9 Best Wetsuits for Southern California (2022 Trending)

Swimming and other related water sports are pastime activities that we mostly enjoy regardless of the time of the year. And when it comes to open water swimming, you will often get a wetsuit over the more conventional one-piece swimsuits. While both garments are suitable for use in water, they provide a different experience when it comes to open water swimming. And with open swimming, you can get it wrong if you fail to consider the temperature of the water.

If you become uncomfortable in your wetsuit during swimming, you might count your losses and end the session sooner than you might want. One popular spot for wetsuit usage in swimming is the Southern California beaches in the United States. Here the waters vary in temperatures depending on the time of the year. This makes it all-important to know about the best wetsuits for Southern California.

The best wetsuit will be dependent on several factors, chiefly water temperature. And since the water temperature is dependent on the time of the year and location, an excellent wetsuit in warm waters might not be ideal for cold water. Knowing what works on the southern California beaches can be a big difference in enjoying your time.

How to Choose a Wetsuit for California Beach Activities

Before you dash out to the store to get a wetsuit, understanding what makes a wetsuit best for you is essential. Wet-suits use Neoprene rubber in their design due to its insulating abilities.

Asides from keeping your body warm and reducing heat loss in water, Neoprene wetsuits also help you attain buoyancy in the water while remaining flexible and having the ability to stretch. But Neoprene isn’t the only material for making a wetsuit. Composite mixtures of nylon, polyester, and titanium-infused elements are also regularly used.

These abilities make the wetsuit the perfect swimwear for open-water swimming and triathlon events. More importantly, spending a few hundred bucks should have you gunning for the best product on the market. Asides from having a comfortable wetsuit, other considerations are equally necessary.

And to help you do just this, here are some tips to guide your purchasing decision:

1. Composition

Usually, you want to consider the composition of a wetsuit before paying for it. This is because the material used will often determine every other factor that comes into play. Neoprene wetsuits are your go-to option as they are perfect at wicking away moisture; hence they don’t get heavy when wet. If you are going for composite wetsuits, ensure that they have a sizable amount of Neoprene. Alternatively, you can go for wetsuits that use less amount of fabric materials in them. If a wetsuit has too much material fabric on the outside, it will soak up moisture and, in time, become heavy.

2. Flexibility

If you do not intend to swim in frigid or icy water, then a wetsuit with suitable flexibility is essential. For a wetsuit to be considered a perfect fit for you in terms of flexibility, it must satisfy the three conditions below:

  • A wetsuit should be flexible enough at the wrists to allow for stroke motion of various kinds. For this, it must conform to the natural contours of your wrist while also sealing appropriately. Proper fitting and sealing reduce the inflow of cold or warm water into the suit and can function correctly. If not, flushing occurs, and you lose warmth and an increase in drag.
  • The neck section of your wetsuit should also conform to the natural outline of your neck. When this occurs, you have a snug yet tight-fitting that holds against flushing while allowing you to breathe, turn and twist effortlessly.
  • Lastly, many often favor a tapered leg design to the ankles. This helps you create a streamlined body shape down to the ankles. Such design makes it easy to pull on and off your wetsuit while also having efficiency from your kicks.

3. Thickness and Size

Your best fit wetsuit also has to be of suitable size and thickness. Too short, and it will be excessively tight around the crotch and neck area, too big, and it won’t serve the purpose of regulating your body heat. For optimal fit, it’s essential to know your height and chest measurements beforehand, especially when shopping for wetsuits online. If you are shopping in a store, most will have tapes to help you take measures. All you have to do is ensure that the measuring tape is gently snug around your chest for accurate measurement.

ALSO READ: Wetsuits vs. Drysuits for Swimming

Do You Need a Wetsuit to Swim in Southern California?

Southern California is peculiar with its consistently warm weather and beautiful beaches that are great for hosting a ton of water events. That said, the water temperature in southern California can be erratic. And depending on the time of the year, you will most certainly need a wetsuit before heading into open water.

Take note of the following prevailing conditions before heading to take a dip in Southern California:

1. Summer Months (June to August)

This is the period when you want to get out of your entire body wetsuit and can try out other designs. By now, the water temperature has risen considerably enough but make no mistake, even in summer months, southern California waters can be unpredictable. It takes a powerful surge from the north wind to drastically drop water temperatures.

