What to Wear Under Your Wetsuit: A Comprehensive Guide for Men and Women

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Wetsuits are awesome, but figuring out what to wear underneath can be a bit of a puzzle. Did you know that your choice of undergarments can significantly affect comfort and wetsuit performance? Our comprehensive guide will demystify this topic for both men and women while providing practical, tried-and-tested recommendations.

Ready to dive in and discover the secrets of optimal wetsuit attire?.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper undergarments are important for wetsuit comfort and performance, helping with moisture – wicking, insulation, and protection from chafing.
  • Men can wear swim trunks or board shorts, while women can choose swimwear or a bikini under their wetsuits.
  • Rash guards or wetsuit tops provide extra protection and insulation for both men and women.
  • Neoprene shorts/pants and socks offer additional insulation in colder waters.

Importance of Proper Undergarments for Wetsuit Comfort and Performance

Proper undergarments are essential for wetsuit comfort and performance, as they help with moisture wicking, insulation, and protection from chafing.

Moisture wicking

Wetsuits can feel damp and cold when you wear them. You do not want to be wet before you go in the water. A suit that is wet will make you feel colder faster. Moisture-wicking clothes take away the dampness from your body, keeping you warmer and drier for longer.

Divers like these types of clothes because they help keep their bodies heat in, making it easier for them to stay underwater longer without feeling cold too fast.


Insulation is an important factor to consider when choosing what to wear under your wetsuit. It helps to keep your body warm in cold water by trapping a layer of air against your skin.

This trapped air acts as a barrier, preventing heat loss and keeping you comfortable during your water activities. Neoprene shorts or pants can provide additional insulation while allowing for ease of movement.

Neoprene socks can also help keep your feet warm and protected. So, when deciding on what to wear under your wetsuit, make sure to choose garments that provide adequate insulation for the water temperature you’ll be in.

Protection from chafing

To prevent chafing while wearing a wetsuit, it’s important to choose the right undergarments. Look for options made from smooth and comfortable materials like neoprene or quick-drying fabrics.

These will help reduce friction against your skin and keep you more comfortable in the water. Additionally, consider wearing rash guards or wetsuit tops with flatlock stitching, as these can also minimize irritation caused by rubbing against the wetsuit material.

Keep in mind that everyone’s preferences may differ, so try out different options to find what works best for you!

What to Wear Under a Wetsuit for Men and Women

When it comes to what to wear under a wetsuit, men can opt for swim trunks or board shorts, while women can choose swimwear or a bikini. Additionally, both genders can benefit from wearing a rash guard or wetsuit top for added comfort and protection.

Don’t forget about neoprene shorts or pants and neoprene socks for extra insulation in colder waters.

Swim trunks or board shorts (for men)

Men have a couple of options for what to wear under their wetsuit. One popular choice is swim trunks or board shorts, which provide coverage and comfort during water activities. They are designed to be quick-drying and provide freedom of movement.

Some men also choose to wear nothing under their wetsuit if they prefer a more bare feeling. Ultimately, it depends on personal preference and what feels most comfortable for each individual.

Swimwear or bikini (for women)

When it comes to what to wear under a wetsuit, women have options like swimwear or bikinis. These are great choices because they provide comfort and flexibility while you’re in the water.

You can choose a one-piece swimsuit or try out a bikini if that’s more your style. The important thing is to find something that fits well and allows for easy movement. Whether you’re surfing, diving, or participating in any other water activity, having the right swimwear under your wetsuit will help you feel confident and comfortable during your adventures in the water.

Rash guard or wetsuit top

A rash guard or wetsuit top is a great option to wear under your wetsuit. It provides an extra layer of protection against chafing and offers added insulation. Rash guards are made from materials that are quick-drying and moisture-wicking, which helps to keep you comfortable while in the water.

They also offer UPF sun protection, so you don’t have to worry about getting sunburned during long hours spent outdoors. Wetsuit tops, on the other hand, are specifically designed for use with wetsuits and provide additional thermal insulation.

They come in various thicknesses depending on the water temperature, so you can choose one that suits your needs. Overall, a rash guard or wetsuit top can enhance your comfort and performance when wearing a wetsuit for any water sport activity.

Neoprene shorts or pants

Neoprene shorts or pants are a popular choice for wearing under your wetsuit. These provide an extra layer of insulation and can help keep you warmer in colder waters. Neoprene is a material that traps heat, so it’s great for keeping your legs protected from the cold.

