The Ultimate List of The Best Wetsuits for Kids (2021/22)

by Oliver Sander

This guide picks out 10 of the best wetsuits for kids on the market right now, with options for boys and girls and all levels of budget.

Groms – you gotta’ love em. Whether you’ve got a 3-foot foam warrior catching their first whitewash or 8-year-old Kobi Clements tearing up the glassy barrels of the Maldives, starting on the surf nice and young is most definitely the way to go. Things are just easier when you’ve been doing it since you weren’t so scared of falling. What’s more, it sure is better to be paddling and popping up out in the ocean than glued to TikTok, right? Right.

But kids need gear just as adult surfers need gear. Yes, you might not want to fork out too much because it’s no secret that little ones grow and grow and just keep growing. But you can’t expect the tykes to brave cold waters without neoprene. Daddy or mommy wouldn’t, that’s for sure!

Cue this guide to the best wetsuits for kids out there today. We’ve gone hunting for the creme-de-la-creme of younger person’s neoprene. It’s a range of tried-and-tested suits that we know hold up well in the water and offer some of the top-quality thermal and flex features going.

Our selection of the best wetsuits for kids is based on one-on-one chats with groms and parents, personal experiences, and an in-depth knowledge of all the major surf brands. We’ve also gone for a good mix of options that are easy to purchase online and get delivered straight to the door (parents are busy folk, hey!). Finally, we cover a host of budgets (because no one wants to spend a gazillion $ on a wetsuit that won’t fit next year!) and surf levels, from ultra-beginner to those firmly on the road to becoming Kelly Slater mark 2.

We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

What’s in this guide to the best wetsuits for kids?

READ THIS before buying wetsuits for kids…

wetsuits for kids

Don’t worry – we know it can be tricky for a mom or pop to navigate all this nifty surf gear. That’s especially true for parents who aren’t surfers. But you’re doing the right thing getting the little ones into wavecraft, and we salute you for being here. We’re also at hand to help…

Summer suit or winter suit?

The key decision when you come to buy a children’s wetsuit (or even an adult’s suit for that matter) is whether to choose a summer suit or a winter suit. Just as their names imply, a summer suit is better for the warmer months. A winter suit is better for the colder months. The main difference between the two is going to be thickness. However, there can also be other tech involved that keeps you warmer in the winter and lighter in the water come summer.

  • If you’re buying your child’s first ever wetsuit and don’t want to have to buy a second anytime soon, then we’d ALWAYS say choose a winter suit. The reason? It’s better to be too warm in the summer than too cold in the winter. The only other downside of winter suits is that they’re a touch heavier, don’t dry so fast, and aren’t as flexible. But those aren’t major issues – temperature is the number one concern! This is why the bulk of our selection is in the winter category (just look for any suit that’s got 4/3 in the name)
  • If you’re buying for a surf trip somewhere then you should check what the average water temperatures are at that time of year wherever you’re going. The general rule is 62°- 68° (16-20) and it’s a summer suit, under <62 and you’re looking at a winter suit.
  • If your son or daughter only surfs in summer then it’s probably better to go for a summer suit. Remember, though, surfing is addictive – the tykes might say they only want warm-water surf and then crave those winter sessions when the mercury drops. What’s more, most of the best swells (surfable conditions) come in fall and winter, so, again, a winter suit could be your best all-round option. In this situation, you’re likely to end up needing one of each. Sorry, wallet!

Wetsuits for kids sizing

Kids wetsuit sizing is a little different to adults. It’s basically done by age, which is helpful but obviously not an exact science. We’ve seen some 10 year olds fresh off a growth spurt that could easily fit into a 14-year-old’s suit. On the flip side, there are some pretty small 16 year olds out there that often go a few notches down.

There are some suits that are specifically made for toddlers (usually marked as size 2 or 4). They take care of the smaller children (covering heights up to 4’1″). However, most suits are for ages 6-16. They go up in increments of two years and there are separate ranges for boys and girls, which we’ve put into separate sections below.

A note on our guide

We’ve deliberately not gone overboard and whacked up 40 different wetsuits for kids. We’ve seen umpteen guides that do that, mainly because the more products they offer the more likely you are to buy. Yes, we do get a commission if you click through and buy from one of our affiliate partner. But, to be frank, that’s just a bonus. We’d prefer to get things right, which is why you’ll see just one or two of the wetsuits that we think truly are fantastic buys in each category. They’ve made it to this list because they stand out for their thermal features, their fit, their durability and style. We let the surf do the talking…

Boys wetsuits

Check out the best male wetsuits for kids below. It starts with what we consider to be the top all-round suit for 2021 and then moves onto a few more budget-friendly or alternative options.

