One of the cool ways we can have a relaxing and fun adventure is to engage in water sports. But, wearing the right wetsuit is crucial for one to have confidence, move freely, and keep warm and protected in the waters.
It’s easy for people with an average body type to find the right fit to wear, and they can mostly choose through various designs. However, people with bigger body types tend to have difficulty looking for the right suit, as manufacturers rarely make wetsuits in plus sizes for both male and female.
Finding the right wetsuit is important for your safety and comfort in the water, and fortunately, we have you covered.
Worry no more, as we enlisted the top plus size wetsuits in the market. All options are top-rater and well-received by customers so that you can be sure for each pick.
Top 7 Best Plus Size Wetsuits Reviewed
- Women's Quantum Stretch Full Wetsuit by AKONA – Best Overall
- Women's 3mm Thermoprene Pro Front Zip Shorty Wetsuit by Henderson – Best Value
- Women's Rector Back Zip Full Wetsuit by O'Neill – Editor’s Choice
- Women's Short Front Zip Wetsuit by Cressi
- Men's 7mm Quantum Stretch Wetsuit by AKONA
- Men's & Women's Classic Lycra Hotskins Skinsuits by Henderson
- Triathlon Wetsuit 5/3mm – Women's Endorphin Full Sleeve Smoothskin Neoprene by Synergy
#1. Women's Quantum Stretch Full Wetsuit by AKONA – Best Overall
- Water Temperature Rating: 65 – 75 degrees
- Style: Full Wetsuit
- Thickness: 3 mm, 5/5 mm, 5-6 mm, 9/5 mm
- Material: Eco-friendly neoprene
- Seam Construction: Glued and blind stitched
- Zipper Style: Large, durable YKK #10 brass zipper
- Sports Type: Scuba, Snorkeling, Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, or Surfing
Starting our list is a full wetsuit from an earth-friendly brand known as AKONA. The company reduces its dependence on oil-generated chemicals through a neoprene that uses limestone made up of 99.7 percent calcium. AKONA wetsuits feature an excellent combination of a molded Delrin zipper and a marine-grade slider.
With this, the Women’s Quantum Stretch Full Wetsuit is no exception, and it makes the top pick for the best plus size wetsuit on our list. This wetsuit is more environmentally-friendly than other suits that are usually petroleum-based.
This wetsuit is made of ultra-stretchy neoprene, which is comfortable and easy to wear on and take off when and after you dive. This Quantum Stretch Neoprene Material allows 300 percent more stretch compared to other standard neoprene suits. This wetsuit fits right and feels soft, and it is significantly more comfortable than typical suits.
Moreover, the suit has soft, durable, reinforced Super Flex Airmortex knee pads and textured shoulder that allows it to last longer without wearing and tearing easily.
The AKONA Women’s Wetsuit comes with eco-friendly materials and a marine-grade brass zipper with an extra-long leash for easy zipping. Its seams are glued and blind stitched to keep water from getting into the wetsuit, and it also limits fraying.
Although a 5 mm – wetsuit is specifically for water temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees, the AKONA wetsuit is good for keeping you warm and comfortable for any sport you choose. With an added stretch in the wetsuit, you can have maximum flexibility and movement for any sport type.
It also makes the top choice for its durability and long-lasting feature, which comes in handy if you love staying in the water for a long time, for several occasions. With sizes available up to 5XL, you don’t need to worry anymore about finding the right fit.
|Marine-grade brass zipper||Knee pads crack after long-term use
|Ultra-stretchy neoprene||Available in a single color|
|Reinforced knee pads|
#2. Women's 3mm Thermoprene Pro Front Zip Shorty Wetsuit by Henderson – Best Value
- Water Temperature Rating: 68°F and above
- Style: Shorty Springsuit
- Thickness: 3 mm
- Material: Stretch Thermoprene
- Seam Construction: Double glued and double sewn
- Zipper Style: Full body front diagonal zipper
- Sports Type: Scuba, Snorkeling, Swimming, Surfing
If you’re searching for a wetsuit that keeps your body comfortably warm for longer periods, the Women’s Thermoprene Pro 3 mm Front Zip Shorty Wetsuit by Henderson is the way to go. Many excellent features accompany Henderson’s new Thermoprene PRO line.
