Ultimate Review of The Best Shorty Wetsuits in 2023

Best Shorty Wetsuit

There’re times when wearing only a board short doesn’t keep you warm enough in the water, but you don’t quite need all the rubber of a full wetsuit.

This is where the middle child of the wetsuit family comes in, the zip spring wetsuit, shortie or short wetsuit.

A shorty keeps me warm in the temperate water, but not so much that I “cook” in it.

Instead, it offers just the right amount of cold & UV protection without being too thick to stifle me under the sun.

They make even more sense because I don’t wake surf as much as I did, and with age I’ve lost paddling strength. But with a shortie, I benefit from less shoulder restriction, and I can paddle faster and with greater strength.

On top of that, I don’t have to worry about my rashies or shorts moving around. The shorties keep me all tucked in and focused on my sport.

Of course, the biggest flaw with a shorty is it leaves a part of my legs and hands exposed, but it makes no big difference since I’ve been wakeboarding shirtless for the longest time.

Again, remember thermal insulation isn’t much of a huge concern with shorties as flexibility, comfort and ease of use are.

The bottom line is, there’s so much to gain from the best shorty wetsuit, especially if you’re looking forward to taking a dip in the warm summer waters.

That said, the cheap shorty wetsuits are cheap. They won’t hug your skin tight and will probably allow water to flush under. Plus, they’re not stretchy enough and so will inhibit your movement.

Instead, if you need a quality shorty neoprene wetsuit, it’s worth spending a few quid on one that will do the job.

And in the guide below, I’ll share some of my favorite shorty wetsuits that will keep you just warm enough and won’t leave you feeling like you’re in an oven.

Quick Comparison Table!

Phantom Aquatics Marine Men’s Shorty Wetsuit


Seavenger Navigator 3mm Neoprene Shorty Wetsuit


O’Neill Reactor 2mm Shorty Wetsuit for Men


ZCCO Men’s Premium Neoprene Wetsuits 1.5/3mm


Lemorecn Premium Wetsuits


Realon Kids Wetsuit


Dehai Women Shorty Wetsuit



The Best Shorty Wetsuits For The Money

Best Shorty Wetsuit for the money

#1 Phantom Aquatics Marine Men's Shorty Wetsuit - EDITOR'S CHOICE


I bought the Phantom because I teach swimming lessons at an outdoor facility in California and wanted UV protection so I wouldn’t need to bathe sunscreen every day.

Plus, I’m an avid surfer and wanted a men’s shorty wetsuit that will allow me to surf for longer without the restriction of a full neoprene wetsuit.

I’m glad I acquired the Phantom Men’s Shorty Wetsuit, and it has exceeded my expectations, especially for the price.

For example, I’m pleased that it has improved my buoyancy and those of my students at the swimming pool. It helps them swim faster, both in breast and freestyle strokes.

I’ve also not experienced any chafing. Plus, the additional resistance due to the elasticity of the neoprene is negligible.

But the greatest attraction to the Phantom Men’s Shorty Wetsuit is how it keeps water temperature from being an issue while at the same time allowing water to feel refreshingly cool.

Unlike my previous 3mm shorty wetsuit that made life miserable on the deck as I waited to enter the water, the 2.5mm Phantom is comfortable to wear in and out of the water.

The neoprene thickness also makes this shorty neoprene wetsuit for men perfect for snorkeling. Even in the warm surface waters, with the sun beating down on me, it feels nice and cool to use this suit.

Of course, for the extreme cold-water conditions, I stick to my 3.5mm. But if you’re looking for a good wetsuit for cold lakes and possibly the ocean in a warm climate, I’d highly recommend this men’s shorty wetsuit.

Moving on, I’m pleased with the 3-D Anatomical Sculpting. It’s an anatomic cut neck closure that allows this wetsuit to fit like a glove.

Phantom has the same fit as your regular T-shirt and runs as indicated on their sizing chart. It’s not big or small.

For big users like me (5’10), the large fit is just right and well-proportioned for my frame.

