Women’s Wetsuits / The Best Wetsuits For Every Water Temperature

best womens wetsuits
photo and wetsuit by Patagonia

Women’s wetsuits weren’t always as prolific as they are today, but with more women surfing than ever, surf brands have stepped up to provide. Along with the increase of ladies in the lineup is an increase in the amount of quality surf wear and surf swimwear tailored for women.

Women’s surf style and design have come a long way over the past 15 years. From women’s wetsuits to surf suits to one-pieces, we have more options than ever to be comfortable in the water and look good doing it.

Finding just the right wetsuit can be tricky, so we’ve done the work for you and rounded up the best women’s wetsuits for every water temperature. If this is your first time buying a wetsuit, we’ll give you some direction in a wetsuit temperature guide below so you can get an idea of what type of wetsuit and thickness might be right for you. If you’re a seasoned wetsuit pro, just scroll down a bit.

The surf wetsuits below are listed in order from least to most thickness, so starting with women’s spring suits, then 3/2 wetsuits, 4/3 wetsuits, and 5/4 wetsuits.

Women’s Wetsuits for Surfing

womens wetsuits
@emi_erickson cruising in a Cynthia Rowley wetsuit

Women’s wetsuits for surfing come in a variety of styles, cuts, and thicknesses. The main purpose of a wetsuit is to keep you warm in colder water and chilly conditions so you feel comfortable in the water and can surf longer. The last thing you want is to be out in fun surf and have to cut your session short because you’re freezing cold.

Wetsuits were traditionally made from neoprene, and now there are a couple of more eco-friendly materials on the market made from limestone and tree rubber.

Wetsuit thickness ranges from 1mm to 6mm. Popular thicknesses are 2mm, 3/2mm, 4/3mm, and 5/4mm. This sizing format means that the suit is made with two different thicknesses of neoprene (or material) – there is a thicker neoprene used for the torso area, and a slightly thinner neoprene for the arms and legs.

Wetsuits made with a lighter thickness (under 3mm) are typically called ‘spring suits’ because they’re worn in-between the cold of the winter and warmest of the summer.

Wetsuit Temperature Guide

best womens wetsuits

Just as people are so different, so it goes with our tolerance for heat and cold. Keep in mind that one woman’s summer temperatures can be another woman’s winter temperatures. I’ll be the first to admit that I have as much tolerance for cold as a Caribbean Flamingo (i.e. none). So what might be the right equipment for your friend might not necessarily work for you.

We’ve put together a basic temperature and thickness guide below so you can get an idea of what you might want, but the best thing to do is to find the right gear that’s comfortable for you.

The best wetsuit is the one that gives you the most flexibility while keeping you at a comfortable temperature so you can stay in the water and shred longer.

> 73 °F


> 23 °C

None – 2 mm Au Naturel, Rashguard, Surf Suit There’s nothing quite like surfing in a simple bathing suit, but sometimes it’s nice to wear a rashguard or surf suit for sun/rash protection.
68 – 73 °F


20 – 23 °C

1 mm – 2 mmNo Suit, Rashguard, Wetsuit Jacket, Surf Suit, Spring Suit In the warmer end of this range you can opt for no wetsuit, or a rashguard or surf suit, but closer to 68 °F (20 °C) you might be more comfortable in a 2mm spring suit.
64 – 68 °F


18 – 20 °C

2 mm – 3/2 mmSpring Suit, WetsuitIf you’re hardy (or there’s no wind and plenty of sunshine) you can get away with no wetsuit or a 2mm spring suit, but a 3/2mm wetsuit will keep you nice and cozy.
58 – 63 °F


14 – 17 °C

3/2 mm – 4/3 mmFull Suit + Booties (if under 60 °F)For these temps you’ll want a 3/2mm wetsuit or even a 4/3mm wetsuit if it’s in the colder range. And if it’s on the colder side and your feet get cold easily, consider booties.
52 – 58 °F


11 – 14 °C

4/3 mmFull Suit + Booties (hood optional)In this range you’ll want a 4/3mm wetsuit and booties. And at the lower temps, you might even want a hoodie.
43- 52 °F


6 – 11 °C

5/4 mmFull Suit + Boots + Gloves + Hood You’re a badass. For these freezing conditions, you want to have as much protection from the bitter cold as possible. Anything colder than this, have a 6/5mm and nerves of steel… and a hot tub waiting.

In addition to water temperature, also consider the following elements when planning for the right wetsuit:

  • Your tolerance for cold
  • Air temperature
  • Wind speed
  • Sunshine or overcast sky
  • Level of activity
  • How long you want to surf

If you’re going to be exposed to colder air temperatures, more wind, overcast skies, or if you get cold easily, err on the side of wearing a thicker wetsuit. As mentioned above, these are general temperature guidelines and your level of comfort depends on many factors, most of all your body and preference.