As its name implies, the Thermoprene PRO wetsuits are professional-level wetsuits created to provide you maximum warmth and comfort.
Compared to its 180 percent stretch, the Thermoprene material now has a full 250 percent stretch, which allows you to stretch the wetsuit more than twice its current size and still have a great and reliable fit from the wetsuit. Additionally, it has an aqua silk lining in all interior panels to make this suit comfortable for you during diving, snorkeling, and surfing.
Its seams are glued and stitched to ensure longevity, performance, and durability even in the most vigorous water sport conditions. The suit keeps you warmer longer thanks to its numerous minimized seams, which are each double glued and blind stitched to help keep water out of your body, ensuring maximum warmth and long-term durability.
Henderson’s wetsuit features a diagonal full front zip that allows you to easily take the wetsuit off without needing any assistance. It comes in two creative color options, along with contemporary graphics and classic styling to give you a great look in and out of the water.
With sizes available from 4 to 24 and thickness at 3 mm, this wetsuit can help you swim through waters that are 68 degrees and above, no matter what their body sizes and height are. As a spring suit, it also goes with any sport of your choice.
|Comes with a self-healing spine||Complaints about the spine pad restrictive
|250 percent stretch neoprene||The zipper is challenging for starters
|Velcro-resistant outer fabric||Shorty only|
|10-year limited warranty|
#3. Women's Rector Back Zip Full Wetsuit by O'Neill – Editor’s Choice
- Water Temperature Rating: 68 degrees and up
- Style: Springsuit
- Thickness: 3/2 mm
- Material: 100% stretch neoprene
- Seam Construction: Flatlock
- Zipper Style: Full Back Zipper
- Sports Type: Scuba, Snorkeling, Surfing, Paddle Sports
A wetsuit brand list will not be complete without O’Neill, as it makes some of the finest wetsuits on the market. The Women’s Rector Back Zip Wetsuit is a springsuit that covers you from the knees upwards towards the elbows.
It comes with seamless paddle zones, which provides one of the best comforts and protection from the cold waters. Its collar is also fully adjustable for you to achieve that snugly and comfortable fit. Plus, it has a hidden zip, and breathable seams also ensure the same comfort in hot temperatures and an easy entry and exit.
This wetsuit is designed for performance, stretch, and durability, along with great colors, graphics, and style that you will surely love. It’s the best choice for anyone who needs some time on the water, especially when it comes to sizes up to 16.
The O’Neill 3/2mm Back Zip Wetsuit is perfect for snorkeling, swimming, surfing, and scuba diving. Its smoothskin insulation keeps your body warm in the water, while its seamless paddle zones allow a wide range of movement when you are in the water.
This plus-sized wet suit offers UV protection and a water-resistant closure over the zipper to keep you dry. It is made with a super-stretch neoprene rubber that provides a superior feel, flexibility, and elevated performance for any adventure.
|Hidden water-resistant closure zip||Arm- and leg-length are too long for shorter women
|Stretchable neoprene design||The mock collar can be too tight for some users
|Available in sizes up to 16||Seams fray easily|
|Seamless paddle zones|
|Fully adjustable collar|
- Water Temperature Rating:
- Style: Shorty Wetsuit
- Thickness: 2 mm
- Material: Double-lined neoprene
- Seam Construction: Glued and Sewn
- Zipper Style: YKK Front Zipper
- Sports Type: Scuba, Snorkeling, Surfing, Swimming
If you plan to purchase a wetsuit that offers the perfect fit for your body curves, then the Front Zip Wetsuit by Cressi is a great choice. You can never go wrong with Cressi, as this company makes some of the best plus size women’s wetsuits in Italy. Therefore, this particular wetsuit is no different in terms of quality and assurance for the best flattering fit.