It has a bit of tight fit in the arms and chest, but I’m assuming it’s because I’m muscular from my visit to the gym. Most of the paddle boarders and surfers are more toned, so they shouldn’t have a problem.

Despite the “tight” fit, it has enough slack to make it comfortable wearing out of the water, but not so much that it makes it ineffective in the water.

For example, the fit is so nice, feels great and allows for fairly unrestricted movement. The flexibility is a plus in my books since it helps me swim faster like a man shark.

Phantom Men’s Shorty Wetsuit also remains quite easy to use and highly functional.

I love the handy back zipper that works great and allows me to don and doff without any help. The extra-long pull cord on the back zipper is perfect for me to zip and unzip myself.

But that’s not all; this men’s shorty wetsuit arrives with an adjustable Velcro collar and micro teeth Velcro fastener around the neck to prevent chafing while offering a watertight seal around the same area to prevent water flushing.

The flat-lock seams also help with eliminating chafing.

I also love how the rear seat provides a large amount of friction to make my grip secure. This is handy when sitting on the slippery swimming deck, so I don’t have to fear sliding and slipping around.

I also have to admit the bit of color detailing on this shorty neoprene wetsuit for men is awesome. It makes it just pop enough, and the red accent looks really sharp, while the tailoring is excellent. My son loves that I’ve a “SuperHero” swimsuit.



#2 Seavenger Navigator 3mm Neoprene Shorty Wetsuit - Most Flexible Shorty Wetsuit


I took this wetsuit for a dive in Roatan, Honduras, and I can’t think of getting another one any time soon.

It’s easy to put on and take off, and for the most part, I didn’t even realize I had it on.

Also, the price is perfect, and the quality is great, though you still need to take care of it.

But the greatest attraction about the Navigator 3mm neoprene shorty is flexibility.

The flexible neoprene material used here is super stretchy and conforms to the contours of my body. It allows for a range of free movement without restriction, and the movement of my arms is fluid and easy, so I’ve no problem using the wetsuit for swimming, scuba diving snorkeling.

The neoprene construction also measures up, and the build quality seems great for the price.

For one, the seams are all holding together, with no loose stitching and no abrasion spots even after several uses.

As for the quality, the Nylon II neoprene was a real bargain.

The quality is good, and nothing looks or seems crooked. I’m pretty sure it’s not only comfortable, but I won’t be replacing it anytime soon.

On top of that, Navigator 3mm neoprene shorty arrives with anti-abrasion shoulder pads that will hold up against friction. I can confidently wear mine with BCDs as the shoulder panels minimize wear and tear while scuba diving snorkeling.

This is not to mention it has a sharkskin chest panel that gives them extra strength for surfers and prevents them from getting red-skinned on their chest.

Of course, the greatest test for any wetsuit is how well it holds up to the cold and insulates you.

The good thing is Navigator comes with a Nylon II neoprene, which does well to shield me from the cold.

Normally, I get cold super-fast, and within 10 minutes, I’m blue in the lips. I’ve forgotten all about it.

With a 3mm thickness, the Navigator lets me stay in the water for as long as I want.

And ooh, before I forget, Navigator 3mm neoprene shorty also makes me a little buoyant. Without it, I would sink to the bottom of the deep pool.

Fit on the Seavenger 3mm shorty wetsuit is also nice.

It runs true to size and is snug, so much that I sometimes forget I’ve it on. It fits like a second skin.

However, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s sizing to ensure you get your body’s right size.

Keep in mind Navigator 3mm neoprene shorty wetsuit may feel a bit tight at first, but once you get into the water and try it a few times, it “loosens” up. Generally, as long as you can seat then the crotch and shoulder, you’re good to go.

Donning and doffing the Navigator 3mm neoprene shorty wetsuit is also a breeze. The back zipper entry makes it easy to slip into and out, so you have more time in the water.

Plus, it comes with an extra-long leash, so you won’t even require a helping hand to get it on or off.



