am looking to purchase a men’s shorty wet suit. I am 69, a master swimmer and have been a master swimmer for about 25 years. I am 6 ft, 190 lbs, 45-inch chest, 35-inch waist. I am going to be swimming in a small pond continually fed by a stream. The pond is the result of a man-made dam with a continuously running spillway so the water never warms up. I would guess the water temp is in the high 50’s. I have swim in this pond twice, both I times I swam a number of traverse, lasted about 20-30 minutes but it was COLD and I barely got used to the water! I want to stay in longer and get a real workout. My wife and I agree I should get a wet suit. I think a shorty will be enough. Also, we are budget limited to $50-$100’s. What do you recommend, including size, please.

  • Roz says:

    Hi looking for a ++size ladies suit. 165cm tall – 130kg uk size 24. Kayaking inner Hebrides in Scotland so v. Cold. Thanks roz

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