In addition to providing warmth, neoprene shorts or pants also offer some added protection from chafing caused by the wetsuit rubbing against your skin. They are comfortable and flexible, allowing for easy movement in the water.

Whether you’re diving, snorkeling, or surfing, neoprene shorts or pants can be a practical and comfortable option to wear under your wetsuit.

Neoprene socks

Neoprene socks are a great option for wearing under your wetsuit. They provide added insulation and protection for your feet, keeping them warm and comfortable while you’re in the water.

Neoprene is a material that helps to retain heat, so even if the water is cold, your feet will stay nice and cozy. These socks are also designed to be quick-drying, which is important for preventing moisture buildup and potential discomfort.

Whether you’re diving, surfing, or participating in any water sport, neoprene socks can help enhance your overall wetsuit experience.

Tips for Choosing the Right Undergarments

Consider the water temperature, fit, materials, and layering for added warmth.

Consider the water temperature

When deciding what to wear under your wetsuit, it’s important to consider the water temperature. If you’re diving or participating in water sports in colder temperatures, you’ll want to choose undergarments that provide extra insulation and warmth.

Neoprene shorts or pants can help keep your lower body warm, while a neoprene vest can provide additional thermal insulation for your chest. For warmer water temperatures, lighter options like swim trunks or board shorts (for men) and swimwear or bikinis (for women) may be more suitable.

Ultimately, selecting the right undergarments based on the water temperature will help ensure your comfort and enjoyment while wearing a wetsuit.

Ensure a proper fit

To ensure a proper fit when wearing clothing under your wetsuit, it’s important to consider comfort and ease of movement. Look for undergarments that are snug but not too tight, as this will help prevent chafing and discomfort while in the water.

Pay attention to the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer to find the right size for you. Additionally, choose materials that are stretchy and quick-drying, so they won’t hinder your movements or leave you feeling damp after getting out of the water.

Remember, a properly fitting undergarment can enhance your overall experience while wearing a wetsuit and make your time in the water much more enjoyable.

Look for materials that are quick-drying and stretchy

When choosing what to wear under your wetsuit, it’s important to look for materials that are quick-drying and stretchy. Quick-drying materials will help you stay comfortable by wicking away moisture from your body.

This is especially important when participating in water sports, as wet clothing can cause discomfort and even chafing. Stretchy materials will allow for a greater range of motion, ensuring that your undergarments won’t restrict your movement while wearing a wetsuit.

So make sure to choose undergarments made from materials that are both quick-drying and stretchy for the best comfort and performance while out on the water!

Consider layering for added warmth

Layering is a great way to stay warm while wearing a wetsuit. By adding extra layers underneath, you can trap more heat and keep your body temperature up. One option is to wear a rash guard or wetsuit top as your base layer.

This provides an extra barrier between your skin and the wetsuit, helping to insulate you from the cold water. Another option is to wear neoprene shorts or pants under your wetsuit for added warmth on your legs.

And don’t forget about your feet! Neoprene socks can help keep your toes cozy during those chilly dives. So if you want some extra warmth in the water, consider layering up under your wetsuit for added comfort and protection against the cold.


In conclusion, choosing the right undergarments to wear under your wetsuit is crucial for comfort and performance. Whether you’re a man or a woman, options like swimwear, rash guards, neoprene shorts, and socks can help protect you from chafing and provide insulation.

Remember to consider the water temperature and ensure a proper fit when selecting your undergarments. By following these tips and recommendations, you can have an enjoyable and comfortable time in the water while wearing your wetsuit.


1. What should I wear under my wetsuit?

It is best to wear a swimsuit or rash guard under your wetsuit for comfort and added protection.

2. Can I wear underwear under my wetsuit?

No, it is not recommended to wear regular underwear under your wetsuit as it can cause discomfort and may restrict movement.

3. Do I need to wear anything else besides a swimsuit or rash guard?

In addition to a swimsuit or rash guard, you may choose to wear neoprene shorts or leggings for extra warmth and coverage, especially in colder water conditions.

4. Why is it important to wear the right clothing under a wetsuit?

Wearing the right clothing under a wetsuit helps prevent chafing, enhances comfort, provides added insulation, and allows for ease of movement during water activities.

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