The Best Wetsuits For Kayaking Guide for 2023

Canoes and Kayaks

When you are kayaking, it is essential to dress in the appropriate gear. Wetsuits, by far, are the most practical and comfortable choice to wear under your lifejacket because they protect you from the elements.

The primary purpose of a wetsuit is to keep you warm in colder waters by retaining body heat. This works by trapping a thin layer of water between the neoprene material and your skin, which your body temperature heats up, keeping you warm. Wetsuits can also offer protection from the sun by minimizing the exposure of your skin.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the best wetsuits for kayaking and provide tips on selecting the one that’s right for you. So read on to find out more!

wetsuits for kayaking

Do I need a Wetsuit for Kayaking?

It depends on when and where you are kayaking. Wetsuits for kayaking can provide you with the ability to enjoy this water sport in comfort. In addition, a wetsuit will give extra buoyancy and protect you from getting cold, helping you enjoy your time in the water, even when the weather’s a bit chilly. 

However if you are kayaking in warm weather on a still water lake or river then you probably don’t need a wetsuit, unless the water is extremely cold and you expect to get wet.

How to choose Wetsuits for Kayaking?

There are many types of wetsuits, so knowing which is right for you can be challenging. So let’s go through the main features of a wetsuit, such as material, thickness, and design, to help guide you towards finding the perfect suit that will fit your needs.

What materials are used to make wetsuits?

Most wetsuits for kayaking are made from neoprene, a type of synthetic rubber made from polymerization of chloroprene. It’s probably the best material around for insulation, which is why it is used to make wetsuits. Neoprene wetsuits fit tight around your body, stays flexible, provide buoyancy and will protect you from the cold.

What is a good thickness for a wetsuit?

You can wear a waterproof jacket while kayaking that will keep you dry but won’t necessarily keep you warm. On the other hand, Neoprene wetsuit material ensure that you stay warm and comfortable on those cold winter days with a chill in the water.

The thicker the neoprene, the warmer the wetsuit will be, but it’s also less stretchy.
When making a purchase, you are most likely to see the following description:
4 (Torso) / 3 (Legs) / 3 (Arms). Since neoprene’s thickness is measured in millimeters, the numbers indicate how thick the neoprene is from the mentioned area. 

When purchasing a wetsuit, you will need to have an idea of the temperature where you will be going, so you can ensure you choose one that will suit you best.

Wetsuit guide temperature
Wetsuit Temperature Guide

What are the different types of wetsuit?

Here are the main kind of wetsuit designs that you will come across:

Full Wetsuits: The full wetsuit is the most protective of all wetsuit styles, with a neoprene hood that covers the whole body except for the head, feet, and hands. If you’re paddling in a cold environment, you’ll want to invest in a quality suit that covers your entire body.

Shorty Wetsuits: A shorty wetsuit or spring suit has short legs and sleeves, providing greater flexibility and limb movement.

wetsuits for kayaking

Short John Wetsuits: A short farmer John or farmer Jane wetsuit is a type of wetsuit worn by people in warmer waters. The suit usually covers the torso and thighs. It leaves the wearer’s arms and shoulders uncovered.

Long John Wetsuits: The long John cut is an excellent choice for kayakers who need to stay warm and want to feel mobile. It leaves the arms and shoulders exposed but unlike a short John style wetsuit, it fully covers the legs. This combination strikes the perfect balance between insulation and mobility, keeping your lower body warm and allowing your arms to move freely.

How do I know what size wetsuit I need?

When it comes to wetsuits, size definitely matters. But with all the different wetsuit sizes out there, how can you be sure to choose the right one? The first step is to take your measurements. You’ll need to know your height, weight, and chest size. 

Once you have your measurements, you can consult a wetsuit size chart to find the wetsuit that will fit you best. Keep in mind that wetsuits are designed to fit snugly, so don’t be afraid to choose a size that’s on the tight side. 

After all, a wetsuit that’s too big can be just as uncomfortable as one that’s too small. With a little bit of effort, you can find the perfect wetsuit for your next adventure.

How do you Clean a Wetsuit?