#3 O’Neill Reactor 2mm Shorty Wetsuit for Men - Best Shorty Wetsuit for Men


I wanted a wetsuit to keep me warm for my birthday trip to the beach, and the O’Neill Reactor Short Wetsuit for Men seemed like a good pick.

And after weighing on the pros and cons of the different versions available, I ultimately decided on the 2mm neoprene wetsuit. It guarantees more warmth, and it’s more specialized in its purpose.  I could also use it for scuba diving snorkeling.

The price was also attractive, and having done a lot of research on the existing models, the Reactor 2mm had serious bang-for-the-buck value.

Of course, I could have gone cheaper or even more expensive, but this offers the best value for money.

Now, as with most of the wetsuits on our list, O’Neil doesn’t fail in the flexibility department.

Yes, it’s tight as a glove, but not uncomfortable. It offers a full range of motion.

It allows free movement without restriction, and I could barely feel that I had anything on.

The wetsuit is so flexible that I’ve no problem using it at the pool or even for kiteboarding because it’s so unrestrictive.

When in the water, it gives me enough buoyancy to float in freshwater with my mouth and nose out of the water without treading water.

It tends to float horizontally and put me on my back, but I manage to float with my face above water, completely relaxed.

Moving on, the neoprene construction of this masterpiece is worth taking a look at a second time.

I mean, the build quality is top-notch as I’ve used it several times, and it performs as expected. In fact, I can’t believe the suit is under the $100 mark.

Beyond the neoprene, one of the few cool features that really count for durability is the additional reinforced Krypto knee pads. They deliver enhanced durability where you need it most.

Plus, the front and back panels are made from wind-resistant smooth skin, which makes this premium neoprene diving suit perfect for kiteboarders and windsurfers.

The other unique thing with this wetsuit is that it’s made out of polyester. It’s a departure from the traditional neoprene material which we’re used to.

Polyester adds warmth to my diving surfing, but not so much that I feel like I’m in an oven.

I’ve used the suit from the mid-60s to 75 degrees in ranging wind conditions, and I felt completely warm. Any warmer and I would have overheated, and I suspect anything colder than the mid-60s would have been uncomfortable.

Getting on and off from the O’Neil Reactor is also a breeze.

It provides a small but snug fit on land and will conform well once in the water.

But some of the few things that really stood out in terms of fit include a soft neck tab closure that is comfortable on my skin and doesn’t chafe.

There’s also a generous room around the pit and shoulders to allow fluid motion without the excess fabric.

Finally, you get a smooth zipper pull on the back with a self-help lanyard. It zips up nicely without much effort and never sticks even once.



#4 ZCCO Men's Premium Neoprene Wetsuits 1.5/3mm - Budget Pick


I’m a fan-favorite of O’Neil, but I thought I would try the ZCCO Men’s premium neoprene diving suit for half the money.

It’s of similar quality to the O’Neil and other premium wetsuits, and I’m pleasantly surprised.

And the good thing is, ZCCO men’s shorty wetsuit seems to score highly in most departments where it matters most.

For example, we live in a residential subdivision with a pool for neighbors to use. The problem is the water is usually too cold for me, even in summer. Also, due to work commitments, I can only manage swimming at night after work, so I hardly swim.

But that changed once I acquired this wetsuit.

I’ve used it for several swimming sessions now, and I must say it’s a great product. It really keeps me warm and comfortable.

Some neighbors are even giving me a funny look from time to time, but I don’t care. I bet they’re just jealous because they can’t stand the chill water in the swimsuits.

Overall, it’s great to swim at night in this wetsuit, and even on days when it’s cloudy or raining.

The other good thing about this purchase is it fits well and snugly.

I thought a large size would be small for me (5’10”), but it fits my frame with the least effort.

It runs a bit tight on the chest and legs, and this is probably because I’ve fairly large legs from mountain biking and lacrosse, but still, it’s not restrictive or uncomfortable.

Fit across the chest is also good, and I’m quite comfortable with this wetsuit.

The neoprene construction on this wetsuit is also amazing, and the seams seem pretty good.

