Wetsuits for Women/Girls: What Is The Difference?

Roxy wetsuits
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Girl wetsuit from Rip Curl

When it comes to the types of materials and technologies used in making a women’s wetsuit, it is identical to the processes of men’s suits. Years ago it would be difficult to find a wetsuit designed specifically for women, and even today many of the extremely high end suits come only in one type which is designed primarily for men. This isn’t sexist or anything, it is strictly driven by the demand in the market. Diving, surfing and other sports which require a wetsuit are much more popular with men than women which means there are very few ladies looking to purchase the high end suits. On the other hand, you have for instance Roxy brand, that is 100% for women.

Choosing a Women’s Wetsuit

When you’re looking into purchasing a wetsuit for a women you want to make sure you get one which will fit properly and keep you safe and warm. Ladies looking for a short wetsuit, also known as a ‘Shorty’, really don’t need to worry too much about the quality since they are used only in warm waters anyway. For full body wetsuits, however, there are some important things to look for.

Quality of the neoprene – Neoprene is the material used in wetsuits and the warmer, lighter and more flexible it is, the higher its quality. You want to find a wetsuit which is very elastic and stretchy which will fit you nice and snugly.

Stitching – A full wetsuit should have stitching which is done using the blind stitching technique. With this method of sewing the needle is never fully penetrates the material so there are no holes that would reach all the way through. This will help keep the water out and also keep your suit in better shape. This is especially important for colder water dives/surfing etc.

Sealed Seams – Find a wetsuit which has liquid sealed or liquid taped seams. Like the blind stitching this will help keep water out during wetsuit use so you can stay much warmer for much longer.

Insulation – Check to see if your wetsuit has a thermal lining on the inside of the suit.

Zipper – The shorter the zipper the better for your wetsuit. As long as you can easily get in and out of the suit, a smaller zipper means less water leaking into the suit while in the water.

Main Difference

These things are equally important for both men’s and women’s wetsuits. The main difference you’ll need to look for when shopping for women is the wetsuit shape. It goes without saying that women’s body shapes are different than men’s so having a wetsuit which is designed specifically to fit to a woman’s unique curves will help you be more comfortable and keep you warmer as well.

The two main differences in this area are women’s wetsuits are wider in the hips and thighs, and narrower than a men’s suit in the shoulders. They will also have additional room in the chest to accommodate for larger breasts. Choosing several options and trying them on is really the best way to figure out which one will fit best for you.

Womens wetsuit from ION meant for windsurfing and kitesurfing

Can Women Wear Men’s Wetsuits?

Some women who are quite slender and have smaller breasts can often fit comfortably into a men’s wetsuit. This also applies for younger women and girls who are just getting into the sport. High quality men’s suits will often be made of very stretchy neoprene which will help fit around any body type as well.


One last important note when shopping for a women’s wetsuit is the color and prints available. Many manufacturers are beginning to sell much more feminine wetsuits which have flowers, hearts and bright pink colors. As more and more women get into water  sports you can expect to see even more fun designs.

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