This Cressi wetsuit is made with a double-lined and highly flexible neoprene, which allows you to have the right fit. It also features an easy-entry front zipper to wear the suit effortlessly and anatomical cuts that hug the curves of any plus size women’s body shape, making a comfortable fit.
This wetsuit is 2 mm thick for durability and warmth, making it perfect as a plus-size wetsuit for snorkeling, diving, swimming, surfing, and the like. Plus, it protects the body from UV rays, scratches, and jellyfish.
By following the right size for you based on the chart, your wetsuit should fit comfortably like a second skin, allowing a small amount of water to keep you warm when in the water. However, you should try the wetsuit wet when finding your size, as neoprene becomes softer when in the water.
To ensure that plus-size individuals achieve free movements, each model for the product have different anatomical cuts. The Cressi short front zip wetsuit is available in three color options with a YKK zipper closure for durability and an easy donning and doffing suit. On top of it, you can also enjoy a two-year limited warranty and easy replacement on your purchase once it does not fit.
|Highly flexible neoprene material||Does not provide warmth as 3mm or thicker materials|
|Double-lined construction||Too small for taller women
|Three color choices|
|Front zip entry|
- Water Temperature Rating: 45 to 65 degrees
- Style: Fullsuit
- Thickness: 7mm
- Material: 300% Stretch Neoprene and nylon
- Seam Construction: Glued and Stitched
- Zipper Style: Saltwater resistant zipper
- Sports Type: Scuba, Snorkeling, Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Surfing
Next on our list is another wetsuit from AKONA. Their reduced dependence on oil-derived chemicals has paved the way for their neoprene experts to develop a four-way nylon stretch that can withstand the harsh elements of diving through years of research and engineering.
This unique combination of nylon weave and the super lightweight neoprene rubber allows a Quantum Stretch that makes AKONA’s wetsuit extraordinarily flexible and stretchable. This feature is better than typical neoprene wetsuits, which only stretches one way due to the wetsuit’s laminated nylon material.
Therefore, this unique lamination process and pattern match lightweight, limestone-based neoprene in creating the most comfortable and best-fitting AKONA Quantum Stretch wetsuits.
This wetsuit, just like any other AKONA wetsuits, comes with a limited two-year warranty that covers all issues concerning the material and quality, excluding wear and tear from regular use or damage from chlorine or salt buildup.
The 7 mm thickness of this wetsuit is suitable for colder waters of 65 degrees and below. So, the AKONA 7mm Quantum Stretch Full Suit helps you stay warm and comfortable, regardless of your watersport.
Additionally, this wetsuit is one of the most durable and long-lasting suits on the market. With its soft and durable Armortex knee pads and saltwater-resistant zipper, you can enjoy a safe, protected, fun experience even in the cold waters. With larger sizes up to 5XL, enjoy a comfortable fit with this cold-water suit.
|Larger sizes available up to 5XL||Does not accommodate weight loss
|Keeps you warm in cold waters |
- Water Temperature Rating: 80 Degrees and Up
- Style: Fullsuit
- Thickness: 3mm
- Material: Blended Nylon/Lycra
- Seam Construction: Overlock Seams
- Zipper Style: YKK #5 Zipper
- Sports Type: Diving, Waterskiing, Swimming, Surfing
Another wetsuit from Henderson makes our list, and this one has sizes available for both men and women. The Hotskins series by Henderson features various wetsuits made using either Lycra or polyolefin, which keeps you warm and is flexible. More so, its Lycra and Polyolefin material protects you from biological irritants, abrasion, and UV rays.
This fullsuit is also designed with durable overlock seams, which works great to keep water out of the wetsuit without sacrificing its quality. However, the T-shirt and short style garment are sewn using flatlock stitching to do the job.
Henderson’s classic Lycra Hotskins Skinsuits is a good choice for plus size individuals searching for something unique. Since the Hotskins wetsuit is known for its versatility, this feature makes them great for divers and snorkelers alike.