Many brands will provide their own temperature recommendations that may differ slightly from the guide above. Don’t hesitate to chat with a knowledgeable salesperson at a local surf shop to get their thoughts on wetsuits and temperatures. Surf shops typically receive lots of customer feedback and they should also be able to give you some good insights that are specific to your area.

Best Women’s Wetsuits

Women’s Spring Suits (1 – 2mm)

womens wetsuit
Pescadora Cheeky Spring Suit • $119

Since spring suits are generally worn in warmer temperatures for just an added bit of warmth, it’s not as crucial to have advanced wetsuit technology to keep you warm. Whereas we definitely recommend to research and buy a cold-water wetsuit based on quality and functionality, with spring suits you have some room to play with fun styles.

The biggest point of variance between spring suits is their design. Spring suits come in many forms, from racerback tops with full-length legs to long-sleeves and shorts, to surf suits with 1 – 2mm neoprene for warmth.

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inner relm springsuit for women

Inner Relm Blue Lagoon Springsuit

Inner Relm Blue Lagoon Springsuit is the Perfect Wave One-Piece Wetsuit when you need comfort and style in the water. Made from 100% Limestone Neoprene, it features a back zipper, long sleeves, a high neck, and moderate boy-short coverage with chic piping detail. Effortless and functional – a true winner.

PRICE: $238.00

wetsuit womens

Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Long-Sleeve Spring Suit

Patagonia’s Long-Sleeved Spring Jane Suit (shown here in Bayou Palmetto) is a stretchy neoprene-free 2mm wetsuit made with Patagonia’s proprietary Yulex® natural rubber and lined with high-stretch 100% recycled polyester jersey. The suit is sewn with flatlock construction for comfort and is best for water temps of 65°–75° F.

PRICE: $169

womens wetsuit abysse spring suit

ABYSSE Lotte Spring Suit

This ABYSSE Lotte Spring Suit is a lightweight bikini-cut suit that’s super chic and perfect for when you want a little bit of extra warmth for your session. Bonus: it’s made with 100% Yamamoto limestone (which is more friendly to the environment than standard neoprene).

PRICE: $348

womens wetsuit

Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Long Jane Women’s Wetsuit

Made with a neoprene alternative called Yulex created from renewable natural rubber from Hevea trees, Patagonia’s 2mm Long Jane Spring Suit is as good for the environment as it is for your warmth. This spring suit offers warmth, comfort, and sun protection for the core and legs while maintaining full freedom of movement for paddling. Choose from two colors: Classic Black, or Bayou Palmetto.

PRICE: $169

Shop Spring Suits


NOTE (April 2021): In 2020, due to COVID delaying production and many people taking up surfing, the vast majority of wetsuit brands and retailers are super low on wetsuits right now. So while we highly recommend the below wetsuits, it’s slim pickings at the moment size-wise, so if you need a wetsuit pronto, it’s probably your best bet to go with what’s available at the links below. Hopefully, wetsuit brands will re-stock soon! Cheers

womens wetsuit ripcurl

Rip Curl Women’s Flashbomb 3/2mm Wetsuit

Rip Curl’s Flashbomb Wetsuit has won praise and awards for years with its maximum warmth, great flexibility, and fast drying.  Rip Curl claims it’s the “fastest drying wetsuit in the world,” which comes in especially handy if you don’t dig climbing into a cold damp wetsuit. I love cold damp wetsuits, said no one ever. A few years ago, Rip Curl launched its new Flashbomb E5 Flash Lining with 25% more stretch, faster drying time, and a lighter lower profile. This lightweight warm suit is Rip Curl’s most expensive suit, but the quality and durability will make it last.

PRICE: $399.95

best womens wetsuits

Patagonia Women’s R1® Yulex® Full Suit

Patagonia has received lots of attention for their latest line of wetsuits that are neoprene free. Neoprene wetsuits are not very eco-friendly or easy to recycle, so Patagonia created a wetsuit from renewable natural rubber from Hevea trees. Patagonia’s wetsuit production reduces CO2 emissions by up to ~80% when compared to conventional, nonrenewable neoprene, and the wetsuits themselves have received rave reviews for durability and warmth. Good for the environment and your surfing? Sounds like a win, win! We also love that Patagonia’s women’s wetsuits come with the option of front-zip or back-zip.

