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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 (, 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)


  • Avatar Natalia Wong Klimas says:

    Hi Lauren,
    I am not looking forward to an unheated pool after the season is over but would like to purchase a 3/2mm wetsuit for that eventuality. I am 5’4″ and 185# and have never owned a wetsuit before so I have no idea what I need!

  • Avatar Les says:


    I’m trying to look at wetsuits to buy, but unfortunately after looking at multiple size charts for different wetsuit manufacturers, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m simply too large (even for the Akona big and tall brand). I’m 5 feet 10 inches, and around 340 lbs. Is there any hope for me besides the obvious one of losing weight? Thanks for your time.

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hey Les,

      What watersport are you planning to use the wetsuit for? Do you need a full wetsuit? A springsuit? Also, what is your chest measurement?


  • Avatar David Swaffar says:

    Hello I am looking for a recommendation for a suit for taller men I am 6’5 215lbs chest size is 42?

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hey David,

      What do you plan on wearing the wetsuit for? Surfing? Diving? Swimming? Once we know that, we can better help you figure out a wetsuit recommendation based off of your sizing. Thank you!

  • Avatar Patrick King says:

    Hello. I was looking at the 3/2 mm mens hyperflex wetsuit. I am 5’7″, 220 lbs, 45 chest, and 36 waist. Can you tell me what size would best fit? Thank you.

  • Avatar Mike says:

    Looking for my first wetsuit purchase. I am 5’7″, 154 lbs, 40 chest, 34 waist.
    I would like a 3/2 suit, and I have a couple that I am considering, though I would gladly hear any recommendations:
    – Billabong Furnace Absolute
    – Quiksilver Syncro Sealed

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hey Mike,

      For the 3/2mm Quiksilver Syncro sealed as well as for the Billabong Furnace Absolute, it looks like you’d fit in the size MS. Let us know if you need additional help or have any more questions. They’re both very great suits!

    • Avatar Casey says:

      Hello, first time buying a wetsuit and need some help. I am about 5’11 , 173lbs, 31-32 inch waist and chest is about 39

      What size wetsuit should I get ?? Thank you!

      • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

        Hey Casey,

        What water sport do you plan on using this wetsuit for? That’ll help us narrow down which wetsuit and size to recommend to you. Also, if you need help with sizing, remember to always go off of the chest measurement first on a wetsuit size chart and then your height and weight. Thanks!

  • Avatar Jennifer Cumins says:

    I’m a first time buyer, looking to buy a wetsuit. I’m 5’6” weight 175 lbs and have 40” waist, 42” chest and 29” inseam. I have no idea what size I need. Can you help me with that? Thanks!

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hey Jennifer,

      We would love to help you! First – do you happen to know what wetsuit you were looking at? Our brands all have different size charts, so did you have a particular suit in mind already? Or do you also need help figuring out what wetsuit you need? Let us know and we’ll get you set up. Thanks!

  • Avatar Joseph says:

    Hi I was looking to buy the 3/2mm Men’s Billabong FURNACE ABSOLUTE Fullsuit – Flatlock, but I am having trouble with the sizing.
    Im 5’10.5″, 35.5 chest, 133 lbs, and 30″ waist.
    I was thinking about getting a medium or a medium short but don’t really know what would be best.
    Hoping for some insight.

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hey Joseph,

      It sounds like everything in your measurements, except for your height would fit best in the XS or the Small. We are out of stock in the XS, so I would definitely recommend checking out the Small (even though the height is a little off). Call us or email us if you have additional questions or need more help. Thanks!

  • Avatar Ep says:


    I’m looking for a cold water (California – Bay Area) wetsuit for my 12 year old son – for boogie board/surfing. He’s 5’3″, 139 pounds and growing fast. Chest 36″ and waist 32″. Any suggestions on sizes/brands?



    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hey Ep,

      Hm, based off of those measurements, it sounds like your son could actually (based off of his chest and weight measurements) fit into a men’s size small wetsuit. However, his height makes it a little more difficult in men’s versus junior’s sizing. I would recommend a size small in this suit:

      Feel free to call us or email us if you have more questions. Thanks!

  • Avatar Judith Reichsman says:

    HI Lauren, I’m about 5’1″ (used to be 5’3+ but am shrinking, 71 years young) adn my chest is 34″. I guess that makes me a 4, WOmens neosport NRG triathalon – since i want to swim in a river. (as soon a possible!!)
    DO all these have the famous layer of water that warms up from my body heat?
    Does a 4 sound right?
    Your site says that only a full body triathalon will make colder water tolerable… otherwise i would go for something less expensive, though i’m glad this one is on sale for $169.
    THaaaanks! Judith (I called at 4:30 Friday and was told it was after hours… are you open nowadays? with different hours?) Stay safe!

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hi Judith,

      Sorry for the delay in this. As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s been pretty crazy lately! Were you able to get ahold of someone to help you with this? Thanks!

  • Avatar Shane Wright says:

    I’m 5’11, 205 lbs with a 42inch chest and 36.5 inch waist and am currently on the fence about whether i should order a L or M sized wetsuit, have previously only ever worn M but often get rashed skin under the arms and around the neck area, any help would be appreciated!

    • Avatar Lauren Belt says:

      Hey Shane,

      Are you looking at a particular brand of wetsuit? Is it just for general watersports? Each brand has its own slightly different cuts/size charts and that will help me determine which size suit would best work for you. It seems to me that a size Large would probably work best for you but I recommend consulting the size chart first. Also, when picking a size – go off of your chest measurement first, then your height and weight/waist. Thanks!

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