Best men’s wetsuits UK 2023: great suits for surfing and open water swimming

Get in the sea with one of these high-performance men’s wetsuits - ideal for swimming and surfing in all weather conditions

Wetsuits for men UK 2023: we review suits from RipCurl & FinisterreWetsuits for men UK 2023: we review suits from RipCurl & Finisterre
Wetsuits for men UK 2023: we review suits from RipCurl & Finisterre

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A good wetsuit is a must for any activity in the water in our colder European territories.

With a wetsuit on, your body is insulated against the worst of the cold and can withstand the brisk UK sea temperatures as well as protect you against the wind.

Most wetsuits out there, including the ones we’ve reviewed, work by trapping a small amount of water between the suit and the body, and then use your body heat to warm that water to act as a thermal jacket.

It’s a simple but a tried, tested and highly effective method.

What should I be looking for in a men’s wetsuit?

Wetsuit technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, especially when it comes to sustainability and thermal ability, so in this article we’ll look to guide you through a bit of the buying advice and what to look for, and additionally suggest a number of wetsuits we’ve tested and would recommend in 2023.

It might seem daunting at first. The wetsuit world is full of jargon, so if you’re a seasoned wettie buyer, scroll down, but this following information may be useful to some.

What size men’s wetsuit should I buy?

If you see ‘mm’ after your wetsuit name it refers to its thickness. Generally, look for thicker wetsuits for colder water and thinner ones for the British spring and summer. The most popular sizes are 3/2mm (for the warmer summer weather), 4/3mm (possibly the most popular size and a good all-round size for spring and summer conditions) and 5/4mm (suitable for the icy waters of most winters).

Personal tastes vary however, so we’d recommend trying a few on to see what you think of each size. Bear in mind that thicker suits are harder to move and be flexible in, so have a think about the kind of activity you want to use your wetsuit for.

There are also a number of height specifics and options on that front too, but these are more nuanced so it’s worth trying a few out and asking someone for advice as brands can vary in sizing. Generally, most brands offer Small or XX-Large, with normal, tall and large offerings of each variant demarcated by an ‘L’ or a ‘T’ in the sizing guide.

Are there specialist wetsuits?

In a word – yes! You can buy diving wetsuits, swimming wetsuits (which are generally designed to be as streamlined as possible) and classic wetsuits which is what we’re all familiar with at the beach whilst surfing.

If you really want a wetsuit to be multi-sport, you’re best off buying a couple designed for certain disciplines – it’ll make your life at lot easier.

Consider the fact that if you want to use your thicker wetsuit in winter (or, let’s face it, probably autumn and spring too) you’ll need to have a think about wetsuit accessories like gloves, boots and hoods. Some wetsuits have in-built hoods but they can be awkward when not in use. Keeping your extremities warm is key!

Now you know what to look for, here are our recommendations for some of the best wetsuits out there in 2023.