Vissla 4​/3 7 Seas Chest Zip Wetsuit – The best 4/3 option

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $209.95

If you’ve read our guide to the top wetsuit brands out there today, you should know that we have a serious soft spot for Vissla. Based out of the balmy hills of Aliso Viejo close to Laguna Beach in the OC, the company now creates what we’d say are some of the most solid all-rounder wetsuits out there. The 7 Seas is the flagship model in the range. On a basic level, it’s got a fantastic balance between stretch, flex, and thermal, so we don’t hesitate to put it close to the top of our best wetties for boys.

Let’s dig down into the tech. The Super Stretch Light Neoprene lives up to its name. It’s 100% Japanese eco material and we find that it stays way airier in the water than other wetsuit brands. The inner-membrane Thermal Hollow Fiber Lining doesn’t add loads of bulk but our tykes have basically never complained of getting cold. What’s more, it’s designed to dry super quick – it’s rare to be left pulling on a soggy suit when we surf several days in a row.

It should hardly come as a surprise that we’ve got the adult suit version of the 7 Seas. We love it, and the good news is that there’s hardly a hint of downgrading the features in the junior version. Nope, you still get all the bells and whistles that put Vissla on the forefront of wetsuit manufacturing right now. Oh, and perhaps more importantly, there’s no denying that this one’s a darn stylish looking product, with muted front-panel graphite colors mixing with teal arm panels. It really looks the business.

  • Great balance between weight and thermal
  • Eco-friendly limestone neoprene
  • Looks so cool
  • Availability issues
  • Vissla suits sell out fast!

Vissla 3​/2 Easy Seas Back Zip Wetsuit – The best 3/2 option

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $189.95

We know, we know: We just spent a whole intro telling ya’ll not to buy a 3/2 over a 4/3 if in doubt. Well…with perhaps one exception. Vissla has such a thermo neoprene on the go right now that kids are often happy to use these suits longer into fall and earlier into spring than other models. The bonus is that you get the joys of the Easy Seas product, which is known as one of the easiest suits to slip on and off. That’s going to be a real bonus if the little one has just started surfing – no one wants to get bogged down in the arduous task of pulling on and off wet rubber. This one’s not a chore to work with and it will make that initial surf experience all the more fun.

It’s rated as good for use in waters of 66 and up. The suit packs in some of the main feature of the 7 Seas flagship from Vissla, most notably that Super Stretch Light Neoprene – taking the flex to all new and dizzying heights. It’s very eco conscious to boot, thanks to being dope dyed (reduces water) and having proper certification when it comes to chemical usage at the manufacturing stage.

Probably more than anything, though, we’d have to say that the Easy Seas gets kudos for looking super, duper slick. In a world where grom suits seem to love glitzy patterns and sleeve-side lightening strikes. this one keeps it simple. Basically, it’s great tech packed into a suit that’s easy going on the changing and looks real, real nice. You can’t go wrong.

  • Designed to be mega easy to get on and off
  • Light
  • It looks like a proper adult suit
  • It’s a 3/2, so better for summer surfing but will work in spring and fall

Quiksilver 3​/2 Prologue Back Zip Wetsuit

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $74.95

We’ve raved about the Quiksilver Syncro 2019 model as a cracking adult’s wintertime steamer, so we’re certainly a fan of the brand here. There’s no doubting that the Prologue is a drop in tech, but then it comes in at under $80. What more could you want if you’ve got a little one thinking of trying surfing for the first time. Basically, it keeps ya’ warm in the water but won’t break the bank.

Let’s begin with the basic stuff. This is a 3/2 suit, so it will cover your grom for surfs throughout the summer season. It’s not really for the coldest of cold days. There’s a back zip get-in, which is the easiest of the bunch, so perfect for complete newbies to the sport. When it comes to tech, you get a touch more than the bare bones, thanks to the FreeMax Neoprene that’s got elastane infusions (AKA – it’s felxible) and the Thermal Smoothie Durable neoprene, which has smoothed seams with decentof heat retention.

More generally, we just feel that this is a very solid and capable suit. Quiksilver has proved durable to us over several seasons, so we’d hope the same is true of this boys’ model. Also – the price!

  • StretchFlight x2 makes it very flexy
  • Light for a 4/3
  • Fantastic for total beginners
  • Back-zip suits aren’t so good for experienced surfers who demand specific fits
  • Some people aren’t fans of multiple color panels

XCEL 4/3 Youth Comp Wetsuit

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $179.95

Looking for an all-round fantastic suit that will be balmy even in the hardest of the hard winter months? Cue the Xcel 4/3 Comp. This brand is used almost religiously by The Surf Atlas writers. We find it consistently light and fast drying, but with very little compromise on the specs.

It packs one hell of a punch. The 4/3 option makes use of Xcel’s trademark Lite Japanese Neoprene, which we say is as light as a feather and flexier than a slinky. We also love that the interior membrane of the Xcel Comp has been gifted that high-performance Thermo Lite Infrared lining. It’s used throughout the brand’s high-spec suits and means you’ll warm up super fast in the water.