You can swim in your full suit, short arm full-body, or a long arm/short leg wetsuit. And since the water temperature is around 65°-67°, your wetsuit can be 2mm thick. In other cases, the water temperature can rise to over 70°; you can swim in a spring suit or jacket/vest. Alternatively, Boardshorts or swimsuits are enough if the conditions are prime with the sun shining and no chilly wind.

2. Winter Months (December to February)

With winter comes cold and southern California waters are not immune to this. During this period of the year, you need a 4/3mm full-body wetsuit. Water temperature can drop below 50°, which can cause brain freeze. Thankfully, this period is often short-lived, and by late February, the water begins to warm up.

3. Spring Months (March to May)

The spring period ushers in summer, so you can expect the waters to become warmer than during winter. During this period, having a 3/2mm wetsuit is preferable. And although the waters can get occasionally cold, they are still within warm temperatures.

4. Fall Months (September to November)

During fall, there are two swells during which you can rely on short arm wetsuits to enjoy your period in the water. Once this phase passes, you will need a 3/2 mm full-body wetsuit to keep you warm in the water.

ALSO READ: 8 Best Men One Piece Swimsuit

Best Wetsuits for Southern California Beaches

If you’ve read to this point, you know your best wetsuits for Southern California is the 3/2 mm as well as the 4/3mm thick wetsuit. These suits provide the necessary insulation against cold while also doubling as performance enhancers. Alternatively, the sleeveless wetsuit and the spring-suit wetsuit are likewise popular.

Below are some of the best wetsuits designs to check out for a day out at the southern California beaches:

1. 3/2 mm thickness

A 3/2 mm description means the wetsuit has a neoprene thickness of 3 mm around the torso and 2 mm around the legs and arms.

Unisex 3mm Front Zip Wetsuit

Mens 3mm Shorty Wetsuit Womens, Full Body Diving Suit Front Zip Scuba Diving Wetsuit Snorkeling Surfing (Mens Fullsuit, XL)


This unisex wetsuit fits tight and ideally around the body and is excellent at keeping your body heat under control when in the water. It uses a premium quality neoprene material to attain durability, stretchiness, and efficient heat insulation. The presence of a heavy-duty YKK front zipper on it ensures you can slip in and out without any stress. It combines this with flat-lock stitching at the seams, which adds to its durability and waterproof nature. Overall, it’s gentle, soft, and comfortable on the skin.

Hevto 3mm Long Sleeve Wetsuits for Kids

Hevto Wetsuits Kids 3mm Neoprene Full Suit Surfing Swimsuit Swimming Thermal Toddler Children Boy Youth Girl for Cold Water Sports (KL1-Blue1, 10)


Open swimming can be a family experience, and if you decide to go with kids, you can rely on this wetsuit to give them the maximum protection they deserve. It uses a 3mm neoprene thickness with elastic nylon material. Also, incorporating flat-lock stitching is perfect for use in the water temperature range 50℉- 67℉. Whether it is swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, or other water sports, you can be sure of your kids maintaining body heat to make them perform better and longer. What’s more, this wetsuit is environmentally friendly and soft on the skin.

Lemorecn Men’s Neoprene 3/2mm Wetsuits 

Lemorecn Mens Wetsuits Jumpsuit Neoprene 3/2mm and 5/4mm Full Body Diving Suit for Men and Women(3033blacklightblue-XL)


The Lemorecn wetsuit uses a flat-lock seam to produce impressive comfort and smoothness on the body. It also features spot taping done at stress points to increase its durability further. You can get in and out quickly without much hassle with the aid of its front zip. It’s 3/2mm neoprene thickness is enough for warmth without reducing flexibility.

2. 4/3mm thickness

A 4/3mm description means the wetsuit has a neoprene thickness of 4mm around the torso and 3mm thickness around the arms and the legs.

O’Neill Men’s Epic 4/3mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit

O'Neill Men's Epic 4/3mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit, Black/Black/Black,Medium


If you don’t fancy a front zip system as familiar with those above, you can try out this wetsuit in Southern California with a back zip system for easy wearing and offing. It has an impressive ultra-stretch neoprene to help maintain maximum maneuverability and increase your performance in the water. Featuring a combination of blind stitch style and triple glue at the seams, you are sure of water not leaking into your suit. Again, it uses wind-resistant fluidflex firewall panels for additional insulation against cold temperatures.