Designed with flexible styles that look great, the Hotskins Wetsuit allows nearly total freedom of movement that withstands rigorous watersports.
|Provides enough warmth and protection||Complaints about size running small
|Flexible and protective material||The zipper is not low enough|
|No burns under the sun||Lycra easily loses elasticity
|Stylish overlock seams|
|YKK #5 zipper|
- Water Temperature Rating:
- Thickness: 5/3 mm
- Material: Hydrodynamic Neoprene
- Seam Construction:
- Zipper Style: Internal back zipper
- Sports Type: Swimming, Triathlon
The Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit is an Ironman and SAT approved plus size wetsuit that is well-received as a plus-size triathlon wetsuit due to its materials’ 680% flexibility. The hydrodynamic neoprene and integrated core buoyancy panel help to keep you floating and move quickly in the water. These wetsuit designs are endorsed by athletes and are sized to fit plus-sized women comfortably. Plus, its 5/3mm thickness allows you to stay warm during your swim and achieve maximum buoyancy that is double the buoyancy of 3 mm suits. With this feature, you can float higher and move faster on water, allowing you to save energy.
Moreover, this wetsuit is recognized as the Triathlete Magazine Editor’s Choice Award Winner and Lava Magazine Best Value Wetsuit. It proves that it’s suitable for all levels. Plus, it comes in various sizes to ensure a perfect fit.
Its technology equates to superior performance with its hydrodynamic neoprene. Since it offers you a full range of motion, the Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit gives you exceptional functionality.
It comes with the highest-grade internal wetsuit zipper from YKK, which significantly reduces drag as you move through the water. With a soft smoothskin on both sides of your low neck, you can minimally feel having anything on the area.
Best of all, you can have the best deals when it comes to the company’s warranty. If you are not satisfied within the initial 30-day guarantee, then you may have either a two-year warranty, full refund, or a lifetime replacement guarantee, which allows you to send your used wetsuit anytime and receive forty percent off on MSRP.
|Approved by Ironman and SAT||The zipper is too high and rubs the back of the neck
|Athlete-endorsed design||Water accumulation in the stomach|
|Hydrodynamic neoprene||Neck fits tightly
|680 percent flexibility|
Top Pick – Best Plus Size Wetsuits 2020
The AKONA Quantum Stretch Women’s Front Zip Full Suit comes with unique characteristics that result from the combination of the super lightweight neoprene rubber with nylon. With this unique technology, the suit can stretch better than standard neoprene wetsuits in the market. It also comes with outstanding flexibility and unmatched durability.
Thanks to the company’s research and engineering, they can create their wetsuits with materials that can withstand any harsh diving elements. Among all wetsuits in their class, this product is deemed as the most comfortable and best-fitting one.
Top Brands for Plus Size Wetsuits
Business partners Everett Edmund and Patrick Madison founded Henderson aquatics after their experiences as partners in the marine industry. After many years, scuba diving becomes popular, and these men recognized the need for heat protection in the cold waters, so they formed the business brand, Henderson.
Earlier versions of the wetsuits were sold mainly to scuba divers as a do-it-yourself kit. Each kit contained a roll of neoprene, pattern, and one bottle of neoprene cement. Since wetsuits were in demand at that time, and many divers did not prefer to construct their own suits, the company started making and shipping ready-made suits for its consumers.
Henderson was named after the Henderson boatyard in Port Elizabeth, NJ, where you can also find the original wetsuit factory. Today, the company is based in Millville, NJ, near the boatyard, and they are distributing worldwide, dousing on style, performance, and product innovation.
Founded in 1992, AKONA is an American Sporting Goods Brand that specializes in Watersports. The company began with a mission to create affordable dive bags and travel luggage for the scuba diving industry. This resulted from the fact that high-quality dive bags were as costly as dive gears, and less quality ones easily tear apart after a season. Due to this, AKONA never well-received for bags.
Generally, AKONA products were made for adventure in any climate and environment. Moreover, they are designed for activities that are either above or below water level. AKONA ensures that their products, such as neoprene suits, diver accessories, and snorkeling equipment, have versatile, rich, durable features that allow them to be used for a lifetime.
Today AKONA products various products, including non-life support equipment to both snorkeling and scuba diving industries.