It’s a well-made shorty, and the high-quality material and stitching are premium. I’ve used it a couple of times now, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to wear anytime soon. No holes, nor tears and no abrasions.

Finally, I always look forward to using the ZCCO Men’s Premium Neoprene Wetsuits because it’s easy and pleasant to use.

Getting on and off the wetsuit is a breeze, and I don’t have trouble getting the zipper to go up with the long pull. I don’t even require someone to help me get into the wetsuit.

Plus, I like the style of this wetsuit quite a lot.



#5 Lemorecn Premium Wetsuits – Most Versatile Shorty Wetsuit


The Lemorecn Premium Wetsuits might be an entry-level wetsuit, but it’s also one of the most versatile options on our list and in the market in general.

It also looks meek, but its versatility and multi-purpose use are unmatched by some of the more premium and expensive picks.

Apart from diving surfing, it also excels in other water sports such as kiteboarding, scuba diving, triathlon, diving, paddle boarding, and so much more.

It’s a must-have if you’re into different water sports.

It doesn’t disappoint with its flexibility, either, and this is one reason it shines in the different water sports.

The neoprene material used and the panels on the wetsuit are so flexible that they won’t restrict any movement.

It allows a range of motion, and when in use, it feels like you’re not wearing a wetsuit.

For this reason, I find it quite a handy option for water sports that require a lot of mobility and motion. You can beat the Lemorecn Premium Wetsuits.

The Neoprene material used here is also quite thick enough to shield you against cold water conditions and jellies & sea lice.

It’s comfortable to use, and after repeated days at the beach and hours on the end of snorkeling, I didn’t feel cold as I would have on the regular wetsuits.

This wetsuit works by trapping water on your body, and the neoprene suit creates a thin layer that makes water sports fun to catch even when cold.

While it doesn’t keep the water out entirely as a dry suit would, it takes away the initial cold-water shock and allows me to quickly acclimatize to the water temperature.

But that isn’t to say the Lemorecn Premium Wetsuits is uncomfortable in the warm water.

No, it’s a shorty, and like all shorties, it also excels in warm tropical and temperate climates.

I love that it won’t create hot spots in your body and give you a burning sensation in the scorching sun.

Instead, it provides a cooling and refreshing effect, so you’ll have a pleasant time, even if you’re not diving in the water.

I use it for fishing, sea kayaking, aqua aerobics and paddling, and it remains quite functional even when I don’t need to get into the water for cooling.

Plus, the shorty wetsuit for men gives a little buoyancy, and this is of great help to my teenage son, who is learning to swim.

So far, I’m happy with this purchase because it also offers a nice fit-as expected.

The athletic-fit advantage makes it quite interesting to wear, especially if you’re a triathlon athlete.

For me, it offers a snug fit. But keep in mind it feels a little bit tight and will stretch and adjust a bit on your first time wearing it.

It’s normal, though, and with time, you’ll love how well it hugs your body.

It doesn’t feel “loosey” and won’t create or leave space of the armpits, neck or legs that may lead to water flushing.

As for quality, Lemorecn Premium Wetsuits are a real steal. The material and overall design, including the stitching, seams are all nice. The color options are on point, no color fading, and it seems like it’ll last for long.

I’m particularly impressed by the Flatlock stitching method. It has less seam-irritation than other seam designs, and it doesn’t bulge.

The back zipper entry further promotes comfort and convenience on this masterpiece. While back heavy-duty YKK isn’t my favorite, the extra-long leash makes donning and doffing this wetsuit manageable.

Plus, the neck closes with two adjustable Velcro collar tabs & micro teeth Velcro fastener in the back and will keep you comfortable while preventing water lushing.



#6 Realon Kids Wetsuit – Best Shorty Wetsuit for Kids


I bought two of these for my kids, who are 9 and 11 and very skinny.

It’s a great purchase as the suits fit great and seem to be well-made.

The Realon Neoprene Shorty Wetsuit also delivers on comfort and pricing.