REALON Adult Full Body 4/3mm Neoprene Wetsuit

REALON Wetsuit Men 3/2mm, 4/3mm Neoprene Full Body Scuba Diving Suits, 5/4 Adult Long Sleeves Warm Wet Suit for Cold Water Sports


Made from a composite material of 90% neoprene and 10% nylon, you can be sure of having an excellent buoyancy effect with this wetsuit when in water. It has additional stretch panels to help you perform stretchy moves without worrying about the failure of the suit. In addition to this, it uses a flat-lock stitching technique to ensure adequate durability. Excellent for sports like swimming, diving, canoeing, kayaking, and others.

ALSO READ: 7 Best Swimsuit for Hourglass Shape

3. Shorty Wetsuits

A shorty wetsuit has short legs and sleeves, making it suitable for watersports where your knees and elbows require greater mobility. Shorty wetsuits are excellent options for summer month open water swimming since they provide a little extra layer of warmth.

Women’s 3mm Shorty Wetsuit

Mens 3mm Shorty Wetsuit Womens, Full Body Diving Suit Front Zip Scuba Diving Wetsuit Snorkeling Surfing (Men's Shorty, X-Small)


A quality grade shorty wetsuit for increased mobility of arms and legs when in water. Its snug-fitting ensures you keep warm while enjoying your favorite activity.

O’Neill Reactor-2 2mm Short Sleeve Spring Wetsuit

O'Neill Men's Reactor-2 2mm Back Zip Short Sleeve Spring Wetsuit, Black/Graphite, MT


Looking for a quality entry-level wetsuit, then try this from O’Neill. It supports a host of beach and water activities like swimming, diving, and surfing. The wetsuit uses high-grade Neoprene to create a soft and comfortable feel on the skin. Also, its back zip system ensures you can quickly get it on and off single handedly. It remains flexible, thereby guaranteeing a maximum range of mobility and increasing your performance.

4. Jacket Wetsuit

The jacket wetsuit top is suitable for use in several water sporting activities. It offers additional warmth and is generally comfortable to wear. Also, jacket wetsuits are wearable in both warm and cool weather conditions making them suitable for use in Southern California. This makes it extremely popular among beachgoers, especially surfers.

REALON Adult Top Jacket Wetsuits for Women and Men

REALON Wetsuits Top Jacket Women Men 2mm Neoprene Shirt Adult Wet Suit Front Zipper Long Sleeve Tank Swimsuit Thermal Keep Warm for Scuba Surf Swim Diving Snorkeling Water Sports (Men Black, L)


Suitable for use on the beaches of southern California during the summer days where the water is warm. It uses a 2mm neoprene for minimal heat retention and impressive elastic abilities to maintain shape after several uses. The wetsuit uses a front zipper system and a snug cuff design to create fantastic waterproof swimwear. For extra protection, it comes with an inner fabric just below the zipper to prevent skin damage from the use of the zip. Available for men and women, it has a crew-neck design also to protect your neck. 

LayaTone 3mm Neoprene Wetsuit Adults Jacket Top 

LayaTone Wetsuit Top Women Men 3mm Neoprene Jacket Adults for Scuba Diving Surfing Canoeing Long Sleeves Diving Tops Adults Wet Suits Jacket (Pink-Lycra Sleeves,2XL)


Coming in two distinct styles, one style features a wetsuit top that ultimately uses Neoprene, making it suitable for use in cool waters. The second style has sleeves, underarms, and side waist made from nylon, and other parts made from Neoprene. Both designs are super elastic, 3D inkjet printing patterns, with UV protection and YKK zipper for easy wearing and pulling off. This wetsuit is usable in sports like surfing, swimming, and snorkeling in the waters of southern California.

ALSO READ: 11 Best Swimsuit For Big Thighs

Conclusion – Best Wetsuits for Southern California

Knowing the best wetsuits for southern California is an essential first step to enjoying your experience in its waters. With unpredictable south California weather, you can never be so sure of what you will get at the beach, so staying prepared with the right wetsuit makes the most sense. Thankfully, the list above provides you with suitable wetsuits that can help you handle temperature changes abruptly. 


You may see some products here which has either been used by us or independently selected by (obsessive) editors. As an affiliate of Amazon, Anything purchased through our links may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. 

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