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How to Choose a Wetsuit Size

   January 28th, 2016   Posted In: How-To  

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 Wetsuit 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 Wetsuit 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 (866-906-7848), E-mail (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com), or chat with one of our wetsuit experts for sizing advice. We’re happy to help!

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.

Latest posts by Lauren Belt (see all)

78 Comments

  • 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?

    thanks

  • 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?
    Thanks

    • 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
    thickness?????
    170 lbs with protruding belly , thin legs and no butt(smile)
    5-10
    waist 39
    chest42

  • ANGELA says:

    ARE THE KIDS SHOES SIZES IN UK OR USA?

  • 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.
    Ingrid

    • 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
    36″inseam.

    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:

    Hi!
    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.
    Cheers,
    Ken

  • 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

  • Michael says:

    Hi Paige,

    I am just under 5’9″
    Weight 170
    Chest 40-42
    Waist-32-34

    I am interested in O’Neal and Xcel and thickness 4/3
    Please suggest the sizes that will fit me

    Thanks

  • Alyssa Ross says:

    I am a 25 Year old Women. 5 Feet and 145 lbs and I need help finding a long sleeve long pants wetsuit size for me.

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Alyssa,

      Thanks for reaching out. What water sport were you looking to use a wetsuit for? And if you need any assistance figuring out what you need, please feel free to contact our customer service team either via live chat, phone (866-906-7848), or email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com). Thank you!

  • Amber says:

    I am in San Diego looking to use a wetsuit primarily for snorkelling. I am 5’1″, 35″ chest, 117 pounds. What type and size wetsuit do you recommend?

    Thanks,
    Amber

  • Jason Fisher says:

    What size should a 5’11” male weighing 320 with a 54 inch chest wear

  • Kay says:

    Hi first wetsuit buyer here. I am looking for a springsuit for my swim instructor son (20y/o). He never worn wetsuit before, and it is a gift.
    We are looking at “2mm Men’s Body Glove Pro3 Shorty Springsuit”. If we go with his chest measurement, according to the Sizing Chart, it’ll be “M”.
    He is 5’8″, 140lb, 38inch chest, 29inch waist. He works out and very fit. But very skinny, and I am worried that water might come in from arms and thighs if we go “M”? Not to mention his middle will be baggy? Thank you!

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Kay,

      The Medium should be OK for him based on his measurements. Feel free to go ahead with the Medium, and if it ends up being a little too large, it can always be exchanged for a Small. If you need any more assistance please contact our customer service team either via live chat, email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or by phone (866-906-7848). Thank you!

  • Douglas Neff says:

    Hey Lauren I am looking to buy a new wetsuit but which one is better glue or stiched

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hey Douglas,

      That depends on the water temperatures. Flatlock seams are great in warm water temps as they allow some water to seep in. Sealed seams (or, glued and blind-stitched) are only glued on the inside of the seam and work well in cool water temps since they prevent water from seeping in. Then there’s sealed and liquid taped seams which you’ll see in a lot of higher end suits and is meant to be worn in cold water temps so none of that cold water seeps through keeping you warmer, longer. This blog post also touches on the different types of wetsuit seams: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/blog/how-to-buy-a-wetsuit/.

      If you need additional help, feel free to write back to me in the comments, or live chat us, call us (866-906-7848) or email us (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com). Thank you!

  • Thomas lum says:

    Hey. I need help picking a wetsuit i have a 3/2 right now but it got big on me & water keep gettin in around the ankle its m/s whats the next size i should get cause im consisting doin winter surfing this yea im 5’1 5’2 but i got wide shoulders can u help me i been looking to buy. A 5/4\3 but dont know what size i need

  • Curtis Mc Master says:

    Hello,
    I am 6’5” 180 pounds and am looking to buy a 4/3mm what’s the best suggested full size suit I should buy

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Curtis,

      Were you looking for a general water sports fullsuit or something more specific? Also, what is your chest measurement? If you were looking for a suit for something like surfing, check out this one by O’Neill: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/PROD/2738.html in a size LT. But, also take note that you should look at your chest measurement before you decide. If you need more assistance, please feel free to reach out to us either via phone (866-906-7848), email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com), or even live chat. Thank you!

  • Sandi says:

    I am trying to figure out what’s the best size for me. I am 5’1″, 200 lbs ( give or take due to swelling around joints from arthritis). chest measures 44.5″, waist is 44″, hips 46″. What would be the best size. I need a suit for swimming and aerobic activity in pools ranging from 62-82 degrees. need front zip due to joint issues. Is a fullsuit better than the top/bottom options? thanks

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Sandi,

      Based on your measurements and needs, I would highly recommend that you look into getting a custom wetsuit. If you’re swimming in the 60s, a 3mm front zip fullsuit would do well. And if you’re swimming in the high 70s, lower 80s, a top and bottom combination would be best. Here is a link to our custom wetsuits: https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/wetsuits/category/custom-wetsuits.html. Feel free to contact our customer service team for additional help either via phone (866-906-7848), live chat, or email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com). Thank you!