Finally, Xcel have put a lot into eco credentials in recent years. So, expect limestone-based rubber (better for the environment) and dope-dyed yarns (a process that doesn’t use quite so much water) throughout. Oh, and it looks gnarly eh, all blood red and that? The tykes will love it!

  • Fantastic thermo specs
  • Fast drying
  • Very light
  • Some wearers find the Xcel chest zip a touch tight

O’Neill Youth Kids Junior Epic 4/3mm Back Zip

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $149.99

If the O’Neill Youth Epic 4/3 was a surf spot it would be Kuta, Bali! What do we mean? We mean oodles of surfers have cut their teeth on one of these. They’re probably the single most common entry-level grom suit out there. And, you know what? We can’t complain a dash.

True the O’Neill mantra of surfing for the masses, the Youth Epic manages to tick all the boxes without making things prohibitively pricy. For under $150 a pop, you can score a steamer that’s both flexible and thermal, with some nifty features that mean you won’t be left behind by the A-lister surfing groms who can afford the height of the range.

There’s a rash-reducing Smooth Skin Fluid Flex Firewall Thermal Lining on the inside panels. It makes light work of the chilly autumn and winter water conditions, even if it’s perhaps not fantastic in December and January. On top of that, there are blind-stitched seams to cut flushing (the process of water running into the suit – cold!) and seamless panels on key paddle areas (making it easier for your little one to catch waves).

The only real downside for us is the apparent lack of eco-friendly focus. O’Neill looks to have stuck with conventional neoprene rubber over the greener limestone stuff for this suit.

  • The ultimate entry-level suit
  • Gets the basics right
  • Low price!
  • Not for advanced groms
  • No eco-friendly features

Girls wetsuits

Below is our selection of wetsuits for kids that are tailored to the female side of the species. These will often have more ergonomic fits and tactically placed panels.

Roxy 4​/3 Syncro Back Zip Wetsuit – The best 4/3

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $149.95

The name Roxy (an offshoot of Quiksilver) has been the saving grace for girl surfers since anyone can remember. This is a tried-and-tested brand that focuses solely on creating the best female gear there is. So, it should hardly come as a surprise that they’re our top pick for a 4/3 wetsuit here.

First off, a nod to the style. Roxy have sometimes been criticised for not varying the look of their suits all that much. That might have been a concern back in the noughties, but now we think there’s a downright cool retro edge to the whole thing. We love the floral shoulder tops (a vogue right now in 2022 women’s wetsuitting) and the picked-out pink side panels. It all looks rather rad.

However, looks are one thing, how about the tech? It’s solid stuff. Roxy give this one their StretchFlight 2 Neoprene; the same balmy rubber that’s used in flagship models up and down the men’s Quiksilver range. We think it’s good for longer sessions in the fall and spring – all except the coldest days of winter. You also benefit from a Vapor Stretch panel on the chest, which is excellent for surfing in more windy conditions.

  • Tried-and-tested wetsuit brand
  • Great neoprene
  • Very warm
  • Often out of stock!

Sisstrevolution 3​/2 Summer Seas Back Zip Wetsuit – The best 3/2

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $136

And so we come to Sisstrevolution. Notice the similar range name to Vissla. That’s because Vissla is the parent company of this all-new branch-out brand. They’ve only been around for a couple of years but have already shifted the paradigm on female surfing a lot. They bring a whole new focus on ergonomics and fit to the female side of the industry. It was something sorely missing before and our women-surfer friends report some very good things indeed.

So, the Girl’s Sisstrevolution Summer Seas 3/2mm. It’s certainly a fantastic looking piece of kit. We love the balance between the navy and the floral arm panels. It’s like a throwback to the 80s retro suits of surf’s heyday. But there’s nothing retro about the tech that the folk at Sisstrevolution (and, by extension, Vissla) have managed to work into the material…

There’s hardly a touch of water flushing thanks to those powerful Thermal Flush Barrier. The same Super Stretch fabric that’s in the men’s 7 Seas ensures its flexy and manoeuvrable from tip to toe. Also worthy of mention is the glideskin neck seal, which will keep water out on a whole variety of body shapes. Talking of body shapes…there’s no one that models female suits better than Sisstrevolution, so the fit you get from these should be prime.

  • Fantastic sealing properties to prevent water flushing
  • Retro style
  • Tailor-made for female surfers
  • Hard to get your hands on cos’ it sells like hot cakes!
  • Some people might not like the design

Roxy 3​/2 Prologue Teeny Back Zip Wetsuit

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $74.95

There’s not too much to say here because we’ve covered the basics of what’s in the (usually great) Roxy suits above. The main difference is that this is a 3/2 option, better for summer surfing in warmer destinations. Basically, if you think you’ll be sticking to April-May surfs in the Northern Hemisphere, this might be a good one to go for. We’re talking all waters of 56-65° F.