My greatest attraction to this wetsuit was the 2mm thick Neoprene.

It’s pretty thick, just as I wanted, and this is important for protecting my sons from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

More importantly, it keeps them warm, and this was crucial during their first lessons at swimming. Before, they were shivering like crazy, and so was everyone else, and their lips were blue.  I was afraid they would dislike swimming.

But with the Realon Kids Wetsuit, I found a solution, and I’m now happy to see them enjoy every second in the water.

Another thing I’m pleased with is the size and fit.

Their arms and legs are fitted nicely and snugly. They don’t have to struggle a lot or keep adjusting their wetsuit as they previously did with the loose boardshorts and other kids’ wetsuits.

Construction also measures up, especially the stitching and quality.

Everything seems to be of high quality, and this can be seen from the Neoprene material and the quality stitching.

They use the finest materials only and are designed to last a long time, and on growing kids so they can wear it for long.

But the best feature, at least for me, is the flatlock stitching design. It’s an important design feature for any kids’ wetsuit because my kid’s skin is a bit soft, and any form of discomfort results in irritation.

With the Realon, I’m confident I won’t have to deal with red skin rashes or to chafe after the swimming sessions because it comes with flatlock stitched seams and a soft interior.

And finally, opening and closing of the Realon Kid’s Shorty is a breeze.

Getting in and out of the suit is easy, and my kids don’t require much assistance. I also love that the zipper, with a drawcord, remains sturdy so far, and everything works as expected.

You can also purchase the Realon neoprene wetsuit as a full-suit, and numerous sizes will see your toddlers through their teen life.

Overall, the Realon is a great all-rounder worth considering.



#7 Dehai Women Shorty Wetsuit – Best Women’s Shorty Wetsuit


The Dehai Women Shorty is a 2mm Neoprene wetsuit.

While clearly listed as a women’s wetsuit, it also works well for teens, adults, and youth.

Its versatility doesn’t end there. This wetsuit can also be used for different water sports such as diving, swimming, paddle boarding, kite surfing and scuba diving surfing.

It’s also suitable for both beginners and experts.

Versatility aside, the Dehai premium neoprene diving suit is also extremely well-made. All of the seams and edges are in good condition.

The extra stitching and detail are all first-rate. My girlfriend has used Dehai for several seasons and taken it through all manner of abuses, and it still stands solid.

She has used it on the chlorinated pool and stored it without cleaning, dried it under direct sunlight, and so much more, and it still looks as new.

Dehai is also aesthetically pleasing, and the blue panel’s accent on the wetsuit is actually a fabric, not just silk-screened on, as are other decorations on some suits.

Dehai also doesn’t fail to impress when it comes to shielding users from the biting cold.

Of course, it’s not a dry suit to keep you dry, but you should expect to keep warm more than if you didn’t have it.

My wife wears this neoprene diving suit for water temperatures of between 50 to 70 degrees, and she can extend her stay in the water.

And the good thing with Dehai is it also dries very fast. Thirty minutes of laying it flat on the pool deck on one side, and then flip it over for 30 minutes on the other side, and you’re done. It has exceeded our expectations.

The Neoprene material used on Dehai is also quite nice. It’s healthy, soft, comfortable and skin-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about skin allergies or skin irritations.

More importantly, it has awesome flexibility, which has helped elevate my wife’s performance in the water.

It helps her float easily, and in open water, it prevents injuries from happening.

She can also now engage in more water sports, especially those requiring more hand mobility, such as scuba diving, surfing and swimming.

Wearing a Dehai zip spring wetsuit is also a walk in the park and shouldn’t take much of your time, even when you’re alone.

The long heavy-duty strap makes closure easy and fast.

Size is also on point, and the manufacturer’s chart worked perfectly for my wife. It was appropriately snug, without being too tight. It fits well and leaves room to move while exercising freely.



Best Shorty Wetsuits Buying Guide

Best Shorty Wetsuit buying guide

Now that we’ve looked at some of the shorty wetsuits in the market, let’s consider what you need to consider when selecting the right wetsuit for your needs.

