As the snow melts, surfers shed their full, hooded wetsuits and transition into a more comfortable and versatile surf clothing — springsuits.
Springsuits are wetsuits that don’t give full coverage. They’re great for mobility as they give your knees and elbow freedom to move, while at the same time they keep your body core warm. These wetsuits are best worn at water temperatures ranging from 68 °F (20°C) or higher.
And since springsuits come with tons of variety and styles, it may be hard to choose which one is best for you. In this article, we’ve listed down the top 6 best springsuits that you can find online today. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide so you know the things you should look for before buying.
What makes a good springsuit?
Springsuits, from the word itself, are best worn during the spring or warmer weather when the water temperature’s not too cold and not too hot. They’re made of neoprene material that’s at least 2mm in thickness so that they can provide the right amount of insulation.
Springies can also be short-sleeved or short-legged. Hence why they’re also referred to as shorty wetsuits. Compared to full suits, springsuits are much easier to put on. They’re also more comfortable to wear because they don’t constrict the legs or the arms when paddling.
A good springsuit allows flexibility in movements. It should almost act as your second skin wherein paddling and stretching. Springsuits that are also made from high-quality neoprene material shouldn’t cause any rashing on your neck and inner thigh areas.
Not just for surfing, good springsuits can also be used on other water sports such as paddling, kayaking, diving, and swimming. Since they’re more suitable for everyday sessions, their fabrics should be lightweight and durable at the same time.
Top 6 Best Springsuits
- Seaskin Men's 3mm Shorty Wetsuit
- Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 2mm Back Zip Springsuit
- O'Neill Men's Reactor-2 2mm Back Zip Springsuit
- Axesea Women's One Piece Shorty Wetsuit
- Patagonia’s R1 Spring Juanita
- Sirensong Dahlia Longsleeve Springsuit
- Price: $46.99 – $74.99
- Sizes: XS to 4XL
- Material: 100% Neoprene, Nylon lining
For our top pick for the men’s category, we’ve chosen this 3mm shorty springsuit from Seaskin that costs around $50. Since 2014, this brand has been manufacturing affordable and high-quality wetsuits for water sports enthusiasts all over the globe.
The Seaskin springsuit is made for men who are more sensitive to cold water temperatures. It’s made with three layers of fabric, starting with the imported nylon for its outside lining, neoprene for the middle, and soft, heat insulator fabric that helps preserve body warmth.
The Seaskin’s springsuit’s 3mm fabric is also integrated with UV protection to protect your skin against the sun’s harmful rays. Since the neoprene is thick and durable enough, it can also protect you against sea irritants, sea lice, jellyfish, and reef rash.
Meanwhile, the front full zip enclosure makes for easy entries and much easier take-offs. However, front-entry zip enclosures come with downsides, like minimal water getting inside the wetsuit.
The good news is, springsuits like this are much comfortable to wear than those with back zips that constrict the neck area. It has wide arm openings, and its fabric also has a good stretch. Since it’s also buoyant, it allows you to float easier and swim faster in cold pools. For this reason, this springsuit is also suitable for water aerobics.
We also like how versatile this springsuit is. It’s minimal in design, so it will also look good on women.
A bit of a warning, though. Seaskin recommends taking the correct body measurements before ordering. According to some reviews, the wetsuit loosens up when submerged in water, so make sure to order one that’ll fit you like a glove.
|Thick fabric material that insulates well||Sizing issues, some wetsuit sizes run small|
|Has durable flatlock stitch seams||Zipper breaks after a few uses|
|Integrated with UV protection|
|Good value for money|
#2: Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 2mm Back Zip Springsuit
- Price: $139.95
- Sizes: S to 3XL
- Material: E5 Neoprene
The Dawn Patrol Springsuit is from one of the most recognized brands in the surfing industry — Rip Curl. Founded in 1969, this company has been organizing events and making products for thousands of surfers worldwide, a reason why they’re also dubbed as ‘The Ultimate Surfing Company’.
The 2mm fabric material of the Dawn Patrol features the all-new E5 Neoprene. It’s a premium type of neoprene fabric, and it’s proven to be 30% more stretchable, 20% more lightweight, 10% warmer than its predecessor, the E4 Neoprene.
This springsuit is engineered for performance and warmth. Its E4 Thermoflex technology combines neoprene and Thermo lining for strength, while the E5 Flash lining is the warmest, fastest-drying, and most comfortable lining ever. To reinforce it, the lining is glued and blind-stitched into this wetsuit.
Aside from the Thermoflex, this springy also includes high-stretch seams with a mesh skin panel that absorbs heat to keep you warm. The added thickness also reduces wind chill so you can stay longer in colder waters. As a bonus, the mesh panel has an internal key pocket so you don’t lose your keys or wax while surfing.
Now, we know that there are surfers who get intimidated with back zips, but the Dawn Patrol springsuit has an easy entry system that makes putting on as easy as pie. It features a batwing that has an internal water flush barrier to keep the water from coming inside the wetsuit, while the E5 Handtape acts as the seal.
