A good, reliable wetsuit is an important part of every water sports enthusiast’s life. Whether you are surfing the waves of the ocean, wakeboarding behind a boat, or spending your time on a SUP, there is a wetsuit suited for your needs.
As the weather begins to warm up, you will likely be switching out your thick winter suit for a thinner summer wetsuit.
One popular summer/ spring wetsuit cut is the long john, which we will look closer into throughout the article below.
What is a long john wetsuit?
A long john (male) or long jane (female) wetsuit is a full-length wetsuit with a sleeveless top.
This style of the wetsuit has the advantage of providing maximum coverage while keeping the shoulders and arms free, thus allowing for a full range of motion.
Long john wetsuits are usually used in summer and spring months with water temperatures approximately 62 *F – 68 *F (16.67 *C – 20 *C), although this differs from person to person.
Long john wetsuits are ideal for swimming, triathlons, wakeboarding, and kayaking as the full coverage keeps the athlete warm while allowing their shoulders to be free.
Because surfing requires a large amount of paddling with the shoulders, a long john wetsuit, although not popular, could be an asset.
Top 8 Best Long John Wetsuits
- XCEL Axis Long John Wetsuit (Our Top Pick)
- Body Glove Long John (Best Budget)
- Neil Pryde Firewire Long John Wetsuit (Best High End)
- Neo Sport Waterman John Wetsuit
- O'Neill Men's Reactor 2
- Roxy Rise Collection Long Jane Spring Suit (Our Top Pick)
- Billabong Sol Sistah (Best Budget)
- Mirage Ultimate Long Jane Wetsuit
Best Long John Wetsuits for Men
XCEL Axis Long John Wetsuit (Our Top Pick)
When it comes to wetsuit manufacturing, no one excels in the industry like XCEL.
For many surfers, once they have used an XCEL wetsuit they never go back, and this is for good reason.
The XCEL Axis is no different and stands above the rest with its 2mm long john style cut, Flushlock seams, and short back zipper to limit water flush potential.
This wetsuit is perfect for either warmer water, or when you will be performing at high intensity, will keep you insulated and protected from the sun’s UV, all while allowing your arms to move naturally.
|Eco-Friendly Limestone neoprene with Aqua glue process||Finding your exact length can be tricky|
|Smooth Skin hem seals to reduce chafing|
|Flatlock seams to prevent flushing|
|100% UltraStretch neoprene|
|DuraFlex knee pads|
Body Glove Long John (Best Budget)
There are many wetsuit manufacturers out there that are mostly ignored because they don’t use the XCEL or Billabong name, Body Glove, however, is not one of these companies.
Well sealed, insulated, and fitted like a glove, these wetsuits are some of the best on the market.
Although Body Glove makes its name from cold-water wetsuits, their 2mm front entry summer long john suit is perfect for a summer surfer on a budget.
|A cheap wetsuit considering the quality of the company's products||Large front zip can become uncomfortable when paddling on a surfboard|
|Ankle zippers for ease of entry and exit||Limited customer reviews on Body Gloves summer suits|
|Front zip makes entry and exits simple||Body Glove does not specialize in summer wetsuits|
Neil Pryde Firewire Long John Wetsuit (Best High End)
Neil Pryde, a top name in the windsurfing world, brings some of the best-designed wetsuits for kitesurfers, windsurfers, and wakeboarders alike.
The Firewire long john wetsuit is unrivaled when it comes to flexibility which leaves you with better maneuverability and more energy to concentrate on your surfing.
The thicker 3mm neoprene makes this suit more suitable for a wider range of water temperatures while remaining insulating thanks to the thermal chest panel.
This is without a doubt, a wetsuit that thought and time was given to.
|One of the top kitesurf wetsuit manufacturers in the world||3mm suit may be too warm for high-intensity surfing on the hottest days of summer|
|3mm suit makes cooler waters more comfortable||Zipless design can make entry and exit tricky|
|Matrix 3D core increases flexibility and reduces weight|
|Zipless design for added comfort|
Coming in 3mm, 5mm, and 7mm thicknesses, the waterman long john wetsuit from Neo Sport offers diversity to best suit the climate you will be training in.