But first;

Why Use a Shorty Wetsuit/ Short Sleeves Wetsuit?

Shorty wetsuits are perfect for the summer season or warmer climate when a swimsuit or boardies doesn’t quite cut it.

Usually, the shortie wetsuits are 3mm or 2mm in neoprene thickness, with some being around 1 mm.

Short sleeves wetsuits provide just enough neoprene to keep you warm in water without being too thick to stifle you under the sun.

On top of that, the shorty wetsuits are quite versatile in their use and can be used in a range of water sports from surfing, aqua aerobics, scuba diving, stand up paddle boarding and much more.

The shorty wetsuits are also ideal for days when you want to spend your time on the beach. They’re great for dipping in and out of the water with family, not to mention they’re more compact than the full wetsuits, so they’re transportable, too.

To Shorties or not to Shorties?

The question of whether to wear a shortie or not is common in the scuba diving and water sports community.

When should one opt for a short-sleeved wetsuit over a full-body wetsuit?

To answer this, we first need to look at the purpose of a wetsuit

Generally, the primary role of a neoprene diving suit is preserving body temperature by trapping a layer of water against the skin.

The skin then warms the water, acting as an insulator against cold & jellies and sea lice.

This is further helped by the foam neoprene that traps air bubbles that, in turn, helps to trap the layer of water.

So, most definitely, a full-length wetsuit will offer better thermal insulation and keep your body warm than shorties.

But here’s the thing; shorties are, for the most part, used in warmer waters, where thermal insulation and body temperatures aren’t a huge concern.

Here, flexibility is the greatest priority.

Usually, the shorty diving suits will work in water temperatures upwards of 72F (22C), providing sufficient insulation to the body to allow surfers to stay in the water longer.

The other plus with the shorty wetsuits is they’re easier to wear. This is particularly true if you love wearing board shorts. Transitioning to the neoprene shorty wetsuit will be much easier.

Of course, the greatest debate is that shorties offer less protection to the diver from scrapes, bumps, and jellyfish stings.

Those who swear by diving suits disagree and argue that the benefits of having easy-to-use, lightweight wetsuits outweigh the need for slightly greater UV protection.

At the end of the day, the need for a neoprene shorty wetsuit will depend on two main factors; water temperatures and personal preference.

If you often dive in warmer climates and find getting in and out of a traditional wetsuit cumbersome, you may opt for a pair of shorty wetsuits.

How Does a Shorty Wetsuit Work?

How Does a Shorty Wetsuit Work

Many users believe that you don’t get in a neoprene wetsuit. This is only possible in a dry suit.

In all other wetsuits, you’ll definitely get wet.

Once the water gets into the body, it’s then heated up by the body heat.

And this is the reason I recommend acquiring a premium neoprene wetsuit that is skin-tight because there’s less water penetration. The result is the less the body has to heat the water and the longer you stay warm.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Shorty Wetsuit

In the section below, I’ll break everything you need to consider to make the right shorty wetsuit purchase decision.

Thickness and Cut

The thickness of your wetsuit will determine the water conditions you can use your wetsuit and even the water activities to engage in.

For example, wind chill isn’t much of a concern for water sports such as scuba diving and snorkeling since you’ll be spending most of your time in the water.

Secondly, shorties are meant for use in the warmer conditions, so they tend to be light and less thick,

Generally, the best shorty wetsuits have a neoprene thickness of 1 mm to 2.5mm. They’re extremely thin and ideal for the warm, tropical climates and body temperatures 75+ F (24C).

They’re quite different from the traditional full-size wetsuit, which mostly ranges from 3 mm up to 6mm. These are mostly used in the cold, freezing waters.

And because of their mild thickness, these diving fabrics are ideal for water sports that require a lot of mobility, such as paddle boarding and swimming.

Wetsuit Zip Entry

The zip entry refers to where the zipper is located on a wetsuit.

Usually, there’re three configurations to the zip locations on a zip shorty wetsuit.