PRICE: $429

roxy chest zip wetsuit for women

Roxy 3/2mm Elite Chest Zip Wetsuit

Roxy’s 3/2mm Elite Chest Zip Wetsuit keeps us surfing in cooler waters with its eco-friendly fabrics and advanced thermal WarmFlight lining, ensuring warmth without compromising flexibility. The StretchFlight Eco neoprene and GBS seams provide excellent stretch and comfort, while Flush Lock 2.0 seals and fused edges prevent water flushing. The easy-to-manage chest zip entry allows for quick access.

PRICE: $399.95

billabong back zip full wetsuit for women

Billabong 3/2mm Synergy Back-Zip Full Wetsuit

The Billabong 3/2mm Synergy Back-Zip Full Wetsuit excels in warmth and lightweight design. Crafted with recycled Superlight neoprene and a graphene lining, it ensures optimal thermal regulation and durability. The 3mm thickness provides insulation for cold surf, while the arm and leg stretch panels enhance flexibility. Featuring a back zip entry and tape reinforced GBS seams for high thermal retention, this wetsuit offers superior value, comfort, and eco-friendliness in one sleek package.

PRICE: $229.95


Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 4/3 GB Steamer Chest-Zip Wetsuit

The Dawn Patrol 4/3 GB Steamer Chest-Zip Full Wetsuit is your go-to gear for conquering the cold seas with style and efficiency. Crafted with ultra-light and super-stretchy E5 neoprene, it ensures unparalleled flexibility for unrestricted paddling. The glued and blind-stitched seams minimize water penetration without sacrificing mobility, and E5 taping at stress points enhances durability. The lock-and-slide chest zip allows for quick and easy entry and exit, while a three-hole drainage system efficiently lets excess water escape, keeping you comfortable throughout your sessions.

PRICE: $279.95

womens wetsuit

O’Neill 4/3 Psycho Tech Chest Zip Wetsuit

There’s some serious tech happening in O’Neill’s Psycho Tech Wetsuit that gives you the warmth, flexibility, and durability you want in 4/3-worthy temperatures. O’Neill’s Technobutter 3 Neoprene is one of the most advanced super stretch neoprene on the market. The wetsuit uses small gaseous pockets in the Air Firewall to trap and retain heat. The tiny pores encapsulate warm air and keep it close to your body keeping you cozy. This technology is also what makes this suit weigh 20% less than traditional neoprene with 30% less water absorption.

PRICE: $449.95

best womens wetsuits

Patagonia Women’s R3® Yulex® Full Suit

This is Patagonia’s 4/3 model of their Yulex Wetsuit, which is actually 4.5mm/3.5mm. Like Patagonia’s other full suits, this wetsuit comes in both a back zip and front zip.

PRICE: $469


If you’re looking for a 5/4mm, you want the best technology and quality you can get to keep you toasty as a field mouse in a haystack at Christmas. Then just add on some 5mm booties and 5mm gloves and you’re ready to face that ice-cold wonderland! Yew!

womens wetsuit

O’Neill Psycho Tech 5.5/4+mm Hooded Wetsuit

O’Neill’s 5/4 Psycho Tech Hooded Wetsuit was designed to keep you as warm as possible in some darn cold surf. Instead of the typical 5/4, it’s actually a 5.5/4mm, giving you .5mm of extra thickness for the coldest conditions. O’Neill’s Technobutter 3 material delivers some of the best flexibility around for a suit of this thickness, and the F.U.Z.E chest zip works with a special waterproof back panel to seal water out.

PRICE: $499.95

Roxy 5/4/3mm Swell Series Hooded Chest-Zip Wetsuit

The Roxy 5/4/3mm Swell Series Hooded Chest-Zip GBS Wetsuit is perfect for tackling winter’s glassy, heavy, and frigid swells. Made from eco-friendly materials, including recycled fibers, tires, and neoprene, this wetsuit offers flexibility and durability. The glued and blindstitched seams prevent flushing, while the reflective liner and brimmed hood keep you warm and focused. Features include a chest zip for easy entry, Supratex knee pads for durability, and an integrated key loop for secure storage. Ideal for cold winter waters, this wetsuit promises both comfort and performance.