Along with Dawn Patrol’s back zip is an adjustable smooth skin collar that gives you a customized fit around the neck. Since you can adjust it accordingly, there are fewer risks of rashes. It’s also more comfortable to wear.
|Variant also comes with chest-zip entry option||Slightly expensive|
|Made from high-quality fabric|
|Easy to put on and take off|
- Price: $69.95 – $198.71
- Sizes: XS to 3XL
- Material: Neoprene
O’Neill brand is the standard when it comes to surf clothing and surfboards. They were the first ones to design and manufacture wetsuits in the 1950s, and today they continue to improve and develop their flagship products. For this list, we picked O’Neill’s Reactor-2 Springsuit, a high-quality wetsuit that won’t hurt your wallet.
The Reactor-2 is a springsuit that’s built for performance. It’s made from a premium kind of neoprene called Ultraflex that allows flexibility and wider range of movements in both your arms and legs. It’s just the right amount of thickness, so it’s suitable for tropical and warm waters.
Since it’s wind-resistant, your body will be able to maintain its regular temperature even if there are trade and offshore winds. It’s also made with a Smoothskin chest and back that repels wind and water, while at the same time absorbing heat from the sun for extra body warmth.
To allow ease of movement and prevent skin chafing, the Reactor-2 also features seamless paddle zones. It has a single-seal neck closure with an adjustable SuperSeal collar for comfort and snugger fit. A hidden key pocket is also stitched inside this springsuit to hold your wax or any other small items.
The consistent fitting of the Reactor-2 is also worth the mention. Even when it’s wet, it still maintains its tight fit and doesn’t loosen up. In addition, the zipper that comes with a leash makes it easy for entries and take-offs. The only thing we didn’t like is that the velcro at the back of the wetsuit may lose its hold after a few uses.
|Made of good quality neoprene||O’Neill does not repair damaged wetsuits anymore|
|Doesn’t loosen up when wet||Velcro at the back loses its hold after a few uses|
|Good value for money||Has strong neoprene smell|
|True to size|
- Price: $65.99 – $75.99
- Sizes: 4 to 16
- Feature: Pentashell Thermal technology
Having neoprene allergies can be difficult because most wetsuits are made of this fabric material. Luckily, there are companies like Axesea that manufacture neoprene-free and adhesive-free springies.
This springsuit from Axesea is an eco-friendly alternative to neoprene-based wetsuits. By utilizing the technology called Pentashell Thermal, they were able to combine the warm and thin qualities of wetsuits and the lightweight construction of rashguards. This makes an easy-to-wear springsuit that’s perfect for warm climates with strong winds.
This springsuit’s four-way fabric with double-layered weaving is soft and highly elastic, so it’s easier to put on than regular wetsuits. Since it’s not too stiff, it also gives more freedom in movement. However, because it’s technically not made of neoprene, this springsuit doesn’t provide any buoyancy and floatation assistance whatsoever.
In addition, since this springsuit is only 1mm in thickness, wearing it isn’t advisable for colder water temperatures. If you want to enhance its heat retention capabilities, you can wear this as a base layer and put a top or jacket over it. For reference, a user wore this springsuit with a jacket in an outdoor, heated pool during winter in California.
But while it may not be suited for cold water, this springsuit still makes a really good investment. Since it’s neoprene-free, its fabric doesn’t fade and lose its stretch in chlorine-treated pools. It’s also integrated with flat-lock stitched seams that help prevent skin chafing and scratches.
Aside from its eco-friendly initiatives, it also includes added features women would appreciate, such as the bra pads and thumbholes that come with it. It’s also very stylish and flattering to any body type!
|Lightweight and comfortable to wear||Not suitable for cold water temperature|
|Gives full arm coverage||Sizing runs small|
|Stylish high collar|
#5: Patagonia’s R1 Spring Juanita
- Price: $149
- Sizes: 2 to 10
- Material: 85% Yulex natural rubber, 15% synthetic rubber
Have you heard of sustainable wetsuits? Most manufacturers use petroleum and limestone-based neoprene in making wetsuits; however, study shows that these materials have negative impacts on the environment. As an alternative, the company Patagonia pioneered in creating wetsuits that use natural rubber instead of oil-derivate fabric.
The Juanita Springsuit from Patagonia is an eco-friendly and sustainable wetsuit made from 85% Yulex natural rubber and 15% synthetic rubber (polymer content). Meanwhile, its exterior fabric is lined with polyester and spandex for extra stretch and durability.
This springsuit is only 1.55mm thick, therefore it’s one of the most lightweight wetsuits on this list. With that in mind, this one is only advisable to wear in temperatures ranging from 65 °F to 75 °F (18 °C to 23 °C).
When worn, the Juanita feels like a second skin, thanks to its flat-lock seams that prevent scratches and irritation. The high-stretch lining also makes it more comfortable to wear.