1)      Back Zip Wetsuit

As their name suggests, the shorties with a back zip entry have a zip starting from the middle of the spine and zips up to the back collar.

When the heavy-duty YKK back zip is opened, it creates a space large enough for someone to enter or exit quickly.

But the greatest flaw with the back zip is zipping the wetsuit alone. Plus, they come with a loose collar that lets water enter easily around the neck.

2)      Chest Zip Wetsuit

With a chest zip shorty wetsuit, the flap runs across the chest and opens up to create an opening to enter.

It offers more flexibility, but unfortunately, getting into a chest zip wetsuit is challenging than a back zip.

But once you’re inside, you benefit from a better seal.

3)      Zip Free Wetsuit

The zip-free shorty wetsuits are ideal for those who hate dealing with fiddling around with zippers.

The lack of a zipper on the suit allows the shorties to be optimally lightweight and water-tight for scuba diving and snorkeling.

They also allow users to experience even more warmth by reducing water flush. It’s like almost wearing a second skin that lets you stay warm in cold water.


To get the optimal fit for a shorty wetsuit, you need to ensure it’s as close to the skin as possible.

A skintight fit will prevent water from flushing through the legs, arms and neck opening. And this way, you experience the possible comfort and warmth.

However, this doesn’t mean you should go for the overly tight or restrictive shorties.

The goal here should be to get a snug fit while still creating room for the flexibility of movement.

A too-tight shorty wetsuit will make it hard to move in, and taking it on and off will be a hassle.

On the other hand, a too large shorty wetsuit has numerous spaces all over and will allow water flushing, beating the whole idea of a wetsuit,

For most individuals, the wetsuit sizing depends on their chest size and height. Women should use their dress size as a starting point to determine the size, but it should be as tight-fitting as possible to maintain the insulating properties.


The best shorty wetsuits have a thermal lining inside the suit for promoting comfortable scuba diving and surfing sessions.

Lining eliminates the chafing of the premium neoprene, but they also dry quicker, so you can potentially use the same wetsuit two times a day.

Also known as bio-fleece layers or firewalls, depending on the brand, the thermal lining is usually found on most mid-range and high-end wetsuits.

Seams and Stitching

There’re numerous types of stitching used in making a wetsuit.

The type of stitching design is based on the price, performance and brand.

Traditional stitching involved puncturing holes in Neoprene and connecting them with thread.

Unfortunately, it’s not a good method because it allows water to pass through and may not keep you warm.

Some of the more advanced stitching methods in the market include:

1)      Overlock stitching

The overlock stitching is the easiest way of connecting two pieces of neoprene.

It works by rolling two pieces of neoprene and stitching them together.

As you’d imagine, it leaves an uncomfortable bulge and isn’t good at keeping water out.

It also lowers the flexibility of the seamless paddle zones, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and even chafes your skin.

2)      Flatlock stitching

Flatlock stitching works by stitching the seam of two overlapping pieces of neoprene together.

This zigzag flatlock stitched seams style is commonly used on summer wetsuits because the resulting holes left behind let some water in, making it cooler and more breathable.

It can also support your body structure without causing any chafing.

3)      Glued and Blind-stitched (GBS)

The glued and blind stitched wetsuits have a much higher quality than the previous stitching designs.

With GBS design, pieces of neoprene are glued together and then stitched only halfway through so as not to puncture the other sides.

The seams on GBS wetsuits keep out as much water as possible since there’re no holes and the water trapped inside doesn’t get flushed. They’re good at maintaining your body temperature.

4)      Stitchless

Some wetsuits don’t come with any form of stitching. Instead, they arrive with welded seams.

The welded seams style joins the neoprene panels using a silicone-based urethane seal.

Since it doesn’t involve any form of stitching, it’s 100% water-tight and will keep you warmest and driest out of other stitching methods.

Additional Accessories

There’re some handy shorty wetsuit accessories that you should also consider when acquiring your wetsuit.

