There’s nothing better than getting your kids in the ocean, letting them enjoy the water, and being outdoors. Even kids need wetsuits though. Buying wetsuits for kids can be tricky because they grow so fast. But if you want your kids to stay warm and stay protected in the water, they will need a good wetsuit.
Follow our guide for everything you need to know about buying wetsuits for kids. We reveal the best wetsuit options out there to make choosing the perfect suit a lot easier.
Features Of Kids Wetsuits
There are quite a lot of different features and considerations that you need to choose from when buying wetsuits for kids. Here are some of the main parts of kid’s wetsuits to take into consideration.
The first thing to think about when buying a wetsuit is the thickness. Kid’s wetsuits typically range in thickness from 2mm to 5mm. 2mm wetsuits are ideal for water temperatures down to about 16°C and 5mm wetsuits are good for water temperatures down to about 14°C. The thicker the wetsuit, the more protection it will offer and the warmer it will be.
However, thicker wetsuits are also more restricting, and they can be uncomfortable to wear under the hot sun if the water isn’t very cold. This is why it’s always important to understand how thick you need the wetsuit to be based on where you will be using it.
When looking for kid’s wetsuits, some will say 3/2mm thickness or 4/3mm thickness. This means the thickest part of the wetsuit is 3mm while the thinnest part of the wetsuit is 2mm. The torso will be the thickest part and the arms will be thinner.
Full Length or Shorty
Kid’s wetsuits are either full length, covering the arms and legs completely, or they are shorties with short sleeves and legs. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
The obvious advantage of a full-length wetsuit is that it will be warmer. You get more protection and coverage, so it is a better choice for very cold waters. The downside is that full-length wetsuits are a bit more restricting. They can also be uncomfortable to wear when not in the water.
Shorty wetsuits don’t offer complete coverage over the arms and legs, so these exposed areas can get cold. They’re not the best wetsuit options for very cold waters. However, they are more comfortable and less restricting to wear. This makes them ideal for kids to wear in the sun when they’re out of the water.
Wetsuits are made from neoprene, but the specific types of neoprene can differ quite a lot. The best wetsuits for kids use a very stretchy kind of neoprene. This is more comfortable to wear, and it will continue to fit kids as they grow.
Wetsuits also often incorporate other materials too, like softer material around the neck lining and knee pads for abrasion resistance.
One of the most difficult things about buying wetsuits for kids is getting the right size. Kids grow very quickly, so you don’t want to get a wetsuit that only lasts a month. If the wetsuit is too loose though, it won’t help to keep kids warm. If the wetsuit is too big, it will just flush the cold water straight through it.
Your child’s wetsuit should fit comfortably without having any loose openings around the arms, neck, and legs. When looking for the best wetsuits for kids, having a wide range of available sizes is ideal.
Wetsuits for Different Activities
When choosing a wetsuit for kids, always think about the activities they will be doing. If your kids will be wearing the wetsuits for general beach days and water activities in warmer conditions, then a 2mm or 3/2mm will be fine.
If your kids will be spending long periods of time in the water, for things like surfing or snorkeling, then you might want to get a 4/3mm or even a 5mm if the climate is very cold.
Wetsuits don’t just protect kids from the cold, they also offer great protection against the sun. If this is a major concern, then a full-length wetsuit is best.
You can also get wetsuit tops that are much easier to wear and add extra warmth while in the water. However, these tops won’t be warm enough for extended periods in the water in colder climates.
Best Wetsuits For Kids
We’ve gone through all of the best wetsuits for kids and chosen the top five options. From shorties to full-length suits, here are the best wetsuits to consider.
O’Neill Kids Reactor Toddler Wetsuit
- 2mm ultra-stretch neoprene
- Flatlock-stitched seams
- Easy back zip system
- 50+ UV block
This wetsuit simultaneously protects kids from cold water as well as the sun, with the wetsuit having 50+ UV blocking. This is a full-length wetsuit with shorter sleeves. The sleeves are comfortable, but they don’t offer complete warmth over the entire arm.
The wetsuit has a thickness of 2mm, so it’s comfortable and flexible to wear. 2mm is sufficient for cold waters, although it would be best to get something thicker or water temperatures below 16°C.
The wetsuit is made from incredibly soft ultra-stretch neoprene. This premium wetsuit material feels great, and it has an excellent level of flexibility. The back zip system is easy to get in and out of. This zip has a water-resistant closure for added warmth.
All of the flatlock-stitched seams add durability and warmth to the wetsuit. This quality wetsuit comes in a variety of vibrant colors to perfectly match your child’s taste.
Dark Lightning Kids Wetsuit
- 3/2mm full-length wetsuit
- Durable flatlock stitching
- Premium high stretch neoprene
- Available in kids sizes 4 to 14
The Dark Lightning kids wetsuit is an excellent option for cold waters. Being 3/2mm, this wetsuit has a perfect balance between thickness and flexibility. Kids can comfortably wear it in water temperatures around 14°C.
