are wetsuits comfortable

Are Wetsuits Comfortable?

Are wetsuits comfortable? Wetsuits are designed to keep you warm in cold water and protected from the sun. To do this, wetsuits have to be skin tight, which many people associate with discomfort! However, a well fitted wetsuit should be comfortable, warm, and should not restrict your mobility in any way. If your wetsuit feels uncomfortable to wear, makes it hard to breathe, or isn’t keeping you warm, you might have the wrong size.

If you’re struggling to find the right size wetsuit, we’ve got all the tips and tricks to help you!

Why Are Wetsuits So Uncomfortable?

It’s a common complaint that wetsuits are uncomfortable! But, there are a few different reasons that a wetsuit might feel uncomfortable. A common reason for discomfort is having the wrong size, fit, or type of wetsuit for your activity. For instance, a loose-fitting, 2mm thick wetsuit won’t keep you as warm in very cold water or on very deep dives.

Alternatively, you may have the right size, but rushed when putting your wetsuit on, so it isn’t sitting flush to your skin. Or, you might just not be used to the tight-fitting suit! On top of this, wetsuits that feel hot and uncomfortable in a shop fitting room might feel way more comfortable when you’re actually wet and swimming.

If you’re trying on a wetsuit that feels very uncomfortable, first make sure that you’re wearing the right size for your body shape and that you’ve taken your time putting it on so that every part of the suit is flush with your body. If it’s still uncomfortable, it’s worth trying out a few different styles and fabrics to find the one that fits you the best.

What Does it Feel Like to Wear a Wetsuit?

Wetsuits come in a huge range of shapes and sizes. They can have long or short arms and legs, zips on the front or back, and can be made from different materials. Even the thickness of a wetsuit can vary, from as little as 2mm to as thick as 6mm. So, not all wetsuits will feel the same when you’re trying them on in the shop and when you’re wearing them in the water.

Wetsuits are skin tight and form fitting. They should feel like a tight layer over your body, but they should not make it hard to breathe or excessively hard to move. If it feels like you cannot move, or if it feels like the wetsuit is cutting off your circulation, you might be wearing a size that is too small. But, bear in mind, the thicker your wetsuit, the less flexible the fabric will feel as you move.

Are Wetsuits Meant to be Tight?

Yes! Wetsuits are meant to be tight and form fitting. This isn’t just for aesthetics. Instead, it relates to how wetsuits work. Wetsuits let in water when you go swimming and trap that water inside your suit. That trapped water is warmed by your body heat, and protects you from the colder water outside the suit whilst you’re swimming.

If your wetsuit is not tight enough, this trapped water is more likely to escape. So, the suit will be worse at insulating you against cold swimming water.

A loose-fitting wetsuit can also make it harder to swim. Properly fitted wetsuits will increase buoyancy and decrease drag, improving performance whilst swimming. But, if the suit is loose, it can actually feel harder to swim.

are wetsuits comfortable

Do Wetsuits Get Tighter or Looser in Water?

Wetsuits are designed to let in a layer of water when you swim. This trapped water will be heated by your body temperature to protect you from the colder waters outside the suit. So, wetsuits loosen up slightly when you get in the water to let in this layer.

Wetsuits will also loosen the more you wear them and stretch the fabric – they don’t last forever! Over time, as they get looser, their ability to keep that water trapped and keep you warm can decrease. So, you will want to replace your wetsuit if it starts getting too loose.

Should You Size Up a Wetsuit?

Are wetsuits comfortable if you size up? Generally, it’s not a good idea to size up your wetsuit. Wetsuits are designed to be tight. A loose-fitting wetsuit will be worse at keeping you warm, and can also impair your swimming performance.

As a general rule, your wetsuit should have no pockets of air or loose bits of fabric. It should be completely flush with your body. But, despite its tight-fitting design, it should not restrict your movements or make it hard to breathe. If you’re struggling with either of these things, check you’re wearing the wetsuit correctly, or try a slightly different design.

How Do You Wear a Wetsuit for the First Time?

Are wetsuits comfortable when you first put them on? Wetsuits can feel pretty hard to get into on your first try. After all, they’re designed to be very tight! So, it’s important to take your time when getting into the suit. First up, make sure you’re putting it on the right way. All wetsuits are different. Some will have a zip at the front, some will have a zip at the back, and some can even have a horizontal zip across the chest.

Once you know which way around your wetsuit goes, work your way up from the bottom. Don’t try wriggling in and adjusting everything once the whole suit is on. Instead, make sure each part is on properly before moving up your body.

Full body wetsuits can take a little longer to get into than shorties. Make sure that the legs of your suit are properly pulled up before getting your torso in. Remember, there should be no trapped air or loose fabric. Once your wetsuit is on properly over your legs, groin, and torso, it will be much easier to get it over your arms and shoulders.

Do You Wear Anything Under a Wetsuit?

What you wear under a wetsuit is partly down to personal preference. Most people will wear a regular swimming costume, bikini, or swimming trunks under their wetsuit. This can help to provide an additional layer of protection and warmth. And, it gives you the opportunity to take off your wetsuit when you’re out of the water and too hot. But, some people will wear nothing at all underneath!

It’s generally not advised to wear normal clothes under your wetsuit. This is because wetsuits are not waterproof. They will let in a layer of water to sit against your skin and absorb your body temperature to keep you warm. So, any clothes that you’re wearing underneath your wetsuit will also get wet.

Can You Wear a Wetsuit All Day?

There’s nothing to stop you from wearing your wetsuit all day at the beach. Particularly if you’re spending a lot of time in the water. Full body wetsuits can offer a layer of sun protection as much as protection from cold water.

But, are wetsuits comfortable if you wear them all day? Not necessarily! Wetsuits are not made from breathable fabric. They’re designed to trap water inside the suit to keep you warm. So, they will also trap any sweat against your skin.

Wearing a wetsuit all day out of water can quickly become uncomfortable and overly-hot. You might also find that you get sweaty and smelly a lot faster than you would just relaxing in your normal swimsuit.

Are Wetsuits Comfortable? A Summary

A well-fitting wetsuit should be tight against your body, but should not significantly reduce your movement or breathing. They might feel a little uncomfortable if you’re not used to wearing something so form-fitting, but on the whole they should not be uncomfortable.

And, swimming in cold water without that layer of protection will usually be even less comfortable!

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