Some of these include:

  • Wetsuit hoods
  • Wetsuit gloves
  • Wetsuit boots

What to Wear Under a Shorty Wetsuit?

What to Wear Under a Shorty Wetsuit

It’s not necessary to wear anything under a shorty wetsuit, but if you’re diving, we recommend having your regular swimwear underneath it.

Wearing your shorty wetsuit nude is unhygienic and can chafe against the suit.

And if your skin is easily irritated, you can consider wearing a rash guard or a simple cotton t-shirt.

Secondly, if you plan to extend your stay in the water, you might want to consider additional insulation.

You can have your rash guard on or UV protection shirt with a thermal undergarment.

Scuba Diving in a Shorty Wetsuit

Some water sports are performed on the water surface, while others, such as scuba diving, require riders to dive.

Now, if you’ll be scuba diving, just know the neoprene material will make you more buoyant since it contains some more air cells.

With some of the thicker wetsuits, the buoyancy is even greater and can even make it challenging to dive down.

If you wish to dive deep down, you might have to consider wearing a weight belt to counteract the buoyancy.

Look for a weight belt that doesn’t move around a lot and, more importantly, keep the weight to a minimum so that surfacing won’t be a challenge.

Also, air cells prevent water from getting and escaping from your body.

Buying Vs. Renting a Wetsuit

Many surfers are faced with a tough choice of either buying or renting a shorty wetsuit.

It’s not a difficult decision since it mostly depends on the frequency of usage.

For example, renting is the ideal decision if you only want to use it once to cross it off a water sport on your bucket list.

Most destinations have local shops that rent out the suits.

But if you want to surf or scuba dive frequently in the future, you’d want to consider buying one of your own.

Sometimes, repeatedly renting can be a costly affair, and you won’t guarantee the quality of the wetsuit.

On top of that, you don’t even know the times it has been rented to users with questionable personal hygiene issues.

How to Care and Maintain your Shorty Wetsuit

Maintaining a shorty wetsuit is easy.

You simply need to ensure you thoroughly clean it after use and dry it.

Use a hose with clean water to rinse the snorkeling surfing wetsuit.

And if you’ve been using it in saltwater, you can consider using soapy water for a better clean.

But don’t make the mistake of drying the suit in the hot sun.

Instead, wipe them dry with a soft fabric.

Getting these may also take time, so you may also consider turning them left and right.

Best Shorty Wetsuit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Are shorty wetsuits any good?

A: Yes, shorties are incredible at protecting you against the cold-water conditions and jellies and sea lice.

While they may not be as protective as the full snorkeling surfing wetsuit, the best shorty wetsuits are handy at also shielding you from abrasions, scrapes and elements.

Q: Does a short snorkeling wetsuit keep you warm?

A: Absolutely.

Depending on the Neoprene thickness, some are even too hot to wear in warm conditions.

For example, the 4mm+ shorties, though quite rare, are excellent at keeping you warm.

Q: Do I need a shorty wetsuit?

A: Yes, you need one.

The greatest benefit to a shorty lies in its flexibility and less thermal insulation.

Yes, it will offer some heat insulation to some extent, but the greatest strength is you get more flexibility.

It’s like having a second skin on. You won’t even feel like you’ve one.

Q: Which is the best wetsuit?

A: The best wetsuit depends on your needs.

If you frequently surf in warm waters, a shortie should be the best pick.

But if you use your snorkeling surfing wetsuit in the cold water, I’d recommend a full wetsuit.

Wrap Up: Our Choice

Best Shorty Wetsuit wrap up

We’re through with our review of the best shorty wetsuits.

It has been an exciting review, and we’ve come across some interesting options.

However, if you’re still undecided on what wetsuit to consider, I recommend the Phantom Aquatics Marine Men’s Shorty Wetsuit.

It’s an all-around and perfect snorkeling surfing wetsuit for different water sports.

This men’s shorty also scores highly in plenty of departments, including heat insulation, ease of use, flexibility, and so much more.

And the good thing is that it comes at a fairly reasonable price.

I’d buy it again!

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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