PRICE: $279.95


best womens wetsuits
photo by Margot Landen
  • JUMP AROUND – Wetsuit fit can be a tricky thing, so trying on a wetsuit before you buy (or before you commit) is a must. When you try on a wetsuit, move around to see how it moves with your body. Touch your toes, do some pop-ups, paddle some air, and make some surf movements to see how it feels. The suit is going to feel different and be a bit looser in the water, but it’s a good idea to move as much as possible to get an idea if it’s hitting you wrong anywhere.
  • GET THE RIGHT FIT – You want a snug fit without being too restrictive, and you want as much moveability as possible. A suit that’s baggy in any area is a no-go. Loose neoprene will let water in so you’ll get colder faster, and it could also rub your skin causing a rash (and uncomfortableness).
  • FIND DEALS ONLINE – I’ve found some really great discounts on women’s wetsuits online. If you find a great online deal just make sure the company has a good return policy because you’ll want to make sure the wetsuit is the ideal fit for you. Also, do some research on the brand of wetsuit so you are making the best-educated guess on size, and then you can try it on when you receive the wetsuit. If the fit isn’t right then you can return it for another size or suit.
  • DIFFERENT BRANDS HAVE DIFFERENT SIZING – This might be a given, but know that just like any clothing brand, wetsuits come in very different sizes and cuts. Your size in one brand might be different in another brand, and what might work great for your friend might not necessarily be the best fit for you.
  • QUALITY GOES A LONG WAY – As with many things in life, you get what you pay for. If you happen to find a really good quality wetsuit at a discount, that’s awesome, but typically cheaper wetsuits aren’t going to have the quality. Many less expensive wetsuits don’t last very long and won’t keep you as insulated. A cheap 3/2mm just isn’t going to keep you as warm as a really quality 3/2mm. So as a rule of thumb, the top of the line wetsuits will have the brand’s best tech to keep you toasty when you need it most.

Check out more surf swimwear:

Surf Swimwear for Women / 8 Awesome Women’s Surf Brands

Surfing Suits For Women / The Best Swimwear for Lady Sliders

17 One-Piece Swimsuits Perfect for a Day in the Surf

15 Chic Surf Bikinis That Stay On In The Waves

Spring Suits for Women / 16 Cool Wetsuits for Warm Water

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Leave a Comment

8 thoughts on “Women’s Wetsuits / The Best Wetsuits For Every Water Temperature”

  1. I’ll be paddle boarding in Mendocino in December; which wetsuit do you recommend? The water temp is around F53•


  2. I’ve been doing a lot of research on wetsuits and tried on a few from Rip Curl and Billabong but the sizing is so tricky. I’m petite but have a busty figure so I am constantly struggling with tops that are too tight and legs that are too loose. My option may be to get a jacket and pants separately, but then I am wondering if that kind of defeats the purpose. 🙁

    • Hi Jen,

      I totally understand — this struggle is real for women’s sizing in general, and especially women’s wetsuits! It can be super tricky to find the right fit because we’re all different shapes and sizes and the hips/waist/boobs factors are no joke.

      Firstly, a jacket and pants isn’t a bad idea, but it also depends on the water temperatures you’re planning on surfing. A jacket and pants will allow for water to be flushed through, which obviously won’t insulate you as well as a one-piece traditional wetsuit. So if you’ll be surfing colder temperatures, the jacket and pants might not be a great solution, but for some moderate temperatures they could work well.

      Another option is more expensive but could be well worth it for ultimate comfort and fit. You could get a custom wetsuit that would be tailored to your exact measurements. 7Till8 makes custom surf wetsuits for women. A full suit will run $580, which is a lot more expensive than a stock wetsuit, but if it gets you surfing more and feeling great then I’d say it’s a worthy investment 🙂 Hope this helps and good luck!

  3. Anyone ever tried a women’s wetsuit by Imperial Motion? They are much cheaper, with a 4/3 full suit averaging $85. Any feedback is appreciated.
    Thank you!!

    • Hi Lorena – Our team hasn’t tried Imperial Motion’s wetsuits, so we can’t give feedback on this company. But in my personal experience, I’ve found that lower cost wetsuits typically translate to less durability, warmth, and overall performance. If you plan to be surfing a lot and having more wear and tear on your suit, I’d recommend investing in a more premium wetsuit that will last longer and give you more flexibility and warmth, but if you don’t surf very often or you’re a beginner, a lower-priced wetsuit should be fine for starters! Cheers

  4. Hello—I’m trying to find a suit that covers my legs and does not allow any water in at all. I am kayaking and have medical issues in my bladder and would prefer no water with any bacteria get into this area. iS there a suit out there that would meet these needs. Also would be super if it was a little cushioned for when my legs may hit a rock etc thanks much cindy

    • Hi Cindy,

      Since you don’t want to get wet at all, a wetsuit is actually not the best option for you. Wetsuits are designed to keep you warm and insulated in water, but you will not stay dry at all, as water does enter the suit.

      To stay completely dry, you will need a drysuit. Here’s a good drysuit, and this company sells some other types of dry suits as well you can check out here. Drysuits are considerably more expensive than wetsuits, but they will do the trick to keep you nice and dry in that kayak.

      Hope this helps!