Staring O’Neil’s journey in 1952, a young surfer named Jack O’Neill built the world’s first California surf, snow, and lifestyle brand to be the most authentic, progressive, and unique company brand in the surf and snow industry.
With his passion for surfing, Jack established O’Neill’s set innovation in style and technology to be the core values that fuel the brand’s devotion to the evolution of action sports.
O’Neill’s spirit of innovation will always drive the company forward from the first-ever neoprene wetsuit and surf leash to the world’s first stitchless boardshorts and range of groundbreaking wearable technologies.
O’Neill is mirrored in the histories of Jack O’Neill and of surfing itself. Without Jack O’Neill, there would not be surfing as it is known today. He not only launched O’Neill, the original surf brand that is sold in more than 47 countries and continues to be the number one wetsuit brand in the world, but he launched the whole notion of the surf industry.
Founded in 1946, Cressi is popularly known as the brand pioneer in snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming equipment. The diving company is rich in innovation, development, and manufacturing. Cressi is a family-owned brand that originates in Italy, which grew as one of the first companies that developed innovative equipment for watersports.
After over 70 years, the company continues to adhere to innovation. The same passion that inspired the founders to build its success persists. Today, they combine with advanced technology that results in the most outstanding and reliable products.
What to Consider When Buying Plus Size Wetsuits (Buyer’s Guide)
Finding a plus-size wetsuit is tedious for many individuals with body sizes that are above average. Nevertheless, it would be best if you consider some of the factors to find the perfect wetsuit that has the right amount of support, design, and warmth to help you tackle the cold waters.
Determine Your Body Size
You must be aware of your body size. So, this means that you need to measure your height, hip, chest, waist, and other areas to ensure that it matches the wetsuit of your choice.
Identify the Water Condition and Temperature
Wetsuits are made to keep you warm and protected against different water conditions. By knowing the water condition in freezing waters, you can determine more important factors, namely the type and thickness of the wetsuit that you will purchase. So, in this case, you know that a springsuit will not be fit for colder temperatures.
Generally speaking, thinner neoprene, ranging from 0.5 mm to 2 mm, is best suited for warmer water conditions 65 degrees and up. If you are going through colder temperatures or stay in the water for longer times, thicker suits ranging from 3mm to 5mm are good choices.
Wetsuit Design and Accessories
When a plus-size wetsuit best fits your body needs and features, you need to consider a wetsuit that is easy to wear on and off. You can pair plus-size wetsuits with accessories to customize according to your sports gear and the water conditions, including a wetsuit vest, zippers, gloves, and boots. Other than these, some other helpful features may include:
- Double Lined Neoprene vs. Single Lined Neoprene
- Wrist Seals
- Layers of Titanium
- Internal Lining
- Reinforced Knees
- Anatomic Shape
Balance Between Warmth and Flexibility
The material used to make your wetsuit determines your freedom of movement. Sometimes, the thinnest material can make it harder for you to move. But the thicker the neoprene is, the more tiring it is for you to move since you’ll be exerting more energy.
It is necessary to have the right balance between warmth and flexibility, wherein you can wear the right amount of thickness while getting a good amount of flexibility and warmth. This is why manufacturers aim to make wetsuits warmer without making it too thick and more flexible without being too thin.
Fit and Flush
Finding the right size and fit is the most important aspect, as you can have less flushing and space for cold water to get in your suit with better fitting.
Neoprene is a popular material that is stretchable enough to fit and hug our bodies better. Note that a wet neoprene is looser compared to a dry neoprene. To know if you find the perfect fit when you put a wetsuit on, it should feel snug while allotting enough room for you to breathe.
Stitches are important flushing factors for wetsuits. Usually, neoprene is stitched using a needle and thread. Needles create holes where water comes in and out of the neoprene. Note that with fewer holes on the neoprene, the warmer the suit will be. Some of the types of stitches are as follows:
- Overlock Stitch
- Flatlock Stitch
- Blind Stitch
- Basic Blind Stitch and Glued
- Blind Stitch, Glued, and Spot Taped
- Double Blind Stitch and Glued
- Blind Stitch, Glued, and Fully Taped
- Blind Stitch, Glued & Fully Taped with Neoprene Tape
- Liquid Taping / Liquid Seal
- Stitchless / Seam Less / Fusion
Neoprene panels usually come hand-in-hand with stitching. Most of the time, manufacturers aim to lessen the number of neoprene panels stitched into their final product. Although there are various stitching techniques that you can use, seams are less flexible and are more likely to be damaged. So, fewer seams would allow for a warmer and more flexible suit.
