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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:

  • Measure around your palm.
  • If in between sizes, round down to the smaller size.

Need help figuring out your 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!

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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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220 Comments

  • Avatar Susan Brown says:

    Hi can you help I am looking for wet suit chest size 42 what size would I need

    • Elizabeth Werdnik Elizabeth Werdnik says:

      Hi Susan! What kind of wetsuit were you looking at so I can assist you better? You can also reach out directly to our expert customer service team either via email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or call 866-906-7848 and they can help you find a good match for your water temps and sport. Hope this helps!

  • Avatar Pat says:

    I am helping my daughter find the right suit for surfing off the US west coast. She is 5’5″, bust is about 36″ and weighs about 120 lbs. How do we find a suit to fit, as in order to fit her chest, the suits look like they will be way too long and large in the hips and legs. Is it better to buy separate top and bottom to fit?

    • Elizabeth Werdnik Elizabeth Werdnik says:

      Hi Pat! How about this this Rip Curl Chest Zip in a size 10. That should be warm enough for her during her sessions without compromising her performance like separates might, especially in a high-action sport like surfing. Sizing varies between brands so it can be hard to figure out “your size” in wetsuits when it can vary between brands/styles/etc. If you need additional assistance in finding her a wetsuit, you can also reach out to our awesome customer service team either via email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or call 866-906-7848 and they can help you find more options. Cheers!

  • Avatar Rebecca Caldwell says:

    Hi I’m new to sea swimming here in northern Ireland and looking for my first wetsuit (lots of talk of jellyfish!) I’m 5’5. 157 pounds, chest 44″, waist 37″. Normal UK dress size between a 12 and 14. Unsure to go bigger with a 14 or down for 12. Looking at Gul wetsuits. Any advice appreciated.

    • Elizabeth Werdnik Elizabeth Werdnik says:

      Hi Rebecca! What are the water temps like around this time of year? I am not familiar with Gul wetsuits, but specifically for open water swimming, I would definitely recommend browsing our selection of triathlon wetsuits here. These are specifically designed for your ultimate comfort, warmth, and range of motion when swimming. If you need professional assistance in finding a great wetsuit, also feel free to reach out to our customer service team either via email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or call 866-906-7848. Hope this helps!

    • Avatar Caleb Strickland says:

      Hi I am 5’10” and 165 lbs what wetsuit would you recommend?

      • Elizabeth Werdnik Elizabeth Werdnik says:

        Hi Caleb! Thanks for reaching out. We need a little more information to find a wetsuit that works for your watersport, temperatures, and functions. If you’re new to wetsuits, I recommend reaching out to our extpert customer service team either via email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or call 866-906-7848 so they can help you find what you need. Cheers!

  • Avatar Peter myers says:

    Hello, I have trouble buying anything off-the-rack. I am 5’7”, 42” chest, 34” waist and 175lb. Any size and / or brand suggestions that would fit? Thanks.

    • Elizabeth Werdnik Elizabeth Werdnik says:

      Hey Bill! You’ll likely want to shop for either an MS (medium short) or LS (large short) wetsuit size depending on the brand. What thickness/style of wetsuit were you trying to shop for so we can better advise you on a suit that could work for you? I recommend browsing our selection of men’s wetsuits here and selecting MS and LS in the size filter on the lefthand side of the page. That way, you can see wetsuits we have in stock in those sizes and reference the product-specific size chart against your measurements to find a great fit! If you need additional assistance in finding your perfect wetsuit, you can also reach out to our awesome customer service team either via email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or call 866-906-7848. Cheers!

  • Avatar Andrew says:

    Hi there, I am looking for a relatively inexpensive full-body wetsuit for swimming and surfing in New England during the summer (cool waters). I am 6’3, 215ish lbs, 36 waist, and about a 40-42″ chest. Thinking XL or XLT but the XLT’s are hard to come by.

    • Elizabeth Werdnik Elizabeth Werdnik says:

      Hi Andrew! You’re on the right track with sizing. Per your chest measurements (the most important factor in choosing a wetsuit size for comfort!) an XL wetsuit should work for you in several different affordable options. You can check out our selection of men’s fullsuits here and select your preferred sizes in the left-hand filter bar, which makes finding available XLs and XLTs super easy. That way you can browse wetsuits for your budget and style. If you need additional assistance in finding a great suit for you, you can also reach out to our awesome customer service team either via email (service@wetsuitwearhouse.com) or call 866-906-7848. Cheers!

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