  • john Podlipec says:

    Hi I am looking for a 5/4 wetsuit for winter surfing.
    my measurements don’t line up with a specific size. 6′ 180lb 151/2 neck . 38 chest 40 hip and… ugh 35″ waist.. I used to wear MT but fear my old 32″ waist has grown while nothing else has.

  • skylar says:

    so is weight more important to consider than height?

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Skylar,

      Actually, chest and height are the most important measurements to consider when figuring out what size wetsuit to order. Go off of those first and then your weight. Thank you!

  • Jordan Barker says:

    Hello,
    I’m a 30 year old woman who is 5’1″, 163lbs, wear a 40D/DD bra, and am usually a size 16 or 18. I’m looking for a wetsuit to wear in warm waters around Bimini. Mostly just for snorkeling. Is there anything that would fit me?

  • IGNACIO MAGAÑA says:

    I am looking a 2mm Women’s Body Glove PRO 3 Dive Shorty Springsuit
    PRODUCT CODE: 13173W for my dougther. She is 110 lbs and 5.25″. The 5/6 its fine ?

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Ignacio,

      That should work for your daughter. What is her chest measurement? That will also determine if this shorty will fit. Please feel free to contact our customer service team either via phone (866-906-7848) or email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com). Thank you!

  • Heather Devine says:

    Hello!
    I am looking to purchase a plus size wetsuit for kayaking. I am female, 5′ 1/2” in height, and I weigh 162 lbs. My bust size is 43″ (42D bra size), my waist size is 38″, and my hips are 45″. So I am short and stout! The lake where I plan to kayak is glacier fed and quite cold. In summer it is about 70 degrees F, but that is the warmest that it gets. I am thinking that the thickness should be 4-5mm…? Do you have a wetsuit that will fit me? Thanks in advance! hd.

  • Kat Thompson says:

    Hi, I’m looking to buy my first wet suit. I’m 5’3, 170 lbs, and a 36DD. I’ve been looking at 5mm and 3mm suits, preferably a 5mm. Would you so kind as to help me out? And point me to a suit you suggest for my size? Thanks

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Kat,

      Yes, we would love to help! First, what do you plan on using the wetsuit for? Surfing? Dive? Paddle? Once we know what water sport you are looking to use the wetsuit for, we can help guide you in the right direction. Or, feel free to contact our customer service team either through live chat, email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or call 866-906-7848. Thank you!

  • Peggy says:

    Hi. I am looking for a flexible warmer wetsuit for swimming in 60-70 temps. I am 5’4” Measurments 40 34 40. Thank you so much!

  • Jeff Molitor says:

    I am in need of a suit for 68-72 degree water. My dimensions are a bit unusual, 5’10” 122 lbs chest 34, waist 28. What do you recommend?

  • Joe Fey says:

    Hi Kat – This will be my first wetsuit. I need it for a mountain lake that we will be riding wave runners on. Just need something to keep the chill off in early summer and late fall when going on a long ride. I’m 5’7 weigh 230 lbs, and have a 47″ chest, 40″ waist. What thickness and size would you recommend? Also, if I buy two sizes – to decide fit, can I return one of them? Thanks in advance for your help.
    Joe

  • Teresa says:

    I am a 6 ft tall female. What size full suit would I order?

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Teresa,

      What watersport would you need a fullsuit for? Also, what is your chest measurement? Once I know that information, I can guide you to the best possible wetsuit for you. Thank you!

  • Mike says:

    Hi Lauren, I am looking for a wetsuit for kayaking, but would likely to use it for a little canyoneering as well. My chest:waist ratio seems difficult to match. I am a male, 5′ 8-1/2″ tall, 158 pounds, 30 inch waist, 42 inch chest, 31 inch inseam. Should I get a full wetsuit or a top/bottom combo? Any thickness recommendations? Thank you.

  • Emily says:

    Hi! I bought a wetsuit recently from your site. It was the 3/2 Juniors Billabong Synergy size 12g. I’m 5’0 and the 12 fits pretty good all over except in my lower back. Theirs a gap between the wetsuit and my lower back. I heard it’s not good to have air gaps as it will keep the wetsuit from really keeping you warm. Any suggestions? I need one by the last week of June! Thanks!

    • Lauren Belt says:

      Hey Emily,

      Based on what you are saying, I recommend calling our customer service team at (866) 906-7848 for some help. They will be able to ask some questions about the fit and make a recommendation. IF the wetsuit fits like a second skin everywhere else, and a small pocket if air is at the lower back, it shouldn’t be a problem. However, if there is looseness or wrinkles around other places, the suit may be too big and you would need to try a smaller size. Hope this helps. Please do not hesitate to reach out!

      Thank you!

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