Zipper functions to help us put on and take off our wetsuit. Longer zippers are easier to control, but these would make more water flush out of the suit. So, some wetsuits are designed with special short zippers. Moreover, your zipper’s teeth size and shape matter as that of the material that it is made of. Metal zippers are usually more durable than those made of plastic.
On the other hand, some suits are designed with a small Velcro safety belt that helps to stop the zipper from opening, while others have no zippers at all.
Wetsuits are important parts of your watersport gears. When you are out in the cold water, you should make sure that you wear something comfortable, fit, and safe against UV rays, water abrasion, warm and cold water, and biological irritants. Although average-sized individuals find it easy to find the perfect fit and design, plus-sized surfers can find it more tedious to search for the right fit for their body types.
Among all the choices and brands on our list, the most well-received and best-rated product in the market is that by AKONA. We hope that our list helps you make an informed choice. We definitely recommend you to wear a wetsuit in general, since it is essential to keep you protected and warm, especially when you regularly engage in water sports.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
How to identify your plus size wetsuit?
It is important to know that your normal clothing size is not necessarily the same as your wetsuit size. Wetsuits are worn tight on the skin, and different companies have each sizing charts for their own-made products.
You should look at the size chart of the manufacturer from your chosen wetsuit brand. For some brands, such as Henderson, measurements for your waist, chest, and hips are necessary.
Your wetsuit should comfortably fit and snug, allowing freedom movement for both arms and legs. Good wetsuits should allow only a small amount of water inside; otherwise, your body won’t heat it up.
What can you gain from using a wetsuit when swimming?
Wetsuits provide you with several benefits in the water. First, wetsuits allow you to float. Its thickness ranges from 1 mm to 5mm. A thicker wetsuit allows you to float easier. Using a wetsuit in swimming provides you an extra lift more in saltwater than in freshwater. Plus, it brings your heart rate down while you are swimming.
With your wetsuit’s buoyancy, you can swim faster while exerting less energy to remain afloat. While doing so, your wetsuit keeps you warm while in the cold water. This feature will extremely benefit you if you are sensitive to the cold.
What is considered the best plus size wetsuit shorts?
The best wetsuit pants or shorts should be comfortable to wear on and off, so they must be constructed with stretchable material, such as neoprene. These wetsuit plants and shorts are usually between 2 mm and 3 mm in thickness, which is enough to give you both comfort and warmth. More so, they have high elasticity with adjustable waistbands to give you the right fit. If you want to add a touch of fashion, some come in colorful designs.
What are the uses of different wetsuit zippers?
Wetsuits with zippers at the back makes it easier for you to wear the suit on and off. A traditional backsuit’s zipper opens all the way to the tailbone to allow you to maneuver without needing assistance. However, some modern surfing wetsuits today have modified short-back zippers, which are about three-fourths in length. This is helpful to have less water from entering your suit.
However, a vertical front zip benefits anyone with shoulder pain or low-mobility. More so, horizontal chest-zip wetsuits are more watertight. Although they are difficult to maneuver in and out, they are ideal for wind sports and surfing.
How does neoprene work in a wetsuit?
Wetsuits work to keep you warm. The rubbery material that makes out a wetsuit is known as neoprene. Neoprene is an insulating material that works in coincidence with your body to heat water and trap it against your skin, leading you to keep warm while you’re in the cold waters.
It is possible due to the very good insulation properties of this elastic synthetic rubber material, which comprises millions of microscopic bubbles, or micro-cells, trapped inside the neoprene. Each bubble is filled with either air or nitrogen gas, making it the basic insulation source produced by neoprene.