There’s also a noticeable difference in the design of this suit, too. For starters, it’s a back-zip, which you can get away with a little more in the summer months when uber-snug fits aren’t needed. It’s also tailored to slightly younger girls, in the range between two and six years old.

The price tag is tempting, even for that younger age range. For sub-$80 you’ll get the fantastic Freemax Neoprene, an entry-level neo that’s still very flexy, and Hyperstretch rubber that helps the little ones get in and out of the suit quickly and comfortably.

  • Tailored to younger girl surfers
  • Easy on and off
  • Nothing fancy
  • Not good for winter surfing

O’Neill Youth Epic 4/3mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit Girls

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $149.99+

Calling all beginner surfers – we think you’d have to look pretty darn hard to find a suit that will give you same good value for money as the O’Neill Youth Epic 4/3mm. It’s an ever-reliable and popular girl’s choice, with a price tag that makes it unquestionably one of the wetsuits for kids looking to dip their toe in the world of water sports for the first time.

The features might be on the basic side but they take care of all you really need for eight-month surf seasons lasting spring to autumn. Those O’Neill FluidFlex Firewall Panels keep out strong winds but also help you warm up the suit fast from within. You’ll also benefit from blind-stitched and double-stitched seams – key for stopping too much water turnover in the suit, which has a huge effect on the thermals.

It’s hard to wax lyrical about the Youth Epic too much. But therein lies the charm. This is the essential and basic toolkit for girl surfers wanting to get started in the sport without breaking the bank.

  • Affordable
  • Reduces water flushing with blind-stitched seams
  • Great for casual, starter surfers
  • No fancy thermal stuff
  • Not the option for hardcore surfers

Toddler wetsuits

Here’s our two cents on wetsuits for kids of a younger age, from 2-4 years…

Quiksilver 1.5mm Syncro Toddler Kids Wetsuit

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $51

There’s plenty of fun to be had in this 1.5mm toddler suit. Just check the color scheme – it’s got pizzazz written all over it, fusing Maldives blue with Windows-error-screen cobalt. That not only looks cool. It also means your toddler will stand out from the crowd, and every parent knows that can be handy on packed beaches in the middle of the summer hols. In true Quiksilver Syncro style, there’s also some good tech in the product. That includes stretchy neoprene to help you get the kit on and off, and a flatlock seam construction to ensure there’s no annoying fraying or bits sticking out. The suit is a shorty, which is normal on younger-person’s options since they’re probably only going to be in the water between May and August anyhow.

  • Color scheme that helps your little one stand out
  • Flatlock seams help with suit construction
  • 1.5mm and flexy makes it easy on and off
  • Too thin for use outside of summer
  • Some people don’t like the bright colors

O’Neill Toddler Reactor-2 2mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $42+

Let’s put it this way – if we had a toddler right now and wanted to get them splashing around in the surf, we’d go straight for the O’Neill Reactor. At under $69 a pop, it’s fully aware that suits are usually only good for a year or two at most at this age. It’s not going to drain the bank account but gives all the things you want from a tyke’s neoprene. There’s regular 2mm neoprene all over, with Flatloc-Stitched seams that stop the water going in and out. The suit is also full-arm and leg, which adds some SPF cover to the mix and protects your little one from strong sun when they’re at the beach. The thinner neoprene means this isn’t really for winter swims, but it will cover you for those first sessions in the whitewash from spring to fall.

  • Unisex fitting makes it easy to match age to size
  • Super affordable
  • The best toddler wetsuit out there if you ask us
  • Only 2mm means it’s not for midwinter use
  • Fits aren’t always perfect in Unisex suits

Quiksilver 4​/3 Syncro Back Zip Wetsuit

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $139.95

The same range as we list above as Quiksilver’s go-to option for older boys is also a great choice for younger surfers in the 2-5 age range. The suit retains many of the stand-out thermal features we love, including the Vapor Stretch panels on the upper body, which really help to cut down what you feel in high-wind environments. The back-zip entry really helps to make it a suit that mom and dad can slip on and off without too much hassle. We also think the adjustable neck strap is an ingenious idea for toddler age groups, scene as body shapes differ considerably at younger ages.

  • Adjustable neck closure
  • Well-taped seams
  • Great wind protection
  • Small chest panels
  • They’ll outgrow this one pretty quick!

If you’ve got anything to add to this ultimate guide to wetsuits for kids, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Perhaps you’ve tried and tested one of the models above or have discovered a whole new model that should 100% be in our selection. Either way, we wanna’ know about it!

We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

This guide to wetsuits for kids is just one part of our larger guide to wetsuits

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