Wetsuits can be expensive investments, so taking care of them is important for their longevity and functionality. Here are some good practices for cleaning your wetsuit:

  • Make sure you never use soap or detergents on your suit. However, you should apply a good organic wetsuit cleaner and conditioner now and again.
  • Clean as soon as possible
  • Brush off any sand immediately after use
  • Rinse well. Do not use a washing machine.

Our Top Wetsuits For Kayaking

With the O’Neill Men’s Epic 4/3mm Full Wetsuit, you get the best of both worlds. O’Neill uses 3-Dimensional Stretch Nylon that is durable and warm. It also has a high-density foam core to keep your body dry and comfortable. You will have a great time on the water with this wetsuit!

What we like:
✅ Has a backside zipper entrance
✅ Much more versatile than other options
✅ The seams are well-stretched
✅ It has a soft interior

We don’t like:
⛔️ Pricey

The Basic O’Neill Women’s 3/2mm full wetsuit is an all-around product, so it will suit the needs of any woman who wants to spend more time in and around the water. It’s made from 30 percent high-end FluidFlex neoprene and 70 percent FluidFoam neoprene, making it soft to touch and comfortable to wear. The design also features Velcro wrist closures for ultimate comfort when you’re kayaking or kayak fishing on the water.

What we like:
✅ It has a backside zipper entrance
✅ It has an adjustable seal neck
✅ Soft interior which makes it very comfortable

We don’t like:
⛔️ Pricey

O’Neill is one of the most famous wetsuit brands in the market. O’Neill uses 3-dimensional stretch nylon that is specifically designed for the professional kayaker. That means it can withstand high pressure and provide optimum flexibility for every movement. In addition, the Epic Full Wetsuit has been specially designed to keep you warm even when the water is chilly.

In short, if you are looking for a great fit and performance wetsuit, then O’Neill Men’s Epic 3/2mm Full Wetsuit might be just what you need to get started!

What we like:
✅ It has a snug, comfortable wear
✅ Has an adjustable seal neck

We don’t like:
⛔️ Pricey

Hevto wetsuits are the perfect choice for those who want the best of both worlds – flexibility and warmth. The 3/2mm neoprene construction provides excellent insulation, while still allowing for a full range of motion. The Hevto wetsuits also feature flat lock stitching to reduce the water flushing into the wetsuit. 

In addition, the Hevto wetsuits are available in a variety of sizes to fit any body type. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, the Hevto wetsuits are sure to keep you comfortable in the water. So, if you’re looking for a high-quality wetsuit that will provide years of use, look no further than the Hevto wetsuits. You won’t be disappointed.

What we like:
✅ Very comfortable
✅ Affordable
✅ Great fitting

We don’t like:
⛔️ Joints not as flexible as they could be

The Seaskin 3mm wetsuit is a high-quality wetsuit that fits snugly and tight to the body. It is made of durable neoprene material that is stretchable and heat insulation. The Heavy duty YKK front zipper mens shorty wetsuit is easy for exit and entry. 

The wetsuit has a comfortable fit and provides good body heat when in the water. It is a good choice for those who are looking for a durable and reliable wetsuit.

What we like:
✅ It has a front zipper entrance
✅ Affordable price
✅ Has a three-layer material that ensures warmth

We don’t like:
⛔️ Sizing might be slightly on the smaller side

This wetsuit is made from 3mm neoprene + nylon elastic fabric, which is environmentally friendly, healthy, soft, and comfortable on the skin. Plus, flatlock stitching gives the wetsuit a delicate and neat finish. But the best part of the wetsuit is that it can help you float easier in the water and master swimming and diving skills. So whether your child is exploring the shallows or diving into the deep end, they’ll be able to do so with confidence – and stay nice and warm too

What we like:
✅ Offers value for money
✅ The design ensures complete comfort
✅ Great range of colors

We don’t like:
⛔️ Sits high around the neck 


And there you have it! The definitive guide to wetsuits for kayaking. Whether you’re a passionate paddler or a casual kayaker, the right wetsuit can make all the difference. We hope this guide has helped you choose the best wetsuit for your needs. Happy kayaking!

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