Patagonia’s Juanita also features a sleeveless and racerback style. This allows you to paddle your arms without restrictions. Meanwhile, its cheeky bottom gives more freedom of movement in the lower half of the body. It also accentuates the bum area.
According to its users, this springsuit is a bit tight and the sizing runs a bit small; however, the chest zip entry makes it easier to put on and take off.
|The openings allow a wide range of movements||Emphasizes thigh cellulite|
|Sustainable and eco-friendly||Not true to size|
|Good value for money|
#6: Sirensong Dahlia Longsleeve Springsuit
- Price: $249
- Sizes: S to XXL
- Material: Neoprene and Lycra
Finally, we have a brand that’s created by a woman for women — Sirensong. Founded in 2014, this brand from North Shore, Hawaii is known for making wetsuits with feminine and hand-painted designs.
For the last entry on this list, we’ve chosen Sirensong’s Dahlia Longsleeve Springsuit. This springy is made with 2.55mm Yamamoto neoprene, a limestone-based neoprene that has a higher quality and lesser carbon footprint than its petroleum-based alternative.
Because of how stylish it looks, the Dahlia Springsuit looks like a regular swimsuit; however, its thick neoprene allows it to retain body warmth even in colder water temperatures. Sirensong’s all-new lycra fabric, on the other hand, is made 20% lighter than its predecessor, therefore it’s less bulky and more stretchable. Because of this, Sirensong recommends going one size smaller for better fitting.
Now, the Dahlia features long sleeves that give added coverage and protection for your arms and body core. To prevent skin chafing in your arms, these sleeves include deep-cut armholes for more flexibility and less constriction. Meanwhile, the front zip entry allows you to unzip the chest area in warmer weather.
Since this company was founded by a woman, this springsuit’s style is as essential as its function. The Dahlia features foliage print and a color blocking pattern that help accentuate the curves. There are also options for the bottoms — you can choose the Hawaiian cut for a cheekier approach or a booty short if you want full coverage on your butt. For a more customized fit, you can adjust your chosen bottom’s side ties.
|Thick Yamamoto neoprene for colder water temperature||More expensive than its alternatives|
|Comes with stylish and feminine floral designs|
|Flattering to all body types|
Springsuit Buyer’s Guide
Aside from spring, springsuits are also great for summer, that’s why its fabric material shouldn’t be too thick. That said, the ideal thickness of springsuits should be from 1.5mm to 3mm only. It should be able to keep you warm, but not thick enough for it to be considered as a winter wetsuit.
You must also keep in mind that the thicker the fabric is, the more restrictive it will be. This is the reason why springsuits are more stretchable and comfortable than winter wetsuits.
Next, you have to take into account the surfing location. In places like Australia, California, Hawaii, and other tropical countries, you can wear springsuits all year round.
Hawaii has warm waters, but it can get pretty chilly when the trade and offshore winds start to blow. Also, water upwelling, or the event wherein the cold water comes up the water surface, occurs in places near coastlines. In places as such, it’s more ideal to wear springsuits with long sleeves.
Their styles may vary, but all springsuits don’t give full coverage — one is either short-arm or short-leg.
As mentioned above, a long sleeve springsuit is more suitable for places where offshore winds blow. Long sleeves are also perfect if you’ll be on dawn patrol since it gives more warmth when the temperature’s a bit colder. Meanwhile, a short sleeve springsuit is best if you want more mobility on your arms.
When it comes to short-leg styles, springies can be mid-cut or cheeky. These kinds of wetsuits will provide your legs with more range of movement.
Lastly, we have the zippers. Although a minor detail, zippers contribute to the overall ease of wear of springsuits. These things can be located in the chest or at the back of the wetsuits. If you’re the type of surfer who prefers opening the chest zip after sessions or every time you want to cool down, then you should consider this before purchasing.
Springsuits are wetsuits that are best worn in places where the water temperature is not higher than 68 °F or 20°C. They’re made from lighter neoprene fabric that’s around 1.5mm to 3mm thick, so they’re less stiff and allow more flexibility in movements.
These wetsuits are also less bulky, making them easy to store and travel with. They’re also easier to put on and more comfortable to wear compared to full and hooded winter wetsuits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you take care of springsuits?
Similar to any other wetsuit, you should rinse your springsuit with cool, fresh water after every use to remove any debris like sand and dirt. Don’t allow it to sit too long in the laundry after swimming in salt water, because the salt content can cause its fabric to lose flexibility.
After rinsing, hang it to dry in a shaded area. Do not let it dry in direct sunlight because its heat can cause damage to your springsuit’s neoprene. For even drying, you can use a wetsuit hanger.
Q: How much does springsuits cost?
Springsuits are made from thinner neoprene fabric; therefore they’re much cheaper than full wetsuits. A high-quality springsuit would cost around $100 to $200 depending on its brand and features.