Whether you are a surfer, kayak, or are training for a triathlon, this wetsuit with its adjustable neck, flatlock seams, and spot taped stress points, the waterman is a great option.
|Adjustable neckline for increased comfort||Zipless design makes entry and exits tricky|
|Thermal bonded knee pads|
|Internal key pocket|
The Reactor-2 from O’Neil is built with performance and flexibility in mind.
This 2mm spring suit is made with strategic seam placement for maximum durability and comfort, ankle zips to aid with entry and exit, and Flatlock stitched breathable seams.
|Front entry and ankle zips make entry and exit simple||Some customers complained about the wetsuit material stretching after a few days|
|Krypto knee pads to reduce friction damage.||Front zip makes paddling while surfing uncomfortable|
|Made with UltraFlex composite.|
Best Long John Wetsuits for Women
Roxy Rise Collection Long Jane Spring Suit (Our Top Pick)
When it comes to women’s surf gear, there are not many better-known names than Roxy.
Only 1.5mm thick, colorful, and of the best quality, the Roxy Rinse Long Jane is perfect for stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and surfing on the hottest summer days.
With a front zip entry, and Stretch Flight 2 neoprene, this suit is easy to take on and off, flexible, but yet surprisingly insulating.
|The 1.5mm suit provides sun and wind protection without causing you to overheat||This suit is not designed to keep you warm, but rather to provide protection from the sun, wind, and ocean hazards|
|Front zip makes taking the suit on and off a simple task||Front zip can become annoying when paddling|
|Limestone-derivative, eco-friendly neoprene|
|Free shoulders make paddling easier|
Billabong Sol Sistah (Best Budget)
Biiliabong’s Sol Sistah spring suit is another long john style wetsuit perfect for UV protection during the summer.
This wetsuit’s lining is made with 100% recycled Superflex and is comprised of 80% neoprene, 10 nylon, and 10% polyester.
As this long jane wetsuit is only 1mm thick, it creates the perfect balance from the elements while preventing you from overheating.
|Adjustable neck strap for maximum comfort||Is not designed for cooler waters and may not be suited for summertime in colder climates|
|100% recycled lining material||Velcro on the neck strap will lose function over time|
If you are looking for a full-length swimsuit that has just a little more insulation than normal, then the Mirage Ultimate long jane is the perfect suit.
This long jane is not like other styles as it takes into consideration the style and cut of the wetsuit.
This is not just a suit to protect you from the ocean and other environments, but a stylish costume for slightly cooler conditions.
|High-performance coated neoprene panels.||Low chest and back cuts come with reduced insulation around vital areas|
|Stylish cut for comfort and aesthetics||Does not supply sufficient coverage from the sun|
|Econyl Regenerated Nylon||Does not do well in cooler water|
What to Look For When Buying a Long John Wetsuit
If you are looking at buying a new (or secondhand) long john wetsuit, you will need to go through much of the same process as buying other wetsuits.
You will need to consider where you will be surfing, the climate of the area, the temperature of the water, the type of ocean bottom, the thickness of the suit, and how active you generally are in the water.
Above this, however, it is particularly important to pay attention to the length of the long john wetsuit.
As long johns are armless, they do not seal as well as a full-length suit. This means that if the suit is slightly too long it will constantly flush with water and lose all its functionality.
Although it is always important to use a wetsuit that correctly fits, this is more so when it comes to long john wetsuits.
When Should I use a long john wetsuit?
According to wetsuit thickness guides, summer suits are generally used in water temperatures between 62 F and 68 F, however, long johns, shortys, and long shorts tend to be favored in water above 65 F.
This, however, is not a fixed in stone measurement as wind chill, your activeness in the water, and the cut of the long john wetsuit will all play a role.
Long john wetsuits are best for water activities that require high levels of energy, and the need for a full-motion of movement in the arms.
Some such sports include kayaking, SUP, kitesurfing, swimming, and in some cases, surfing.
As summertime approaches, the temperature of the water rises and our winter wetsuits no longer suit the conditions.
As an athlete who spends their time in the water but makes use of their upper body a long john, or long jane wetsuit could be the perfect option.
As long johns are sleeveless, they do not limit the range of motion in our shoulders which gives those wearing these wetsuits a slight edge on others.