If you’re fortunate to live in Costa Rica or Hawaii or some other extravagant surfer’s paradise, your watersports “season” is a literal Endless Summer. Wetsuits might be a luxury or completely unnecessary. If, however, you live somewhere with actual seasons, the warm weather does, in fact, end at some point each year. In that case, you’ll likely need at least two wetsuits — one for summer (or what you call summer) and a heavier full-body suit for the shoulder seasons. Whether you’re shopping for a “shorty” to keep warm while surfing in cooler waters or you need a legit full-body wetsuit for cold-water freediving exploration, we’ve got you covered. These are the best wetsuits for men to shop in 2021.
Australia’s Flatrock Wetsuits sources its wetsuit materials from premium Japanese limestone. The result is a buttery soft neoprene that fits like a second skin and promises all-day comfort, no matter what you’re getting into. For cooler waters (57°F – 68°F), the Sarvo Series 3/2mm Full-Length Steamer is ideal. The brand warranties its suits for life. If yours ever tears or disintegrates — it won’t, by the way — Flatrock will repair or replace it free.
For colder waters, Rip Curl’s aptly named Flashbomb Heatseeker line delivers. The 4/3 Chest Zip E6 wetsuit is the company’s most advanced cold-water wetsuit. The E6 Flash Lining and Flex Energy Neoprene actually heat up when stretched. It’s designed to help surfers, skin divers, and pearl fishermen brave all but the coldest waters.
Xcel has long been popular amongst surfers around the world. The brand’s midrange wetsuits are chock full of safety and protection features but without the bulk of lesser alternatives. The 3/2 Drylock X is made from Japanese limestone nanoprene — a sideways version of neoprene that’s warmer, lighter, and softer. This version boasts a Celliant black inner lining and a waterproof chest zipper that seals magnetically.
Henderson’s Greenprene wetsuit delivers the ultimate in cold-water protection. The 7mm thickness keeps warm in even the coldest New England waters. What’s more, the unique Greenprene material uses natural insulating foam and sustainable source materials like oyster shells and sugar cane in its construction. The result is a suit that’s soft, stretchy, durable, lightweight, and even hypoallergenic.
If money is no object and only the best will do, O’Neill offers some of the world’s best wetsuits. The Psycho Tech 3/2+ Full Wetsuit is a serious suit for serious surfers. This premium shell combines the brand’s exclusive TechnoButter 3 neoprene with a Technobutter Firewall for the utmost protection and comfort. The “+” designation indicates an additional 0.5mm thickness for added warmth.
Vissla’s 7 Seas Gadoo features a streamlined design that’s equal parts modern and retro (note the classic racing stripes down the sleeve). It boasts much of the same protection as its thicker brethren, including abrasion-resistant knee pads, liquid tape cuff seals that prevent flushing, and patented tape for maximum seam sealing. Like every product in Vissla’s deep catalog, the 7 Seas Gadoo 3/2 Full Suit also boasts an eco-friendly construction. It’s crafted from sustainable materials like limestone-based neoprene and Bluesign-certified dyes.
That hand-me-down wetsuit your 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 Quicksilver suit is made with extra air bubbles, while the WarmFlight lining reflects heat back to your body to simultaneously insulate and reduce weight.
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 Betz 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 in the water.
For milder days, sometimes a 2-mil suit does the trick. Body Glove’s Phoenix 2mm men’s short-arm is the closest thing to full-body protection in an ultra-lightweight, pared-down design. It’s the right thickness for adventuring in mid-60 to low-70-degree waters. The Magnaflex exterior material and Nano-tritec knee panels offer just enough protection for most typical surf and diving days.
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