If surfing, bodyboarding, or open-water swimming are your fitness methods of choice, the end of summer can be a real buzzkill. Even the toughest water warrior will flinch when the first cold wave of autumn slaps him in the chest. Come winter, with dreary skies and water temps in the low 40s, and you’ll become an expert in reasons to stay home and watch The Endless Summer. In bed. With an Egg McMuffin.
That is, unless you’ve got a badass wetsuit to get you out there.
We tested some of the best wetsuits around in a variety of environments, from the pounding breaks of the Oregon coast to the frigid depths of Lake Superior, before listing our top picks in a variety of categories. Our emphasis was on cold-water performance and sustainable materials since we want those waterways to remain healthy and thriving for future generations to enjoy. From budget-friendly option to boss looks, we’ve got every type of wetsuit you need to brave the waves. These are the best men’s wetsuits to shop right now.
Best All-Around Wetsuit: Matuse Dante 3/2mm Full Wetsuit
Sustainability, comfort, durability, and good looks — the Matuse Dante has it all. The incredibly flexible, buttery soft Geoflex material is sustainably manufactured from limestone, and surprisingly thermal against cold water temperatures. The durable yet flexible SCS tape provides extra seam durability while remaining soft and comfortable against your skin, and the Hydrasilk exterior keeps you flowing through the waves with ease.
Best Budget Wetsuit: Quiksilver 3/2 Syncro Back Zip GBS Wetsuit
That hand-me-down wetsuit your older brother’s friend sold you for $50 is still a great deal. Warm, comfortable, durable, all-black, and always on sale somewhere — just because it’s a budget-friendly buy, though, doesn’t mean it’s low-performance. The StretchFlight neoprene of this suit is made with extra air bubbles, while the WarmFlight lining reflects heat back to your body, both in the interest of improving warmth and simultaneously reducing weight.
Best Splurge-worthy Wetsuit: Patagonia R4 Yulex Back-Zip Full Suit
This high-performance suit is totally neoprene-free, made instead from mostly Yulex natural rubber (derived from Forest Stewardship Council-certified sources), recycled polyester lining, and Fair Trade Certified sewn. With triple-glued, internally taped seams to keep you dry, and a flexible, anatomic fit, this suit is built for adventure in the high seas. It also comes in six degrees of thickness to keep you toasty all the way down to 32-degree water temps. If you’re going to surf the infamous breaks of Oregon’s aptly named Battle Rock, this should be the suit you do it in.
Best Triathlon Wetsuit: Matuse Betz Full John
Made from ultra-flexible, sustainable Geoprene, this 2mm sleeveless wetsuit will send you rocketing through the final stage like a guided missile. Matuse’s sleek Full John is reinforced with durable satin seal spot taping to keep your suit leakproof and is constructed with Hydrasilk to make you sleek as a sea lion.
Best Stylish Wetsuits
When the water’s warm and the breaks are crowded, there’s no reason to place technical features at the top of your list. You want a wetsuit that looks good, and we support you. Below are our top picks for wetsuits that perform decently, but really excel in aesthetics.
Body Glove Retro 3/2mm Backzip Men’s Fullsuit
Carve up the waves like Johnny Utah in this unapologetic throwback wetsuit. Its standout looks come reinforced with a Magna Flex exterior and Nano Tritec kneepads.
Hurley Advantage Plus 3/2mm Fullsuit
What Charlie Brown might wear if he finally sacked up, started going to therapy, and took up water sports, this suit strikes the perfect mix of bold and understated style.
Narval Untitled Flame FZ 3.2 mm
“Oh my god, Becky. Look at the guy surfing down under the pier.”
“Which guy, Jenny? There are so many of them.”
“Um, there? The one with the flames on his wetsuit?”
“Oh. My. God. Do we know him?”
“I’m not sure. Let’s go down and bring him a towel.”
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