One of the great things about this wetsuit is its convenient sizing options. We know how fast kids grow, and it can be tricky to find them a wetsuit that fits properly. With sizes from 4 to 14, this wetsuit has p[lenty of options for growing kids of different ages.
The wetsuit is made from premium high stretch neoprene. This is lightweight, flexible, and soft to wear. The stretchiness of the neoprene will also fit growing kids or longer. The smooth skin collar is super stretchy and comfortable, and it helps to stop water for greater thermal warmth.
Flatlock stitching on the wetsuit adds durability and keeps things neat. There is also a long zipper on the back that makes it easy to get into and out of the wetsuit.Dark Lightning wetsuits for kids are good value, warm, and comfortable – everything you would need for swimming in cold water.
Seavenger Scout Neoprene Child Wetsuit
- 3mm full-length wetsuit
- Includes anti-abrasion knee pads
- Easy large zipper system
- Flatlock stitching and ankle zips
When it comes to wetsuits for kids, the Seavenger Scout kids wetsuit ticks all the right boxes. It’s really warm with a 3mm thickness, it’s durable enough to handle plenty of action, and it’s comfortable for kids to wear.
The wetsuit has anti-abrasion knee pads for added safety and strength. The flatlock stitching and ankle zips add to the comfort of the wetsuit. These features minimize flushing and skin irritation while maintaining warmth.
There is a large zipper at the back of the wetsuit which is really easy to take on and off. Kids can easily use this zipper by themselves.
This is also a versatile wetsuit in terms of sizing. Seavenger recently updated its sizes and fit options to ensure the wetsuit is suitable for toddlers and kids of various ages. Their sizes range from 4 to 14.
Ravani 5mm Kids Wetsuit
- 5mm shorty wetsuit
- Stretch nylon neoprene
- Sizes between age 3 to 12
- Seamless glue and blind stitch workmanship
This Ravani kids wetsuit is the thickest on this list. At 5mm, the wetsuit offers as much protection against cold water as possible. This will make a big difference compared to 2mm wetsuits.
However, this is a shorty wetsuit, so the arms and legs are exposed. The upside to this is it’s a lot more comfortable for kids to wear, they’re able to move around more easily, and they can stay cool in the sun. The downside is that the exposed arms and legs can get cold in the water.
There are a couple of features that make this one of the best wetsuits for kids. It’s got premium GBS stitching all across the wetsuit which makes it comfortable to wear. The wetsuit has lycra binding for extra comfort, a soft neckline, and smooth velcro to cover the top of the zipper. Just like the other best wetsuits for kids, this suit has a big chunky zipper at the back which is easy to use.
The Ravani kids wetsuit comes in quite a wide range of sizes for kids of all ages. There are also different color options to choose from. Shorty wetsuits are generally a good idea for kids, and this one is a lot thicker than most – making up for the exposed areas.
Aunua Youth Neoprene Wetsuits for Kids
- 3/2mm full-length wetsuit
- Knee protection pads
- Flatlock stitching to reduce chafing
- Available in sizes 4 to 14
The Aunua wetsuit for kids is an awesome wetsuit at a great price. This kid’s wetsuit offers full-length protection against the cold. The 3/2mm thickness is ideal for cold waters down to about 14°C.
Besides a great level of warmth, this wetsuit also offers plenty of comfort. All of the seams use flatlock stitching to avoid chafing, and the low profile seam helps to avoid irritation during long sessions wearing the wetsuit. The zipper at the back has an adjustable velcro strap at the top for even more comfort.
To provide extra protection and durability, this wetsuit includes textured knee pads. The collar is adjustable, and there is a hidden key pocket inside the wetsuit. The naturally form-fitting suit is available in a wide range of sizes, from sizes 4 to 14. The neoprene is also super stretchy, so your fast-growing kids should be able to comfortably wear it for a longer period of time.
Where You Can Buy Wetsuits For Kids
Wetsuits for kids can be bought at any store that normally sells wetsuits and surf gear. This includes surf stores, sporting goods stores, and even some large department stores. Alternatively, you could find a much wider range of wetsuits for kids online. Shopping for wetsuits online gives you more options in terms of brands, budgets, and sizes to help you find the perfect wetsuit for your child.
There are a lot of great options out there for wetsuits for kids. Understand the main features to look out for, and choose a wetsuit carefully based on this. The wetsuit you buy can make an enormous difference to your child’s experience in the water, so it’s important to pick one that keeps them comfortable, warm and lasts as long as possible.
How should a wetsuit fit a child?
They should fit snugly around the torso without leaving any loose gaps around the neck, arms, and ankles. Your child should be comfortable, but there shouldn’t be space for water to flush through the wetsuit.
How do you choose the right wetsuit size for kids?
Kid’s wetsuits can range in sizes between 1 to 16. Generally, this size corresponds to the child’s age. Consider the length of the wetsuit, the chest measurement, and waist measurement.
Do kids need a wetsuit?
Without a wetsuit, kids can reach hypothermia levels of cold very quickly. Heat loss will happen in any waters below body temperature, and wetsuits are necessary for any colder conditions. Kids need wetsuits to stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy their time in the water.